142 posts categorized "Marriage"

Holidays and Mothers-In-Law

As 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... Read more →

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What Our Kid's Think - Part II

Today, 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... Read more →

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

SUMites, 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... Read more →

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Could You Walk Around Nude?

Do 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... Read more →

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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... Read more →

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Devil, We Are Not Unaware Of Your Schemes

SUMites, 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... Read more →

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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... Read more →

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When Your Spouse Walks Away From God

My 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... Read more →

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How Sturdy Is Your Seat?

My friends, I loved your comments from my post on Monday. Several of you shared you would really like to know more about the Greek meanings of the words I’m researching, so please know that I’m thinking and praying about how to do that best. Right now I think a video would be easiest to explain and bring these treasures to life, so stay posted. Today, let’s start talking about where we “sit” with God. Let’s take a look at Ephesians. The first chapter of Ephesians is all about our identity, who were are as new creations in Christ Jesus and what we’ve been given as our inheritance in Him. Many of you shared in the survey that you wanted to understand more about our identity in Christ as well. Knowing and understanding these truths is very important to the sturdiness of our “seat,” especially where and how we “sit”... Read more →

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Survey: TRANSFORMATION

SUMites, Here are a few more responses to the survey. Q: What have you learned or experience through SUM that has transformed your life? I was searching for your website to find out how my husband can change. What I really learned is that the relationship with Christ needs to start with me. I've learned about my identity in Christ, and how to use that authority in my prayers. Reading other people's stories shows what God can do and gives me hope Praying the word with bold faith. Covering my family...1cor7:14 (I can’t tell you how many different people and how many times I have referred people to Chapter 8 of Winning Them With Prayer. This scripture changed everything for me – Lynn) Overall, I would say just the experience of being with a community of like circumstances has transformed my life the most. Up until 5 years ago, I... Read more →

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This IS the SUMite Nation - Survey Results

SUMite Nation Thank you for walking with me through the Revelation of Love series. It’s now over. Dineen and I chatted yesterday and we are going to respond to the survey that we took back in March. We will be writing in response to your questions and topics that are of interest or need. I was overwhelmed by the responses. First, I was astonished by the sheer number of replies and the details everyone offered. Wow, you know what that tells me? You are very much invested in this community. You genuinely feel connected in our family. You genuinely have HOPE in Jesus for your family, your marriage, your spouse and for each other who meet here daily. (I think I already knew that but it was so cool to see it confirmed in the survey.) I asked the question: Do you visit our website Via: PC, mobile device or... Read more →

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A Revelation of Love For My Husband

They say.... Love is blind. But, marriage is a real eye-opener! My friends, a few weeks ago, my husband, whom I refer to as my pre-believer, celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. As I remember through the seasons of our union, I recall the challenges, the laughter, the fun and the really hard times as well. But mostly as I consider this landmark in our marriage, I find that the difficult years have been replaced with peace. Struggles and fear have been given over to unconditional love and acceptance. We are truly living the abundant life and our marriage is sanctified through my faith, as the believer in our home (1 Corinthians 7:14). Mike and I are planning a European Cruise this summer to celebrate and spend time alone together. But what I found interesting is that the Lord gave me a gift for our marriage anniversary. It was unexpected and... Read more →

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The Mystery and Wonder of Esther

Esther, mosaic, Jerusalem-The Church of Hagia Maria Zion-The Dormition Church For such a time as this... Hello SUMites! I mentioned last week that I was feeling led to do an series on Esther. Since then I can’t seem to stay away from this book and have poured hours of research into digging into the deeper places of this astonishing story. So consider this an introduction to Esther and what I have in store thus far to share with you. And I encourage you to read the book yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal its truths and promises to you too. One of the most significant aspects of the story of Esther is that God is not mentioned by name once in the book. He isn’t even referred to. But He is very much implied. However, there are actually clues I believe the author put in place to make... Read more →

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Guest Post: Perceptions by Dee Rusnak

Happy New Year, SUMites! So good to be back with you! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with special moments of delight and love. I'm so glad my daughters and son-in-love were with us this year. Our Christmas was busy and fun! As we walk into 2017 together, my friends, I want to encourage you to press into your relationship with God even deeper, to sit with Him quietly and begin asking Him what He wants to do and be for you in 2017. This is a great way to get ready for our praying and fasting next week. I keep hearing God say, "I want to do something different." I don't fully understand what that is yet, as I've been very distracted with the holidays and family, but I'm trusting He will show me. I'm so ready for "different"! How about you? Here's a wonderful post by our... Read more →

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Reaction Mode

Dear friends, the following is a post I did a few years back. The Holy Spirit has continually reminded me of this post the last week or so, but I wasn't sure if it was a needed subject at the moment. Then on Thursday as I was working on the registration details for the Hope Ignited conference our healing rooms and my church were hosting, I heard the Holy Spirit say over and over again throughout the day, "Don't take offense." I assumed it was for me, specifically something the Holy Spirit knew I would encounter at some point over the weekend at the conference. Then our worship leader gave a word on this very subject Friday evening. I knew then it was a corporate word. And then Lynn's post yesterday confirmed that! Wow! Don't you just love how the Holy Spirit speaks to us? God is on the move,... Read more →

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Expecting and Dreaming!

My daughter Leslie's blessing prayer on our entry. :-) My friends, Mike and I are getting settled into our home. There are still boxes to be unpacked and things to be put away, but I am loving the process. And the promise. There is so much promise coming… I shared on our Facebook page recently a verse that the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my attention over and over again. I honestly have never had a verse “dog” me this much. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. — Romans 16:20 I didn’t fully understand the full “breath” of this word at first until I was in a moment of worship and God overwhelmed me with not just His love but a hope so great it brought me to tears of joy. It’s huge! And then I... Read more →

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Moving Day!

My daughter Leslie wrote this in the entry. SUMites, today’s the big day. As you read this, hubby and I are moving into our new home. I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are. I can’t wait to pray over the Scriptures you sent as I sit in my “war room,” knowing those same words that are written on the interior beams of the house. Yes, I will have a small room that I can call my “war room,” my friends, where I can meet with God and pin my prayer concerns to a big bulletin board I can’t wait to design. Have any ideas on that? Send them to me or leave them in the comments. I don’t fully understand what God is doing in this symbolic representation our home and our SUM family. I can only tell you that He has some crazy big kingdom purposes... Read more →

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A Holy Spirit Moment

My friends, I have a fascinating story to tell you today. I shared in the past that God is changing things up a bit in how He speaks to me. Let me tell you this is both a bit frustrating and very exciting, but I absolutely love this adventure with Him. And I love His unexpected ways. Well, He did something very unexpected just recently and right in my own kitchen. A few weeks ago I was standing at the counter, spreading refried beans on corn chips to make nachos. Yuuum! Hubby was still in his office working. I sang along with worship music as I worked. Let me just say I am so glad I held a butter knife instead of a sharp blade. The Holy Spirit showed up big time. I was so overcome by His presence that I had to drop the corn chip and knife on... Read more →

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Bearing fruit - the power of kindness

Photo courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.nety/FreeDigitalPhotos.net As Dineen shared last week we both attended a writer’s conference in Nashville ten days ago. It was a tremendous few days for both of us on a number of fronts, not least hearing from the Lord regarding our writing. It was a wonderful answer to prayer for both of us. God is good. We'll save those stories for another time. Family One aspect of the event that I so loved back in 2012 was a sense of the familial. Yes, even when I didn’t know the majority I felt accepted, loved and appreciated. Simply because I was sharing the same journey they were. Yes, having an Aussie accent probably helped a little too. I experienced the same sensation this time too. Perhaps even stronger. Yes, since 2012 I’ve developed friendships with attendees (like Dineen) but it’s like any new friendship. We get excited in the... Read more →

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Seeing the “Gold” in Our Spouse

I went through my old files today and found a post I’d written about my husband’s positive qualities. The list made me think about a verse in Ecclesiastes that I absolutely love. Why? Because it’s a picture of God’s heart and how He sees us. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. — Ecc. 3:11 There are three little words in this verse—made, put and heart. But the Hebrew translation of these words holds a list of meanings that would fill a page. I’m just listing a few of them to give you a taste: Made—to do or make in the broadest sense, become, bear, bestow, fashion Put — give with greatest latitude, restore Heart — feelings, will, even intellect, inner man, soul And... Read more →

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Growing Up a Marriage

What if nurturing a marriage is like nurturing a child? The question entered my thoughts as I sat next to my hubby in the car, comfortable and confident that he would take us to our next destination well. I began to contemplate the journey of a marriage. Like the birth of a child, a marriage has similar beginnings. The first inkling of love starts (conception) and a relationship begins to form (the embryo). With time the nature of the relationship is made clear as to whether it will grow into a marriage (It’s a girl! It’s a boy!). Then the big day comes—the WEDDING! (The birth!), and thus come the adjustments to living life as two (or three—one a wee…). My friends, my contemplations came as a bit of a revelation as I pondered. We would never raise a child with the expectation of instant perfection from the moment of... Read more →

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Politics - An Ordinary Wife

Politics and an ordinary believing wife. That would be me. So, let’s pick up with one more truth to navigate the political season with our pre-believer. Three: Politics won't rescue our world. The shootings in America, the bombings in France and Belgium, the massacre in Nice, France, with a truck are utterly evil. They shock us to our core and the enemy uses these events to release fear into our hearts, homes and nations. No matter how many laws you pass, you can’t legislate evil out of the world. Our world needs a heart change. It’s about the heart. It’s LOVE that changes everything. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18 And my friends, we are loved -perfectly. It’s a perfect kind of love... Read more →

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Lord of the Harvest

He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” My friends, I don’t know if you remember me sharing in June of 2013 a dream God gave me, which I believe was a precursor to our salvation word this year and what’s to come. There are several pieces to this that the Holy Spirit is showing me, and I am excited to share with you. So let’s start with a refresher of that dream and then pray in this harvest! May 2013 (date of dream) I was half awake, half asleep, but the dream was very vivid. I stood before a tall cornfield—taller than me. Jesus stood next to me. He gestured to the crop and said, "This is the Great Harvest.” I said,... Read more →

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Guest Post: Follow Me by Dee Rusnak

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26 I totally get where the Israelites were coming from in yearning to be like those around them, even to the point of desiring a king (1 Samuel 8:5). They were a very small nation, the "runt" of sorts among everyone else in the entire world. To them the outside world was the norm. Yet, God set them apart to belong to Him in His very own way, making them unique, one of a kind, chosen to follow Him like no other. Runts were the smallest or weakest ones compared to the others in the litter. They didn't live long, expensive to care for, and pretty much worthless. That's why most farmers euthanized the runts - more out of an act of... Read more →

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A SUMite Question: How Do I Stay Connected to My Spouse?

My friends, one of the most challenging areas in a SUM is staying connected to our spouse, so today I want to tackle a reader question. Actually, this is a question that is asked frequently so I’ve edited this most recent one and included some additional parts from past questions so that it will encompass more. y hubby and I have been married for many years. I came to faith only a few years ago and now there’s this enormous area of incompatibility and difference between us. I’ve looked to my church for support, but how do I build a church life when my other half is not in it? My husband has also shared he’s concerned about losing my love. I feel so sad that he feels this way…and how can I keep going to church when he feels like this? I don’t know what to do: do I... Read more →

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