The hard heart has many goals; one of the most important is to protect itself and what it wants at all costs. Never underestimate the strength of a stubborn heart; while it is NO match for God and the way He works this out of them, it takes TIME to break their stubborn wills. 

11 ‘This is what the LORD says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.’” 12 But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.” Jeremiah 18 NLT

And when they make the choice to put themselves first, guilt, shame, condemnation, and the quiet judgment of godly conviction is ever-present. How do they self-protect against all those things?

Not everyone acts the same way as they come daily against the onslaught of accusations. Some will be mean, cold, cruel even. Some will blame and deflect. Some will slander, and character assassinate, and some will act guilty, surround themselves with self-pity, and feel sorry for themselves as they tell you how horrible they are and you are better off without them. Then there are some that are so wracked with guilt over being the bad guy, being the one that is breaking up their family, they will do everything to make it seem like this is a family adventure. That divorce, having two homes, two families, and splitting things up is the coolest thing.

The fake reality

That is THEIR reality they create to ease their guilt, and they will control and try to force you into it. And if you don’t go along, they then get to blame YOU for messing it up by thinking, “Everything would go great if you would just stop trying to control or change me. This is all your fault.”

Hard hearts happen when people are struggling with an empty void inside and can’t figure out what is causing the unrest. They may have hidden this from you for a long time because they honestly didn’t understand what was going on inside, and they tried to find a way to ease the void. Some don’t even realize there is a void until another person comes along and exposes it. Then all of a sudden, they “were not happy and haven’t been in a long time.”

That “Not happy” is the only way they can explain they are dealing with a soul that is being tormented by their spirit that is disconnected from God. Our spirits were created to be unified with Him, infused. And when it doesn’t get that, it groans, it puts up a fuss, and our souls have no clue how to handle it. They will feel “unhappy” and start looking around at their life, trying to determine the cause. Even if they are going to church, they can still not have the intimate relationship with Jesus that stops the spirit from groaning.

So many have NO real identity and understanding of personal, intimate relationships with God, and that is why there is NO fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of all wisdom.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

Hard hearts are the worst thing for us to endure, BUT THE BEST thing for them, so they change and are able to make it through that narrow gate. AND many Standers are in the exact same place as their spouse. Going through life lukewarm with no real relationship with the Father. God is wanting you to make it home to Him, to cut off the fat flesh and fit through that narrow gate!

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hellf is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:13-14


When your spouse rebels, they will walk a path that will lead them to the cross and right relationship with God IF they are willing to listen to that still small voice of gentle conviction, and you, the Stander, will enter a new, intimate relationship with Christ that will open the door to a relationship with Him that you never imagined IF you don’t quit.

No one is lying to you and misleading you. This is HARD. The hardest thing you will most likely ever go through because there is no manual. Dying to self, emotions, and changing is not easy. Being rid of the world and it’s ways are what you are really struggling with, and that brings more pain than you realize.

When you surrender to peace, trust, and confidence in the Lord, THAT is where you will find REST for your weariness. But that is our struggle; that is our daily, constant battle-to NOT wonder what they are doing or if God is doing anything. Not living in fear. Not being angry. Not letting the details derail us and cause a huge mess in our feelings and emotions. THAT is our journey. Every day, navigating all the roadblocks and obstacles that are before us to make us transform and be free from ungodly, worldly ways to teach us what being a true Child of God looks like. You are in boot camp right now! 

Embrace it.

Standing with you, 
Sheila Hollinger

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