Shortly after the publication of Redemptive Divorce, Charissa and I began receiving letters from readers. Many of them resonated with the same theme: a desperate need for tangible help in order to carry out the redemptive process we describe in the book. The following letter from “Charlene” is a good example.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Gaither,
I just started reading your book, Redemptive Divorce, and perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but is it my imagination, or is it true that there are very little if any tangible resources within the body of Christ for families in crisis like the ones described in your book?
I left my marriage of 20 years to a pastor/shepherd husband who verbally, emotionally, mentally, sexually, psychologically, and spiritually abused me and our 5 children throughout our marriage. I reached my breaking point late last year and left. I homeschooled for 15 years so did not work outside home for past 20 years, [and therefore have almost no means to support myself, much less pay for legal help.]
I’m writing you both because, I don’t want to read any more truth or listen to any more biblical answers yet find no tangible resources within the body of Christ. Where does a wife in my situation go when the church, extended family, friends, etc. won’t believe her story and will not offer help because the pastor/shepherd is such a wolf in sheep’s clothing—charming, warm, outwardly loving, does all the right things outside the home, but inside the home, a monster. This is spiritual warfare at a level most people can’t even imagine.
On top of all we’ve been through, it is especially unfair to be relegated to the welfare system to support myself and my children. The majority of churches I’ve emailed for help say that I have to be a tithing member [in order to receive help]. I don’t have a car to get to job interviews, counseling appointments, etc. Where can I go for help? Is there such an organization or ministry that has tangible resources for families like mine?
I feel isolated and rejected, and I need help.
We have received many letters from men and women alike reflecting the same concerns. The circumstances change, the specific needs vary, but the common denominator remains a lack of tangible help from their brothers and sisters in Christ. Many upright spouses lack the financial resources needed to lovingly confront their wayward mates with something more than empty talk. In Redemptive Divorce, we call for tough love to be coupled with tough action.
Consistent, dependable follow-through is absolutely essential to the success of redemptive divorce. Tough talk without tough action only compounds the negative implications of passivity. Furthermore, this discrepancy between words and deeds undermines dignity, which the wayward spouse must see in order to gain respect for his or her partner. If redemption is the goal, then the unrepentant partner must become convinced that the negative consequences are real. And that can only happen when a pledge [to follow through with consequences] promptly becomes reality.” (p. 68)
Unfortunately, many beleaguered guardians of dying marriages lack the resources to back up their tough-love stand against sin, and then helplessly watch dysfunction consume their family and future. In response to this very great need, Charissa and I have partnered with other concerned believers to form Redemptive Heart Ministries, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to restoring marriages that are otherwise doomed to failure. The initial draft of our “Articles of Incorporation” defines our mission:
- To offer free, or substantially discounted, family court mediation services to individuals or couples who seek legal separation as a potential means of marital rescue or reconciliation.
- To provide financial assistance to individuals who express a sincere desire to rescue or reconcile their marriages and cannot otherwise afford legal representation.
- To teach and to disseminate educational literature to the public, including, but not limited to, material related to divorce-related topics, especially the “redemptive divorce process.”
- To engage in other activities related to educating and equipping the public concerning divorce, separation, and marriage recovery from an evangelical Christian worldview.
- To establish partnerships with other ministries dedicated to meeting the physical and emotional needs of individuals, and to coordinate these charitable services as a means of assisting individuals or couples attempting marital rescue or reconciliation through legal separation.
Until we receive our official non-profit designation from the Internal Revenue Service, we cannot guarantee that donations made to Redemptive Heart Ministries, Inc. will be tax-deductible. However, we have immediate needs that you can help us meet.
Will you help us? Will you send us a gift to help us get Redemptive Heart Ministries off the ground? You may send your donation by any one of the following means:
By Credit Card:
By check or money order:
Send a check or money order payable to “Redemptive Heart Ministries, Inc.” to:Redemptive Heart Ministries, Inc. 5729 Lebanon Road Suite 144-294 Frisco, TX 75034
While Charissa and I deeply appreciate your tangible partnership, we also need your prayers. This is a brand new trail we are blazing, which means we must rely upon God’s leading more than ever! He knows the way forward, so please pray that we will be supernaturally wise and supernaturally submitted to His will and His way, especially as we take these crucial first steps.
Your fellow servant,