38 posts categorized "Thrive"

Two Powerful and Practical Words To Thrive In A Spiritual Mismatch

Good Monday Morning. We have some new friends joining us this week. Welcome to our family everyone who found us through the FamilyLife Broadcasts last week. AND... 

Welcome to the friends from the House of Women Living Well www.womenlivingwell.com

You have found a humble and hopeful home here in our little spot on the web. There are many of us who make up this amazing family and we have two things to tell you. You are safe here. You are family here.

So join us today and find a home where we ordinary wives and mothers, far from perfect, often goofy, filled with the love of Jesus and in relentless pursuit of the Presence of God.

I thought it would be really great if we could share two things that we have discovered in our faith walk that has impacted our spiritually mismatched marriages and brought about positive change and hope. So in the comments, SUMites and visitors, tell me what God has shown you that makes walking this kind of faith journey a little bit easier and joyful.

I have two thoughts I want to share.

One) Don't save your husband. Save yourself.

Say What??? 

I spent way too many years thinking that it was my personal mission to save my husband. I thought it was completely up to me to see that my man found Jesus. Sheesh! What an idiot. I don't need to save my husband. Jesus is completely capable of reaching my man at any time in any way. I need only to trust in heaven's timing and to love him as Christ loves him.

Ahem!... What a bunch of wasted time and effort in my early years of marriage..... *grin*

Two) Love God...

Yep, it's that simple. When you love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength, loving others becomes, oh so much easier. Forgiveness comes easier. Laughter, joy and adventure follow closely behind. (Spend time with His Son and the Spirit. read His Word and talk to Him all day long.)

I started this lil' ole' blog eight years ago hoping and praying that others will find healing for their unequally yoked marriage years before I did. I don't want one person to waste as much time and frustrated effort as I did. 

Believe the truth of God's Word. Ephesians 2:6-7 God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

It's all in the viewpoint. And my friends, I'm seated with Christ. I have a bird's eye perspective on my life and marriage. Changes everything.

Conversation: Share two things that your faith has brought to your marriage.

I love you my friends. I really love you, Lynn

Sky and clouds By pakorn, published on 01 February 2014By pakorn, published on 01 February 2014
Stock Photo - image ID: 100232001


Terrorist Training Camp 2014

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGood Monday morning SUMites! 

Every January it seems to happen. Right after our annual fast my spirit is burning to do some spiritual, butt kicking. And this January is no exception. So, I would like to welcome you once again to the “Spiritual Terrorist Training Camp.” And once again I would like to welcome the FBI who will likely be reading this series because their computers have just detected a blog using the words Terrorist Training Camp. Welcome back guys! Hope you enjoyed last year’s posts! 

In last year’s series we dealt with recognizing spiritual warfare, discovering who are the captives and who are prisoners in the spiritual and how we can recognize our captivity and find freedom. (Find a link to that series in the sidebar) This year I want the SUMites to join me as we explore some different aspects of spiritual warfare. I want us to shine the bright light of heaven upon some very real spirits that wreak havoc in our lives and in our world. I’m praying with fervor and passion that this series leads us to two breakthroughs. 

One, we must first experience a personal breakthrough. When we recognize an enemy spirit and its work in and around us and then combat it with truth, love and the power and authority of Christ, we become free. Thus we can then begin to free others. 

Two, as newly anointed Hope-Restorers, assigned to change this generation, we are contending for our homes, and our cities and collectively our nations. We truly are going to learn to be empowered to bring change at that level. 

Before we step off into some pretty deep research and topics, I want to take a minute to address a few things and answer some needed questions. 

  • Spiritually Unequal Marriage is a marriage blog devoted to providing hope and practical tips to thrive in a spiritually mismatched marriage. Why in the world should we study spiritual warfare?
  1. Research indicates that more than half of believers don’t believe there is a devil, or hell or demons. So, many of you want to really know, how do you know there are demons, hell or a devil?
  2. Can a Christian be possessed? Can a Christian be oppressed? What does that mean anyway?
  3. How does an ordinary 5’4” blond mom stand up against and defeat the legions of evil? Is that even possible? 

Answers 

  1. We, the Spiritually Mismatched, are actually on the front lines of the spiritual battlefield. We stand alone to pray, to speak scripture and declare God’s power and authority in our lives. Often our very own spouse is a gateway that opens the door to evil presence and activity. However, we are so much more powerful. 

As I sit in front of my computer the Holy Spirit is flooding my soul with scripture after scripture that screams of this truth. I will share one right now and more as we work through this series. 

1 Corinthians 7:12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 

 

There is great power and authority contained in an ordinary believer. And this verse brings enormous power into our lives. 

Think about it. Verse 14…… The unbelieving husband has been sanctified. That means made Holy and brought under the umbrella of God’s covering and love because we the wife are sanctified. 

Okay… I just realized this post is ALREADY going long. So, I promise we will get to some more in the days ahead. 

CONVERSATION: 

So today, let’s discuss in the comments the four questions above and your thoughts about how 1 Cor. 7:12-14 play out in our marriage and everyday living. Do you sanctify your home? Do you know what that looks like? If you don’t, how do we bring this passage to reality in our marriage? Do you think demons are real? Have you contended with evil and prevailed? I will be in the comments with you. 

We are stepping off now into a great adventure. When we emerge on the end of this series, you can bet that you will have a knowledge and power that absolutely terrifies the dark realm. So, rise up Hope-Restorers because we have families to fight for, marriages to revive and cities to contend for. I love you so much. Lynn


Marriage Challenge No. 1

So, I’ve been inspired by a friend of mine Courtney Joseph who has a new book coming out, Women Living Well. I will share more about that later. It’s a really great book. I was privileged to read it before its release and she has a couple of chapters that are Marriage Challenges. 

One of the challenges is a kissing challenge. Okay, for many of us who have been married a number of years there are statistics out there that indicate that 40% of married couples will go an entire week without a kiss. I’m not sure about this but I do think that as we settle into marriage, are raising children, working and become increasingly busy and distracted, we miss the opportunity to connect with our spouse through an intimate kiss. Yikes, I know this is true in my case. 

CoupkSo, this week, I’m throwing down the gauntlet. It is your challenge to kiss your spouse on the lips for five seconds or longer, every…. single ….. day this week. 

I can bet some spouses are going to freak out. Some may be put out but I am hopeful that this small gesture releases a gentle, kind and loving spark in your relationship with your spouse. 

Okay, take the challenge and pop back in here and let me know how it went for you today? 

SUMNation: Practical help and encouragement to THRIVE in your Spiritual Mismatched Marriage. 

Dineen and I love you. Have a fun and playful week. Break out the lip gloss and pucker up. *grin*


Returning To Our Roots

Hello my Friends, 

Greetings this Friday! Dineen and I are both on the road, traveling to different events. But before we jumped on the plane, earlier this week we had a great talk about where we want to go with our writing here and at Mismatched & Thriving in the coming months. 

After a lot of thinking, praying and discussion, we were reminiscing about how all of this ministry was started. Years ago, two ordinary wives who, only by the power and love of Jesus Christ, came through the lonely, difficult and challenging years of marriage to our pre-believing spouses. Our triumph became our passion. 

We didn’t want one other person to waste another minute stuck in the lonely and struggling years of marriage when we knew our faith could pull us out of that place. 

It became our hearts purpose to help others on this journey with us. 

With everything in us, we want others to discover hope, help and healing for their spiritual mismatch. 

We are not professional counselors. We are only women who are living in the trenches that have gained much knowledge and hope through our experiences. Every week it’s our desire to help people thrive in their marriage. Our ministry is for every marriage where faith and spiritual beliefs are absent in a spouse or not faith growing at a similar pace in both the husband and wife. Our writing is to serve those who are committed to making their marriage better and for the believing spouse to grow in his or her faith walk. Our writing is directed toward the positive actions we can take in our marriages within the context of a healthy relationship that is outside of physical, emotional abuse, addictions and behavior such as uncontrolled anger, etc. 

So as we talked about our roots earlier in the week and thought it would be great to revisit some of the ideas and suggestions from the early years of our ministry. Things like Captivating Your Spouse. Going the extra mile to make his or her day easier. Spoiling them when they least expect it.  How to love your spouse with the love of Christ. 

I realize that for some, these topics feel uncomfortable as your marriage is dealing with some of these tough issues such as addictions and such. Please hear our heart. We will pray for you and love on you. But we also want to remain steadfast to the purposes of this ministry. 

We CAN THRIVE in a spiritually mismatched home. So beginning next week, we are going to do some fun stuff, some practical stuff and move into this wonderful fall season with some real tips to try at home to spice up the romance. Tips to affirm our spouse. Tips to show the love of Christ to our pre-believers and so much more. 

And over at Mismatched & Thriving we have decided to post once a week on Tuesdays, as we don’t post here on that day and once a week we will post Parenting tips there in preparation for the release of our new Parenting book, Not Alone. One of my favorite tips is up there now, Teaching our Kids Respect in a Social Environment. 

So, what say you? Are you up for some unconditional and sacrificial loving? Do you want to see your spouse respond to that kind of love? We become irresistible over time when we love our pre-believer with the love of Christ. 

And, thank you everyone for giving us ideas for future posts on Monday. We will work through those in the coming months as well. 

Thank you for being part of this family. Remain focused on the love of Jesus. Because love changes everything. Hugging you tight. See you next week. Lynn


Same Sex Marriage

Psalm 2:1-4 Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. "Let us break their chains," they cry, "and free ourselves from this slavery." But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. 

I was sitting on the bank of a river when The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which limited the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal benefits, as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. This decision forces the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in states where it is legal and paving the way for it in California, the most populous state. And as I sat there, holding a fishing rod in one hand and my cell phone in the other reading this news alert, I just felt…… sad. 

Disappointed. 

And I know many in our community have strong feelings and emotions over this paradigm shift in our culture. 

Since that day I have wrangled with the implications of this decision. After all, Dineen and I write about marriage. SUM is a marriage blog seeking to encourage men and women to thrive in a God-centered marriage. I called Dineen when I returned and we spent a few hours discussing and processing. I know for me I was disappointed and then puzzled as to how the voters of our state were hijacked in this matter as same-sex marriages have already resumed in California. 

And as I write to you today, however, I’m actually feeling excited. And later on in this post (which is likely to run long… stay to the end because it gets really good) I will explain why I’m excited and why you will be as well. 

But before we get there I’m compelled to raise some issues that we the SUMites need to camp on personally, privately and corporately, and with a fervent prayer. 

Firstly, let’s remember what is at the core of the House of SUM. We are always –ALWAYS – about love. The love of God and our love for people. We are always about what we are for and not what we are against. What are we for? Living in the Presence of our Holy and Righteous God. And striving to share His love with others. We are also a community who believes in marriage as ordained by God in Genesis 2. 

With love in the forefront of our hearts and minds, let’s consider the implications of redefining marriage. In the history of the United States, marriage has always been between one man and one woman. The door that opened last week, if you follow the logic out a number of years invites us to consider that marriage will continue to be redefined by the courts over and over again. In fact, CNN reports a Polyfidelitous union, a union between three people. I expect we will witness marriages between not only three consenting adults but between, five, six, seven… Dare I take this out to the ridiculous, between a dog and owner. I know that people want to pass their inheritance to their pet when the die, so why not? (said with cautious contemplation) 

Why do I bring this to your mind? It’s not to bring fear. Only to prepare you to expect it. 

My friends, we need not fear. We need only to love. I know my fears about this redefinition hit home when raising kids. How will this shift in our society change my child’s view on marriage and on gays? Well I can tell you kids in public school have already faced many aspects of homosexuality. My daughter has gay friends. I know her friends and I will tell you that I have embraced them. I say to their face, “I love you. You are always welcome in our home.” And I hug them every chance I get. We must have honest conversations with our kids about this issue but more importantly our marriages must be a shining example to our children. If our kids see mom and dad living in love with one another and honoring each other and mom or dad (the believer) loving Jesus, they will want that for themselves when they mature and marry. 

We live in a broken, hurting and messed up world my friends. And WE HAVE THE ANSWER. We have the love of Christ that trumps everything. 

The gay life style is not the ideal of God. Dare I remind you that being unequally yoked is not God’s ideal and best for people? However, in spite of our mismatached marriage, God shows up. He loves us, even in our messed up, sinful lives. He pursues us, shows us His power, purposes and invites us into the greatest adventure ever, living the abundant life. 

You may be disappointed and angry. And it may seem like a great defeat to the Kingdom but my friends…. My Friends, our all-powerful God isn’t worried. 

Let me share a story with you. 

Satan seethed with a blistering laugh. His great centuries of plotting, maneuvering and planning met their zenith. He screeched with elations along with the millions of demons as he stood in hell.

“We have killed the Christ,” he raged with glee. 

The crucifixion of Jesus was the darkest hour of human existence. And in that moment when Jesus died Satan really believed he had won. He was certain he’d defeated the Son of God who came to earth to teach us how to walk in the power and authority of God and how to live in abundance and communion with God. He danced and began to plan the very take-over of the entire world and to declare the world no longer belonged to God. 

But…. When all seemed that absolute darkest… Guess what? Out of this horrific slaying, God shows up and with the resurrection power brings Christ back to life. He splits time in two. And creates for all people, ALL people, the way to escape the devil, live in His Presence on earth and a way to live forever. 

Say WHAT????? 

Jesus rose out of what seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen to people. And gave us the BEST thing that could ever happen. Salvation! 

God says, “So long satan. What you intended for evil I have used for the greatest good for all men.” 

“HUZZAH!” (I think God would have said this *sheepish grin*) 

But, my friends, don’t you think God could do this again? And if He so desires, couldn’t He begin with the gay community? 

My friends, we are the believers who are are sitting on the precipice of one of the greatest revivals to ever grace the world. The spiritual realms are alive. Ordinary people are having encounters with God. Thousands every week are turning to Christ in faith. Let’s not get distracted by some mere law makers. Keep our eyes focused on God. Live your faith out in front of your family. Love people and watch what our Great God can and will do. 

This is only my humble offerings on a highly sensitive subject. Now, please share your thoughts and lavish them with love and grace. I love you. I love God and it’s my calling for the rest of my life to love all people. Hugs, Lynn


I Re-Sign!

 On October 19, 2012, Karen Williams wrote: I Re-sign! 

Dear Dineen and Lynn, 

I appreciated your post on Monday.  After reading it several times and understanding the seriousness of the commitment I prayed it out loud and mentally signed my name.  I know I am ready for this as God has been leading me down a similar path this summer.  

I had been praying and asking God to show me/teach me how to love my husband as He does, how to see Him as He does.  He answered that prayer by explaining how He saw me and sees me today.  Because He knows the beginning from the end He has always known what my potential is.  He created me with a plan and purpose in mind and sees the end result from the very beginning. If I truly believe this for myself (which I now do) then I have to believe that this is the way He looks at my husband (and all my family members).  He created Andrew (my husband) with a plan and purpose.  And He is in relentless pursuit of my husband, always working to bring that plan to fruition.  He sees my husband in the end result, knows what he is capable of (because He created him that way) and LONGS for my husband to become what He has in mind.  

This really blew me away at the time because I had been so focused for so long on what my husband has been or is.  Things like....narcissistic, catholic, workaholic.  God showed me that these labels I had put on him were like putting him in a jail cell.  Not only was he not free to change, I had been the one to lock him into that place. There was also some work God was doing on forgiveness with me so after time in prayer working on forgiving my husband for not being who I wanted him to be and asking God to forgive me for how I had sinned against my husband all these years He helped me to set him free from the jail cell.  He planted His love in me in a new way that enables me to see my husband as He sees him and love him with the love of Christ.  

I thought that that was an amazing experience but the best was yet to come!  A few days after this time with the Lord was our 30th wedding anniversary.  In the past these were pretty uneventful, often very disappointing, days for me.  I really expected nothing different this time.  My husband was scheduled to be traveling on our actual anniversary so we planned to eat out for dinner after he got back. Other than that I thought it would pass just like it was any other day.  But God!  

First, my husband came home with two dozen roses and a card...three days ahead of time! (Sometimes he would buy a card and forget to sign it and I'd find it later or you knew he stopped on the way home for work as a last minute thing).  His cards up until then were always the funny type, never serious.  Frequently with sexual overtones. But this time it was serious!  The front said "Life isn't perfect but love doesn't care".  That got me right there!  It was as if God was speaking right to my heart...isn't this how He was asking me to live with my husband...to love him despite our differences?  I took it as confirmation I had been hearing God correctly.  

Then the inside said "Thanks for loving me through it all".  You have to understand my husband rarely apologizes for anything and isn't too good at acknowledging others for their contributions so this was VERY big to me!  Then he asked me for 30 more years!  My husband blessed me and God blessed me with that card that day.  He also surprised me with a very expensive piece of jewelry (also very uncharacteristic of him) so I was really blown away by it all.  

There was a dynamic shift in our relationship. When God dealt with me and I changed my thoughts and ways...somehow in His economy....it freed my husband at the same time it freed me.  I know that sounds weird but I think you will understand.  I stopped looking at him as the Unbeliever and more as someone who just wasn't a believer yet. This was just about the time you all were seeing a similar revelation!  God is so amazing and so wonderful!  I just love that you are where you are and I am here but He helps us reach the same conclusion!  

I prayed and fasted with you all back in January and the word God gave me was "expectant".  I have been sitting on the edge of my seat ever since!!  Something IS right around the corner. I felt it then and I still feel it now.  As the year has gone by I have read and heard others saying the same thing...it is very exciting!  

At this point I want nothing more than to be with Jesus.  I long to see His face.  Taking my eyes off of my husband, and my supposed lack, and keeping them on Him has eliminated the stress, the disappointment, the hardship.  I have been set free, free to love my husband and he is free to love me back.  Not sure he is aware there are any changes but I sure see them.  God has brought me to a place where I know I need nothing more than Him, and Him alone.  Everything after that is icing on the cake, the exceeding and abundant life He promises. 

I look forward to the coming days and weeks as you both share what happened at Bethel.   Won't lie, a little jealous, but I will continue to seek Him in my quiet time here and I know He will show up.  Blessing to you both and thank you for all you have done and all you do! Sure wish we lived closer so we could talk in person and I could give you real hugs!  

Love you sisters!
Karen Williams


Weekend Devo — Blow Away Again...By You

WriteLetterMy dear and precious friends, 

Yesterday I read all your comments on our post from August 6th about our visit with FamilyLife Today. I am blown away and so very humbled.

To read your stories and hear your hearts in each one...I cried. My daughter walked in and asked me what was wrong. I showed her the page on my computer screen and told her how amazed and humbled and honored and blessed I am, to be used by God to help others, to be a part of this community. 

She asked, "So those are happy tears?!"

Oh, yes, very happy tears. Grateful tears. Tears of joy.

So, today I want to tell all of you how precious each and every one of you are to us. I know Lynn and I have said this before but we really do pray over all of you. At times we cry, other times we laugh and rejoice with you.

You've heard me say God blows me away. Well, you blow me away too. You may think you're not doing very well; maybe you feel like you're failing in your marriage or in your relationship with God (I feel that way at times too, btw), but just the fact that you come here to share your heart openly, that you're seeking God for wisdom and guidance, that you desire to honor God and do what He asks for the sake of your marriage and your desire to know God better...

Well, that tells me you're far from failing, dear friends. You are thriving! Did you know that? You are flourishing. You are succeeding. Victory doesn't mean easy. It's means reaching that place of overcoming and knowing God's joy and peace right where we are.

And you are there! This is our shared journey and I am so grateful and honored and humbled and blessed beyond words to be on the path with you.

Love you all so very much,
Your sister in Christ,
Dineen 


More Than Just Waiting, Part 1

IStock_000000340142XSmallIn June of 2008 I wrote a series on waiting (has it been that long?!?!?). And we have talked about waiting on God in our marriages A LOT. I’ve come to believe that waiting is a constant part of our faith journey. We wait for prayers to be answered, we wait for God to open doors to new directions and opportunities, we wait for change within ourselves and wait ultimately for the time when we will meet our Lord and Savior in person.

We are always waiting for something, right?

About a week ago, God blew my mind again with another facet of waiting that I’d never considered before. Are you ready for your thinking to be turned upside down?

This concept has been ruminating in my mind as I waited for God to give me a clearer vision of what I was to share. Imagine my total surprise and delight when my pastor’s sermon yesterday was on the very same subject! He bought out points I was contemplating, which, for me, confirmed what I sensed God showing me.

Like I said, BLOWN AWAY!

Now, back to the subject of waiting. We often treat this time of waiting as our burden to carry. I know I have, more so in times of trial and challenge. But what if it's more? We've talked a lot about waiting patiently and waiting expectantly (go to the June 2008 archives if you want to go back and read them), but what if there was another aspect to our waiting that we're missing out on?

What if our time of waiting is intended to be a place of trust, which in turn is one of our most profound ways to worship God? Look at this quote from Andrew Murray:

“Let us resolve at once that is will be the one characteristic of our life and worship, a continual, humble, truthful waiting upon God. We may rest assured that He who made us for Himself, that He might give Himself to us and in us, will never disappoint us. In waiting on Him, we will find rest and joy and strength, and the supply of every need.”

Murray talks about waiting upon God’s provision as a characteristic of worship. As I read this, chills ran over me. Now let’s take a look at Isaiah 40:25-31:

25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

We've talked about this piece of Scripture before, specifically the part about God being our source of hope. Not the things in this life, not even our pre-believers salvation. Our hope must reside squarely in God in order to know this kind of hope, to be renewed in our strength, to persevere—not just to survive, but to thrive in every aspect of our lives. Reread this piece of Scripture and look for these truths:

  1. Nothing is greater than God. He has created everything, yet He is not created.
  2. His great strength not only holds our world together, He does so perfectly.
  3. God sees everything we see, experience and feel. Good and bad. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows us intimately.
  4. He doesn’t wear out. His strength and love never wear out. In fact, the weaker we are, the stronger He is. (2 Cor. 12:9 also says this.)
  5. We will not only survive we will rejoice, not run out of His strength, and we will also walk forward in that strength. This is victory.

What’s the key to all this? I will tell you in part two since this post has gone so long already. Come back tomorrow and find where I'm going with this. I think you will be delighted!

Praying & believing!
Dineen


Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - God Hit Me Upside The Head

So what has happened in our marriage, in my husband’s faith journey? Well do you remember that conversation that started this weird journey? I shared that with you last week, read it here. Well, my husband started to attend church with me…… every week…… 

He has been attending church every Sunday since February. Interestingly, my man is not into the worship and music. So, get this, he rises from bed as I’m leaving for church with Caitie, showers, dresses, then drives to church by himself. He joins us as we sit on the right near the front just before the Pastor begins to talk. Not my perfect ideal but friends, he joins us for church of his own volition. 

The Four Horsemen surely must be riding because I NEVER dreamed my man would get out of bed on a Sunday to join me at church. The marriage class ended over a month ago. My husband has been at church. All is right with the world. 

Or is it? 

Darn it! Take a walk with me. 

My man attended a marriage class. I realize we actually have a pretty darn good marriage. He’s been at church with me every Sunday, willingly and rarely displays the “hostile stance.” 

But now these months later, I started talking with him about church attendance. I took great courage from our past breakthroughs and asked him to consider being baptized as a birthday gift for me. Shameless and manipulative, I know. (sheesh, I still make some big blunders in my faith walk with my unbeliever).

My sweet friends, he’s not there. Out of everything that has transpired, the class, the attendance, the faith and love I shower on him, he’s just not there. He told me he doesn’t believe. He told me he attends church because it’s the right thing to do for our family. He told me that it’s just not for him. 

Ugh! I could cry. The disappointment. The pain.

It's still not quite what I thought it would be. I asked him to join my life, as a husband, to be part of church. He did. I KNOW I should be so grateful. And I am. But, it's hallow. I want my husband to truly know the Lord of Lords. So, I keep praying. I keep hoping. And I am so utterly thankful that my man loves me this much to go to church when he really would choose to stay home. 

But astonishing further, from somewhere deep within, rises a hope in me that I can’t fully understand, nor explain. You see, I really, really KNOW God. I have dwelt in His presence and I believe with every part of my being that it’s all about timing. 

God’s timing. 

What God has shown me through this process are truths the enemy kept me from seeing. I have a great guy. Our marriage is in a beautiful place, it’s not perfect, but it’s us. It’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. Filled with love, trust, honesty, failures, yelling at times, mistakes, manipulation, and humanness. It’s the living experience of married love and relationship. It’s a marriage bathed in the love of Jesus because I’m the believer. It’s a marriage of hope, because I worship the God of hope. It’s a marriage of laughter, growth, and authentic relationship. 

I will continue to wait for my man’s salvation. I absolutely believe he will meet Jesus before he leaves this planet. I AM ABLE to even wait until a death-bed conversion if I must, because God is sovereign over my life. He has proven Himself over and over to me. He has provided, comforted, instructed (many times through my unbelieving husband), and He has loved me to distraction. 

I hope in Him.
I trust in Him.
I live for Him and his Son, Jesus. 

As the words of old say, “His grace is sufficient for me.” 

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

My friends, can you say these words today and let Jesus make them real in your life? Thank you for taking this long walk with me. I love you. I pray for you earnestly and for your spouse’s salvation. May the Lord bless you and keep you. 

Love, Lynn


The Focus on the Family Experience

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

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

Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, Part One

Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, Part Two

When You Can't Compromise in Marriage

 

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

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

Mismatched Marriage by Lee Strobel

 

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

Focus Community Forum: Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage

 

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

Christian Wives Talk Thriving with Nonbelieving Husbands by Brittany Smith

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

 

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

Praying and believing,
Dineen 

 


We Are Stronger Together

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

“Isolation steals our joy.”

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

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

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

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

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

We are stronger together.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I can do much with a willing heart.”

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

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

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

Praying and believing,
Dineen


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

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

Use the hash tag #WinningHim.

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

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

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

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

 

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

Happy Friday. Hugs, Lynn


#WinningHim and @FocusMarriage Unite! Woo Hoo!

Are you ready for a little fun?

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

Okay now.  

Are you ready for a little fun?

 

Twitterbird600
Tweet... Tweet... #WinningHim

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

 

Say what?

Well, I’m glad you asked. *giggle*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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