Seeing the Manifestation of the Goodness of God
Lynn Donovan Speaking at Marriage Conference

Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness - That is Who You Are

Hello SUM family, Tiffany here! Joe-yates-wNOymf_yTUA-unsplash

I was overwhelmed with joy to see so many reach out for prayer earlier this week. Friends, I just love this community so much. It is amazing what a treasure chest we have in our church without walls.

There was a time when I was STRUGGLING to hold on to hope in my marriage. It got so bad at one point that I thought, "I've just dropped my kids off at daycare. I wonder what would happen if I just took a drive and kept on going." I never want to leave my family - but the lies and attacks on my life had me CONVINVED that I wasn't right for my husband and kids. I began to believe that they were better off without me. I know now that it had so much to do with how I viewed my husband. We were caught in a vicious cycle (one the I kept perpetuating with the negative I was speaking over my household).

If this is you right now - listen to me. Things CAN turn around. It may look impossible. BUT God!

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. -- 1 Corinthians 7:14

Those who have been in the community for a while, or read Lynn and Dineen's books, would know that this verse is key to our SUM. There is a GRACE upon our marriage as we travel this unique path of life. Recently there was a post in the SUMite Sisters in Christ Facebook page. I won't share the original question but I want to share a little bit of my response:

There is no guilt or shame in the Kingdom of Heaven. We walk a tightrope, or so it feels, at times. We teeter and feel we have to watch our every step...but the grace of God is upon you. We don't have to struggle with who do I serve? We know we serve God first. But because of our SUM and our love for our spouse, there is a grace upon the things we do. This is not an excuse for sinful living but a release to honor our husband (wife) while still serving the Lord.

This is the embodiment of 1 Corinthians 7:14. Our faith, our hope and our trust in Jesus Christ speaks volumes in Heaven. We have the power and authority to intercede for our spouse and children. How we speak, whether audible or only in thought can literally alter the atmosphere around us. When we choose to bicker, harbor bitterness, be filled with contempt, hatred or rage - we are opening the door to the forces of darkness to wreak havoc on our lives.

I have been there before. I remember living in the toxic cloud of disappointment, anger, depression, hopelessness. It was HEAVY!

I've recently fallen in love with the John 16:13. This has quickly become my life verse.

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."

I want to give a couple of things that Holy Spirt gracefully yet clearly taught me in order to combat the toxicity of those early years.

  1. Repent. Ask the Lord for forgiveness for anything that you personally have done to add to the contention in your marriage. This must be done in the secret place with the Father. I know there are some who are living with spouses with substance abuse, narcissism, etc. These are not things that God wants you to simply get over and force yourself to make it work. Marriage was not designed by God for an abuse of power of one over another. It was not designed for a "slave and master" scenario. Get into time with the Lord and ask of anything that is your responsibility to carry. I had to repent of so much bitterness, anger, guilt, lying, keeping secrets, manipulation, etc.
  2. Forgive. In forgiving, we release the weight off our shoulders and into the arms of the Father. In the secret place, allow Holy Spirit to reveal to you where any unforgiveness lies. Again, marriage was not designed by God for an abuse of power of one over another. In forgiving, you do NOT have to completely let your guard down. Forgiving releases you from the issue that caused you to harbor unforgiveness. It is not giving your spouse an excuse to keep on violating the boundaries of your marriage.
  3. Bless / give thanks. This was hard for me at first. Our flesh does not want to do good toward someone who has offended you. BUT, our words can speak either life or death. I had to "force" myself - meaning press past the feelings and emotions of it all - to take this step. The more I would willingly choose to do this, the more the Holy Spirit would bring to my heart and mind. Wouldn't you know that in this step, the stony stubborn layers of my heart began to melt and soften.
  4. Remind yourself (and God) of the promises that He has spoken over your marriage, husband, life. Just like the countless times in the Bible God told His people to REMEMBER...we should do the same. Begin to take notes on what God is revealing to you. Open them up and pray out those things to the Lord. God LOVES to be reminded of His word. He doesn't forget. However, coming into agreement with His word means coming into agreement with His heart.
  5. Invite Holy Spirit. This one is so important. As I mature in my faith, I realize how vital He is to my life. Holy Spirit was SENT FOR US. He is the one who is here on Earth today. Jesus and God are in Heaven. Pray something like this. I will use my husband as the example, "Holy Spirit fill the atmosphere so full of You that Jason cannot help but breathe You in. Jason cannot help but become more loving, kind, patient, wise, strong, blessed, healed, whole and restored because He is breathing You in. Holy Spirit as Jason breathes You in, He is being filled with You. There is NO room for any other spirit because You are so thick and tangible in Him. Jason is highly favored and marked for righteousness. He is clothed in victory. He is surrounded by good and perfect things from above...." Keep going as the Holy Spirit leads you.

I hope that these things have helped in some way. I would love to hear what the Holy Spirit is teaching (or has taught) you in regards to your marriage. Do you have any tools that we can be adding to our belts?

Blessings family. May you truly know and understand the depth of the love the Father has for you. I speak hope, joy, love, peace and a sound mind over you today.

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