11 posts categorized "Focus on the Family"

And the Adventures Continue!

Hello SUM Nation!

We’ve had a blast this month walking down memory lane, doing a LIVE Webcast, announcing our ordinations and celebrating YOU! Did you enjoy the stories? Lynn and I have had some crazy adventures together, and we have taken you with us in our hearts every time.

WHWW&NotAloneWe’ve written two books together—Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone—Bible studies you, the SUMites, asked us for. Which then led to invitations to speak at conferences, to be on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Dr. Dobson and INSIGHT on The Miracle Channel. Lynn even did an interview on the 700 Club! She’s the big adventurer in this duo, that’s for sure. 

Lynn and I have talked a lot about our adventures this month and laughed—a lot! She has said I was the one who gave her the gift of saying “yes,” when she said “let’s go!” Honestly, I believe I’m the one who was blessed more. She keeps me from getting too comfortable, you know? We all need someone like that in our lives.

And the adventures continue, SUMites! We are a family. A church without walls. The SUM Nation. God has brought us all together these last ten years for a reason, for such a time as this, and that time continues. His plans are still unfolding for us, my friends.

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, and Lynn and I have decided to take next week off. We have some planning and catching up to do. My hubby is off Monday so I’m looking forward to some beach time with him! But be sure to catch Ian’s post on Wednesday. And Lynn and I will be back June 6th.

With a surprise…

What kind of surprise, you ask? Well, we’ve been up to something—been planning the next adventure. And this one includes you, SUMites. A surprise that we think you’re going to love being part of. So be sure to stop in June 6th for all the details.

Until then, have an amazing Memorial Day weekend with your family. Enjoy next week with friends and family in whatever adventures you happen to be on. 

We love you, SUM family, with all our hearts. We love being a part of your lives as we continue to walk this great adventure with God together.

BIG hugs!
Dineen & Lynn

P.S. I (Dineen) will have a small post up this Saturday with a little announcement that I hope you’ll enjoy. XOXO


An Open Letter To The Spiritually Mismatched

The Lord impressed upon me to share a post I wrote for Focus on the Family -The Live Forum two weeks ago. I pray you are encouraged and hear God’s voice as He speaks to all of us, the Unequally Yoked.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Sometimes people misunderstand our ministry by thinking we are in opposition to God’s Word as it commands in

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJ)

As a woman who has been unequally yoked now for 20 years, I understand the truth behind God’s desire in this passage. The life of the spiritual mismatched is difficult. There were days I didn’t know if I would survive the spiritual warfare.

To read the article join me at the Internet Cafe.

AND be sure to stop back in here on Friday as I discuss a topic that is long overdue:

The Unequally Yoked and the Atheist Blogs

Have a great week. Be blessed, Lynn

The Focus on the Family Experience

Hello dear friends! Since so much happened during the week of our Focus on the Family broadcasts, we thought we'd put all the links and information in one place in case there was something you missed. 

We absolutely loved talking to Jim Daly, Juli Slattery and John Fuller about how God has shown us how to thrive in a spiritually mismatched marriage! You can order or download the program in its entirety from the Focus on the Family/ChristianBook.com site. If you know someone struggling in their spiritually mismatched marriage, please consider purchasing a copy for them. Or send them here to listen online.

Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, Part One

Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, Part Two

When You Can't Compromise in Marriage


Along with the broadcasts, Focus had some wonderful resources available as well, including an article Lynn wrote for ThrivingFamily.com, another resource from Focus on the Family.

Read Lynn's Article: Parenting When Married to an Unbeliever

Mismatched Marriage by Lee Strobel


Check out the Focus Community Forum held the day of the broadcasts. We received so many great questions from spiritually mismatched women and men. 

Focus Community Forum: Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage


And we were delighted to find out that The Christian Post wrote reviews on each day of the broadcasts:

Christian Wives Talk Thriving with Nonbelieving Husbands by Brittany Smith

Can a Woman Lead in a Spiritually Unequal Marriage? by Brittany Smith


That's it in a nutshell, or a post. We pray it blesses you even more than it blessed us.

Praying and believing,


Thankful Thursday - Marriages

Every once in a while we give thanks on Thursdays here at SUM. And considering all that transpired in the past few days, Dineen and I have so much in which to be thankful.

As I think over the opportunities we had to reach out to people who are unequally yoked, I'm undone. Let me just share just a few of the miracles and praises. Please celebrate with us.

From the Forum on Tuesday at Focus Communities: Hello Ladies, my name is Mark and I heard the announcement about this FOTF program while on the way to pay for a divorce with my wife....... The Lord stayed my hand on divorce yesterday, so I know He's up to something.

From 1 Peter 3 Living: Gill ~My mom was married to an unbeliever for 19 years. She prayed and prayed of course, but she didn't push, just lived her quiet example. In 1999 we were at a baptism or a first communion celebration for some family friends and for the first time in years he went up for communion, and when he came back and knelt down beside her she could tell he was really praying. A week or so later he had a stroke and died 2 days later.

With God, as long as our spouse is alive there is time, there is hope!

From Facebook: Tisha ~I realize now that I can do this, that I am not alone, and my faith has been strengthened by letting the truth sink in that my God will never forsake me, no matter what circumstances I find myself in. I also have renewed hope that my marriage can be everything I have always dreamed it could be, and that I TRULY need to get out of the way, not just say it, but do it!

From the comments: Brenda ~ I want to be sure to give God all the glory for turning my life around when He did... the light dawned for me that IT'S OK TO STAY WITH MY HUSBAND! IT'S OK TO HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE! IT"S OK TO GO TO CHURCH ALONE!

Juliane ~  I left a little later for work today and caught FOTF in its entirety. I cried all the way to work. I believe the message you both delivered today was God's way of telling me that there is always hope and that I am never alone with Him. Thank you for sharing your story!

CamDon ~ Hearing you guys on FOTF this morning gave me hope and reminded that we serve an amazing God that has everything planned out. Like one of you ladies said this morning, "God does NOT need our help" That simple phrase convicted and humbled me at the same time! I just wanted to say thanks for being obedient to God and giving a woman like me hope!

From email: Dave ~ I just wanted to thank you for articulating so well what many of us in unequally yoked marriages feel and, more importantly, reminding us that God still has a plan for us, our spouses and our children.

My friends, Dineen and I are in the trenches with you. We are only servants. But we are servants of the MOST HIGH God and His son, Jesus. It's all about our Lord. Every word of honor belongs to Him.

Giving thanks and praising our Lord can change everything. 

What are you thankful for today?

And tune in tomorrow because a few days ago when I was out on my walk and pray God gave me a question to ask every single one of us who is in an unequally yoked marriage. Your answer to this single question will determine what God will do in your marriage. Stay tuned.

Be blessed and let's storm heaven's gates with praises. Lynn 

We Are Stronger Together

BetterTogetherIf you found your way here from the Focus on the Family broadcast, the first thing you heard yesterday was a quote from us.

“Isolation steals our joy.”

That’s why the first chapter of our book is titled, “Know That You’re Not Alone!” Our marriages are under attack by an enemy who wants to keep our unbelieving spouse in his or her unbelief and the best way to do that is to keep you—the believing spouse—discouraged and feeling as if you are completely and utterly alone in this journey.

We want you to know right here and now, that is a lie. If you are here, it is because God has heard your prayers and brought you here to be a part of a community that understands your marriage, your heartache and your struggles without you even saying a word.

We understand because we are living it too. All of us.

When I lived in Europe, I joined a small group of women in my church who were spiritually mismatched like I was. We all spoke different languages except two—our faith in Jesus and our ache over being mismatched. I will never forget those women and our group because it was a turning point that took me from surviving to thriving in my mismatched marriage.

God never intended any of us to walk alone in this life. Though we may try to tell ourselves it’s easier to just stay home, to not go to church, to not share our lives with other believers who don’t understand because they’re married to a believer (trust me, I’ve done this), this only isolates us and keep our light hidden.

We are stronger together.

And no matter how you wound up in your marriage, God has a plan for it. The more I read and search God’s Word, the more evidence I see of this. He has a plan for everything in our lives. Take for instance the story of Joshua and the Gibeonites (Joshua 9 and 10). Joshua walked into this agreement without consulting God first. Yet God wanted him to honor his agreement (God takes covenants very seriously!) and reassured him that the battle to defend these people would be victorious.

“The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’”

God did not abandon Joshua, and He hasn’t abandoned you.

God moves in our mismatched marriages too. A soul is at stake and we are on the front lines (like missionaries) to fight for our unbelieving loved one. Read 1 Cor. 7:12-17 and be assured that God has placed you where you are for such a time as this.

We are the Esthers in our marriages! Never read the story of Esther in the Bible? She was spiritually mismatched just like you and me. Read her story and be encouraged.

Yesterday morning before the broadcast, God whispered this in my ear as I prayed for those who would be listening to the broadcasts and coming here.

“I can do much with a willing heart.”

DineenWhen we surrender our lives to Jesus, He does amazing things in our hearts and minds. Do you believe He can do the same in your mismatched marriage if you surrender it to Him, too?

The first steps to thriving in a mismatched marriage start with us, the believing spouse. How about it? Are you willing?

I hope you'll join today at the Focus on the Family Community Forum. Lynn and I will be there from 2-6pm PST (3-7pm MST, 4-8pm CST, 5-9pm EST) to aswer questions and offer encouragement. We want to hear your heart and pray for you my friend. Remember, we are stronger together.

Praying and believing,

Messy and Broken Could Be The Best Place To Be

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comIt’s Sunday afternoon as I write this post, I know I should be asking you to listen to Dineen and me on the radio today. But, right now I just can’t. My heart is heavy.  

In a rare moment, this morning at church at the request of our Pastor, I went to the front of the church to be available to pray with anyone who needs prayer. I’ve never done this before and wouldn’t you just know God KNEW there was one woman, a wife, who needed me, whom I could so relate. As I looking into her face, I could see a not-so-distant reflection of me only a few years ago. 

She was struggling in her marriage. 

My heart is broken for her. 

My heart is truly broken for all of our messy marriages. 

I am broken for those of us who are married and yet lonely, who are sad, angry, disappointed. My heart breaks for us who are isolated even at church because we don’t fit the typical church family shape. My heart hurts for those of us who are desperate to share intimacy with our spouse and to know a marriage where Christ is the center and not ridiculed by the very person who was supposed to be our soul mate. 

My heart is broken. But….. (With God there is always a but.) 

My sweet friends it’s when we are broken that God can do His best work. It’s when we have finally reached a place that we just can’t do “it” anymore. That is when we finally surrender our pain, our expectations, our marriage, and our spouse’s salvation to an all-powerful and good God. 

I am an ordinary woman. A 5’4” blonde who doesn’t have this walk with God all figured out. I don’t have all the answers but I have one thing and it’s all I need. 

I have Jesus. 

I love Jesus with every part of me. And Jesus loves me. And that is the simple key to living in peace and to loving my nonbeliever. The transforming love of Christ and His Word has changed everything. 

My friends, you CAN do this messy marriage thing. You can thrive in your spiritual mismatch. You can raise Godly kids in the midst of different world views. You can laugh, OUT LOUD with praises on your lips. You can experience peace that surpasses all understanding. You can love profoundly and with passion. 

Dineen and I are ordinary wives but we serve the Extraordinary God of the Universe and His son, Jesus. And our marriages have been redeemed, our kids are safe in our Savior’s hands and we are on the most amazing journey any believer could hope to travel. 

Oh please, travel this crazy, mixed up road with us. Learn to hear the Father’s voice. Watch as He astonished you with unexpected and fantastic answers to prayer. Let Him comfort you and teach you new ways to live. 

Walk with us and behold…… His desires for your life will be the greatest thing you will ever experience. 

Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord 
and He will give you the desires of your heart. 

I bear witness to the truth of God’s Word. 

Today, if you are brokenhearted, leave your prayer request in the comments. We will pray for each of them. We have a prayer team that will pray for you by name. Take a step forward in your walk toward heaven and watch all that our Great God will do in you, around you and allow him to amaze you this very week. 

FocuslogoBe blessed my friends, Lynn 

To listen to our Focus on the Family interview, click here. We pray that every word reflects Jesus. To God be all honor and glory. 

And, if you are new to our website, visit our New Hear page. Step off on the path to healing this very hour.

Beauty from Ashes

On Friday we shared about the upcoming broadcast on Focus on the Family. This is an amazing culmination of a dream birthed from depths of pain. Can you believe that? Lynn and I are continually in awe of how God does that. 

Beauty from ashes...

We are gearing up for whatever God has in store for us next. Right now our hearts are focused on those who will be coming in search of hope and prayer. This community right here, right where you are sitting right now, has proven to be one of love and prayer and encouragment! You all are so amazing! 

Now we have a chance to welcome more men and women into our midst who are looking for answers and help for their mismatched marriage. This is why we are here!

To pray for you, to encourage you, to help you too discover what we have. God has a plan for your marriage, to bless you and to help you thrive right where you are.

Join us on Monday and Tuesday for the Focus on the Family broadcast (listen online or find a station near you). Come take part in the Focus forums on Tuesday as Lynn and I converse with others in mismatched marriages with the goal to encourage and help them keep fighting for their marriage.

Whether you are New Here or a regular visitor, we want to hear from you, encourage you, and pray for you. 

Please take advantage of our FREE resources on our WinningHimWithoutWords.com site as well.
Be sure to check out our small groups page to find out if a group is meeting near you. And we have poured all that God has taught us into our book, Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Mismatched Marriage.

We are stronger together! Join us and see what God can do!

Praying and believing,
Dineen & Lynn



Isaiah 61:1-3

 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, 
   because the LORD has anointed me 
   to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, 
   to proclaim freedom for the captives 
   and release from darkness for the prisoners, 
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor 
   and the day of vengeance of our God, 
to comfort all who mourn, 
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
   instead of ashes
the oil of joy 
   instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise 
   instead of a spirit of despair. 
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
   a planting of the LORD 
   for the display of his splendor.

It's A Tweet Up! Let's Get Ready to Rumble. I mean Twitter.....

Join Dineen and me (Lynn) today as we join with @FocusMarriage a discussion and questions about thriving in a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage.

Use the hash tag #WinningHim.

Tweet using the hash tag and join the conversation and watch your tweets pop up here. We will randomly select five Tweets who will win a copy of our book, Winning Him Without Words, at the end of the day Friday. Everytime you tweet until Friday, midnight Pacific, using the hash tag #WinningHim will enter you into the drawing.

Here are sample questions that @FocusMarriage will ask the Twitter community:

  • How do you handle praying at the dinner table?
  • What unique ways do you flirt with your spouse? (Keep it G-rated!)
  • How does your relationship with Christ help you love your spouse?

Tune in around noon-1 p.m. Pacific. So that’s 2-3 p.m. Central and 3-4 p.m. Eastern. Join the fun. Win a book for yourself or for someone you know who is struggling in their unequally yoked marriage. 


Thank you my friends for your continued prayers for the Monday and Tuesday broadcast. I'm getting butterflies in my stomach as my nervousness and excitement builds.

Happy Friday. Hugs, Lynn

#WinningHim and @FocusMarriage Unite! Woo Hoo!

Are you ready for a little fun?

Before that however, let me just tell you that I have been reading the prayers you left for Dineen and me. I promise you, I burst into tears, sobbing at times over the love and caring you poured into our lives. I will be printing them out and saving them in my Daily Bible and as you know, that is where my most precious memories live. ~Thank you, Lynn

Okay now.  

Are you ready for a little fun?


Tweet... Tweet... #WinningHim

Well tomorrow Dineen and I along with the Twitter guys at Focus on the Family, @FocusMarriage, are going to have a Twitter Forum.


Say what?

Well, I’m glad you asked. *giggle*

For all of you who Twitter and Tweet and even those of you who don’t, join in the fun as we Tweet along with Focus Marriage on Friday, March 23rd Noon-1 Pacific. So that’s 2-3 p.m. Central and 3-4 p.m. Eastern. We hope to peak a little curiosity in our upcoming broadcast on Monday and Tuesday.

Follow or join the conversation using the hash tag #WinningHim.

Take a peek at this hash tag now. There are already some tweets singing. (Do tweets sing such as birdies or do they only post???) I’m not sure?

We plan to have a lively conversation and work our way through some great questions. For example:

  • How do you handle praying at the dinner table?
  • What unique ways do you flirt with your spouse? (Keep it G-rated!)
  • How does your relationship with Christ help you love your spouse?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Dineen and I would be so thankful if you are a Twitterer (is that a word?) and would join us on Friday for a few minutes or even the whole hour. Help us reach out to those who use this social media. We also will have the live feed up on our site Friday.

So tune in, join Twitter, get ready to tweet, retweet, and answer the questions. We will be looking for you our community and will give you a special shout out in the future.

We can never express fully how your love and prayers have filled our hearts. Thank you with eternal love and gratitude, Lynn and Dineen

Focus On The Family Broadcast



Hi My friends, Lynn here.

I don't know how many of you receive our monthly newsletter but in December I shared a significant event in my life. At the time I felt as though my unequally yoked journey came full circle. To read that story, click here.  To sign up for our monthly newsletter, which will be going out this week, visit our book website, here.

The story recaps a time in my early marriage where I felt alone, sad, hopeless and confused just like many of you have felt or feel. I sat at my kitchen table and tuned in the local Christian radio station to a broadcast that saved my life, my marriage. It was Focus on the Family and Nancy Kennedy was sharing her unequally yoked story.

I found hope. 

Well in two weeks from today, I come full circle in that it’s my turn to tell some young married woman who is sitting sad and alone at her kitchen table that she can thrive in her spiritually mismatched marriage. That she can fully place her hope in our life-changing God.  


Dineen and I are humbled and thrilled to be guests on the broad cast Monday and Tuesday, March 26 & 27, 2012. We will be sharing thoughts from our book and other stories. (We talked for over an hour with the broadcast team. Can you believe it? Us two girls can talk *grin*) 

And my friends it thrills me to tell you that the people at Focus on the Family greatly understand and have sincere compassion and concern for those of us who live mismatched. So much so that they have invited Dineen and me to be guest contributors to a LIVE EVENT through the Online Focus Community. 

This is where anyone in the community can post a question and we will be online to answer it. We are hoping to receive questions about tithing, church attendance, raising kids in an unequally yoked home, etc. 

So this is where we need you, our community. We want you to also help us by answering the questions and asking them as well. It’s in this kind of community that real help and healing happen. 

Please, please save a few minutes for us on Tuesday, March 27 from 5-9 p.m. Eastern, 4-8 p.m. Central, 3-7 p.m. Mountain, and 2-6 p.m. Pacific. Click on: Relationships and Marriage under the Community Directory. And ask us a question. Join one of the streams of conversation and share what you have learned. Give someone hope. 

You will need to sign up to participate. It takes only a few minutes. Please visit Focus on the Family, Online Community – RIGHT NOW- and sign up. We need to show Focus and the world that there is an enormous need for ministry to men and women like us. And we also want Focus to know that all their time, effort, and funding they invested in our community is meeting a need and is successful. 

Then on March 26 & 27 take 30 minutes to listen in to the broadcast, click here. Please pray for us. I was especially nervous and don’t remember at this point what I said. Just pray that the words we spoke bring hope and honor our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that those out there who haven’t found our community, who are lonely and feeling defeated finally, hear Jesus telling them that they can do this thing. This unequally yoked marriage and do it well. Pray they will join us. 

Okay, head over and sign up now. Leave your name in the comments that you joined the community at Focus. We are thankful beyond words of all of you who walk this crazy, mixed up journey with us. And one day, we WILL all meet together for a victory shout and a giant group hug before the throne of glory. 

Thank you for loving Dineen and me in this way. Be blessed, Lynn

Thankful Thursday - A Focused Moment

Hi Everyone,

It's a bit late in the day to join Thankful Thursday but my heart and Dineen's heart overflows with gratitude. We thank our Lord for allowing us to share the hope we have for our unequally yoked marriages with the team and eventually the listeners of the radio program, Focus on the Family.

We arrived at the Focus campus yesterday and went straight into the recording session. We will share more at a later date. For today, Dineen and I want to offer praise to Jesus for this day and to thank our Lord for the community here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

You are our eternal family and we love you very much. Lynn and Dineen

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