The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Bill and Carolynn Rieser: Fight for Your Marriage

By Robert Hull
The 700 Club

CBN.comBill and Carolynn Rieser met and dated while in college at Eastern Kentucky University. Bill was a basketball star with a party hard lifestyle; Carolyn was in love.

“I wanted to get to know him more and started asking around about this cute guy from New York,” Carolyn tells The 700 Club.

Bill recalls, “Carolynn was the only person that would listen to me. She was the only person who really cared for me despite what I did and who I was.”

After college they moved to New York, married and had a daughter.

“We would argue because I would feel like he was not spending enough time with our daughter,” Carolynn says. “I was basically doing everything to raise her.”

“The fact of the matter was my wife and my daughter just weren't a priority in my life.” Bill says. “I didn’t know what love was. When we got married I just thought I’d give it a good shot.”

His best shot wasn’t very good. Carolynn realized something was not right in her life and in their marriage. She had grown up as a Christian, but put her faith aside once she met Bill.

She says, “God started drawing me back to him, and my heart was just seeking after Him. I started realizing I want to be in relationship. I want to be in community. I want God back in my life because I’m supposed to be a Christian but I’m not acting like it. Something is not right something’s missing.”

Carolynn recommitted her life to Christ. Bill wanted nothing to do with God. He was living a double life, drinking heavily and using drugs. He had several affairs he kept hidden from Carolynn until one night she overheard Bill on a phone call with his mistress.

“I never thought he would cheat on me or have affairs with other women. That’s just something I never considered,” Carolynn says. “I thought he would always be true blue. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. At that point, we were looking at divorce.”

Bill says, “Me moving out was the only option.I knew that I had lost my daughter, lost my wife and it was the lowest point in my life.”

“Bill and I had talked about having a meeting to discuss a divorce and how we were going to split up everything,” she says. “I knew that I had to go for counsel and prayer before that meeting, so I went and the pastor prayed a prayer over me and prayed for peace that passes understanding. I had heard that phrase all my life, never really thought about what it meant, never really experienced it.”

She continues, “The peace that God gave me when I prayed for Him to help me forgive Bill, it’s just like He said, 'Yes.' It was like a weight being lifted off of me, and it’s like the car was just being filled with His love. It was amazing.”

Bill was prepared to talk about their divorce, but when Carolynn entered the house he could tell something had changed

“She’s never stood before me with a confidence like that, and when she started to speak, I knew that it was God speaking to me. She said, 'God can forgive you for anything that you’ve ever done, so can I. I don’t know if I can forget the things that you’ve done, but I’m willing to try if you’ll give your life to Jesus Christ.' I realized for the first time in my life that God loved me despite me. I made a decision that night to give my life to Jesus Christ, and I knew that my marriage wasn’t saved then. I knew that I had done a lot of damage to it. I needed to go fight for this thing, and that’s what I did. I set out on a journey to go fight for my marriage and to go love my wife.”

Carolynn says, “How am I ever going to trust him again, knowing what he did even though I had forgiven him? I knew God said, 'You don’t have to worry about him. You trust Me, and I’ll take care of him.' I saw Bill chasing after God, so I’ve never looked back.”

“I know that it is truly impossible to love someone else the way God intended us to love that person unless we’ve received the love that God has for us that can only come through a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ,” Bill says.

She adds, “Our marriage today is so strong. We love each other more than we ever have. We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. With God in the middle, there is no situation we can’t conquor because God is our victor. I really wish people could surrender themselves and their marriages over to Him, because if He can change ours, restore it and redeem it, I know He’s willing to do that for any and all marriages. He has the power to do it if we’re willing to submit to that.”

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