The Scapegoat’s “Whatever” Prayer

I had the honor and privilege of sitting down and talking with Crawford Loritts a week ago at a conference. I shared with him about my book and my struggle to stay married.

There were many things he shared with me but the one I want to pass on to you is this.

Your husband’s issue, is not really with you. It’s with God.

How often do I forget this when the enemy attacks? Whether it is an attack from an acquaintance or family member, or yes, even my spouse.


Image courtesy of nuchylee at

His issue isn’t really with me. He’s angry with God and I’m the convenient scapegoat for his anger.

Jesus was the scapegoat too.  In Hebrew theology, the scapegoat was heaped up with the sins of the people – and driven away from the camp. The goat never did anything to deserve the sins heaped up on it. The poor animal was a vehicle to absolve the people of their transgressions before God. Jesus was the same way. HE took on the sins of us all. Sins he never committed and was driven to death. (what do you think happened to that goat, all alone in the wilderness? Um, yeah, it was killed.)

Only the wild animals that killed Jesus, were us. You and me. We laid our sin on his shoulders and he willingly took it.

Now I’m not saying that my role in my marriage is to be the scapegoat for my husbands sins. What sins? Sins of failure to live up to what God calls him to do. Sins of unbelief in the God he may verbally profess to follow.

I may have a lot in common with a goat though. Let’s be honest here. They are mischievous little animals that will eat almost anything. They butt heads. Yeah. I’ve been there done that with my spouse. And they are cute. Can I claim that without being vain? I can get into trouble on my own and have been known to play pranks. My kids know me as being pretty goofy.  Part of this is just our human nature. I’m reminding myself (and you) that none of us are without sin.

But God does not say anywhere in the Old or New Testament that I am to be the scapegoat for my husband’s failures. Nope. Nada.

So this is what Crawford Loritts, wise man that he is, reminded me of.  Sometimes we need to get out of the way and let God deal with our spouse. We have to pray that dangerous “whatever” prayer. Do you know that one? It’s the one where we lay our husband before the holy, just, loving and faithful God of the universe and ask our Lord to do whatever it takes to bring our husband to Him.

That’s hard prayer to pray because as women we do have a sense of self-preservation. God’s dealing with our husband could jeopardize what tiny bit of security we may have in our marriage. Yeah, it’s false anyway, isn’t it? Our true security is only found in Christ.

The “whatever” prayer is a prayer of deep dependence and faith on God and no one else. Not even ourselves. But it removes us from the position of scapegoat which isn’t a fun spot to be in anyway. God doesn’t leave use to the dangers of the wild. He comes along side us in our trials and pain and is faithful and true. Even when we can’t see how He could possibly meet our needs, he does.

Have you prayed the “whatever” prayer and stepped out of God’s way? It can be a daily thing, but oh, so necessary.


Lilly Grace


Secondary Gains – The Positive Side. Part 4

So I’ve spent three weeks discussing the negative side of secondary gains. But is it possible there is a positive side as well?

There is!

Sometimes when our marriages are difficult we are freer to do things we might not if we had to fully consider a full partner in the marriage covenant. It’s not that we don’t WANT to have that kind of partnership with our spouse, but how can we when he is distant or abusive?

So we gain some new skills perhaps.

We learn to stand on our own and make decisions.

We widen our source of truth-tellers and gain wisdom.

We depend more on God because the security and love of a spouse cannot be depended on (which is true for ANY woman).

What have you learned that you wouldn’t’ have otherwise?

Who have you been able to have greater compassion for because of your own pain?

Have new opportunities opened up for you that you would have never sought if your marriage was “healthy?”

It behooves us to look to see the positive side of things because there probably are some.

So what secondary gains have you had that are positive?

Lilly Grace


My Deepest Need

We have an enemy and too often I forget that he coils like a snake, poised to strike when I least expect it.

And then the bite comes.

Always to my most vulnerable areas.

I need affirmation.  The attack will come on my worth and my abilities to do what God has called me to do.

I need love.  The attacks come in that being withheld and and venemous words are spewed forth that mean anything but love – only disrespect and disdain instead.

I need security. The attacks come in threats against my ability to stay in a house I love, or buy food we need, or take care of medical expenses that come up.

Why does this hurt so much? Because in my humanness I want these things from a man. I want these things from a husband. I want to know I’m loved and cherished and that somehow I will be provided for and that the things I do matter.  Even when I sometimes fail or have a bad day.

This is not my reality.

Sometimes I look for this elsewhere.  Friends?  But they all have their own needs too. And their responsibility is not as great as that of a person who has made promises before God and others.
How about those I minister with? Again, sometimes the strikes come from there as well. Friendly fire which sometimes comes as an arrow aimed to hurt but masked in pious language.

Chocolate? Oh, wait. That doesn’t quite work either.

So what’s a girl to do?



Seek to reorient myself to the One who made me, died for my sins and is ultimately responsible for my every breath. Ultimately I need to depend on Him. Why is this so hard?

David lamented as he hid in caves hunted by King Saul, separated from his wife and home and responsible for the care, safety and feeding of the men who were with him.

Similar to me shepherding my children while under attack.

But David, even though he was in sorrow and grief and wondering was able to comfort himself with the truth that God stored all his prayers in a bottle.  Every tear we cry is precious to our Heavenly Father. And then, in Psalm 56:9b he says: “This I know: God is for me.”

For me.  God is FOR me. Not against me like human sometimes are. He is FOR you too.

Love, security and affirmation. The holy, almighty, sovereign, eternal God of the universe – is FOR me.  He treasures my tears, how much more my life and basic needs?

Life is not going to get easier.  But if I can rest in the truth that a good and great God is FOR me, maybe I can make it through the day clinging to Him and not lamenting how those needs are not met elsewhere.  And trust Him for my next breath as well as where I will live and how I will feed my children in the months to come.

He has always been faithful. Always. I have no need to doubt that now.

So I will cry.

I will pray.

I will cling to Him.

How about you? What are your deepest needs?  Can you find your fulfillment of them in Jesus? If not, what’s keeping you from that?