9 posts categorized "Divorce"

Could You Walk Around Nude?

Canaries in fig tree SUMDo you read the stories in the Bible about those who died, who gave their lives up, for the cause of Christ? What about modern martyr accounts of believers in the middle east who are being killed for their Christian faith? Do you walk in faith that you could do the same?

I often cry out in prayer, “Lord, I want more of you. Lord, make me so strong in faith that if one day I must choose to die or take the mark of the beast, that I would be willing and able to die for the cause of Christ.”

Perhaps you don’t pray like this. It’s just that for me, I sometimes wonder if I could stand on my faith and die for Jesus. After all, there are believers right now, today, who will stand for Christ and ISIS will kill them.

GULP.

Recently I was reading in the book of Isaiah. I arrived at this passage and I wept:

In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander in chief to capture the Philistine city of Ashdod, the Lord told Isaiah son of Amoz, “Take off the burlap you have been wearing, and remove your sandals.” Isaiah did as he was told and walked around naked and barefoot. Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. —Isaiah 20: 1-3

I wept out loud, “Lord, I couldn’t do this. If you told me to go around nude for three years, I COULDN’T DO IT. If I can’t do this, how in the world could I die for you?”

Geeze, as I type this is sound overly dramatic. Ahem, ya! I’m NOT nuts!

But when you cry out for more of God and tell Him you are a servant that follows hard after Him, you think about these things.

So, while on my walk-n-pray today, I asked God about all this. I prayed, “Lord, I don’t know if I could do i. But I pray that if the situation should ever arrive, I could walk through whatever you have asked of me.”

It was in that moment that I heard the Lord’s kind and gentle voice reply. “Lynn, you walk through your own challenges every day. You willingly submit to your marriage vows, even when it’s difficult. You remain steadfast and committed to praying for your spouse and family. This is immensely important to me.”

“Many, people crumble under way less that what all of you, the SUMites, live out. So many people, carelessly cast away their marriages. You choose to remain steadfast. Your faithfulness is way more important. I know you can’t perceive the end of the story but your prayers for that one man are impacting. Your lifetime of sacrifice fills my heart with a special love for you.”

I felt as though the Lord wants all of us to know that because we haven’t bailed out on a challenging marriage, He is proud. He is helping us. He hears our prayers and somehow in a way, this life-long sacrifice IS the giving of our life for the cause of Christ.

Well done SUMites! Well done!

And for those of you who are walking through divorce, there is absolutely NO CONDEMNATION in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) I spend time with so many of you who have fought with all you have to heal your marriage and yet it didn’t happen. Please know, your faith and your love in very challenging circumstances is a precious gift to our Lord!

Hugging all of you today! Lynn

Next post: I want to share from the archives:

GOING TO CHURCH ALONE.

Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr

This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well…..

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Devil, We Are Not Unaware Of Your Schemes

2 cor 10 11SUMites,

I am truly bereft in my soul.

Last week my friend, Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, posted on her blog that her nearly 25-year marriage is ending in divorce. Eight months ago, my dear friend, Courtney Joseph, of Women Living Well, also found her family torn apart by divorce.

The woman who runs Momastrey, who until recently, wielded vast influence and a large readership in the Christian arena. She also divorced her husband following, ironically, her book release of how their marriage was healed. She is now in a spiritually mismatched marriage with another woman.

This is a hard post to write but one of reality. Within the last nine months, three, high-profile, Christian bloggers with a large number of readers, have experienced divorce. I know Lysa and Courtney personally and they are my friends. My heart and prayers are full of compassion, love and prayers for each of them and their families.

But, it's weirdly unusual these breakups are happening in such short succession.

So, in my prayer time, I asked the Lord, “What is going on in the spiritual realm? Why is this happening to these prominent and influential leaders?”

Immediately, I heard the Lord’s reply, “Witchcraft.”

Gulp!

When God speaks to me often I hear a single word. And immediately what comes with that words is what I can only describe as a “knowing.” It’s as though the Holy Spirit provides the answers or information and usually multiple scripture verses in response. I received a “knowing” when I asked the Lord about what is going on right now in the spiritual realm and as to why this is happening to these high-profile leaders in the Christian world.

Along with the word witchcraft, I sensed that the Lord as telling me that for the last nine months there is a specific demonic assignment on Christian leaders and it is explicit to those who write about marriage. And I believe the enemy is marching against pastors and ministry leaders and their spouses as well.

Double Gulp!

This demonic assignment is initiated and called forth from the dark realms by occult witchcraft, witches and warlocks, who are speaking incantations, spells and more to destroy Godly marriages and mar the beauty of a union of a man and woman in the holy relationship of marriage. I also sensed the Lord tell me that as believers, we need not fear BUT PRAY. We will defeat this assignment of Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

Just recognizing that there is an active assignment, decimates the enemy’s power. AND our prayers can completely demolish the works of the devil in this area.

I believe the Lord has brought this to light for three reasons. One, the SUMites can destroy these demonic assignments. Wow, did you know we can do that? We can! As believers, we have this kind of power through the name of Jesus and by the blood of Jesus…. And it’s also our calling and purpose to further the work of Christ and destroy the works of the devil. (The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the work of the devil. —1 John 3:8)

Two, this blog is a marriage ministry. We need prayer covering. The leadership here and every marriage represented by a believing spouse who is part of our community needs prayer covering. YOU need prayer covering. Three, we need to pray for the marriages of those in our sphere of influence who are our ministerial leaders. Our pastors, Bible study leaders, worship leaders and those we listen to online or through other media platforms. If you have a relationship with a Christian leader, their marriage needs a prayer covering of protection.

SUMites, we can create this covering. AND we need to ask other believers with whom we have influence to pray as well.

The person who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. The devil has sinned from the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.— 1 John 3:8

In the name of Jesus, I stand upon the promises of the WORD of God. I speak forth John 14:14, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. So Lord, in Jesus name, I pray and stand against any and all forms of witchcraft that is spoken in my realm of influence. It is canceled, dissolved and impotent. It must fall to the ground…. POWERLESS. In Jesus name. And instead of cursing, I release blessing (Romans 12:14). I bless the marriages, every marriage relationship, here on SUM and those of my pastor and all my church leaders. I bless them with never ending love and compassion. I bless them and my own marriage to be sealed, unbreakable, in the heavenly realms. I bless marriages and my own with commmitment, service, intimacy, monogamy, commitment, and with the love of Christ as a covering. Sealed by the blood of Jesus.

We stand against the schemes of the devil. All evil plans and efforts are powerless in our world. We pray the devil is rebuked and silenced by You, LORD. Lies must cease in marriage unions and truth and sacrifice reign supreme. We bless each marriage now with Your love and protection, Father. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, who purchased our lives with His own. Who gave us the Holy Spirit and angels, we speak forth Your purposes, protection, and favor into this world. In Jesus name. AMEN

As a side note, I fully believe my friends Lysa and Courtney did absolutely everything they could to restore their marriages. I believe they prayed and that God is carrying them forward. They were not unaware of the devil's schemes but were in fact praying and trusting. Many of you have or are also facing divorce. You have done more than God ever asked of you to reconcile. There are just times that a spouse's free will and the enemy's advances can destroy. This post is NOT condemnation but my hope is to raise awareness of the plans of the enemy, and THUS DEFEAT HIM!! (Please be kind in the comments as there are many in this painful season who need love from their brothers and sisters in Christ and not condemnation, guilt and words of hurt.)

PRAYING IN FULL FAITH AND POWER, Lynn

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Broken In A Thousand Pieces But..... Jesus..

SUMites, ANOTHER profound email. What is happening in our community? Ten years of praying, believing, trusting. The fruit is ripe and I celebrate every victory in our SUMite Nation. And I continue to pray and trust for those yet to come.

Today, please meet Kim Valentine. Her story is TRULY miraculous!!!!  Thank you Jesus. (Read to the end because this story is astonishing!)

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One day after 18 years of marriage my husband informed me he was moving out.  As soon as the words left his lips, I knew this time it wasn’t an idle threat. God immediately began revealing to me every sin I committed that degraded, emasculated and disrespected my husband. Every time I blamed, criticized, condemned or withheld intimacy was before my very eyes. The blinders were ripped off and the ugliness of my sin was repulsive to me! Here I was a Christian for 16 years, playing the part, talking the talk and holding the church positions. I felt so valued by my Christian “family” as one of Christ’s ambassadors to the world, but the witness to my own husband was like filthy rags before God.

 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26

I felt stripped bare to the core that day, but in that process God miraculously transformed my heart for my husband. I experienced an infilling of unconditional love for him that was beyond human comprehension. The persistent nagging inside my being that had to speak up and criticize my him was miraculously gone. So many things that irritated me in the past were washed away.  I began to see him through God’s eyes as a precious human being created and loved by Him.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

We had become strangers in the same house living separate lives. We were more like roommates than a married couple and our lives rarely intersected. We hadn't shared a bed for over eight years but I was comfortable with that arrangement, so I didn't care to change.

Had I not realized over the years I was not treating my husband well? I could say “no” and blame other men who had hurt me, other people or society. I have to confess that deep on a spiritual level I knew my actions were damaging to my husband and our whole family.  All factors may be reasons for my behavior but no excuse to treat him with disrespect he didn't deserve.

This new love for my husband welled up inside me and overflowed. I had never felt this way and I wanted him to receive this love from me, but was it too late? I had taken control and removed him as head of our family where God intended him to be all along. Would he think that my actions were nothing more than a ploy to make him stay? Regardless, I started to treat him with respect and submission the way I should have all along.

But I was not completely obedient and trusting God. I fought for control of the situation by plotting and intervening like an amateur detective. I intercepted emails and monitored his bank account justifying it because I was trying to save our marriage. God began to convict me of my intrusion and I realized it was actually an invasion of my husband’s privacy. The harsh reality was, he was leaving and there was nothing I could do to control or manipulate that outcome.

After he moved out I withdrew and began to focus on my own pain.  I started to dwell on my husband’s contribution to the marriage breakdown in my own private pity party. I remember lying on my kitchen floor weeping and begging Jesus to take me Home. I felt like my heart was broken and I was in a thousand pieces. I now believe it was my own sin and lack of “control” eating me alive. One morning I woke up in tears telling the Lord that I couldn't go on any longer, I was too weak.

I turned to my devotional and the scripture verse was from 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

God wanted to heal my heart and life before He could ever heal our marriage. This journey of reconciliation wasn’t only about our marriage but also about my disconnection with the Lord. I took my eyes off Him and lived life my own way.

God used prayer and study to open my eyes and discover I was the contentious or quarrelsome woman of Proverbs. In the message Proverbs 27: 15-16 reads: A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet; you can’t turn it off, and you can’t get away from it.

 “It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.” Proverbs 21:19

God now had my complete attention and I wept in brokenness. Even though my heart had been transformed, I continued to hold on to control. I had to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, renew my mind, be accountable to the Lord for my own actions and not blame anyone else. My obsession with control destroyed our marriage.

A week after this epiphany, my husband contacted me out of the blue and asked me to go out for coffee. I hadn’t heard from him in months. The first meeting started as a casual meeting between “friends “but was actually the beginning of our restoration journey.

My husband had a new softness to him I had never before seen, so I knew his heart was changed. He is back home now and we don't just have a marriage restored but a one that's transformed. I tell people I have the husband I’ve always wanted but never allowed him to be. We are blessed to fall into a deeper love with each other. I am witness as he grows in confidence as the head of our household. There are days I still struggle with wanting control, but being aware helps me learn to surrender it to the Lord.

Learning to be a wife as God intended is counter cultural as the world dictates women be independent. We are supposed to take control in marriage and family instead of depending on the Lord but this is so counterproductive. I have new joy embracing the role God has graced me with as wife and help mate for my husband. I know that after God, my husband is my priority. This is how I honor the Lord.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2.

I have had the privilege of watching the Lord draw my husband to Him.  It has been more than two years since our reconciliation and my husband has recently become a follower of Jesus Christ. I stand in awe at how the Lord is developing him into the spiritual leader in our home. It’s all about Him!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

For many years I sought to find my identity and affirmation in education, positions and career but these pursuits became my gods. I had built my foundation on sinking sand destined to wash away. It gave me a feeling of superiority over my husband. I lost focus that my true identity is found in only in Jesus Christ and the role he has for me as His child, a wife to my husband and a mother to our children.

Kim Valentine 2016I am a  50-something  daughter of the King, wife to one awesome husband, mother to two amazing children and one special "son in love", future grandmother and nurse.  I strive to be a woman after God's own heart and walk in His steps.

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps"
1 Peter 2:21

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Line by Line: Do I Divorce An Atheist?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

So Gang. Before we leave the verses from Monday’s study. I want to expand upon them. The questions I’m asking you to ponder address a very REAL scenario in SUMite homes today. I think we need some honest conversation about the topic. 

Let’s get started. 

On Monday we read: To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.—1 Corinthians 7:12-13 

Let’s place this verse into “real life” today. 

Lisa married her husband twelve years ago. She was raised in church and because she didn’t have a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus, she fell away from church and lived in the bad lands of the Prodigal Nation for an extended time. (ahem, this sounds familiar)

She married her husband who wasn’t raised in church during those years. In fact, Lisa’s husband was highly intelligent and regarded all organized religion as ridiculous, a fantasy, and absolutely the worst thing to happen to an educated society. In the early years of their marriage, Lisa didn’t pay too much attention to her husband’s caustic remarks about believers, God, Jesus, and the Bible. But as the years passed, their marriage was difficult.

Two children arrived. They both held down careers and the pressure to pay bills, manage kids and to work more than eight hours a day was overwhelming. Lisa, like most of us, was wooed back to Jesus because of her great struggles. And she secretly started to listen to podcasts, worship music, and read books about faith, never allowing her husband to catch her or find one of her books. And she absolutely hid her Bible carefully as she knew her husband’s growing atheism would bring his wrath of words down upon her.

Lisa continued to grow in her love for Jesus. But also her fear of her husband’s great hatred of religion paralyzed her. She lived in constant fear to be “found out”. She mentioned God to the kids in the car but they never attend church nor would she ever share anything about God in front of her husband.

 

Okay…… I think I’ve described this marriage enough for you to grasp an understanding. So, my friends, although we are instructed that we are not to divorce our unbelieving spouse, scenarios such as this are very real. If you are a wife and are completely terrified to talk about Jesus to your spouse, is this verse applicable? 

And if so, how do we help this young woman to find a balance between Christ’s presence in her life, home and children and her commitment to her husband? 

Now be very careful with your words my SUMite family because there are many of your SUMite sisters who are currently walking this very path. I’ve been heartbroken for so many of you who live in this very place. Confronting a hostile-atheist husband is a terrifying aspect. Don't be quick to judge but quick to love and support. How can we help women/men living in this unique aspect of the unequally yoked? 

Please, please add to this conversation as I believe the Holy Spirit want to bring some practical help, advice and encouragement to believers walking this path. Also, if you are a man/woman in this place, have the courage to add your story here. Share what you HAVE done to encourage another woman on the road behind you. Even comment anonymously if you don’t want to use your name. 

Lord Jesus, today there is someone who needs to know they are not alone walking this very difficult and painful path. Lord, give courage to have them share their story and to ask for prayer from their SUM family. Lord, I ask you to grant upon them a spirit of Joshua and Caleb courage that they will find a way to be able to express the love of Christ in their home with freedom. 

Father, I ask that you bind the spirit of atheism and the hatred that is directed at Your Children. Lord, free husbands, wives to see that the love of Jesus in their home actually brings, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Lord, release a fresh hope for these spouses and let your Holy Spirit fill them. In Jesus name. Amen.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Line by Line: Unbeliving Spouse

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Hello SUMites, 

Well I’m still not up to par but we are pushing forward with this summer study. If you remember we completed the study of 1 Corinthians 7:10-12. Today let’s move forward to the subject and verses. 

Verse 12: To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 

Line by Line: 

Let’s refresh our memory here. Remember Paul is writing a reply to a letter sent by the first century Christian church in Corinth. As men and women became believers, they didn’t know if choosing faith would impact their marriages. They were seeking wisdom about how to navigate their new faith in light of marriage. In the particular passage above Paul is now speaking specifically to believers who have come to faith…. and their spouse has not. 

Yep, just like us. 

It is interesting here that Paul offers his advice and it is not specifically a command from the Lord. Commentaries indicate this is because there wasn’t specific direction spoke by Jesus while on the earth. However, the offering by Paul is inspired by God. 

Question: Because Paul changes the emphasis in this passage and denotes that this verse is not a command but Paul’s wisdom, does it change its truth or power? (Share your thoughts in the comments.)

 

The verse reads specific and clearly stated and is addressing men who are married and become believers and their wife remains and unbeliever. (By the way, we have many more men readers at SUM than you think. They usually just don’t leave comments *smile*) 

What does Paul instruct this man? Well what I love about this passage is that Paul is instructing them to consider the unbelieving spouse. This is also in direct opposition to Old Testament practices where Jews (Believers) were instructed to “put away” their “heathen” spouses. Ezra 10:3. I love that major paradigm changes in life and society came with Jesus’ ministry. 

This line of scripture directs believers to consider their spouses willingness to remain in the marriage. And if she is willing then – he must not divorce her. 

Straight forward. However, we know that it’s much more complicated than this simple directive. What I find interesting is the rendering in King James: 

But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 

The translation is “pleased” in the KJV. Fascinating!!!! 

If we look to the next verse the command from Paul is identical to a woman believer living with an unbelieving husband. 

13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.

My friends, let’s place these verses in perspective. If I received a letter such as this from a newly married young woman who just found Jesus, I would encourage her just as Paul has done in his writing to the Corinthian church. 

If a couple marries and they are getting along fine, nothing more than the usual marriage challenges, and the husband is willing and pleased to remain married to his newly believing spouse, I would greatly encourage them to push forward. And we will see in the passage later why both Paul and I would encourage them to remain married. Does this make sense? 

However, Paul is not addressing marriages where there is great sin and wickedness as part of the marriage. I would venture to guess that if Paul was presented with some of the scenarios that fellow SUMites have faced, his answer may have been more involved and even very different. 

For today’s Line by line study let me say this: 

I am living out this passage in living color. I have been living it now for the past 22 years. I’ve been married to a man who is “pleased” (most of the time, ahem *grin*) to be married to me. My faith has not caused him to want to leave. We have an ordinary and beautiful marriage. I will admit that I’ve faced seasons where I wanted so badly to be married to a believer. And I will also be completely authentic that if this command was not in God’s Word, I might have left our marriage. 

However, I’m so glad I obeyed God’s Holy Word. I truly love my husband AND, the intimacy with God I’ve found came about because my husband is an unbeliever. My husband’s disregard for my faith actually pushed me to know and love Jesus more than if I had married a man of faith. I would have likely placed my faith and beliefs on the shoulders of that man…… instead of the King. 

Whoa! 

I can truly tell you I’m thankful. Thankful for this tough and at times, lonely road of the unequally yoked. It’s been difficult and challenging but also brought me into the best thing in my life. A life-transforming faith. An experience and love with God I’m still astounded by every day. And the hope of Jesus for my children and my future and for all mankind. WOW!! 

Okay, thoughts today?
See you in the comments, Hugs.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Line by Line: Monday

Hi Gang, 

Lynn here. I am really feeling under the weather. I've been sick for three days with a terrible headache, upset tummy and a pain in my foot from jarring it in my tall shoes a few days ago. Sheesh! 

So I humbly ask you to forgive me as I won’t have a line-by-line study post for Friday. I’m just too sick to sit at my computer and do the two hours of research and study that I feel is needed in order to discuss the next section of verses. 

Today, I want to share a comment from last Friday’s post. It’s written by Lisa M. who is a regular reader and a proud SUMite!!! We have Lisa’s story included under the salvation tab on the navigation bar. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comAfter reading the comments from Monday and praying with all of you, I’m moved by the enormous challenges we face. So a testimony of God’s love and provision becomes our hope. Sharing testimonies in some way moves God’s power into our own lives. So here is Lisa: 

July 25, 2014 from Lisa M.

I've been married 27 years and the first 11 were miserable. I was a young bride and then a young mother. I had three babies one year apart and also was learning that marriage was not the fairytale I thought it would be. 

My husband worked the night shift. Twelve hour shifts as a police officer which gave him a lot of days off as his schedule was three days on and three days off. Most of his off time was spent out at a local bar or with friends. There was even a time he was keeping company with another woman. 

Throughout those 11 years I tried to make the best I could...there were times I cried, other times I yelled and other times I just felt like giving up. However, I never felt like God was releasing me. The few who knew my situation thought I was crazy for staying but they didn't understand I saw something deeper in him. 

Then when there was reason to believe he may be cheating on me, I finally felt like God was saying it was time. So I basically told my husband in not so nice words to get out. I left the house thinking he'd be gone when I got back but he wasn't. He wanted to talk.. He had also talked with my dad and my dad called me and said to give him a chance. So I said let's talk except that I would be the one talking. I wasn't that naive sweet innocent girl that he could manipulate anymore. We talked for hours and everything I had felt and wished I could say to him over the years came out. We reconciled and a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant again after seven years since my last baby. This wild scenario was all part of Gods plan and my husband felt like this baby was his second chance. I know many think but he probably was cheating on you. But to me that was just icing on the cake - that all the years of mental abuse and neglect was just as bad to me. To this day I don't know if he truly was or not but I don't care. 

So during my pregnancy and the early part of our starting over, I did a study called After Gods Heart - a story about Abigail and her abusive first husband. It was then I realized I was just as much at fault for our failed marriage as he was. Not to justify his actions but he wasn't and still isn't a Christian and I was not being the wife he needed or that God called me to be. I was too self-absorbed in my misery. 

That year was the turning point in our marriage and now my husband and I are best friends. Did I get a new husband? Well in a way I did...this 2nd 1/2 of our marriage has been so much better than the first 11 years. It's a partnership. No, he's not saved and yes, he still drinks too much as a functioning alcoholic but my kids are healthy emotionally and physically because of my choice to stay. 

God has blessed my marriage and family and I've grown so much in my spiritual walk. We are called to serve God on a daily basis not live a fairytale life... 

Lisa mMy mission field is my husband and family. This is where God has me serving Him and now God uses me in my work to minister to other woman going through these same things. Marriage is a commitment that we are to honor (unless I course there is physical abuse). It's not easy but God walks with me through it and even carries me when I need him to. I ask many women if their husband had cancer would they walk out on them? Then why, when they need us the most whatever issues they are dealing with deep down would we choose to walk out? God will use us as long as we stay true to Him.

~Lisa M. 

 

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Thanks Lisa. SUMites, I ask that you join to give praise to the Lord for the victories in the lives of our SUMite family. And I know for many of you this story may be difficult because your ending didn't turn out this way. There is no condemnation in Christ. We can celebrate those who have marched through the fire and their marriage stayed in tact and we can celebrate those who escaped the fire of marriages that were abusive and evil. Have a good weekend. Hope to be back to health as writing over the weekend for Monday's next post in our series. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Line by Line: Power Prayer Against Divorce

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Line by Line….. 

My friends, after reading the comments on the post from Friday, a Holy Fire burned up and out of me that I can only explain as the righteous anger of the Lord. There have been so many of us in this community that have been ravaged by divorce. 

The enemy has weaved his deceit upon God’s people bringing his ministry to kill, steal and destroy, but NO MORE

In my own family, divorce has now reached into the fourth generation. My parents divorced, my grandparents divorced in their 70’s. I divorced and my son is heading that direction. I’m mad as ---- and I’m not going to take it anymore!!! 

Be warned devil. I’m taking away your authority to curse the generations of my family with the destruction of divorce. From this day forward I revoke your authority to even breathe one word or lie into any of my family members to a thousand generations. Today, I draw a line in the sand and stand behind my Papa, Jehovah God and by His Son, my Savior, Jesus and by His name and power I declare you have no authority to cause a divorce in my family line as of right now. 

My friends, I’m convinced that we must take action and pray as a community and as the sanctified believer in our home. So, please pray with me. Today we take the authority given to us by Jesus and free our family from the work of the devil and demons who are planting seeds of divorce. 

Pray with me now. OUT LOUD: 

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I stand with Jesus as my side, angels with me prepared to move upon my prayer and with the blessing and love of my Father, Jehovah God. 

The authority given to me in Luke 9:1-2 I declare the enemy, the devil and all demons all their works and effects are hereby silenced. They have no authority now to lie to me or any of my family members about divorce. I cancel any and all agreements that believing their lies may have allowed influence in my life or my family’s lives. 

Today, I declare the demonic must leave my home, my children and my marriage and go directly into the pit and be bound there forever. I cancel all generational curses of my ancestors that may have allow divorce to enter into my family line. I draw a line in the sand now and today. From this day forward our family line, the House of _____________(Donovan & Goodwill) is free from any evil influence, lies or past agreements with the enemy about divorce. I slam shut any doors that were open to let evil to speak lies to me or have any bearing or influence upon me or my family. 

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command all evil must depart from my home, my children and my husband and must immediately go into the pit. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, there will be no replacement of evil in our lives now and forever. 

And now Lord, I fill those spaces where evil tried to harm, I fill those places with your love. I release your Holy Spirit now to come into the hearts of our home, fill every living area with Your Presence. Open the portals of heaven and let the peace of Jesus pervade our hearts, souls and minds. Give us joy and flood every part of our home and being with Your love. Fill our home to be an overflowing fountain of living water. Let our home be a safe place for anyone and everyone who crosses the threshold. Let me stand as your son/daughter to be the person where the enemy was defeated and a new history was determined in our family line from this day forward. 

Thank you Lord. Thank you that when we pray that the demons must obey. Thank you we have that kind of power and authority because Jesus, You died and then rose to victory. We claim that victory over divorce for ourselves, our children and our children’s children to a thousand generations in accordance with Your Holy Word. 

Today we now celebrate as a mighty move of God has begun and we can’t wait to see the lives and marriages you save, just because we asked. You love us that much. 

We adore you. Let our worship destroy the enemy. Let our love shine as bright as the noon day sun to our family and our neighbors. In the Most Powerful Name Above All Names…. 

JESUS, AMEN! 


Deuteronomy 7 9I want our Bible study to be more than just gaining head knowledge. Let’s make this study personal. It is our God given right – no our God given expectation – to pray and break this evil of divorce that is devastating our families. 

Thank you for praying with me. In the comments leave the name of your Household that you prayed for and I will pray in agreement with you. And if you have more prayer needs, leave them as well. 

I’m so fired up now I want to pray down Holy fire upon addictions, pornography, alcoholism, anger, rage, and the list goes on. Let’s use this prayer and bring freedom to the captives my friends. 

And let’s replace evil with the life-changing love of our Father. It’s the most astonishing, beautiful exchange. 

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(Friday: More Line by Line…. It’s getting good my friends. It’s really, really good. Have a great week and expect breakthroughs.)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Line by Line: Remarriage

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Part III 

Line by line. Precept upon Precept. 

On Monday we looked line by line at 1 Corinthians 7:10-11. We managed to get through three lines. Sheesh. This takes longer that I thought. But I hope the discussion blew your mind and caused you to pray and seek God’s explanation of these verses. 

I will add to our study that there was discussion about the context of these verses and who they specifically addressed. Are they written for believer to believer marriages only? Some commentaries say yes, some no. I will tell you that I don’t know. And I think my comments on this passage on Monday were directed to the many of us who are in a place in our marriages where we are thinking we would be so much better off to divorce our spouse because of our spiritual differences. Then remarry because after all, the grass is greener with a believing spouse (sarcasm intended *grin*). 

We will address this specifically as we work our way through the chapter. And it’s really, really good stuff. So hang in there. And I also want to encourage you to share your thoughts, interpretation in the comments. Our conversations, observations and thoughts in the comments on Monday were outstanding. 

Well done community!

 

Today I want to share a true story of a young woman who literally faced these verses in the face. 

Line by Line: A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. 

This young woman came for counseling at our church many years ago and the counselor came to me seeking my thoughts as she would meet with this young woman in the next week. 

Here is the scenario. This young wife, right around 25 years of age with two young children was a newly born again Christian. She came to Christ at the time her husband was sentenced to more than 25 consecutive years in the state penitentiary. He wasn’t eligible to parole for at least 25 years. The reality hit this young woman that she would be married to a man who was in prison for most of her life and the entire childhood of both of her children. (I don’t remember if He was a believer or not.) 

She came to the counseling staff and wanted a divorce. And in all truthfulness the counselor she was seeing didn’t have it in her to tell this young woman that God is calling her to remain married to her husband or divorce and remain single. The counselor, herself, was struggling to process this passage in 1 Corinthians 7. However, God’s Word is His Word. 

I remember standing in a hallway with the counselor as she described this young woman and what she knew she must say to her but in her heart she wasn’t convinced this is what God would want. The counselor didn’t know how the young mother would be able to remain single and raise her children. “How can I tell her she can’t remarry when she is so young and raising these children. She wants a home and father in her home. I don’t know if I can do it.” 

I looked into this sweet woman’s face, the counselor, and I felt exactly what she was feeling. She just needed something, anything, to help her understand how this young woman could remain single and not remarry for her entire life. 

I took this counselor by the arms and looked into her eyes and spoke directly from my own experience. And I said…… “You know that I have surrendered many of my hopes and dreams for a spouse who was on the same page as me. A spouse who attended church with me and helped me raise my children in faith. Now I know that my struggle pales in comparison but my pain and challenges were deep.” 

“What I learned is that all of my hopes and dreams of what I thought I wanted from my life on planet earth pale in comparison to the vast love of God. When I stand in His Presence and receive my inheritance, love and provision from Him, those unfulfilled hopes and dreams look like a tiny dot in the face of The Great King of the Universe. My unbelieving spouse, her incarcerated husband, are mere men. My hope, my everything, all my expectations, joy, and every fantastic adventure is centered in living fully in the grace and love of God through His Son Jesus Christ.” 

“God IS big enough, strong enough, more than enough to be my husband and fill in the missing places that I expected my earthly spouse to fill. If God will do that for me, He will do it for her. I absolutely believe that and KNOW it to be true for all of His children.” 

As I spoke to this counselor, I watched the love of God flood her soul. The vastness of the Lord and His awe and love changed her heart. I don’t know what advice she finally gave to that young mother but I expect both of them were changed in some measure by the greatness of our Lord.

----- 

So, today I leave you with this story. I also want to tell you that no matter what this young woman chose to do for the rest of her life, God’s grace is sufficient to cover all of her choices.

 

Most of you know that I divorced in my prodigal years. I share that in our second book. That divorce was completely selfish and I ignored God’s Word thinking that I knew what was best for me. But God has forgiven my selfish choices and has blessed me and my current marriage is blessed. We are 22 years and counting. 

I want to make sure that we understand there is no condemnation in Christ. But this study and the command is in God’s Word for very good reason. As I write this, my son from my first marriage is living here. He is an adult but is still dealing with some of the ramifications of my divorce. 

It is my prayer and hope that we all learn from this study- the motives of God and why He calls us to reconciliation of marriage when possible. 

I would sure like to hear from someone who has reconciled and what that brought to your life. And again, I also believe there are some very wicked people whom separation is not only necessary but God is screaming at you to get out and find healing. 

Okay, again family. Be gentle with me in the comments even if you don’t agree. I absolutely learned a lot from the comments on Monday’s study. I love you. 

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*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Line by Line: The Bible and Divorce

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Hi Everyone, 

Well since Thursday I have read and re-read this particular passage we are studying, 1 Corinthians 7. I know I said we would look specifically at the verses 12-15 however, I’m feeling convinced that we must actually consider the two verses prior. So today, I’m going to tackle something I HATE to address. But these verses are directly impacting to our lives and they are in God’s Holy Word for a reason. So, I’m compelled by Jesus to walk through these, line-by-line and offer some thoughts. 

DIVORCE 

Good grief, is it just me or does this “D” word stir up great emotion in your soul? And for me personally, the “D-Word” is especially raw in my home as most of you know my son is facing a divorce in the near future. But, I think it’s a topic we must consider because if we are utterly honest, in our core, we the unequally yoked have considered divorce at one time or another. 

Okay here are the dreaded verses:
1 Corinthians 7:10-11 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. 

Line by Line: To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): 

Let’s remember again that Paul is writing to the church in Corinth in response to their questions about marriage. And earlier in the chapter Paul has much to say about marriage responsibilities. You should read that section because it’s really great. 

Paul is passing a command to the church that is in utter confusion because the believers are emerging from a lifestyle and belief system of Greek Mythology. They don’t have information or any reference point to know what to do or how to behave when they come to faith and are married. So they ask Paul, their spiritual leader. Remember Paul was instrumental in starting the church in Corinth in his earlier visits. As their spiritual father, Paul is ordained by God and has demonstrated that God is with him. Thus he speaks a command from God. 

Line by line: A wife must not separate from her husband. 

This statement could light our comments board on fire!!!!!

 

Let me be clear here. I believe in marriage. So does Paul and our Father in Heaven knows that marriage is the singular relationship that demonstrates God’s desire for intimacy here on earth. God loves marriage. But our Lord is good and He is kind a full of grace. There are situations where marriage is no longer a safe place for a spouse or children. There are situations that arise which are of utter evil and harm. Thus, the second line appears. 

Line by line: But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. 

Now here is the rub. If she does separate, what does God say? She has two choices as she moves forward in her life. One, she remains unmarried. Two, she reconciles with her husband. 

This is difficult for so many. Why? Because our society views marriage differently than God views marriage. In the Lord’s view when a man and a woman marry, they are making a holy “vow” to one another. They are swearing their life-long commitment before the throne of the Almighty. 

Wedding Vows
In ancient times when Jewish men went through a marriage ceremony, the men made their vows to God and God alone. They didn’t make a vow to the woman. Interesting hunh? 

In 2014, our legal system has become embroiled in what is actually a religious ceremony and you can see what disaster that has wreaked upon Biblical marriage -just read the newspaper. 

That aside, let’s return to the statement, she must remain unmarried. This is where most Christians can’t deal. God is calling women to singleness! 

Yep, singleness. 

Now let’s be utterly authentic here. Or at least I will be. There were occasions when that ugly word, divorce, entered my thoughts as a young wife. And right behind those thoughts followed something like this, I want to marry a man who is a believer. I know my life would be so much better. 

Yep, I will be honest and bet a good number of you have been on this train with me in years past. But God isn’t saying in this passage that if you leave your marriage to remarry. He calls us to singleness. 

GOOD GRIEF!!!! Why would God do this? I don’t have an answer to this question right now. But I can tell you that believers who are considering separating from their spouse for whatever reason, God is calling them/us to a lifetime of singleness. 

So this is the rub. There may be absolutely STRONG reasons for a separation. But when you consider this mandate from Corinthians to remain single, it introduces an entirely different dynamic into your decision making. 

Here is my personal thought on the matter: In my personal marriage, if for some crazy reason I became separated from my husband, I would remain single for the rest of my life unless God brought about reconciliation. I know that I know that I know this to be true in my heart and spirit. 

You might say to me, “Well Lynn, that is all well and fine for you but I’m young and I have young children. I want to be married and have a family why would God not want that for me?” 

Ahhhhhh, good question. And on Friday I will share a true story where a very young woman (under 25 years old) with young children faced this very dilemma. 

Again, I’m not a Biblical scholar, so please be gentle with me. Respond in love even if you disagree. My question to you SUM Family, why would God and Paul place this very firm “command” in His Holy Word? 

Can’t wait for Friday because this story is real and heart wrenching. 

And next week, we will deal with the husbands. Guys out there, you’re not getting off the hook in this line-by-line study. *grin*

Love you my friends.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4