159 posts categorized "Marriage"

Fill Your Kitchen With Love

IMG_1236Now for something completely different.

You know, I have discovered a secret to a happy marriage. Well at least it applies to the Donovan Clan.

Feed the man.

I’ve learned to cook. I didn’t know much more than spaghetti when we married. But I find cooking is one of the creative expressions I enjoy, a gift from God. So today, I’m delighting in the beauty and abundance of Autumn. I want to share what’s going on in the kitchen.

From my Pomegranate tree out back:

  Pom 2018

IMG_1238

IMG_1239

Roasted Veggies with pomegranate: A Pioneer Woman Recipe Served with Salmon with a mustard and brown sugar glaze.

Roasted Fall Veggies
I forgot the poms in this pic... Oopie. Grin. But it turned out great!

Yum and eee.  I was pulling the seeds out of the shell, when all of a sudden a spider was crawling across the cutting board. Eeeeek! 

Love you SUMite Nation! Hugs, Lynn

Fill your home with the smells of home cooking. Find your creative side in the kitchen. Enjoy some of these simple but wonderful treasures of living the abundant life.


An Open Marriage

Genesis 2 24 Man and WifeA couple of days ago an interesting article popped up in one of my online feeds.

“Couple Takes A Year Off From Marriage”

Ya, I had to do it.

So, I popped over for a read. After 17 years of marriage, the article begins…. Basically, this woman is board. She asks her husband to agree to a year-long open marriage. He agrees and they establish a few hard and fast rules. M-F they live separate lives, her in an apartment. They reunite for the weekend. They practice safe sex and don’t date mutual friends and finally, no  serious relationships. BTW, they both broke all the rules.

A year later she returns home. Of course, the marriage is OVER. He dated a friend and was in a serious relationship. And his wife, well she was more confused about everything than before.

So, I decided to ask Mike’s opinion about all of this because his views often differ from my own.  

Lynn: Mike, what do you think about this woman’s experiment (I just explained)? I mean, when you were in college you could have chosen never to marry. You could have chosen an open arrangement before you and I met.

Mike: I love having a companion. I like to live life with you. (Awe) I like sharing my hopes, disappointments and having a companion that knows me and loves me. (Dang, I feel all melty in my heart. Grin)

Lynn: So, What do you think about this woman and her experiment?

Mike: She’s completely selfish. I wouldn’t give her the time of day.

(Wow, now remember this is a very liberal man who doesn’t live with a Christian world view.) Interesting!

Mike: I married for many reasons. Companionship, security and to raise children. I believe children raised with two committed parents is the best for them to thrive. You know I believe this so much that I have had conversations with family members about it.

Lynn: Ya, I do remember. Neat.

Mike: This woman will grow older and after her looks are gone she will be a bitter, lonely, cat woman. (Okay, I threw in the cat part, grin) She only wanted an open marriage for the financial security, not the love of the man. She wanted a “just-in-case” scenario if she failed, got sick, lost her job.

Lynn: I love you Mike Donovan

So, gang thoughts?

And on Friday, I will share what is going on in the spiritual realm in open marriages. I pray a lot of deliverance for believers who were swingers before Christ. Stay tuned. See you in the comments. Let’s ROCK this world with TRUTH.

TRUTH = JESUS CHRIST!


Marriage Thoughts

Ya, so, I've struggled for a couple of hours tying to decide what to write about.....  (BIG sigh)

My writer is broken today. So, below is the video from Ask Me Anything from Wednesday's Facebook Live. The Questions: 

  • How do you handle husband's objection to church
  • Maintaining Hope
  • What seeps from the Television 

Put in your earphones and listen while cleaning or cooking dinner. :)  

 

My friends, when I was a young wife and mother, Dr. Dobson's daily radio programs were life-blood to my sanity and hope. I love Dr. Dobson and pray for him continually. Below are some links to great articles on marriage. I love you all. 

Women Have Needs That Men Do Not Comprehend

Men and Women Have Different Needs

The Ways Men Need Their Wives

Stay tuned for details about our SUMMIT!! And if you have decided that you can't attend, don't listen to that voice from the pit of hell. Tell our Papa God about your need and let Him astonish you in His provision. 

In His Grace, Lynn


Grant Me Justice Against My Adversary!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMites,

The prayers on Friday moved hearts and touched heaven. THANK YOU!

I felt your words shift something in the spirit. And Behold, the words of revelation are flowing today as I write. In fact, I sense the Lord, Jesus, speaking.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”— Luke 18: 1-8

My friends, this passage is power-packed. I could share multiple lessons from it but today I sense the Lord speaking to me about justice, desire and the changing of the season.

JUSTICE!

At my core of my existence, I am a justice driven person. I was always the kid who cried, “That’s not fair,” when my siblings receive a teaspoon more than me of Kool-Aid in their cups at lunch. I hate injustice and oppressive treatment of all things. You may not sit in this particular area of conviction however, I believe our Father is a just God. And His justice often looks quite different from ours.

For example, recently I prayed with a woman whose husband had an affair. Since his failure, he completely turned from his poor choices and behavior. In fact, he is an on-fire believer, pursing God with a full heart and seeking full restoration of his marriage. Additionally, He was quite willing to do whatever needed to make things right with his wife.

In the prayer session, it became obvious that she was angry and unforgiving. She resisted to put in the work necessary to redeem her marriage. In fact, she mentioned that the very thing she had prayed about for many years was her husband’s faith life. And now that he was walking in this fulfillment, she still wanted out. She wanted revenge, justice, and was unwilling to push past the pain.

I understand. Betrayal is a soul wound that stabs at our very core. And she is within Biblical mandates and could leave her marriage. However, is that what God really wants? Is another broken home, marriage, and children the highest and best for a daughter of God?

As I prayed with her the presence of God arose and after an hour of prayer, I shared with her what I knew to be true.

“God’s justice in your life is to actually see you thriving in your marriage. This is the fulness of God’s justice. It defeats the very work of the devil who wants your marriage destruction. But what satan deemed to put asunder, God will redeem and you will live in joy, peace and fulfilment with your husband.”

We all sat quietly and just let those words of truth settle upon us. It was amazing!

-----

The world shouts, “Run for the hills!. You deserve better!” And my friends, you know I stand for marriage. However, there are times when separation and even divorce is the only option. I would stand with you 100% in agreement when the Lord says, “ENOUGH!”

The point of this story: We Must pray and not give up. We must listen because perhaps God is showing us His justice but in our limited view we can’t perceive it because it doesn’t make sense.

Finally, there are times when God, Himself, is bringing things to a close. And I often see this happen in the month of September. Take an account of your life. Are there relationships, jobs, positions, areas where you once felt safe but are no longer available? There are changes that God ordains because we need them. But we often fight, kick, and scream about what we are loosing not fully understanding that God is releasing His perfect judgement.

Here is the promise. September will close out seasons, relationships, or move us or uproot us from comfort or stagnant living…

BECAUSE… The promise of October awaits.

I have perceived this pattern for years. Upon Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, God releases new assignments, relationships, new locations and more. Miracles, hope, new assignments and greater gifts.

So, as we close out August and move into September, what is closing. Begin to seek the Father for the new assignments of October.

I’ll share more on Friday. Then I will take break over the Labor Day weekend.

Love you my family on the web. Oh, what a reunion we will have one day in glory! I can’t wait! Love, Lynn


Who is to Say?

Wedding-Hands-300 By Martha Bush

"Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thou God my God." (Ruth 1:16 KJV)

With that final scripture spoken over us, my groom and I kissed and ran down the aisle to start our new life together.

  • From a peanut farm in Georgia to Tripoli, Libya, and on to Maine, Louisiana, and Texas-I lodged with him.
  • His family became my people, and along the way, we had two kids of our own.
  • And then it happened. Seven years into the marriage, I fell in love with someone else. His name was Jesus, and at that point, the god of this world we had served together, was no longer my God.

Fast forward to another season of this high school sweetheart romance and marriage-I wanted out!

I had grown tired of waiting on God's promises to be fulfilled in my marriage. Waiting is always hard, but to live in the same house with someone who is in opposition to your faith is even harder. (Can you relate?)

And so it was, I began praying for God to give me permission to vacate the premises-not divorce, just separate. After a couple of weeks of praying, I began hearing the words, "who is to say that you have not been brought into the kingdom for such a time as this?"

"Where had I heard those words before? Oh yes, the book of Esther. No Lord; I don't want to be an Esther; just let me out of here!"

But, then He began to show me others in The Bible He had pre-positioned in a position for a special purpose. What was that purpose? TO BRING FORTH A GREAT DELIVERANCE!

Not only was the deliverance for their families, but for others as well. In the midst of their designated position, they had to experience discomfort, risk, ridicule, condemnation, and rejection.

I raced to my computer and composed a poem, recalling people and, yes, even animals who were pre-positioned for an important role in the history of all mankind.

_____ 

Who is to Say?

Esther, a Jewish slave, became the wife of a pagan king in the land,
Discovered that Haman wanted all the Jews destroyed by the king's command.
But, Esther had favor with the king and Haman's plot went amiss,
Who is to say that a slave girl wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

Think of Rahab, who was called a harlot by name,
Heard about God drying up the Red Sea and bringing the Egyptians to shame.
So, she hid the Israelite spies and every wall of Jericho fell without a miss,
Who is to say that a harlot wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (Joshua 2)

And then there is the donkey that stopped Balaam in his tracks,
From going the wrong way less the Israelites be cursed and attacked.
Now, we might scoff at the thought of God using a donkey and say, "That idea I will dismiss,"
Who is to say that a donkey wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (Number 22:21-35)

What can we say about Jehaziel whose name was mentioned only once in the good book,
Heard a word from God saying, "Stand still," before the battle Jehoshaphat undertook.
The enemy killed themselves as the Israelites sang praises to God with joyful bliss,"
Who is to say that a prophet wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (11 Chronicles 20:17)

Let's never forget Mary, a young virgin in her day,
Received a visit from an angel who had powerful words to say.
"You shall bring forth a son to save the world by shedding blood of His,"
Indeed, a virgin was brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this! (Luke 1:31)

But, wait, there were others involved in the nativity scene,
Shepherds, wise men, angels, all around the stable they leaned.
Quite unnoticed was Anna who proclaimed the redemption message in their midst,
Who is to say that an unknown woman wasn't brought into the kingdom for such a time as this? (Luke 2:36-37)

Now, each of these people probably questioned their position from the start,
Why, even Mary pondered these things in her heart.
No doubt they even found discomfort in doing what they had been pre-positioned to do,
For example the donkey: "I'm sure he didn't like being kicked by Balaam, would you?"

But, the Bible shows how God uses slaves, harlots, prophets, virgins, and even donkeys, too,
In order to fulfill the purpose they were created to do.
And so if I should be pre-positioned by God in a position that I would rather dismiss,
Who is to say that I, an ordinary housewife, wasn't brought into the kingdom for such a time as this?

_____

Yes, I stayed and as Lynn says in Winning Him Without Words, I have a front row seat watching God pursue my husband to be his God. So, go ahead, Lynn, and pencil Glen and I into your schedule for Facebook Live.

Note: To my Sumite Friends: I wrote this blog from my own experience. Every marriage is different, and guidance from the Lord is needed when deciding to leave the marriage or not. 


Devotion: by Lori Lyn Skipper

Ladies, our husbands need encouragement.

I was having a conversation with my best friend recently about our spouses. We both had questions and concerns. So, we did the best thing we could do, we prayed.

As we were praying, I began to thank God for creating men and women differently. I thanked Him for making men physically stronger than women, for making men the head of the households, the protectors, the providers, and the disciplinarian. Then I began to thank Him for creating women to be submissive to their husbands, for making us weaker physically, and for making us stronger in other areas than men are.

If our husbands are making decisions that we are not in agreement with, we need to be praying for them, not nagging them. We need to encourage them and let them know how much we appreciate all that they do for our marriage and homes. We are told in Ephesians 5:33 (AMP), "However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].” Nowhere in this verse does it say that we are to respect him only when he deserves or earns it.

If we will begin to recognize our husbands' strengths and not only point out their weaknesses, they will begin to feel better about themselves. When they feel better about themselves, we reap the benefits. This is an area that I must daily pray about for myself. My husband and I are different in areas of our lives and this can be a good thing or a trying matter. I do not want to mistreat my husband with my words, so I must pray for God to change me and help me to be an encouragement to him and not a hindrance. If we just point out the areas that we do not agree with, they will become defeated and stop doing anything to help us, so we need to praise them and encourage them in every area of their lives. As we pray and ask the Lord to change us and we allow those changes to happen, our husbands will begin to respond to the changes in us and they too will change.

Proverbs 31:10-12; Revelation 1:6 (KJV); Proverbs 21:1; Ephesians 5:33 (AMP)

 

Lori
Lori Lyn Skipper
Hi, Lori Lyn Skipper here! I'm happy to say I am 51 years young, married to my husband John. We have three grown children between the two of us. I have two boys and he has a daughter as well as a granddaughter.  My husband and I have been married two years this upcoming June. I live in Sunny Florida. I moved here in 2012. I often say I'm an IL girl living in a Fl world. I came to meet Jesus in mid-2016 but did not accept Him as my Lord and Savior until January 1997. Let me tell you, He's had His work cut out since I said yes to His call. I often envision God shaking His head at my antics, you know, how we do with our own children. I kind of resemble Paul, "the chief of sinners". Well, I used to be, now I'm no longer a sinner, I'm a saint saved by grace that sometimes still sins. A couple of my passions are to see people healed, delivered and set free by the power of Holy Spirit and the body walking in their gifts and calling of the Lord. Getting to be a part of that is so fun and such a blessing. Well, I'm going to end there and pick up where I left off some other time. 

 

 


Spiritual Leadership For The Unequally Yoked

Love ring bibleLeadership of the family is absolutely challenging when married to an unbeliever.

Years ago, my husband was far away from God. It was obvious that he would not be leading our family in daily devotions nor praying with us. My reality at the time was on the receiving end of his hostility toward all things of faith. He was adamant that he wouldn’t attend church. I think in that season every emotion on the spectrum would bombard my thoughts. Taking them captive to Christ saved me from unending confusion and fear.

In the early years of marriage, as a young wife, I Christian leader on the radio say: If your husband has abdicated or refused to step into the role as the spiritual leader of your home then God expects, you, as the wife to take that place in the family.

FREEDOM!!!

I was freed to become the leader for the salvation and eternal life of my children. I would teach them about Christ and I would pray at meals. It was me that readied them for church, took them to Sunday school, youth group. I was solely responsible for growing in my faith and for praying for my families struggles, fears and concerns. All. By. My. Little. Self.

It’s not fair, you cry.

Indeed. But if you aren’t praying for your kids, who is. If you aren’t spending time in the Word, how can you make Godly decision for yourself, guide your children or influence your husband toward morality and goodness?

Gang, if we arrived in an unequally yoked marriage, God KNEW we could do it and do it well. So, hang up the phone on despair and the victim mindset. Leave fairness and laziness at the door. YOU CAN DO THIS. How do I know. Because I did it and I’m not easily convinced but by the Grace of God, I am so glad I pushed through the pain and loneliness.

The reward that came to me through intimacy, powerful faith and identity was worth the struggle. I would do it again to be where I am now with the Lord.

Today receive this if you are unequally yoked: I DECLARE YOU ARE STRONG, WISE AND BACKED UP BY ALL OF HEAVEN TO BE VICTORIOUS IN YOUR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY. YOU CAN LEAD THIS FAMILY IN FAITH AND DO IT WELL.

In Jesus name. I love you. I will be traveling for the next 10 days. I will likely post a guest post or a few devotions. Be back on May 18. Be good to yourself. Allow Jesus to heal your heart and speak peace, love, joy, hope into your family. I adore you. Lynn


Confessions Of A Wife

Confessions of aGang, I was considering starting into a Bible study at this time but I think I want to save that study for our annual Summer Bible Study. Today, and perhaps for the next few weeks, I’m feeling led to walk through some confession.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. —James 5:16

I quote this verse often. In fact, I sign my prayer book with this inscription. I refer to the last half of this verse because I absolutely, wholly, believe it is truth. However, I want to reveal something that most of us miss. It’s in the confession to one another that we find healing.

Ugh!

We don’t want to confess. This world shouts that we are weak and stupid to admit our shortcomings, failings and outright sins. But, as I grow up in the Kingdom, confession to the Lord is absolutely paramount but confessing to one another is also critical to our spiritual health and our physical health. I can’t fully explain why this is true but through years of prayer, it unquestionably is truth.

So, let’s have some brave communication and receive our healing.

Here are my wife-ey confessions:

  • I placed way too many expectations upon my husband to meet my emotional and spiritual needs.
  • I got it wrong often when presenting Jesus to him.
  • My insecurity about my personal faith in the early years, led to many arguments that just weren’t necessary.
  • I am faaaaaaaaaaar from perfect as a wife. I’ve messed up things often in my relationship with my husband and my kids.
  • I also confess that I have loved fully, with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, both the Lord and my family.
  • I have loved with the full capacity of my heart and then some, only through the redemptive love of Christ.
  • I’ve laughed at myself and surrendered many dreams.
  • I’ve created a home. A place of lasting memories for me, my husband and my kids.
  • I confess that I’m a goof, but my family loves me anyway.
  • Pride has been a battle and insecurity as well.
  • I love my dogs. I’ve raised chickens from eggs, gardened with my daughter, attended every high school play in the area for several years in a row, cooked mountains of taco meat and have smiled into the eyes of teenagers who were in pain and afraid.
  • I’ve prayed.
  • I’ve wept.
  • I’ve busted out laughing so hard I tt’ed my pants.
  • I’ve walked in lonely seasons and seasons of profound victory and grace.
  • I’m blessed to have lived the human experience with Jesus, my family and my friends, my eternal brothers and sisters.

These are my confessions today. What are yours? With all my love, Lynn


The Glorious Company

Easter 2012On this Monday morning following Easter, I feel as though I want to share a passage that is continually running in my soul right now. It’s the passage that Easter is leading me to comprehend. It is the message from the Holy Spirit to the church in this season.

THIS is our inheritance and expectation as a daughter or son…. Or Bride of the King of Kings.

It’s a complete, full circle, from where we started this journey with the Father asking the Israelite slaves, Will you marry me.

BEHOLD! Our destiny, BRIDE OF THE MOST HIGH GOD.

The Glorious Company

18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. —Hebrews 12:18-24

Hallelujah! AMEN!

SUMites, tell me about your Easter this year. Did your spouse attend church. Did you feel the love of Jesus. Did you pray and give Him thanks. Do you say, YES! I adore you, Lynn


Will You Marry Me?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUNDAY:

GLORY!!!!

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). —John 20:15-16

SUMites, it’s Easter morning. Hallelujah. I pray your find yourself in worship and that by a miracle of hope your spouse is seated next to you.

My friends, do you find it interesting that Mary did not recognize Jesus in the garden? She spent two years, literally, traveling with Him everywhere. She KNEW Jesus intimately. Why didn’t she know Him in this moment at the open tomb?

It was only upon hearing His voice calling her by name, that the resurrected Christ became apparent unto her.

He was changed. Different. Powerful. Regal. Authoritative. He was transformed.

But His voice of love called her name and she ran to Him.

Beloved on this day that we remember Jesus in His transformed, glorified state, let us determine to become transformed into His likeness. Because He is once again asking His Beloved:

WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

    the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

    and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

    and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” —Revelation 19: 6-9


FOR THIS He Died

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSaturday:

Dead.

In the Grave.

THIS is what He died for:

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. — John 15:16

He died to give us freedom, just like the Israelites and the people of earth in every generation since then. He died for His bride.

Will you marry me?

 

 

What scripture passage did Jesus die for in your life? Tell me in the comments? I want to give glory to God!


THREE WORDS ... And Everything Changes

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

FRIDAY of the Passion Week: On this day Jesus finds himself swept away to the courts of humankind. A mockery. Completely abandoned by every friend. Betrayed by a demoniac fueled man who regretted his terrible disloyalty of an innocent man. And sentenced: GUILTY by a false court of accusation.

Spat upon. Ridiculed. Tortured.

Every lash was taken without Jesus speaking a word. Why? His surrender was the superpower to our healing. By His stripes we were healed. A lash taken upon His skin bears the name… Cancer. Another blow across his back ripped the flesh from his ribs… Depression. Again…  Fibromyalgia. Again…  Poverty. Another blow… Heart disease. A lash that sends blood spattering on the people around Him, blindness, infirmity, sickness, mental illness and every malady know to mankind.

It turns my stomach to visualize this beating, yet in the same moment, I have experienced significant and ongoing healing because of this moment in time.

Hanging on the Tree. A spectacle, cackled at and scorned by the demonic hordes, Jesus with the sting of vinegar upon his lips, said three of the most powerful words uttered in behalf of all mankind, “IT IS FINISHED.”

Will you marry me? I paid the highest price for your love.

My question to myself and to you SUMite family, Do you believe this?

Read John, chapter 17 today and allow the words of Christ to change you.


The Marriage Supper of The Lamb

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSumite Family,

It’s the strangest thing. This week leading to Easter, the Lord is showing me how the entirety of the Word of God is pointing to THIS marriage. So, for the next few days, may I share with you how I perceive our place as participants, walking in the middle of this proposal?

Each day this week the Lord has been pointing to the invitation He has made since the begging of time. I think I want to pick up His proposal as it was given long ago. Although I believe it began with Adam and Eve, let’s peer into the next GREAT ASKING.

The Israelites find themselves at the foot of Mount Sinai three months from their deliverance from Pharaoh. (Which means King – kingdom of darkness) They are camped and the Lord beacons the people to purify themselves. (Purity, another area of preparation for marriage but I don’t have time to get into that now.) The people came and stood at the foot of the mountain (Exodus 19:17)

AND….. The LORD came down. Whoa!

In Chapter 20 of Exodus, the Lord offers to former slaves, mind you, his marriage covenant.

He came into our world and basically said, “Will you marry me?” So this is how I imagine the Lord’s covenant proposal:

Darling of my heart, have no other gods but love only me. (vs. 3) Don’t go looking for anything on this earth in which to pledge your affections.

Will you marry me?

Don’t choose other lovers, (idols), television, over eating, drinking, comparison, achievement, social media. Don’t linger in deception’s arms, nor lean into the love of Mammon (money and possessions). Cleave unto Me only. I will care for you. (vs. 4)

Will you marry me?

Chose holiness and purity and escape the treachery of sin and iniquity that will pollute not only you but our children up to four generations. Choose me and relish in mercy to a thousand generations. (vs. 5)

Will you marry me?

Darling bride, honor Me by honoring My name that I give to you to bear. Do not swear by My name and always defend the name you bare. It is a name greater than any other name. (vs 7) (Phil 2:8)

Will you marry me?

Be intentional to spend time with me, at least one day a week, to rest in intimacy, to keep our covenant vibrant and holy. (vs 8-11)

Will you marry me?

Give honor to your earthly parents and I will honor them but I will honor you even more. You will live a long life with prosperity in the home I am providing you. (vs 12)

Will you marry me?

Darling, my bride, choose mercy and reject murder of another’s character and life, choose fidelity and never turn to another. My Bride, let your name be whispered on the lips of others that you are a bride of honesty, integrity and when you speak, your truth is as strong as iron. Desire only me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (vs 13-17) (Ps 37:4)

Will you marry me?

_____

SUMites, today is Thursday of the Passion Week. In the Gospels on this day, Jesus lifted the Bread and the Cup, at what is remembered as the Last Supper. But I propose to you today to consider, was this once again the Trinity asking with all they have to offer, lifeblood of God.

Will you marry me?


Testimony Springboard & Powerful Conflict Tool

Hey SUMite Nation:

Today I shared two powerful perspectives on the SUM Facebook page. I want to share these with you and to celebrate 26 years of marriage and how this is important to your marriage.

Let's Talk Live is moving to Wednesdays at noon Pacific. Please make time to listen to this broadcast as it offers some powerful perspectives to THRIVE in your faith and marriage. 

I love you. Lynn

 

If you can't view this video in the email blast, click here. :)


I MUST Apologize

Lets Talk Live Intro SlideSUMite Nation,

I’m on the verge of a holy explosion. Okay, ya, that didn’t come off quite right. But the excitement is growing in my spirit. In fact, I’ve spoke to most of the TEAM of writers at SUM and we are all sensing that something BIG is rising. AND I believe that it’s something about the men….  About timing, about God’s purposes for this end-times season……

With that said, I owe all of you an apology. And I want to explain why and apologize to you face-to-face. So, I’ve decided that THIS Tuesday through the, Let’s TALK LIVE Broadcast, I will do it then.

I have much to say about the men of the SUM spouses and I want you to know I heard what I’m going to share directly from the LORD. I’m also going to share about why some of us aren’t seeing our breakthrough and then show you how to turn the page and walk into it…. INTO THE GLORY.

Tuesdays at 1 p.m., pacific time. On the SUM Facebook page.

If you can’t be online then, all of the previous broadcasts can be found in the Facebook feed and also on the website. Let’s TALK LIVE is listed in the navigation bar at the top. And if you missed last week’s broadcast, it’s worth a listen because I share a new perspective of this whole, UNEQUALLY YOKED thing. Take a listen because it will encourage you and empower you. (A 2,000 pound OX)

Okay, see you tomorrow, live. And on Friday, I have the next weapon in our tool belt.

I adore you. I’m praying for you. Hugs, Lynn


Mike's Best Advice To A Believing Wife

Finn Grace Hebrews 11 1Hello SUMite Nation! Lynn here.

I’m writing this post on a very warm and sunny Super Bowl Sunday. I’m apologizing to all of you who are freezing your keister off in the icebox of February. And for those of you battling this ferocious flu, I speak to that bug in your body and command it in the name of Jesus; BE GONE. STAND DOWN! BODY BE HEALED!

Anyhoo, I ask for your grace as I describe the warm weather, exceptionally warm (I’m frustrated- What happened to winter around here?) weather in Southern California. Yesterday Mike and I sat on our front porch swing together with our puppies, Grace and Finney. In these strangely warm months of winter, we often sit out there together and take in the neighborhood. Yesterday we watch an entire swarm of bees take residence in our neighbor’s trees. (She was made aware).

While rocking and also yelling at Grace to get out of the dirt, I popped a question to Mike. “Mike, what advice would you give younger women who are married to unbelieving men?”

I prefaced the question with the understanding that Mike and I have now been married 25 years. We are in the most beautiful season of our married life. It is peaceful between us. The friction and pain that once existed is over and we are truly enjoying what I feel we both fought so hard to finally obtain; peace, security, love and a friendship that is … You complete my sentences…. kind of friendship.

It’s weird to type those words but we finally have arrived and are living a beautiful married life. With this new season, my mind tends to forget what it’s like to live in the season of struggle where many of you are residing today. So, that is why I often find my heart wanting to write and share more about what is happening in my faith that continues to grow exponentially. So be patient with me if I tend to write more about faith in the future. I’ve actually learned that the more I grow in Christ the less conflict I experience with other relationships. NOW That IS a powerful truth to grasp!

So, back to the question. Mike replied with three words. I reached for my phone to record what he said, and he continued, “Patience, understanding and love.”

Ya, pretty much sounds like Jesus talking! Perhaps this guy has gleaned a few things after all.

“What does that mean?” I ventured, holding the phone closer to capture his words.

“What I mean by patience is that you can’t change someone or expect them to do something they are not ready to do, like church. You have to have patience and realize that perhaps it will change or maybe it won’t. But you need patience and don’t FORCE the change because it will only alienate your husband.”

“Mike, I think you also said something about a man’s discovery of God and how his wife could better serve in his journey.”

“Yes, a wife can support his discovery and encourage his discovery, but a wife can’t make it happen. It’s not her responsibility.”

“What does understanding look like in this kind of marriage?”

Mike, “Understanding is coming to grips with his current faith or lack of faith. Also, be intentional to understand who he is and what is important to him. Understand where he’s coming from so that you don’t fight over your differences in faith.”

“And love?”

“Love your husband. As a believing wife, you demonstrate God’s love by how you love your husband.”

This response means the world to me!

Me, “Do you really believe what you just told me or are you just saying that, so I have something to write about?” (grin)

He laughs out loud and chuckles, “No, I really believe what I told you. This is what I have learned from our struggles and all that you wrote about in Winning Him Without Words. It’s true.”

Wow, I guess I never knew he really read the book.

My dearest SUMites, let our ordinary marriages become a testimony to the power of the love of God in an ordinary woman. You WILL overcome. Your marriage can THRIVE. Your kids will walk in faith. Keep on praying. Remain steadfast in belief. Study and learn about warfare and the promises of God. Know your identity as a Child of God. Love, love, love, love, love…. Forgive, forgive, forgive, grace, grace, grace. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Be Blessed, Lynn


Men stuff ... Part 1

ID-100137686
Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For a while now some of us have thought it might be useful to have a chat about blokes and some things that perhaps are not well understood or create confusion. As you can see I’ve added a “Part 1” to this post hoping that this may be the first in a series of occasional posts and not necessarily all written by me.

I hope this first post may perhaps create some conversation. I’d prefer to respond to specific questions that may be on a few of our minds rather than run off on a tangent that may not be very relevant. So this post will be a little general in nature to get us started.

Perhaps to start let me introduce myself for some of you who may be newish to SUM and don’t really know me so that you have a good picture in your mind of who is writing this post. I’m in my early fifties, lived all my life in Sydney, Australia. I’m married to Fiona and have twenty-something sons, the eldest of whom is married with a nine-month old son.

I spent 25 years in the Corporate world working for big companies and now work for myself as a strategy consultant and author. I’ve been an active member of SUM since 2012 and have been writing regular posts for over two years.

Significance

We all desire to be significant. For men how we go about satisfying our need for significance will differ. There are the usual suspects: job, power/status/fame, material trinkets, recognition amongst peers (could be at the golf club), standing within the home, knowledge, etc.

For many of us in our 20s, 30s, 40s we are driven to succeed. I was. So we feel significant. And/or to prove something to someone, for example, our parents, our spouses, our siblings, friends.

I haven’t found many men contemplating the questions of “who am I” or “Why do I exist” before they turn 40. It’s like we’re on auto-pilot and our drivenness keeps us motoring on. Unfortunately, it’s often the bumps in the road (eg, retrenchment, sickness) where we suddenly discover the yearning inside us that simply never gets satisfied by anything. Yes, nothing will satisfy this yearning. But God.

That’s how He made us. With a hole in our heart that only He can fill. (that is someone else’s statement I just can’t remember whose)

If you’re finding your husband has become especially irritable or grumpy and this lasts for a period of time, you may find it’s because he’s struggling with something to do with his significance. Perhaps something’s happened at work where he’s been looked over or his annual review didn’t go as well as he expected. Often these things all come back to this. And he may not realise it.

Be gentle and encourage him to share his feelings. Yes, I know we’re often not good at doing this at first. But teach him. And it’s likely to take time. That is why Date night is so important. Not just to have fun together but to talk. And not just about the kids. I know it’s hard because there’s always so much going on but isolating time for the two of you is really important to a healthy relationship.

Relationships

Generally, men’s drivenness comes from their desire to fulfil their mission, their purpose. His marriage and its intimacy (and I’m not just talking about sex) is one aspect of life for a man. If, and I’m sure many of you have experienced this, your bloke is fully absorbed in his purpose, he may well be a little absent in your relationship. I was often in my corporate life.

Generally, for women relationships are more important because they fill their core. Love, intimacy, conversation, are very important.

Many of you will have heard me say a few times that for many men their wife is their best friend and sometimes only real friend of any substance. And that’s why spending lots of time elsewhere, eg, church activities, can be challenging for your man. Simply because it’s a part of your life that he has no part in (and often doesn’t have an interest in) Strangely, I’m going through the same thing with Fi. I’m doing some work at church and going back to study (part-time) and Fi has commented that a larger part of my life will be taken up with something that she doesn’t have an interest in.

I’m going to stop there. Much of what I’ve written may be old hat for many of you but I hope at the very least it may serve to prompt a discussion between all of us (I’m no expert here). If there are any other matters, eg, being dad, etc, let me know and I can feature them in a future post.

Grace and peace, dear friends.


Holidays and Mothers-In-Law

Mother and grandsonAs we are nearing the season where we spend time with the in-laws, I thought it appropriate to share this post from the archives.

…nearly 60 percent of all marriages suffer from tension with mothers-in-law, normally between the daughter-in-law and her husband's mother.

From the archives: In-Laws

I wonder how many of you felt your blood pressure rise at the mere mention of this topic? Well, considering the statistic above, I can bet a number of you bristle in this area of your marriage. And, to our guy readers, I can only address this topic from my perspective but would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

See if you relate to any of these statements:

"She's always telling me what to do"

"She keeps meddling"

"She wants constant companionship"

"She competes with me for my husband"

These tend to be the most common complaints of wives. But for me, I think what I struggled with was the distance. Not just the miles, more than 400 separate us, the emotional distance. 

I wanted connection and friendship. My mom-in-law wasn't so good at that. Looking back now and knowing my husband's mother is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, how I wish I could have sat at the kitchen table with her. Chatted like friends, asked questions such as, "What was he like when he was ten? What was his favorite toy and why. Did you have to get after him much?"

My mom-in-law was way to uncomfortable with intimate talk. 

Now all these years later knowing this also helps me to see why my husband struggled in our marriage to be demonstrative in his affection. I was raised in a family where we said I love you often. We hugged, kissed, held hands, wrestled on the flood, made popcorn balls on Sunday nights. We loved. We loved out loud. We were also all kinds of other dysfunction but one thing we did right was to tell and show our love.

What I would have given for some of that insight in the early years of our marriage. With this knowledge, however, comes understanding, then forgiveness, and love. And I am determined to show, demonstrate, even teach my husband how to love his daughter out loud. He's come a long way. 

As I type these words I feel a tiny bit of anxiousness as I think of my in-laws. My Father-in-law remains a staunch unbeliever. Even after reading our book, Winning Him Without Words, he called me and said, "I really enjoyed your book. You made me laugh and I found it a good book but like my son, faith isn't for me."

Ugh. 

I believe I have shared my faith with both of them. But, there are nights I lay awake and I pray for their salvation. I may have been the only one who was sent to them from God to share the truth. I pray that Jesus knows I tried. I will never stop praying for them as long as I have breath and they have life.

What are your struggles with your In-Laws? How do you work through them? Let's help each other out today and share your wisdom in the comments. Your words may be exactly what a struggling wife needs to hear today.

Hugs, Lynn

On Monday, I will give you and update about this topic. See you then.


What Our Kid's Think - Part II

Survey with WMToday, I want to answer more questions that were asked through our survey: Laurie F. asked:

Q: I would love to know how adult children who grew up in mis-matched homes feel about all of the things we deal with. (Going to church and activities only with mom, not being able to pray/sing/share at home when Dad's around, worrying that Dad is not going to Heaven, etc.) I would also like to know how to answer my daughter's constant questions about those same topics.

The following is an informal Q&A between me and my daughter, Caitie, age 22:

ME: Do you worry about your Dad’s salvation?

Caitie: Yes, I worry. I do understand that my Dad is very stubborn, and he has made his choice. And yes, I’m sad about it. But I have given it over to God.

ME: Do you still pray for his salvation?

Caitie: Yes. I found it interesting that when I attended BIOLA (Christian University) and the subject of parents would come up, it would make others uncomfortable to talk about my parents differing faiths.

ME: That’s interesting. I didn’t know that. Why would it make them uncomfortable?

Caitie: Because most of the students came from two-parent believing homes. (This is true of our church experience.) It was difficult to talk to others about it and my friends would avoid talking about the challenges about being a kid in a mismatched home. However, my close friends and I would talk about it. Mom, every home has challenges. One of my roommates struggled with Father issues and he was a believer.

ME: Many, many people struggle with “Father” issues. I know that I have in the past. The devil works tirelessly to destroy the “Father.” When earthly fathers fail, it destroys our perception of a loving heavenly Father who loves and has only goodness for His kids.

Caitie: That’s true.

ME: Did you ever feel uncomfortable around your Dad about being a believer?

Caitie: No, not about my faith. Again, he was good about not stifling me and my belief. What was uncomfortable was the arguments between the two of you.

ME: Ouch. You know that most of our arguments weren’t actually about faith. It was just the dynamic and our own unhealed wounding from our childhoods, right? We’ve talked about that before.

Caitie: Yes, Mom. I do.

ME: But what is really cool, Caitie, is that your dad and I are still growing. Even after 25 years of marriage we are still finding healing and understanding. And I have prayed that all the mistakes, missteps, and the iniquity of our blood lines, are not passed along to you and your brother. I have faith that your future relationship will be free from some of the things we started with in our marriage.

Caitie: I know mom. Okay, I’ve gotta go study. I love you.

ME: Love you baby girl. Bye


Advice To Those Who Are Dating An Unbeliever - Please Share Your Thoughts.

Rings SUM logo 10 2017SUMites, did you read some of the comments from last Monday’s post about friendships? Man, o man…. Good stuff. And you know what I loved most about the thread of conversations?

The LOVE. The love, compassion and caring in those words to one another. Thank you. Bless you!!!

So, I want to do this again today:

I often receive emails from men and women who are contemplating a relationship or marriage to an unbelieving partner. Answering these emails is not as easy as you might think.

Firstly, the writer has been in the relationship for a significant period of time. Translation: She is already in love. She feels a commitment and her heart and life is fully engaged with this man.

Secondly: Most who write me were raised in faith and they already know what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14.

Third, they are seeking hope that their marriage will make it.

Let me share with you that I never write back condemningly. I was there once. I married my unbelieving spouse when I knew it was wrong. I knew what the Bible said.

But, I also think that if they could see what marriage and day-to-day living is really like when the “Honey Moon” phase ends and children arrive, they might be surprised.

So, today, would you share, with a loving and compassionate heart, your (prayer or observation) of the struggle you have faced in your mismatched marriage. Would you also share how God met you there and helped you through it or how He is helping you through it now?

Make time to do this in the comments. It may change a life or marriage, even another SUM reader because you share how to walk through the challenge in victory.

I will start:

To my dear Sister in Christ. I know your heart and I also believe that love can overcome much and change the hearts of many. God has changed my heart. I also believed before marriage, that once my fiancé and I were married, it would be less than a year that he would discover Jesus and come to faith. My dearest sister that was more than 25 years ago.

I can’t tell you that you should or shouldn’t marry someone. You must take that question to the Lord, Jesus. But I can tell you that there are two common issues that become quite large and painful that you are likely to walk through in the years of a mismatched union.

Loneliness. You will do many things alone. You will feel alone often because of your different world views. Loneliness in marriage is a difficult path to walk out. It can be done with the love of Christ alive in you. But it is not the ideal of marriage and God wants for His children.

Children: I found that so much of my angst, fear and discord in marriage arrived when we had children. You will face the reality that their salvation and church experience will rest completely upon you. Can you stand up under that full responsibility? This will be a difficult road to navigate in your marriage and with your children who need spiritual guidance.

Today, I bless you to be filled with the love of God and that you seek His face for the destiny He has prepared for you. I believe that God chose a perfect spouse for each person who wants one. I pray you seek His face first and the right person will come to you. In Jesus name. AMEN

SUMites, share your wisdom. Share it kindly and share your life experience with difference to a young heart who needs love and honesty. Love, Lynn


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…..


The Rooms in God's House

Hello, dear friends! So good to be back with you this week! I couldn't wait to share this beautiful revelation from John 14. God's Word is so very present and for us now. I pray this insight brings that home to your hearts in an astounding way. 

The words I am referencing:

Rooms: monē — a staying, abode, mansion, abiding, dwelling, metaphor of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers
(comes from menō — to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): — abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own, live, not to depart.

House: oikia — a house, an inhabited edifice, a dwelling

Way: hodos — way, journey, metaphorically a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding.

And I hope this prayer blessed you and your marriage as you wait in expectancy for God to fill the "room" of our spouse's heart with the love of Jesus. Amen!

Love you!
Dineen


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


How God Spoke to My Heart About My Husband

Dear friends, I am on "vacation" this week. It's actually my oldest daughter, Rachel, who is on vacation and spending the week with Mike and I. We won't get to see her at Christmas this year so I am making the most of this week with my girl. I'll be back next next week.

In the meantime, this testimony from Alissa is so beautiful and powerful, of how God met her, reassured her, and even gave her revelation and insight to understand what was really at the heart of her husband's choice to be an agnostic. When I asked her if I could share her testimony here, this is what she said:

Absolutely you can use this. One thing I learned on my missions trip was the power of testimony. We learned that the word testimony, literally means 'God do it again'. So if my testimony can give someone else hope and encouragement that is really the ultimate goal, God do it again!

Thank you, Alissa! 

Be encouraged, SUMites. God has you and your spouse, right in the palm of His hand. He never lets go. Hugs! ~Dineen

 

How God Spoke to My Heart About My Husband
by Alissa Berglund

Alissa BA little back story first...  A couple of weeks ago I went on a missions trip to Romania while my husband stayed back and took care of the kids. While I was on my trip he got together with some of our friends (all unbelievers) and they got into a discussion about faith and God. Fast forward to this week. I went on a walk with my best friend who isn't a believer but is open to God and she was telling me that this discussion and taken place but didn't offer up any details, and I didn't push for the whole story, just listened to what she offered up.
 
After the walk on Wednesday night my hubby Andy and I got talking and I asked him about the conversation that had taken place. He told me that him and some of the other had arrived at the conclusion that they didn't know where they stood in terms of faith, but that he felt like he is searching for answers and "proof" of God's existence. Then he blurts out that he identifies as an agnostic.
 
I don't know what that was so hard to hear... but having him label or identify himself with a certain set of beliefs just pierced me. I started reading about agnostics and the more I read the more defeated and beat down I felt. It's like a huge mountain is before me that I have no clue how to conquer. Yesterday I was mowing the lawn and just pouring out my heart to God, just pleading with him to move in Andy's life and bring be peace about this. God was oddly silent, but just kept telling him I trusted him and it's not my job to save Andy but his. I almost got on the Summite website to ask you all for prayer because I was so discouraged.
 
This morning I was running late and I got into my car and Faith Radio was on. Usually in the mornings they talk politics so I was about to change it, when all of a sudden the host starts talking to his guest about agnostics.... WHAT??  I perked up. This guys starts explaining how some agnostics become the way they are.  He said a lot of times deep pain is the beginning of unbelief. Wouldn't you know it... Andy lost his mom to cancer at age 9 and he has always wondered why God didn't answer his prayers and heal her. Then he starts giving practical steps to impacting an agnostic for Christ, loving them, being in relationship with them, listening more talking less, not pushing the gospel on them, getting into the Word and other resources about apologetics... but most of all trusting that the Holy Spirit will move and there will come a tipping point when they experience the realness of God.
 
It was as if God was speaking directly to my heart, saying... see I heard you last night...  I haven't forgotten your struggle or where Andy is. I just was so encouraged and lifted that this isn't my battle but God's. I feel like God is preparing a prayer strategy for me that is very specific to my husband. I've been trying to pray for him consistently every day on my drive in to work since I started a new job. I just want to up my game and do my part to cover him in prayer.
 
So that's it!! Just wanted to share that with someone :)  Just remember it's not our battle alone, but God's.
 
-Alissa
 
About Alissa: 
Married to my high school sweetheart and a mom to two energetic boys. Lakeville MN is where I call home, most summer days you can find me outside taking pictures of sunsets or collecting rocks.

When Your Spouse Walks Away From God

Ps34-22My friends, as you can see from the title, we tackling a very difficult and painful topic today. It’s one I think we should address as it’s something many of you are living out. And one of you even asked for this subject to be addressed on our recent survey.

Please. Please talk about spouses leaving the faith. — Kelly

So, let me first say to Kelly and all those SUMites out there in this same position that I am so sorry. The closest I can come to relate to this kind of situation is how I felt when my husband made the choice of atheism. He’d recently bought a Bible, and I was convinced he would soon join me in this faith journey. Needless to say I was devastated. 

But God helped me let go of my expectations and to trust Him to bring my marriage through to a place of peace. I had a lot to learn and as the believing spouse, God started with healing my heart first.

My friends, I’ve prayerfully sought the Holy Spirit’s council on what to write and how to help those of you in this position. Though I don’t have first hand experience with this, I can imagine the pain, rejection and betrayal that rushes in to fill the gap once occupied by a united faith. And that is the place that we should start to address this kind of situation, because until all of the pain, heartache and betrayal is brought to God and addressed, the marriage is hindered and healing can’t easily begin.

Forgiveness Is a Daily Choice

As I shared from my own story, I had to let go of my expectations of what I thought my marriage would be like. That also meant I had to release my husband from those expectations. For many of you, this will mean forgiving your spouse for their choice to walk away from God and from a life of shared faith. Release them from the debt you may hold against them as well—for not meeting your expectation.

When you’ve made these decisions, make the choice not to go back into unforgiveness. That will most likely be your greatest challenge as you continue to walk in a mismatched marriage. Remind yourself that you made the choice to forgive and that you are trusting God to mend your broken heart as He promises to do (Ps. 147:3) and remind the enemy too. 

Also, realize that their choice is not against you, though it may very well feel that way. That is not your burden to carry. Give that to God as well. And you didn’t cause this. You are not responsible for your spouse’s decision. God gave us each a free will to choose—or not to choose—Him. 

Then move forward. Your relationship with God is your own. Continue to pursue your faith with all the fire and passion He has placed in you. 

Understanding the Situation and Applying Truth

First, remember that even though your spouse stopped believing (or think they do) in God, God never stops believing in them. They may walk away for a time but God does not leave them.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. — 2Tim 2:13 (ESV)

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.— Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

Not even your spouse’s choice to walk away from God will separate God’s love from him or her. God’s love is not based upon us—how we act, believe, succeed, etc. It is completely based upon Who He is. He loved us first—not in response to our love. He is love and that is His character.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love. — 1 John 4:16a (ESV)

We love because he first loved us. — 1John 4:18 (ESV)

Second, don’t make assumptions. The biggest pitfall I can foresee here is false assumptions as to the “why” behind your spouse’s decision. Most of the time, when I delve a little deeper, seeking better understanding from the person or God (or both), I discover details I never would have known otherwise. And those specifics can make a huge difference in how you relate to your spouse.

I know this will be difficult, but ask your spouse to help you understand where they are coming from. This is where I suggest you pray first, asking God to prepare your heart and your spouse’s for this conversation. What you find out may very well surprise you. Be prepared to bring what he or she shares to God also. You are now being called to intercede for your spouse at a whole new level.  

Their reasons may include things like:

  • Anger at the church. Sometimes we misplace our faith in people instead of God. So when they let us down, we reject God instead of realizing that we’ve put God-like expectations on an imperfect human being. No church is perfect. And it’s very possible a spirit of religion is at work here. It’s very possible your spouse has operated more under the law instead of grace.
  • Anger at God for not meeting their expectations. This is where disappointment moves in, and I believe many of us have walked this road. I know I have. What I discovered is that my expectations were based upon my own thoughts and determinations of how I thought the situation should be. Thus when it didn’t pan out that way, I was grew disappointed. This is where is it so vital that we know God’s character and that He is always working for our good (Rom. 8:28), no matter what things look like. (This one applies to us as well—we can be angry at God for what’s happened in our marriage. Be honest with Him. He can handle your anger and help you walk out of it in greater trust and faith.)
  • Feeling they can never measure up so why bother. This ultimately has a lot to do with identity—who do you believe you are and who do you believe God is for you. If you don’t know God’s character and don’t understand His love for you, you fall into a place of trying to earn His love and to “get right” with God. In our own power and ability, we can’t achieve that. God knew that and thus why He sent His Son Jesus to take care of it once and for all. Grace is a gift, and salvation is all about His love and willingness to die rather than to lose us. If we don’t understand that it has nothing to do with our own efforts and merits, we struggle to fully receive God’s love and can’t walk fully into the confidence that we are truly loved.
  • Deception. We know the truth of John 10:10, that the enemy prowls looking for a way to steel our Christ-given power, to kill our hopes and to destroy our faith so we are not walking in the truth of who we really are. But Jesus is greater. The rest of this verse is where you want to camp, my friends.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. — John 10:10b-11

SUMites, these reasons may very well be what keeps your spouse from even considering Christianity, church and all they believe comes with it. God has been so misrepresented by the ones who are supposed to represent Him best. But don’t lose hope. God always has a plan.

When Restoration Comes

And it will. Believe God for that. Stand for it. But most of all, don’t carry your expectations from the past into this new place. God is all about the new (Isa. 43:19), and He has a new plan of action for the both of you that way exceeds those old expectations. Don’t limit Him. Don’t limit what He can do in and through you—both of you—no matter where you are in this process. God completes everything He starts. Everything.

And He doesn’t move backwards. Even though you may feel you’ve lost ground or have been knocked off your feet, His plans for restoration always include more. He’s not going to make you start all over. Everything He set into place for you is still there and He will help you step back into it. No matter how long it takes. He’s on your side. Always.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. — Psalm 34:18-19 (ESV)

The Lord redeems the life of his servants. — Psalm 34:22a (ESV)

Yes, God not only redeems us, He redeems our lives and everything in them. He’s so good! 

My friends, I’m sure there is much more to this topic than what I’ve covered here. If you are in such a place and walking this challenging road, please share what you’ve learned that has helped you move forward in faith in your marriage. I’ve no doubt your words of encouragement will reach a heart in need. 

SUMites, you are amazing people of God! I love you!
Dineen