The Impact (of Our Stand on Future Generations)

BY: Nancy Cook, Stander, Group Leader
My children were young when I began standing for my marriage. My younger son was six, my daughter was ten, and my older son was twelve. I brought them to the Covenant Keepers conferences, which had an active ministry for the youth at the time. So my children grew up understanding the concept of covenant and the importance of family. I didn’t realize how much of the teachings they were absorbing, but being around Covenant Keepers had a significant impact on their life view.
 
I found out as they were growing up how significant an impact my stand had on them. My younger son kept writing me little cards telling me that God said his daddy was coming home because I was praying for him. At one point, the pastor of the small church I attended had all the children from the youth group go up on stage and talk about how their family’s faith affected them. My son Daniel, who was around thirteen at that point, proceeded to tell the church about my stand for his father and our marriage and how it affected him that I had not given up on his father. The pastor was speechless at hearing this point of view from such a young man. All he could say was, “Wow!” It brought tears to my eyes as I did not know that he felt this way. This pastor was the one who had pointed me in the direction of Covenant Keepers, so I’m sure it meant a lot to him to find out how it affected even the children.
 
As they grew older, my children fell away a little bit and didn’t always believe that the marriage would be restored. They questioned my stand and encouraged me not to be alone all my life, but deep down, they did retain the values I had taught them. Ultimately, it impacted their life choices. My older son and the woman he married both suffered from drug and alcohol addiction, but God helped them overcome these addictions. They now attend a Baptist church where they got married in December of 2020 and are both sober. My new daughter-in-law calls me Mom (she lost her mother when she was young), and she often says how much she appreciates the stand I am taking for my marriage and believes it strengthens her marriage to my son.

My daughter got married in 2016, but unfortunately, she is now having marriage problems. She is currently separated from her husband. While she is a little double-minded about the issue, she desires marriage restoration and is contemplating joining a CK group. I believe that God will lead her to the right decision about this. She currently lives with me, so she sees me living out the covenant values that I have taught her.

My younger son is not married but has two little girls with his long-time girlfriend. They have broken up several times but always come back together. I believe that this is because they have watched me over the years and see the value of commitment. I believe that God will lead them to honor Him with their relationship and that they will eventually get married.
 
Why do people stand? I think that there are many reasons that people start their stand and, even more importantly, why they continue.

1) Initially, most people begin their stands primarily for their comfort; they want to get back to some semblance of the life they had, and they don’t want to be lonely anymore. They start to gain the perspective that God has for the covenant marriage relationship. “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth...” Malachi 2:14.
 
2) Eventually, the stander’s worldview changes somewhat, and they can begin to see the bigger picture of what God wants to do in their family’s lives by doing a complete restoration of their family - reconciling parents to their children as well as to each other.  “...he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”  Malachi 4:6
 
3) At some point, the stand becomes more about salvation for the prodigal and children than about the actual restoration.  “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”  1 Corinthians 7:14.
 
4) The worldview becomes even more extensive as people realize that marriage is meant to be a picture of how the Lord loves and protects His church, so standing for an individual marriage is seen in a larger worldview and demonstrates to the world how much the Lord values and protects (and even stands) for us.  “Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...” Ephesians 5:25.
 
5) People begin to realize how their actions affect their children and even their grandchildren, leaving a legacy even after being gone from this world.  “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
 
Once people have reached the level of standing these points represent, we could say that their stand has real substance. It is less about the personal aspects of standing (reasons 1 and 2) and more about aligning one’s worldview with the Lord’s and demonstrating the Lord’s standard for our lives, and passing that legacy to our children. Standing is no longer difficult because it is seen in the larger context and is more of a ministry and calling than a personal decision.
 
PRAYER:
Lord, I ask you to comfort me now. To give me the peace that passes all understanding. No matter what stage of the process I am in, I desire to honor you first, Lord. I want to honor you by honoring my covenant with spouse. I desire to break the generational curse of divorce and separation over my family. I come to You, Lord, and I ask you to give me a Stand of Substance. I ask You to align my desires with Your desires. Lord, align my heart with Yours. Only then, can I truly understand the foundation of covenant. In Your Name I pray. Amen. 

NANCY COOK:
Nancy resides in Essex Junction, Vermont.  In 2012, she received her Doctorate in Business Administration and is presently employed by Global Foundries as a Process Engineer.  Prior to their separation, Nancy’s husband, Paul had received a word from the Lord that the two of them would be involved in a marriage ministry. Nancy is holding onto that word and knows that it will be fulfilled in the Lord’s timing. She has three grown children and six grandchildren. She presently leads a small group over Zoom on Tuesday evenings with Covenant Keepers.

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