Ahem, well, some of you know that through a series of circumstances, distraction and stupid moves, *blush,* I blew away all the files on my laptop hard drive two weeks ago.
The video file of the September broadcast of The Intentional Marriage, with both Dineen and me, was a casualty.
With that said, I still think the question we addressed is a common issue in an unequally yoked marriage. Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts. Here is the question from Sue Tipler. She posted this question on August 2nd on our Facebook Page. If you aren’t part of this fantastic support community, you are missing out. The conversation is more casual and personal. Post a question, add content you think would encourage others and become friends with others on this path of the “uniquely yoked" marriage. Join us at Spiritually Unequal Marriage –Facebook.
I have a question for you: how much do you talk about God in front of your spouse? I feel like I'm supposed to, but I don't want to offend. Thoughts? Comments?
Like · · August 2 at 5:14am
Spiritually Unequal Marriage: Sue, we are going to use your question and one other one from a reader for an upcoming Intentional Marriage program. August or September. We'll post details on the blog to let people know when. It's a great question. I hope you don't mind if we use it. Hugs! ~Dineen
August 9 at 1:04pm · Like · 1 person
Sue Tipler I don't mind at all! Please go ahead & use it! Hugs back :)
August 9 at 1:09pm · Like
Great question Sue. In my own marriage, this single area has been an enormous point of contention between us. In the early years, ANY discussion of faith was met with hostility. Those were painful years and I would retreat, almost stunned, at the venom that came from the mention of something I believed was good and was a very real part of me.
I can understand if speaking about faith, especially using the name Jesus, can cause conflict in your home. And there is a time to speak up and a time to remain silent. The confusion is discerning these two.
I will share with you a couple of thoughts. First, I pray daily during my prayer time for wisdom and discernment. GOD’S wisdom and discernment. I can attest the Lord has helped me see past the surface of things to allow me to know when to speak up and when to shut up. This applies not only to my spouse, but my kids and living life in general.
I can walk into a situation and something in me (the Holy Spirit) puts my hackles up. Something just isn’t right. Or, I get the impression there is more going on than what is apparent. Then I pray harder to see it. This kind of discernment also gives me some insight into people, hmmmm, how do I describe this. People who appear “dark” to me. They have an evil in them or about them. (That’s a post for another day.)
Second, there is a time to stand your ground. You are an equal partner in your marriage. You can make choices for yourself and your spouse doesn’t agree. However, because he doesn’t agree does not give him license to silent you. I say this with caution because preaching and hounding our man, backfires. Only the consistent love and gentleness of a spirit surrendered to God is going to impact our stubborn spouses. This plays out differently with different personality types. I’m confrontational and would often have a pointed discussion with my spouse. There are times we can and need to coach our spouse to better behavior and the same for us.
There are also personality types who avoid conflict at all costs. They need to pray for courage and the right words to speak and then talk with their spouse. Remember we are partners in this marriage.
What does increasing my faith and faith-talk look like in real life. Well for me, I slowly, slowly found myself playing praise music whenever I could. Sometimes he turned it off. Sometimes he didn’t. I slowly began to hang a few faith-based decorations around. I would pray for God to give me opportunities to say something about faith in a passing and non-threatening manner. Sometimes while in the car, watching television, with the kids. (read those posts here and here)
I was consistent, relentless, patient and the more I loved Jesus, the more “out loud” I became.
Today, I’m a Jesus freak. I can’t stay quiet, even in front of my man.
Yep, and he is well aware I won’t be silenced. In fact, in an unexpected twist, he is proud of me and how I have lived out my faith over the years. Go figure. I hope that one day he will tell me what it was like to watch my faith grow in our challenging mismatch. Perhaps a conversation we will have in heaven.
Sue, it simply takes time. It takes God given courage to speak out and it takes a ton of prayer, seeking discernment when to stand up or shut up. Mostly but simply, just love Jesus. Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Let me encourage you Sue, and everyone who struggles in the “speaking up” part of your faith journey. God LOVES your desire to want to share. He sees your heart and He will continue to work in you to give you Godly courage, strength and a heart for this lost and broken world.
Then you know what????
You can be a Jesus freak like me *grin.* Love you Sue and all of you who are traveling this journey with me. Have a great weekend, Hugs, Lynn
PS. Hang your flag.
Mark 12:30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.