We're picking up where we left off with the question: 'What exactly has God promised us in our spiritually mismatched marriages?'
I mentioned in my last post that I believe God has promised this community 'salvations', and he is asking us to align our eyes with that promise. This has been a long-standing promise in this community.
But we are in it for the long haul: Promises from God don't happen overnight. Salvation could happen on a spouse's deathbed. God hasn't promised us instant victory, nor has he promised us an easy ride. Look at Abraham for the classic example: He was given a promise of a son, and 25 years later it happened.
Some of us have waited longer than that. So, get your marathon-running clothes on and get ready for a longggg race!
The reason God has said 'salvation' to the SUM community is, I believe, that he does not want us to walk this spiritually mismatched path in hopelessness.
Yes, the spiritually mismatched path is thoroughly gruelling and for a season there will be tears.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: ... A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4, NKJV).
For some of us, there is also a deep wounding that has happened in our marriages. Nevertheless, in the middle of all that, God asks us to 'picture it done'; that is, picture them saved. That is what 'hope' in the Bible means: Picture it done.
As we do that, we then grow something very important: A heart full of peace. And that is a heavenly characteristic.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ... (Galatians 5:22, NKJV)
And then, I'd like to say this:
God has given us a promise, but it won't automatically happen unless we partner with it
SUMites, I believe that's how it rolls with God's promises. Look at King Saul or King Solomon, for example, who were each given an anointing but shipwrecked themselves. We can shipwreck ourselves in a SUM if we don't partner appropriately with God's word on the matter.
We have to partner with God in this promise of our spouse's salvation, come into agreement with it, and take steps to do our bit. Read Winning Him Without Words, read Marching Around Jericho, read Lynn's upcoming book, Spiritual Enforcer, and do the things it says in there. Determine to walk this SUM walk with excellence.
Scripture says the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse. I am speculating here, but that could mean that there are certain things we do to sanctify them. It could mean our prayers, for example, sanctify them; or it could mean our love sanctifies them. Who knows!
What I do know is that God has given us the various tools we need through this ministry, but we have to choose to enact the actions.
I have a friend who Bryce and I have known for years. Currently he is hostile towards Christians and is a pain to be with. He has wounded me over the years, and I have had to put appropriate boundaries around that relationship. But God has promised me he'll turn. So however bad it looks right now I'll never lose faith in that, and I'll never stop doing my bit.
Paul pointed this out to his younger counterpart, Timothy:
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, by which some having rejected concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck (1 Tim 1:18-19, NKJV)
So yes, those are some thoughts on what God has promised us. To recap:
Point #1: God deliberately gives us mystery in our SUM walk
Point #2: Our spouse is sanctified by us
Point #3: The unbelieving spouse needs to make a choice
Point #4: God does not want us to walk in hopelessness
Point #5: God has given us a promise, but it won't automatically happen unless we partner with it
Well, as I said, we wrestle with these concepts and do our best to understand God's heart.
SUMites, of the five points here, which do you wrestle with or wonder about?
Love you all,
Lynn, I couldn't stop reading this book! It is the best you have written! It's a "self-help-bible-based-do-it-yourself-demon-slaying-victory-winning book" like no other I've ever read. I learned some new prayer points as well as clarification on what exactly does my situation mean. Everyone who reads this will want their bible, notebook and the Holy Spirit sitting next to them as they strategize with the tools you've given! -Barb