Spiritual

An Open Letter to the Christian Who Thinks God Failed Them

god failed

I recently received an email from someone who read one of my blog posts. I felt led to respond to this gentleman, but also to share my response with the world. I don’t think he’s alone in his feelings, so perhaps my response can help him, but also another one or two.

Comment: “I just read your article, I believe the title was “You can pray to save your marriage but god won’t give you this,” dated August 9, 2017, I just have a few comments and questions. I was a Christian until god lead my wife of 18 years to have an affair with a man he introduced her to through church. We divorced shortly after in 2013. I was a Christian and faithful in teaching my kids about Jesus and the Bible and how to be good people in this world. Then god failed us. My family was not worth saving to him. I don’t know why and neither do my for kids which I got custody of 6 years ago. I have no answers for them now. 
Now I don’t teach them anything they must make their own decisions. God failed us so how do we continue to pray to the same god who abandoned us when we needed him most? The love of my life is gone, the kids have a terrible example of a mother, and a father that is not half the man he once was. Why did god do this?

There are many couples that I know, including my parents, married 65 years and both my brothers who are happily married for over 30 years. Why did god not protect my family like he has protected theirs?

I am happy for you in that in the article you mention that you found your happy ever after but what about those of us god has forgotten? Why has he forsaken us?

I know this will probably never be seen or answered like hundreds of others I have sent over the years but I still have to try for some comfort in this world. God surely doesn’t hear my prayers anymore.”

My reply:

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Hi (name withheld for privacy),

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back in touch with you, but I would like to address some of your questions and concerns. I wonder if perhaps your view of God’s character might be a little skewed? Like, perhaps the hurt you’ve received from humans is being projected onto God? Let me explain.

Immediately upon reading your email the first line grabbed me. You said, “God led my wife to another man that she met through the church.” First, I truly believe this WAS NOT God. God holds marriage in high regards. The marriage covenant represents His covenant with us, a fallen world. He loves us more than anything, and He wouldn’t want the covenant that is supposed to be an example of His commitment and unconditional love to us broken. I repeat, God will never lead ANYONE to cheat on or leave their spouse for another, especially for reasons of adultery. That goes against His character and view of the marriage covenant.

Mark 10:9 NIV Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.

God didn’t lead your wife to leave you. She made that decision all on her own without God’s approval.

Next I noticed you said you had always tried to teach your children about God before and how to “be good people.”

The only reason is bring this up is because I want you to understand that God is not a works-based lover. In other words, He doesn’t count you worthy based on how good you are. We are all inherently sinners. It’s Jesus in us that makes us good. This means that no matter what, God loves you. He loves your children. He would have sent His son Jesus to die just for you. It’s not about goodness. It’s about love. You love God, you love others. The goodness will just naturally follow those two things.

Ephesians 2:8 NIV For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

At one point you mentioned that God failed you and your family. At another, He had forgotten you. And yet again, He had forsaken you. Let’s start with scripture, which is the Word of God, 100% infallible, and we can count as Spirit-breathed truth.

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV  It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. 

Joshua 1:9 ESV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 28:20 ESV Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

You describe with certainty that God has left your family, that He pulled His favor from you, that He abandoned you, and that He doesn’t even hear your prayers. I tell you the truth, my friend, and please listen closely:

That’s not true! This is a lie from Satan! It’s not flesh and blood we fight, but powers and principalities of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Satan desires nothing more than to separate you from God. He used this terrible tragedy to do just that. The Word states that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). So see, Satan doesn’t really have any power. He can’t take God’s love from you! What he can do is trick you and blind you to that love. You have been blinded to believe God doesn’t love you anymore, or that He forgot your family. This simply isn’t true. The Bible says it’s not possible. I could continue to quote about thirty more scriptures where it states that, but I won’t bludgeon the point. Just know it’s repeated so many times because God knows we forget it and He really doesn’t want us to.

Psalm 73:26 ESV My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

God doesn’t fail us. He is perfect (Matthew 5:48), and we can obtain perfection through Him, but He doesn’t expect perfection from us. Thank goodness! He does want our trust and love, though. In the Bible Peter got out of the fishing boat at sea when He saw Jesus walking on the water. He wanted to be like Jesus! He stepped out onto the water, but then he saw the waves and became frightened. He sank! Jesus asked him why He doubted (almost hypothetically), but then He embraced him and pulled him out of the water. Jesus knows we will have doubts. God knows we will trust the boat we’re in (our life, finances, secure relationships) more than we do the One who controls the waves and sea (Jesus), but He loves us still. Our flesh will fail us (meaning we will doubt God, as you’re doing now), but He will never fail you.

He has not left you. He is there. You just can’t see Him for the waves.

You mentioned that God felt your family wasn’t worth saving, and again I say that is a lie straight from hell. God did not make your wife leave. She did that on her own. God doesn’t create the problems or tragedies that befall us. He has only good things for us (Jeremiah 29:11). God will often times allow the bad things that others decide to do on their own free will to us, but that doesn’t mean He abandoned you. It means He has something better for you!! He allows bad things to happen, but always redeems and makes it better for you in the end!

Romans 8:28 ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Even when we can’t see the good yet, He’s still working. It’s easy to forget that! God is omnipotent, unlimited, and can see from beginning to end. We cannot. Therefore we assume He’s not working. It’s ok. This is common. The wonderful thing is God is there with you waiting for you to embrace Him and fall into His loving arms (in spirit, through prayer). He loves you, He’s not mad, and He beckons you back to trusting Him. He didn’t make this happen, but He will strengthen you and bring you through it if you will believe He can.

Lastly, you wondered why some relationships such as my own, or your parent’s, were happy relationships, but feel like God didn’t bless your marriage. Again, don’t mistake human error for God’s doing. God will bless every marriage covenant, but both partners must walk in that blessing. Your wife abandoned your covenant. Seeing that God grants us all free will, He couldn’t work with your wife’s decision to go. He can only work with the aftermath, and He will if you allow it and ask Him.

Last thing…

Hebrews 13:6 ESV So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Seems like an odd scripture for me to share, I’ll bet. You might think “what can man do to me? Leave me and break up my family, for one!” And yes, that is true. But in this scripture the Lord wants you to see and understand that when it comes right down to it man (or woman) has no power in our lives. Only God has power over His people! So while people can cause us pain and harm, they cannot impact our lives forever and all eternity. If you believe Jesus died for your sins then you will live forever, and in Heaven you will have eternal peace and joy. No more tears! Now, that’s not to say you have to wait until Heaven to find happiness! God has happiness for us here on earth too. You just need to understand that your ultimate happiness and long lasting joy is found in God, not man (or woman). People will fail you, but God will never fail you. That is why your joy must be dependent on the Lord, not earthly relationships.

The Word tells us that as we love the Lord God with all our heart (Luke 10:27) and delight in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). He wants you happy; you’re His child. So many scriptures describe how He clothes the flowers and feeds the birds. Don’t you realize how much more He loves you, His son. He will bring you new happiness, but He also wants your love. It’s a reciprocal relationship. I mean, He’ll love you abundantly regardless of if you love Him, but you will discover new happiness and a fuller life as you follow Him, from my experience.

I am sorry this happened to your family, but never forget God’s love. I would encourage you to get to know Him more AND better through scripture. You say you don’t hear from God anymore, but I wonder if you’re really listening. It may be hard to hear Him over the lies that have tried to blind you to His heart for you. He loves you, He has happiness for you, and a lovely future for your family.

Find trust again, for people and God, through Jesus. Find hope, through Him also. There you will find peace, and you will also find healing.

I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to share my response to you via my blog. I truly believe many people are where you are, and these words can bless them. In essence, God has used you to bless others through this email to me. The wonderful thing is that even in our brokenness God can lift us up while using our healing to glorify His kingdom. I’m proud of you, and I’m proud that you are reaching out for answers. That shows you haven’t given up. And God certainly hasn’t given up on you!

Praying for you,

Brie

**This post originally appeared on BrieGowen.com.

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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