6 posts categorized "Respect"

A Testimony by SUMite Holly Boone

Dear friends, Holly Boone (a different Holly from the one I shared about in my last post) shared this with me in an email and I asked if I could share it with our community. I pray it blesses you as it did me. I remember being in a similar place in my marriage years ago and knew that if I didn't begin trusting God to change me, my marriage would not survive.  And He did, so lovingly and with great beauty as Holly shares with us here. God is so good. Our hope and future rest in Him! Thank you, Holly, for sharing your heart with us. We love you! —Dineen

Confession 

Image1I decided to try a worksheet about sin I’d received from a faith based conference. I wasn’t sure what sin I was going to write down until I sat down and prayed about it. God began to open my eyes to an area I wasn’t even focusing on. I wrote, “I need to put to death the sin of belittling my husband and second guessing his work and parenting decisions.” 

Then, it happened. The floodgates opened from His Word and God laid out a step by step plan of how He was going to conquer this sin in me. It is so good, HE is so good. The passages He used to convict me and even the order of how I read them was a perfect plan of how to accomplish this. Amazing! 

First I read Proverbs 21:23, one of the first scriptures I memorized, He who guards His mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from trouble. After my confession my soul WAS troubled. It was deeply torn apart about what I was doing to my husband under the guise of “helping” him. I wasn’t helping, I was tearing him down each time I gave “advice” or my opinion that came from a prideful spirit and not a humble spirit. I wasn’t speaking harshly or out of anger so I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. But God!!! He opened my eyes to another sin that I committed with my mouth and reminded me to guard it closely and for me it boils down to… listen more, talk less. 

The second verse was Ephesians 4:29 – Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment so that it will give grace to those who hear. I know this verse well too, but this time when I read it I was reminded of how God had cleansed unwholesome words from my mouth before. I used to have a filthy mouth. A vulgar, dirty, mouth. Once God brought me to salvation that was a big change He did in me. Those words are no longer a part of my vocabulary, they don’t even come to my mind, and when I hear them at work they make me cringe. 

Most people at work try to be respectful of me and not say things around me, but I still hear it every day. The fact that they are offensive to me now just shows the POWERFUL cleansing God can do and will do in ALL areas we give to him. So the way I was speaking to my husband when we talked about his work or issues with our daughter was not edifying and were not necessarily needed for the moment. But God!!! He can and will cleanse me from that. So step two in the plan is ask myself, are these words needed in this moment and to ask God to remove all the words from my mouth that are not good for my husband just as He removed all of the filthy words from my mouth I used to say.

Verse three is 1 Peter 3:1 – In the same way you wives be submissive to your own husband so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word, by the behavior of their wives. The Holy Spirit is so powerful, because I again, knew this verse well but yesterday was shown a whole new part of the word “submissive.” I need to be submissive minute by minute, not just in the big decisions. I need to be submissive about all aspects of our marriage by my attitude of humility. I wanted to be submissive except in the areas I felt I was better. Pride. 

Oh the damage pride can do in a heart. I was being rebellious, the opposite of submissive. I thought I was being submissive, because I wasn’t badgering him about our spiritual differences. I wasn’t trying to change him, so I thought. But around every corner I was there to second guess his decision and let him know what I thought he SHOULD be doing instead. How he made a sandwich, how he fed the dog, how he dressed our daughter, his relationship with his boss, his relationship with his students, when he should be on his computer, when the TV should be on, what he left in the car, what he forgot to do—so many things I point out to him about what I think he needs to do differently. The biggest area I can show my submission to my husband is how I speak to him and support his decisions, and when it is time for me to help in a decision or give some insight, it HAS to be done prayerfully and with God guiding my words, not letting my flesh guide me and spitting out all that I want to say.

The last verse Proverbs 31:10-12 – An excellent wife who can find: For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.  THIS is the sweet promise I received yesterday.  If I follow God’s plan He has promised that my husband will have “no lack of gain.”  And that I will do him “good and not evil all the days of my life.” I thought this was my desire before, I thought I was living that out, but I was so off the mark. I thank God for giving me this new desire. I WANT to do my husband good and not evil. I WANT him to have no lack of gain and God has opened my eyes on how to do that, truly. I have often described my husband as the best unbeliever there is. He supports me in many ways that a lot of husbands don’t in spiritually unequal marriages. That is a gift from God. 

But even though I say our marriage is good I think I am really thinking, “it is good enough.” For the situation I am in, it is good enough. In spite of our spiritual differences, it is good enough. Compared to others in my situation who have it a lot worse, it is good enough. But God!!! 

Yesterday after confessing sin, asking him for nothing except forgiveness what He gave me was a promise of MORE! He has so much more for my marriage than just “good.” If I follow His plan He has shown me that He has something far greater waiting for me and my husband. What a loving God we have. When I thought that we were in a good place and I had settled in to this place in our marriage, God said, “Oh no dear child, you just wait and see what I have in store for you.”  

My submission to my husband is submission to God. That is what I desire more than anything, even if I receive nothing. But God still continues to give and give and give blessings to me. A wise man recently was writing of his trial, but in the middle of it still thinking “why me God, why are you so good to me and generous with your blessings? I do not deserve it.” I often think this as well. Why me God? You are so good to me and shower me with blessing and goodness and always bring my perspective back in focus when I have wandered. The answer to why He is so good to me is because He is God. A perfect Father. A perfect example of love.

 After this encounter I could only do one thing. Get down on the ground on my knees with my head down worshipping God. I sang the chorus to one of my new favorite songs:  

Holy Spirit you are welcome here, 
come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. 
Your glory God is what our hearts long for, 
to be overcome by your presence Lord.

I was overcome by His presence. It was a glorious afternoon of worship and tears as an offering to God, and, other than the words of the song, all I could say was thank you God, thank you Father.

If we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9


I'm Pissed Off!!!

Can I say that on a Christian blog?

Well, at least it's a righteous anger.....

Read with me and then share with me your thoughts. Hugs, Lynn

Believing Wife – Agnostic Husband (names have been omitted for privacy) 

IMG_2524[1]Earlier in the week, Dineen and I received an email from a reader who was seeking some perspective about her husband. When Dineen and I read it, almost simultaneously on different sides of America, the same thing happened. We both were filled with emotion. Heartbreak for our sweet SUMite and also a righteous anger. Here is a portion of her email and then a portion of my reply: 

My husband, a life-long believer, has become agnostic/atheist  after reading about evolution and every book & lectures from a (well-known agnostic author), and has also become very politically liberal in his worldview.  He has been sharing with our pre-teen (still believes) and teen (says she doesn't anymore and that God isn’t real) his reasons. 

My husband says he has vastly researched, is very sure he has the truth, and will never go back to Christianity and that it is important that our kids know his view point and "the truth" because he doesn't want them to have false hope, guilt, etc, and because while the bible does have some good things to say, it is not true and Christianity (along with other religions) can be dangerous.  This is a huge change in our almost 2 decade old relationship. 

I am trying to "not fear anything frightening" but this has been very difficult on me and our marriage.  I am extremely concerned for my children as they hear these things, and for myself, and of course for my husband….. Sister Sumite 

First of all my heart breaks for you (name omitted). I am so sorry you're in this place. But I'm so glad that you reached out to me and Dineen. And I will also tell you that Dineen received this email at the same time I did. I spoke with Dineen this morning and the same thing happened to her, she rose up in a righteous anger about your situation. 

So I want to share my thoughts about your husband leaving Christianity and choosing to be agnostic. As clear as I could hear it from the Lord himself, I heard this: This man, this atheist author, may write his little atheist books but they will not be around past 50 years from now. And he may be deceiving people through his writing; however, these silly little books propagated by the demonic realm will come to nothing. And most of them will never be read after 20 years from now. 

But My Holy Word has been around for not only several centuries but two millennia. Great armies have come against My Word but they cannot stop it from reaching into people's lives and bringing my love, hope, and freedom. 

(My friend), when you put this into perspective I hope the truth of God's word rises up before you and becomes very powerful. Your husband has not treated you fairly either as a wife and mother. For him to lay down rules that everyone in the family must follow, according to his belief system, I find that absolutely reprehensible. Marriage is a partnership not a dictatorship. You and your children deserve, and should be enabled and empowered to practice and speak about your faith in your own home. I have very strong convictions about this so please read my words and pray about them. I'm praying for you to have courage to go to your husband and bring some balance back into your relationship with regard to faith matters. 

And now Sweet Sister, I want to share my thoughts about your teenage daughter. And I ask that you would read through this and take these thoughts to the Lord in prayer and ask him about what I'm going to share. When I read the sentence that your daughter, your 15-year-old daughter, has now lost her faith because of her father, I was deeply grieved in my spirit. Because teenage girls, especially a girl your daughter’s age, face some of the most difficult challenges to their identity during the teenage years. They are under a barrage from every direction that challenges their hope, their identity, and their self-worth and many other things that have lasting, lifelong, effects on their lives. And what I see your husband has done to your daughter through his doubt in God, he has stolen her hope. And right now more than ever a 15-year-old girl needs to have hope. She needs to know there is a higher power that has got her back, that will never leave her nor forsake her, that loves her for who she is and not what she looks like. I'm deeply grieved that the hope of the living God has been stolen from your daughter by her own father. Please forgive me if this seems harsh, but this is really how I felt deep in my heart. And I know this is exactly how Jesus feels right now about your daughter. And he feels the same way about you. 

My friend, let Dineen and I be the voice from Jesus that you need to hear today. God is absolutely real. I have experienced him personally and so has Dineen. He loves us. He will take care of us. And he is our hope. Every. Single. Day. My friend I ask that you might go speak to a pastor to have someone help to shore up your faith and learn to walk in this situation with courage and to stand your ground on what you know is true. Also, if your husband pushes these books by this author at you again, you can simply say I've made up my mind. I don't need to read these it doesn't make me less of a person, if I don't have an open mind to every book that you shove at me. Personally, for me, I told my husband that I don't need to explore any other faiths, religions, or books. I know in my heart that the living word of God is the absolute truth. And millions upon millions of people throughout centuries and centuries have discovered the same thing. The Bible is the blueprint for living a happy and joy filled life. 

I promise you, in 50 years, no one will be reading this atheist’s books. But in 50 years from now, millions will be reading the Bible. Love you much, Lynn and Dineen 

I wrote more to her about praying for her and I hope and pray my words encouraged her. I hope and pray now that these words reach deeply into anyone else that is walking in a journey similar.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Reader Question: How Do I Respect Him

Today I'm tackling another reader question:

Lynn,

Hi there, thanks so much for getting back to me.  I am worried because I feel that my marriage is more than just spiritually mismatched--it's all around mismatched.  Somehow, during a period of rebellion apparently, I got myself into a marriage with a man whose core values I don't agree with.  The best way I can think of it is being in an arranged marriage.  I know arranged marriages work sometimes so I need to find out how.  I need to know how to be respectful of my husband (since I know it's so important to men) when I don't respect his ways, basically.  What do you think?  A.

Dear A:

Girl, I KNOW exactly what you are feeling and saying. My husband and I are so opposite in our world views and belief systems. I don’t respect many of the choices he makes. It literally grieves my soul. He is very liberal and supports most of the social movements that are in contrast to God’s Word. 

Painful… Hard to respect. I had to stop looking at all that was wrong with him. I actually began to write out lists of the qualities that were admiral and worthy. When you begin to focus on what they do bring into your life and marriage it helps to move past the bitterness. I know I talk about this very thing in our book. It was hard and a long process for me. I’m stubborn. But, through it I’ve saved our marriage and we are both very happy now. And I’m so glad as we are entering into a new season in our life that we stuck with our marriage vows. I love how I just KNOW this man and that he knows me. It’s truly special to have someone know you at that depth of intimacy that they can finish your sentences. 

God healed me first. My healing was enough for the both of us to strive forward and find peace. If God will do this for me, he will do it for you as well. That’s a promise. It all started by my pursuit of God. My increasing love relationship changed everything. For the both of us. My husband still makes decisions about media that grieve me…. But I have peace and I am happy. 

Pray with earnestness to seek God. To know what He is wanting to show you in your life. Start reading every book you can get your hands on about intimacy with the Father. Face to Face with God is really good. It’s on our website. 

I will be your cheerleader and the voice that says ….. YOU CAN DO THIS AND DO IT WELL.

Love you, Lynn

WHWW 1 copy
Share: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

Weekend Worship — A Story of God's Faithfulness

Image_149
Mr. and Mrs. Keith Silva
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. — Psalm 17:6

My friends, this is a special day for me and my family. It's my oldest daughter's wedding day. For me it's also a testimony to God's faithfulness.

For years as I prayed over my girls, I have also prayed for the future men in their lives—for their future husbands. I prayed for men of integrity—godly men who knew Jesus and lived it out in their lives. I also prayed that God would prepare my girls and help them to be godly wives and helpers to their future husbands.

Today my daughter, Rachel, will walk down the aisle with this young man, Keith, who started "courting" her six years ago and is more than I prayed for or imagined. God answered my prayers far beyond my expectations. He is so good to this praying mama.

I'm so excited to see these two start their lives together. Already they exhibit the love and respect for each other as God intends it to be. I am so very proud of both of them and will now continue to pray for them to be united in their marriage and to love and respect each other as Christ tells us in Ephesians 6. 

So, rejoice with me, my Sumite family. Besides seeing my daughter and son-in-law speak their love and unite as one in marriage before family and friends, nothing gives me more joy today than sharing it with you.

I treasure and love you all so very, very much. Thank you for sharing this special day with me!
Dineen


Spiritual Leadership

When I’m speaking or interviewed for radio, spiritual leadership of our home, often comes up as a topic for conversation. It’s really interesting to me that this question comes to me from other believing men (radio interviews) as well as women who are living unequally yoked.

My friends, we the spiritually mismatched, certainly live in the “in-between.” And spiritual leadership/direction is of monumental importance to us and we wrestle with how to do this well.

Today I'm sharing some thoughts on being the spiritual leader of your home in a mismatched marriage. Join me at the Cafe. Hugs, Lynn

My Husband is not the Spiritual Leader of Our Home


 


What Does Respect Really Mean?

IStock_000015408103XSmallAt church one Sunday, a friend who is also mismatched asked me about how to handle a situation that she either went behind her husband’s back to do what she thought was right in fulfilling a law or being up front and asking for his input and leadership with the understanding that he may well tell her no.

These are the times our faith will be challenged and tested. This is also why Lynn and I are constantly encouraging you to keep a daily appointment with God because first and foremost and in EVERY situation, our first step is to pray and seek God’s wisdom and direction above all else—above what we think, above what others think and above what our spouse might even think.

And here is what I have found to be true over and over again. When we seek God first in these kinds of situations with a complete desire (and I do mean a totally and completely willing heart) to do God’s will and please Him no matter what, even if it means stepping away from what we want to do, God will work out the details. I have seen Him sway the most unbelieving heart into alignment with a believing wife on difficult matters because she sought God first.

I also do not believe God will allow us to be put in a place where honoring Him dishonors our husband (in God’s perspective, not our husband’s). How can He when He has clearly laid out in His word to respect our husband? To do so would be a conflict of God’s character.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.— Ephesians 5:33

And I absolutely LOVE how the Expositors Bible Commentary explains this respect:

“A respect that is conditioned by and expressive of reverence for Christ.” (emphasis mine)

Even though Paul’s words imply an assumption that the husband will love his wife as to be worthy of such deference, I still believe we can show this respect to our husbands with the motivation of serving God, conditioned by and out of reverence for Christ.

And we do this by:

  1. Seeking God’s will with a willing heart
  2. Studying God’s Word to understand His will and character
  3. Trusting God to handle the results

This is especially critical to my friend in this case because she genuinely wanted to do what was right, but she was struggling between the letter and the spirit of the law. Legalism would have led her to go behind her husband’s back—not something God would ask her to do. But genuinely seeking God’s direction first and intervention in the situation will lead her in to the right solution—one she can have peace about and that will include her husband’s leadership.

And by her actions in this situation, she is ultimately honoring both God and her husband, regardless of the outcome. She can walk firmly in that reassurance, security AND protection, and have peace about the matter.

This is just one part of God’s design for marriage—a design that ultimately leads to a partnership that gives both partners freedom and protection.

Praying and believing,
Dineen