137 posts categorized "Unequally Yoked"

From A Black Friend to My White Friends

SUMites,

UnityWe need to chat. I realize that we don’t often take on social issues here at SUM as we are trying to focus on our marriages. However, I know that so much of my marriage discord would rise to the surface because of the social climate, politics, and religion.

So, today, I am compelled to talk about what’s happening in America this week. After a long discussion with Caitie, my daughter who is 25, I’ve had to reflect on the tragedy that was the death of George Floyd. I’m grieved over all of it. I’m grieved over his death, the racism, the riots and the looting.

I’ve had to take a look at my heart again in the midst of this mess and ask some difficult questions. My friend, Kathi Lipp, directed me to a great read. I want to share it with you today. Although I don’t have all the answers, this article addresses questions that white people often ask:

  • Why did he/she do to cause the cops/another person to shoot or kill them?
  • Why do black people insist on “Black Lives Matter”? Don’t all lives matter?
  • Why do “they” try to make white people like me feel guilty? I haven’t done anything.
  • I have black friends so why are black people calling people like me racist?

The Article: From a Black Friend to My White Friends.

Barb Roose, a Christian, offers some great responses and a good video that will help move all of us forward. Take a minute to visit her blog and read through the article and watch the video. Ask yourself, what does Jesus want me to pray, to do, to feel and to respond to this week’s events and the at the center racism that continues to create division in our country.

Also, ask Jesus how to have conversations with your spouse and your children about this week’s events and the news. Let’s be the change our world needs. Isn’t that what Jesus calls us to do?

I realize that this topic is highly charged on every side. Please share your thoughts in the comments but please be respectfully, use words of love and consideration and always look to Jesus for the truth.

Blessings, Lynn


Unequally Yoked AND Infertility

SUM NATION:

Julie Nelson
Julie Nelson

Lynn here. I received the most astonishing email that past week. Julie Nelson wrote to me to share here testimony. I prayed for her in the comments.

Also, I prayed with her in a Healing Prayer Session. And God released her voice. Recently she shared her story about infertility and walking through that struggle with an unbelieving husband. Take a listen and give Jesus glory. The SUMite nation is making a way for so many to experience the love of Jesus. Hallelujah!

Thank you Julie for your faithfulness. Hugs, Lynn

The Journey I Chose and the Journey I Didn't (Julie Nelson)

 


To Cherish ...

Hi friends, Ann here! Cherish

The other day I noticed something new about marriage in scripture. It was like a big flashing light going off in my mind, so I thought I'd share. See what you think of this:

In the Bible there are a few key scriptures about marriage, as we know. But what I noticed this week is that in two of those scriptures (one from the Old Testament and one from the New), it says that your treatment of your spouse determines whether your prayers will be heard.

What a thought!

Here are the scriptures in question, and I've highlighted the parts about prayer:

1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV):

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”

And

Malachi 2:12-15 (NKJV):

“May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, being awake and aware, yet who brings an offering to the Lord of Hosts.

And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.” 

**

All of this got me thinking: I often have to guard my heart to stay good to my husband in relation to our faith difference. The spiritually mismatched nature of our marriage raises particular challenges that other couples might not have. I have to make sure I don't hold negative attitudes about certain things. I also have to guard my mouth to make sure when I talk about him my words are good words. The bar is high and I'm a total work-in-progress. 

The Old Testament passage in Malachi might have been addressing the letter of the law, perhaps physical infidelity; but we go beyond that in the spirit of the law, mirroring God's character and trying to be faithful in wider things, like our words. 

This thought takes me meandering back to a moment in 1999, when Bryce and I were getting married. In our heady twenties it was all fun fun fun. But, when we booked in a minister to officiate at our wedding he told us it was his code to give us marriage counselling and we agreed. There was not much that was sensible about the two of us so it was all we could do to stop ourselves losing it in giggles at various points -- Especially when the session turned to the topic of sex. It was all so serious -- Did we really have to be talking about this?! 

But, here's the golden question this minister asked us: “What does it mean to CHERISH someone? Your vows include the word cherish. What does that look like?” This man in his sixties knew what he was talking about. 

Fast-forward twenty years and here we are living with a faith difference that - if we aren't careful to cherish - could fracture us. Yikes, it's not exactly small stuff. What does it look like now for us to cherish each other?

Here's what my favorite old dictionary says about Cherish: "To protect and treat with affection: to nurture, nurse; to entertain in the mind." 

Honestly, I can think of many points where I have not been the shining star at cherishing Bryce. But what I’d like to do is treat him as my most treasured one. This is my heart, so I say 'Help me, God!' My marriage is entwined with the Kingdom. It’s part of that thing I want to seek first. And as I cherish him, then when I march in prayer around my 'Jericho' could it be that those walls of unbelief have a greater chance of falling? The above scriptures suggest perhaps so.

Do you have any thoughts on the concept of cherishing our spouse? We'll chat in the comments!


SUM and a Donovan Clan Update

Giving_tuesday-2019-550Hi SUM Nation,

It’s time for a Donovan Clan update. And well, it’s difficult to share that my amazing husband is still diligently job searching. It’s interesting that when your older, finding gainful employment becomes more challenging.

Hmmmm. And believe me I’ve done so much praying about all of it. I’m convinced I’ve heard the Lord, but His answer appears so impossible, that I can only cling to faith and remain in peace as I wait for the Lord to bring things into reality. And with transparency I'll tell you that it hasn't always been easy.

However, in the waiting we have exhausted our financial reserves. It’s humbling and vulnerable to share that truth. But, this is our real situation.

For over 13 years Mike’s job supported all of the financial needs for the online ministry. But this year, I’m turning to all of you.

I need you.

So, all I can do is share the expenses and ask you to prayerfully consider adopting one and cover it or a portion of an expense for the ministry?

On Tuesday, #GIVINGTUESDAY would you be prepared to give a recurring gift of $5, $10, $15, $25 or $50 a month. This recurring gift will cover the monthly expense for example the monthly expenses of mailing the post emails, $27.00 or the annual renewal of the web hosting $150.00 On Giving Tuesday Facebook and PayPal are matching contributions.

OR consider a one-time donation to apply to the Domain renewal for spirituallyunequalmarriage.com. That expense is $85. I support about nine web domains for various ministries under the Three Keys Ministries umbrella.

So, here are some of the items that are a must for this ministry to continue. All told, annually all the expenses roughly total $6,000.

RSS Feed

Domain Renewals

Web Hosting (largest expense)

Apps to support graphics

Licensed photos

Third Party supports for web design and apps

Legal Fees Federal/State

Taxes State

Documentation

Bank fees

PayPal fees

Event Insurance

 

Postage

Computer

Wifi

Paper/office supply

 

 

This is not an exhaustive list

 

It is my heart to help others. I know that is your heart also. We want others to discover what we know, Jesus makes the difference in every way and every area of our lives and marriages.

Today ask Jesus, “What could I give? What could I cover this year? How much could I pour in to help someone on the road behind me?

I’ll share more as Giving Tuesday arrives. But you can give now through the PayPal app in the sidebar of the website. And for all of you who already give, Thank you. Your faithfulness has kept the internet a blaze with hope for the spiritually mismatched. 

For those of you who can give… I love you.

For those of you who can’t….. I love you.

Thank you, Jesus as you provide through some of the most amazing believers on the planet. In Jesus name. AMEN

Give generously from your heart not because of guilt. Hugs, Lynn


Be Like Nehemiah: Rise up and Rebuild

Rebuilding-the-wall

By Martha Bush

During this Thanksgiving season, I am so grateful for the “rebuilding blueprints” Neheniah passed down to us as he rebuilt the broken down walls of Jerusalem.

Join me today as I outline his plans for rebuilding. Let’s start in Chapter 1 and listen in on a conversation he is having with his Jewish friends.

How are the Jews getting along who have returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian Exile?”  “Well, things are not good; the wall of Jerusalem is still torn down, and the gates are burned,” they replied (Nehemiah 1:2-3 TLB)

Nehemiah knew that the Temple in Jerusalem was being reconstructed. Now, his friends were telling him that the city had no protection from its enemies while they were rebuilding the Temple.

Weeping and fasting for several days, Nehemiah asked God to use him to save the city. God answered his prayer by softening the heart of the king who gave him permission to rebuild the walls around the city. In spite of opposition, the wall was rebuilt in 52 days.

I was drawn to this story years ago when everything in my marriage was crumbling. Even though we were spiritually unequally yoked, we had a loving marriage. But, when I followed a new direction the Lord had given me, it was as though an army invaded our home stealing, not only our relationship, but our earthly goods as well. The comfortable lifestyle we had grown accustomed to was gone. Added to this scenario, serious health problems arose. With all the devastation around us, we both wanted to vacate the premises, as in SEPARATE.

Nehemiah’s example of rebuilding was a trumpet call to me to “rise up and rebuild” the broken down walls.

1. Nehemiah confessed the sins of his country, himself, and his ancestors.

I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel. And I’m including myself and my ancestors among those who have sinned against you. (Neh. 1:6 MSG)

Like Nehemiah, I first confessed my sins for the part I had played in our situation. Next, I confessed generational sins on both sides of our families.

2. Nehemiah EXAMINED every broken wall.

By night I examined the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. (Nehemiah 2:13 NIV)

I asked the Lord to show me where the walls of protection in our marriage had broken.

  • Communication: We’d never learned how to communicate effectively, so when the hard times hit, we yelled and screamed because that was the only way we knew how to communicate.
  • Finances: Our financial strain was due in part because of bad decisions we had made, but some of it was a result of the enemy using various means to steal from us.
  • Parental Influence: Though we both had great parents, we had brought their problems into our own marriage.
  • Not understanding one another’s temperaments: When Mr. Choleric and Miss Phlegmatic came together in the heat of the battle, our opposite traits produced quite an explosion.

3. Nehemiah Had a Vision.

“Face it: we’re in a bad way here. Jerusalem is a wreck; its gates are burned up. Come—let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.” (Neh. 2: 17 MSG)

Andy Stanley, author of Visionary said, “Visions are born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between ‘what is’ and ‘what could be.’ Vision often begins with the inability to accept things the way they are. Over time that dissatisfaction matures into a clear picture of what could be.”

Something inside me clicked. “Rise up and rebuild!”

4. Nehemiah Faced Opposition.

“What are these miserable Jews doing? Do they think they can get everything back to normal overnight? Make building stones out of make-believe?” What do they think they’re building? Why, if a fox climbed that wall, it would fall to pieces under his weight.” (Nehemiah 4:1-3 MSG)

Unfortunately, for a long time, my husband did not share the same vision for rebuilding as I did. “Do you really think God can fix this mess? You need to get your head out of the sand, and face reality! It is over!”

5. Nehemiah’s Response to Opposition.

“Hear us, O Lord God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back upon their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! Do not ignore their sin. Do not blot it out, for they have despised you in despising us who are building your wall.” (Nehemiah 4:4-5 TLB)

Nehemiah said nothing to his opposition,  prayed, and kept on building. Jerusalem was a city worth fighting for.

I finally realized it was useless to fight back with words at the opposition. By the grace of God, my husband finally joined me, and we have restored most, (not all yet) of those broken down walls that almost destroyed our marriage. Granted it took more than 52 days to get to the place we are today - we are a stiff-necked couple. The fullness of the vision is for an appointed time.

*****

My Sumite Friends, in the comments tell us how Nehemiah’s example for rebuilding the broken down walls applies to your marriage, finances, health,  church.  Together, we can "rise up and rebuild."

 

 

 

 


Marriage Devotion - Patty Tower

Forgiving My Spouse


Patty TowerForgiveness is not just an act we do for someone else, it is more so an act we do for ourselves. Unforgiveness harbors resentment, bitterness, anger, and negativity. When we harbor these emotions, the act of portraying love faints away. Is that what I want for my marriage?

I thought about what forgiving my husband looks like and it’s not me saying to him, “I forgive you.” It means to internally release all my negative emotions regarding the small battles to God.

Maybe in my mind, he’s talking to me in a demeaning tone. And instead of me snapping back, I address it. Whether he wants to fix it or argue about it, I simply…move on. If he replies back, “I wasn’t trying to talk down to you,” and instead of debating, “yes you were.” I respond, “Oh ok.” And move on.

It’s deciding in my heart to forgive him for that quick small moment and pray to God to soften his heart. Forgiveness is in the quick small moments of our everyday.  

Reflection: Think of a common small moment where you can forgive. What was in the moment that made you feel a negative emotion? Ask God to show you how to forgive or whether to address an issue. If it’s forgiveness, write it down and pray God will continue to give you a heart of humility, grace, and mercy towards your husband/wife.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32 

“As he hung on the cross – And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” – Luke 23:24 

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:13


Thanksgiving and Kanye West

Hello SUMers!

So, around this time of year I always post about my Tablecloth of Thanks. But I’m puzzled over something that is happening right now in the church. So, let’s chat about that instead.

If you are new to SUM, please, PLEASE read about this amazing Thanksgiving tradition that also can be gently shared with an unbelieving spouse and family. It’s truly a family heirloom. My daughter has claim on ours as part of her inheritance. Read it here: Tablecloth of Thanks

Now onto Kanye.

First, I’m not a fan of his music, even his new album, Jesus is King. (No offense Kanye, just not my style.) I don’t know much about his life prior to his salvation experience other than he married Kim Kardashian. Weird that I even know that????

Jesus KingBut, I’m absolutely perplexed by the circus that is happening in the church over his recent salvation experience and the meetings he’s been holding. I receive an email daily about it all. Those who are suspect and those who are on the Kanye train. And all social media platforms are ablaze over the Kanye fracas. Sheesh!

Several years ago, what most of America missed ,was that Kanye had a complete breakdown. He was battling demons and voices and it was God who rescued him. I remember reading about this and I knew then what was happening. God was calling him. The demons, there were likely many, were putting up a ferocious fight so much so that Kanye cancelled his engagements for a year and received counseling. I believe that precipitated his entre into the Kingdom.

I keep coming back to this question. And I believe God is asking the same thing. Why do we always tear one another down? It’s no wonder the devil is laughing in his coffee. He doesn’t need to spend efforts destroying our unity, we do it ourselves. From my nearly 40 decades of faith experience, I’m of the position that we need to stop judging the salvation experience of another Christian.

Doesn’t the Word of God tell us we can determine or discern a person saved/unsaved by their fruit?

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? —Matthew 7:16

And even judging the fruit we must lean far, far toward mercy. If any of you lived with me and Mike, you would not know Mike is a believer. He hasn’t changed much since his baptism. He doesn’t attend church. But the small changes in his character and that he now prays, this speaks of his heart. His real faith. There is fruit but he absolutely does not look like what most people expect to see, a Bible thumping, church going, scripture spewing believer.

Personally, I am so very hopeful and praying for Kanye and his family. The pressure they must be under is tremendous. It’s nearly impossible to be a Christian in Hollywood and the family of God hasn’t been much kinder to Kanye.

This man could be one of God’s unexpected heroes. (God LOVES to use people like this. It makes Him look that much more amazing and wise.) Kanye could be a man of God who brings healing between the races and the love of Christ to masses that would never have listened in the first place.

I'll bet you that our unbelievers are watching how all of this plays out. Oh how I hope they see in Kanye how a real relationship with Jesus is so important, so transformative, that even a multimillionaire, superstar is willing to throw it away for the cause of Christ.

Be patient. Did you mess up as a new Christian? How much to you still mess up after years of faith. Let's let Kanye's fruit speak and let's be merciful as our Father is merciful. 

Thoughts? Be kind! Lynn


What To Do About Halloween?

SUMites,

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comFor years here at SUM, I've written this post every October. And now after raising my children, I'm asking this question again. Most of you are unaware, but I've been in training, learning how to pray to help those who were traumatized and wounded through Satanic Ritual Abuse. What I've learned about the demonic realm is truly horrific. If I shared with you what I've learned about what they do to children, you would vomit.

Sorry, just being real.

So, I struggle in my heart to know what to write because this day glorifies a being that is so evil, so wicked and filled with hate for children and Christians, I cringe in revulsion.

But I know that on my refrigerator is an invitation to a local neighborhood gathering, that ensues prior to trick-or-treat. And I'll likely attend to spend some time with our neighbors. And oh, my goodness, the costumes. Some of them are just so cute, clever and fun.... some are scary. 

The way I see it, we must keep a sober mind about what happens in the wee hours of the night on October 31st. (The witchcraft is intense. I scarcely can sleep.) And make this season a time of teaching. Help our children to be aware the darkness is real and to help them to overcome their fear and call on the name of Jesus. We must check their candy bags. 

If you walk the neighborhood with your kids, pray over it. Cover the people and homes with the love of Jesus. Bless each home you approach with an awareness of Jesus. Bless the kids. Bless those who come to your door. Release the MOST POWERFUL GOD of the universe into your world this week.

I love you. March on SUMITES... We WIN! Hugs, Lynn


Marriage Devotion - Patty Tower

My spouse is worthy of praise & honor

PATTY tOWER 2018I read an article about a woman in church talking to a couple members about her husband, and everything she spoke out of her mouth regarding her husband was negative. The members began to think negatively about her husband and the character of the man she married. When in reality, she married a good man, but she chose to only focus on the negative.

I reflected on my own actions and thought, “What if my husband spoke to others about me the way I spoke of him? What kind of Christian would I be?” I made a commitment to speak of my husband in a positive light in front of others. And if I ever had an issue with him, I decided I needed to talk to him respectfully about my issues or to seek counsel and wisdom.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” – Matthew 15:18

Reflection: Think of the last negative thing you said about your spouse and write them here. Ask God for forgiveness and ask him to help you speak about your spouse in a positive light. Pray you will see what God sees. Ask God to remind you that your partner was made in His image and likeness and that he crafted him with godly qualities.


The Christmas Project Planner

Gang,

Most of you know that I've been friends with author, Kathi Lipp, for years. She writes amazing books that truly improve our lives. Well, a few days ago she sent me a copy of her recent book.

Christmas Project Planner Kathi Lipp

The Christmas Project Planner is amazing. It's beautiful gift to receive and work out of to retain your sanity during the busiest time of year.

Please order your copy at Amazon. And I'm offering a copy as a giveaway. Please enter your name and a comment why you need this book in the comments. I'll choose a winner next Tuesday so that the winner receives the book for November planning. 

Wahoo. God bless you Kathi! 


SUMites, You Are Brave Enough.....

EstherSUMites,

All of the undertones that we uncovered in Esther are powerful and new gifts to our faith.

Today, I want to talk about the unequally yoked aspect of this story. I also want to point out Esther’s divine calling and how it’s fulfilled.

In reality, all of us that are unequally yoked, could take a few notes from Esther. What truly is astonishing is the influence she extended over the most powerful man in the world. Whoa!! So, how did she achieve this kind of power?

She listened. Esther must have been extraordinarily bright. Upon her arrival in the Kings palace, she was intentional to keenly follow the instructions of Hegai. Now, most of you know I have a vivid imagination so go with me here. Hegia was no fool. He knew what the King liked – in the bedroom- I’ll bet money he told Esther what and how to do…. It…. *grin* Also, she wore and took with her only what the King’s eunuch suggested (Esther 2: 15)

What is suggested all over the place but isn’t mentioned emphatically is this: Esther realized the implications of her potential. She was selfless and willing to follow advice from wise counselors. She listened to Mordicai. She listened to Hegai.

I wonder, who are we listening to? Where are we obtaining our truth? Esther listened to the right people and she perceived the greater assignment that awaited. She saved a nation! One little girl!

Esther fulfills her highest and greatest destiny that God wrote in her book before time began (Psalm 139:16). She gathered her courage and stepped before the scepter, risking her life. She was brave in the face of fear.

If we take anything from this study, let’s choose to be brave. We must petition the King for the deliverance of our unsaved family members. It’s risky to stand up for what is right. Let’s choose to be self-less in our pursuit of the highest and best.

So today let’s choose BRAVE:

  • You are brave enough when you choose to believe the impossible. (With Christ all things are possible.)
  • You are brave enough when you forgive. (Forgiveness frees you.)
  • You are brave enough when you are patient (The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9)
  • You are brave enough when you wake up every morning and choose LOVE over fear. (For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7)
  • You are brave enough when you say “NO” and when you say “YES.”
  • You are brave enough when you ask for help and prayer.
  • You are brave enough to show your love even in difficult and risky relationships.

Well done Warriors! Esther has nothing on you. For you were born for EXACTLY such a time as this!

SUMITE, what are you being brave about right now? What holds your heart in the night? What do you pray in the morning? What is your brave heart asking of God today? Share with me. I want to pray with you in the comments. Your petitions will be heard in heaven because I’m asking with you.

Keep showing up! You are BRAVE!

Hugs, Lynn


The Christian “ITCH”

Welcome Patty Tower our SUM Facebook Page Admin. She brings a great perspective to our online community. 

*****

Hand lotionSUMites. I have to say…some of the praises and posts on our Facebook group on giving thanks has been breaking down walls. Can any of you feel it? I know I do!

“God is on the move, on the move, halleluuuu-jah! God is on the move, on the move todaaayyy (insert me singing Newsboys here. If you don’t know this song, look it up!)”

Thank you for your testimonies, encouragement, prayers and vulnerability. I appreciate this group more than words can say, and I’m being corny, but I am truly honored you have allowed me to be a part of your life, praying for your families.

Last time I wrote, I spoke of being self-righteous, and using Bible knowledge to win over our friends, family, and dun dun dun…even our spouses.

I’m coining this term “the Christian ITCH,” because heck, who knows, if I have it you all may have it too. It really is like a rash. It starts out small, and the more your scratch and itch, the rash becomes bigger. Next thing you know, you have this unsightly red mark on your skin and you may even use makeup foundation to cover it up.

This “itch” relates to my overly, self-intellectual, righteousness to basically OVER-SHARE Bible facts to win over my husband (when in most cases, it really isn’t necessary).

This “Christian Itch” is something that is sort of a mirror to my overly self-righteous self. It’s similar in my need to over share. The only difference is, it doesn’t affect people around me, but it may possibly affect my relationship with Jesus.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE this group and I love my sisters in Christ. However, I am guilty of “itching” this sin.

It’s the overwhelming desire to vent. To dump all of our feelings in one place, rather than taking it up with the Father. We want some sort of affirmation and justification from our fellow sisters rather than taking it up with Christ.

Phew. I’ve said it and trust me. I’ve been guilty of this millions of times and the Holy Spirit is currently in the process of nipping it in the bud.

Proverbs 29:11 says:

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds back.”

Proverbs 18:2 also says:

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”

Venting or expressing our emotions aka. The “Christian Itch”, is using social media or Christian sisters as our dumping grounds. Venting ultimately implies God is not powerful enough to take care of us or take care of our situations. Like an itch, once we start venting, it spreads and spirals out of control.

The moments where I have vomited all of my emotions: anger, rage, sadness, insecurity…I feel this whisper say to me, “Patty, now that you’ve said all that, what did you really accomplish?”

Gulp.

Most of the time…it’s absolutely nothing.

This is a prime opportunity, where I need to pray and have a conversation with my Father to evaluate, to seek his face in my circumstances. Perhaps go to Psalms and say “Father, cover me. Show me a perspective where I’m not seeing.”

I’ve allowed my emotions to consume me when God’s word says, “cast all your worries onto me.”

What I’ve realized is my venting only provides temporary comfort. Just like your makeup foundation, it only covers it temporarily. Venting doesn’t address the REAL ISSUE of what’s going on inside. Rather than allowing this itch to get bigger, I need to allow God to heal, so that the itch can be gone…for good.

As women, we have been accustomed to “talking through” our circumstances, but we need to discern on what “talking through” really means. Are you actually wanting some constructive feedback? Or was your goal to lash out everything you’ve been feeling (online of offline)?

God is omniscient. It means He is all seeing, all knowing, wise, and well-informed of what’s going on. It’s up to me, to allow myself to view my life from His PERSPECTIVE. Is there something else going on? What am I not seeing? Is there a part of my heart that needs healing?

Am I blocking myself from receiving God’s blessing? Am I allowing the enemy to control my thoughts?

This Christian Itch…it’s really this turmoil inside. Guess what. God is so the opposite of turmoil. He is the God of Peace.

With that said, dear sisters, may our God through Jesus Christ, give you all the peace that surpasses understanding. May He give you wisdom with your words…even with your words as you type it out on a Facebook post. I desire for you all to have peace in your hearts and I know for fact, God does too.

God bless you all! Love you. ~Patty


Marriage Prayers of Influence

From an excerpt of my new book:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. — Ephesians 1:17

It’s time for a paradigm shift.

Release the old marriage and step into a new relationship.

It’s daily, that I grow ever more concerned and aware of the great power our word wield in the spiritual realm. As sons and daughters of God, our voice, is our greatest weapon of offense. But our words also can release havoc into our lives. Most of the time we are unaware that we are the saboteurs of our own happiness and marriages.

Label or category: From the original Greek kategoria, “accusation, prediction, noun from kagegorein “to speak against, to accuse,” assert, predicate,” from kata, “down to.”

We have categorized the very family we love with accusations of unbelief, insignificance, and out of arrogance or ignorance, our labels speak “down to” the very person God is asking us to elevate and love.

Ouch!

When we categorize a person, Muslim, unbeliever, looser, etc., unbeknownst to us, in the spiritual, we asserted an accusation against them. Upon doing so, we unknowingly lose all influence in their life because a wall of accusation is constructed.

Wow!

We can’t consider them properly. We are unable to see them through the eyes of Christ because we haven’t honored them for who they are currently.

Let’s catch our words and ask the Lord, “God, who is this person? How do you see them?” And when we choose to let go and reject any residue of religion, societal protocols, family history, and cultural constructs, the walls crumble and we see the truest part of the human in front of us. And when we catch a glimpse of what God beholds and adores. This intentionality changes our heart and our prayers. It opens up influence.

Make a conscious choice to reject the lies of judgement, labels, accusation.

Father, in the name of my Savior, Jesus, I repent from all judgement, labeling and misconstrued opinions that are birthed of the demonic realm. Please forgive me for any and all words spoken that create a wall between my husband (others) and myself. Wash these sins with the blood of Jesus and remove them from my permanent record. 

Father, open my eyes, physical and spiritual, allow me view my husband and others and see what you see within. I want to understand and honor them properly. Show me their innocence and reveal their pain, the deceptions that bind them, and allow me to perceive how I can love them into Your wholeness. In Jesus name, amen.

This is when we begin to have influence because all judgement is gone. Preconceived ideas or categories are replaced and this human before us is fully available and views in the eyes of perfect love.

Hallelujah!

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

 


The Influence of a Christian Wife - This is good!

Profile for TypepadGood Day SUMites!

Hope you are off to a brilliant summer.

This morning in my Daily Bible reading I came across the following passage and God began to talk. Want to know what He said? It’s really good.

1Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. 2 The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. 3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord. ─ 1 Kings 11:1-3

The Lord spoke immediately upon reading these verses, “Lynn, the wisest man in the world, the wisest of all humanity that has ever lived, was drawn away from Me by the influence of his evil wives. How much greater is the influence of a Godly wife on an unbelieving spouse.”

“You (wives of unbelievers) underestimate the influence you carry. You allow the lies of the deceiver to hold sway over the truth that Christian wives are utterly equipped and able to influence their husbands into faith in Jesus Christ. This is truth. Live it!”

Whoa.

Thoughts?

My thoughts: KEEP TALKING GOD! YOU ARE AMAZING AND WE LOVE YOU!


Love DEFEATS Knowledge

PATTY tOWER 2018By Patty tower  

We are over a month post conference and boy…not only is God doing a work in me, but doing a work in my husband! Hallelujah and amen.

I’m excited that God is opening doors of spiritual discussions between my husband I, and I’m thrilled to see where these discussions will lead. God will pave a way for my husband’s salvation, yes, but like many other women in this community realize…it comes at a price. The price of truly getting to know myself through the Savior first.

Sometimes, I have to be careful about what I ask. When I prayed, “God give me your heart and show me your ways.” You had better believe He will show you…and sometimes, it stings.

Recently, it occurred to me during in a conversation with my close sisters in Christ, that I may be too “self-righteous,” too “passionate,” and I may come on “too strong” when I talk about Jesus. The Bible encourages us to walk in holiness and righteousness, but was I really being self-righteousness? Was my righteousness the way to go?

Some thesaurus synonyms of self-righteous includes: holier-than-thou, self-satisfied, smug, priggish, pious, moralizing, preachy, superior, and hypocritical. It’s basically the opposite of humility. It’s the opposite of Jesus and what He came to earth to fight against. Those characteristics screamed of everything the religious “Pharisees” stood for in my head.

I didn’t know this about myself until now. I was having a hard time balancing my passion and spreading the gospel in a loving way.  God wasn’t telling me to stop spreading the gospel, but in my pursuit to tell others of my Bible knowledge, I was pushing them away from Jesus ,rather than drawing them in.

Bible knowledge is great, but what good is knowledge if you’re not representing the true love of Christ?

I felt like I failed Him. I failed God and others by not reflecting the love of Christ.

I dug deep and asked my Father, Why am I like this? Where is it coming from?

God answered. The root of it was simple. I had this inner desire to be heard. Growing up in my household, I was rarely heard. The type of relationship I had with my parents was more like a dictatorship. “Do as you’re told…or else.”

I remember memories of me begging them to “hear me out.” I was constantly trying to “convince,” them why they ought to trust me with friendships at school or joining school sports. My opinions or what I had to say were not valued. It was “my way or the highway,” or “because I said so.” I intellectually fought them because I felt like it was the only way that would lead me to freedom outside of my home.

My family prided themselves on being right. And I honestly, I don’t care if you’re right or wrong…I just want to feel loved. To feel protected, honored, valuable...to be heard. Isn’t that why we all love Jesus? Because he provides all those things other people may not be able to?

I was intellectually convincing people why the Bible was the source of truth. When God’s only commandment to me is 1) Love God first. 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. I had to put myself in my neighbor’s shoes and ask, “Would I want to know more about Jesus hearing what I heard from myself?” The answer was no, probably not.

God forgives and He honors our mistakes. But really, I felt like one of those people standing with a sign at a public venue that says, “Believe in Jesus or you will go to hell!” You know what I mean.

In all thankfulness, I have people in my life who can hold me accountable. In God’s perfect timing, He also starts to open more spiritual discussions with my husband. If it weren’t for sisters in Christ, I probably would have vomited Bible knowledge to people who didn’t even care! They just need Jesus!

Jeremiah 9:23 says “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom…”

My most important question to Jesus was, “Other than prayer, how do I go about spreading your gospel now?” I’ve been confirmed in this season it is time my husband hears about the Lord. I’ve been “winning” him through my actions and now it’s through my voice.

The answer was simple. Testify.

Testify what God has done in your life.

Testify the goodness of God.

Testify how he healed you.

Testify the miracles you have witnessed because of Him.

Testify. Luke 8:39 says:

“’Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming through the whole city how much Jesus has done for him.”

I love you all and I’m thankful for a community like you who understands the growing pains of being more Christ-like. Thank you all for your words of wisdom and prayer.

I will see you in the comments!


MUST READ For SUMites Still Waiting

Proverbs 3 5 6(I wrote this prior to Martha's Post. The Lord understands and loves us so well. Hugs, Lynn)

SUMites,

My heart has been with the many who are reading here and are STILL waiting for your miracle. It may have been difficult to read about spouses coming to faith while you languish in the loneliness and deep conflicts of a mismatched marriage. I know for me, reading about happy couples was sometimes a dagger in my chest.

Several years ago, the Lord spoke to this issue.

One of the biggest tests of love is when someone else receives their miracle while you wait for yours. And the biggest sign of your maturity in Christ is your ability to genuinely celebrate with your brother or sister. Listen to me. It’s not easy to rejoice over someone else’s joy when you are asking God for the same and you’re met with silence.

In these moments the demonic will rise up and swirl the lies and confusion around you. They whisper, “See, God doesn’t listen to you. See, you are not making any progress. Yes, divorce is the answer. See, your life isn’t worth notice.”

Tell me these swirling thoughts don’t rise up? I know because these are the very wicked demons who once would whisper to me.

So, friends, TAKE CAPTIVE THOSE LIES AND SEND THEM TO THE PIT!

The truth is this:

  • You are powerful.
  • God listens to you because He is madly in love with you.
  • You are His favorite!
  • Your presence with Christ within you, changes your home for the better. If you weren’t there, O Lord have mercy, what a mess it would be.
  • Your love WINS!
  • The battle is the Lord’s. You pray. Command the demons to leave. Let the angelic do their work!

You can celebrate with your sisters because you ARE experiencing victory every day. Did you wake up breathing? Hallelujah.

Did your kids smile at you? GOD IS SOOOOO GOOD.

Did you lay down in a bed? Great is our King!

Your brothers and sisters who are walking ahead of you are PLOWING the road for you, so you don’t have to wait so long. You don’t have to endure the pain as much. Lean into what your brothers and sisters bring to the table because their victory IS YOUR VICTORY.

I love you. Don’t give up.

I bless you with courage to move forward today. I bless you with grit…. To fight for your family. I bless you with heaven’s powerful determination to pray your family into the Kingdom. I bless you to walk in integrity, maturity and in the love of Jesus. I bless you to never violate love and to let love be your highest goal, in Christ Jesus. AMEN

Be blessed, Lynn


Step Onto The Warrior March

Winning Him SmallSUMites,

I want to release another testimony of a husband baptized. Susan Loyless sent me an email a few weeks ago and her husband went into the water!

Susan wrote me:

It got bad before it got better. In January, the elders of our church prayed for my husband in unity. I felt like we were so close to a breakthrough.

Within a few days, my husband took the kids and left me. I was not welcome in my own home. During that time, the Lord impressed on my heart....is there any place my arm cannot reach?

A few months later, my husband confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and the baptismal waters were stirred.

I love you dearly....praying for grace, favor, blessing and rest.

Love, Susan

Hallelujah.

I also know that Tina U. shared that her husband also was baptized back in March.

Something in the water, Warriors.......

For all of you still marching along, my friend Shayla will be leading a study of, Winning Him Without Words, in May. To join that study on Facebook, at Shayla Ortiz. And if you need a book, click here and order. A small portion is sent to the ministry to further our outreach to spouses who are unequally yoked. 


When God Asks Questions. Ugh!

Friends,

Today, I'm sharing the Let's TALK LIVE video from Wednesday. It’s vulnerable. It’s real. It’s God’s thoughts about our assignment in a spiritually mismatched marriage.

I love you. March on Warriors!!  Lynn


I Have Guilt Over My Mismatched Marriage

Instagram Questions 2 21 2019Good Friday Morning My Friends, 

A few weeks ago, this question arrived on our Instagram:

"What to do with that guilt I feel sometimes for marrying someone who is not a believer?”

A while back I had a conversation with a very close friend of mine who was tormented by shame and guilt because of past decisions in her life. Through that conversation I was made acutely aware of the unworthiness that plagues many of God’s children. Regularly the devil will beat believers up, both emotionally and spiritually, using our guilt over past mistakes we regret. We carry enormous gilt over the tremendous errors in our judgment that have brought pain into our lives, our kids and spouse. 

On dark days the enemy snakes in and whispers, failure! Shame! Worthless.  You are stupid for making that decision.

He tells us to say to ourselves, Oh, how I wish I wouldn’t have said that. I would give my life to make a different decision. I have suffered so greatly because I chose to do this instead of doing that. Marry an unbeliever.

Anyone???

If we could see this shame and guilt upon us in the spiritual realm, it would look like enormous hole in our heart that is festering and bleeding.

So right now I want you to hear what I heard from the Father. Receive this as your truth and step into His words of freedom right now. 

 

My Sweet and Holy Child, 

Do you not understand that I know how very difficult it is to live on earth? Are you not aware that I am fully and completely sensitive of how hard it is to live there? I know the pain you face. I didn’t send you to earth as your Father, blindly-unaware of every tiny detail that you would face. 

I know it’s hard to live there. I knew that before I sent you. And I knew that you would make mistakes. You would make big mistakes. You would make choices that would affect your life adversely for the rest of your earthly life. I knew that would happen. I knew your choices would cause you pain. And choices that your parents made would cause you hurt and struggle. I knew the decisions you made would hurt your children too. 

I am fully aware my child that your words have hurt others deeply. So deeply that they have forever separated you from a loved one. And I know that words spoken to you in carelessness have been giant swords that pierced your heart and left you broken. 

I know this life is hard. It is hard from the beginning and there will be struggles until you die. But I know all about every one of your struggles, your guilt, your shame and your difficulties. And it’s all okay. 

I knew when you arrived of the planet you would struggle. And I knew you would make poor choices at times. And it’s the same for every person on earth. 

You all make bad choices at times. It’s not like you are the only person who hurt someone with a choice you made. Everyone does it. Everyone makes tremendous blunders and messes up their life and the life of others. 

It’s all okay. 

You are not worse than anyone else because they ALL MAKE mistakes. Big mistakes. 

What I want from you is simple. Admit you made them. Ask for forgiveness. I WILL FORGIVE YOU IMMEDIATELY. Make right what you can. Then FORGIVE YOURSELF. 

I expected you to make these giant mistakes because life is hard on planet earth. So live in this truth. The lie you have believed is that no one else screws up this badly. It’s a lie. Everyone messes up their life and the life of others. 

But I am your Papa of Grace. It will all work out in the end. For I use all things for the good of those who love Me. You’ll see. Give yourself grace. Grace is forgiveness and kindness and love. But grace is also empowerment to do better the next time. And you will do better the next time. 

So let go of this shame and guilt. I will not condemn you because my Son stood before me with your name on His lips. He died for you and He speaks to Me often on your behalf. I love you. My Son loves you and the Holy Spirit is with you to help you do better next time. 

The best thing you can do is to follow hard after the teaching in my Holy Word, talk with me all the time, bring your life before me and let Me direct your path. I will never leave you nor forsake you my child. You can learn to walk through this very difficult life with grace, love, joy and peace. That is what I want for you for the rest of your life. 

I adore you. Please adore yourself. 

Signed, Your Papa
Abba, Father

PS. Jesus says, “Hi.”


Living With The Enemy

Proverbs 16 7 on Bible
I hesitated in writing this post. If you live unequally yoked, I think you will understand my perspective. If you aren’t, consider what I have to say. 

Several days ago, I received a phone call from a woman who lives in Wisconsin ( I live in California). She had heard about our book and took time to call me. She shared that she has lived with her unbelieving spouse now for 33 years. Wow, thirty-three years. She loves him and in the past, fought many spiritual battles and persevered with Christ. She went on to tell me that her strength to walk this road came from a scripture verse she heard as a young woman.  

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s (woman’s) ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him (her).  

She told me that she believed this and this verse has proven true throughout her life.   “Think about it Lynn. My husband doesn’t believe in God. He is an enemy of God.”  

I reply, “Wow, I hadn’t really thought of it that way.”  

She responds, “He is an enemy of God out of ignorance. But I have lived my life the best that I can to be a woman, pleasing to God. And just as His word proves, God has brought peace even within my marriage where my spouse remains an unbeliever. It has been God’s promise to me all these years and I believe Him.”  

I thanked her for imparting this scripture verse to me and the promise it holds for all of us living unequally yoked.

Now I don’t believe my spouse is my enemy because I KNOW who the enemy really is. But, I also see how, as we wait for our unsaved spouse to discover the truths of Christ, we can trust God to bring peace into our lives, homes, and marriages. We need only take delight in the Lord and live for Him.  

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  

Be blessed, Lynn


THIS IS AN EPIC, ONCE IN A LIFE TIME CHANCE! DON'T MISS IT!

SUmites
Ohio Represents. Detroit Conference

.....looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.

While Jesus carried His cross, THIS MOMENT was on His mind.... This moment in time when His bride gathers together in unity! Astounding!

Hi My Dear Friends, let me tell you that I KNOW that our God is on the move!!!!  Below is what I shared with the Facebook travel group last week:

Oh my gosh. What the LORD is downloading for me to share at the Summit is truly pivotal. Our purpose in our marriage is beyond what you understand. Our mission and legacy, these are tangible things. Our long years of disappointment are being redeemed. (I can’t wait to share about how that’s going to happen). And gang. OH, MY HEART. What we are building in eternity. It will stun you. Fill you. Make you cry and encourage you to keep walking our mission forward. Also want to talk about how our faith impacts our spouse and family for eternity. This is going to be the best gathering ever. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! Love you all so much!!!!

THERE ARE STILL CHEAP FLIGHTS NOW. Don’t wait. Prices go up the closer we get to the event.

 

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Joanne & Heidi became friends online then finally met at the conference, face to face.

Visit Sky Scanner or Southwest Air (for Continental US)

We may never have a change again to meet face-to-face this side of heaven. And I want to look into your face and thank you for your love and to bless you into peace in your marriage and release you into the next great move of God.

GREAT conversations are happening in the travel group. If you are still considering attending, but not certain yet, join the group anyway. You may be surprised what God will do to help you to share expenses and spend time with other SUMites!!!

SUMite Travel Group <--- click here

Hear The Roar <<<<---- To register, visit this page

 

There are miracles happening. Ask God to get you here. Book your ticket.

Photos from our last get-together. It was amazing!

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Conference 2 small

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THIS IS AN EPIC, ONCE IN A LIFE TIME CHANCE! DON'T MISS IT!


Slay The Marriage Killers - The In-Laws

Slay The Marriage KillersMarriage Killers. How do we slay them?

Today, I want to talk about …

The in-laws.

Every marriage brings with it an extended family. My experience with in-laws was a good one. They weren’t intrusive. At the time I married Mike, he had lived on his own for years. He had a health relationship with his parents, and they lived in another state. Their involvement in our lives centered about holiday visits and trips to visit their place in the summer. And on occasion, a trip to the Santa Cruz where his parents and their friends and family would vacation every year.

Marriages struggle when either spouse fails to become fully liberated from their parents. This is often an issue with your spouse’s maturity and also a proximity issue.

I can tell you from many emails to this ministry that dealing with in-laws is a REAL thing that challenges marriages. I will also tell you that as a mother of an adult son, there is a very special and unbreakable bond between the two that is a life-long reality. (We have a healthy relationship and I live in five hours from him.)

So, what to do if your spouse is still linked to home and Mom-in-law or dad-in-law interferes with decisions and the direction of your family?

If you are dealing with an overbearing, and ridiculously interfering family member, of course, conversation with your spouse is where you start. Pray and ask Jesus to create a perfect opportunity to talk about extended family. Gang, BATHE this conversation, before it takes place, in prayer. Ask the Lord for the right words. Leave accusation and ridicule of the family member out of the discussion. Take about the issues and how the meddling creates strife and leads to conflict and unhealthy boundaries and decisions. Offense will arise quickly in a spouse when talking about a mom or a dad. Tread carefully but with sound examples and SOLUTIONS that would have made for a better outcome.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

Forgive, forgive, forgive.

Love, love, love.

Determine to set healthy boundaries. In an overbearing situation, space is the only way to gain autonomy. And finally moving a distance away may become your only viable option.

Okay, I need help here. What are the in-law’s dynamics in your home? How have you handled interference? OR better yet, how have you and your spouse set healthy boundaries with the in-laws.

How to you restrain your own mother or father from interfering with your family? I’ll see you in the comments.

LOVE loudly this week. Love and bless your in-laws in your prayer time. Let’s see what happens by Friday? Perhaps a few tiny miracles in the extended family. Hugs, Lynn


Marriage Killers - Finances- Part II

Slay The Marriage KillersSumites,

The comments on Friday’s post were fantastic. Go read some of the advice, if you need financial ideas. And the private emails I received (Wes) were also encouraging. Financial education and equipping of the Saints are definitely needs as well as a marriage saver!

Before I move on to the next Marriage Killer in this series, I want to post once more time about finances and offer you a few more helpful resources. At my home church this past Sunday, it was ironic that the pastor’s message was also on the topic of finances. (They say great minds think alike *grin*). My local church put together some resources to assist people with managing their spending plan, Financial Stewardship Ministry <- click here. I’m including the link as it offers some helpful information.

Every dollar appI also wanted to mention that our pastor and his wife use a financial application, Every Dollar. This is an app for your iPhone or Android that keeps a monthly record on your spending. It allows to budget for date night, groceries, bills, etc. When money is spent it is accounted for and BOTH, husband and wife, can view and record expenditures and are on the same page as they reach the family’s financial goals in real time. *

Wow…. I wish I had something like that in the early years. We used envelopes. So, two things this week.

  1. Practice a new response to all who ask you, “How are you?” You respond, “I’m blessed and highly favored.”
  2. Today in the comments, let’s give the LORD honor. Share a story when you were at the end of your financial rope, your prayed and a miracle provision arrived. I will share some of your stories on our FB page (no names). I can’t wait to rejoice in your Testimony as you honor Jesus.

Okay, next post…. I’ll be covering the wickedest Marriage Killer that faces a bride and groom. Stay tuned! We are living strong and thriving in our marriages! Hugs, Lynn

*Thanks John Hansen


Slay..... The Marriage Killers.... FINANCES

Slay The Marriage KillersHello SUMite Nation,

Well it’s astonishing that half of January has passed already. We have fasted and the Summit registration went live. Already registrations are rolling in from Florida, New Zealand, Michigan, Washington DC, Minnesota, Nevada, Australia, and a few more places.

Oh, I’m so hopeful you can be here. This is going to be the Family Reunion/Family Summit of a lifetime! Here is the link to register, Hear The Roar. Here is the link to the Facebook Travel Group.

I’ve pondered over what to write about in the last few weeks. And sometimes I think I’ve said all I have to say about marriage to a pre-believer. However, I know that there are new readers arriving who haven’t walked this unique marriage path for the number of years as I have and because of that, I want write about the basics again.

For those of you who have been married to your spouse for more than 20 years, I’m asking you to add your experience, wisdom and encouragement to the discussions. Please take time to read the posts and share your thoughts. Your love and voice is needed to encourage some young wife sitting at her kitchen table, ready to throw in the towel. (That was me once.)

So, let’s talk about Marriage Killers.

In the next several post I’m going to share the top marriage killers. I’m asking the community to share your thoughts in the comments. Perhaps these posts will turn into a book one day that will help the next generation. So please share.

CONFLICT OVER MONEY

Fights about spending, credit card debt, and financial over commitment are the fuel to crash and burn a marriage.

Mike and I are fortunate because this is ONE area where we agree. It’s likely due to my many years as a banker, (I worked for 25 years in corporate America as a banker. I retired a Vice President/Lending Manager after starting as a bank teller as a teenager.) I gained an appreciation for financial restraint and a strong sense of responsibility over my checkbook. (I could be fired from my job if I bounced a check. I needed my job!)

Mike gained his financial accountability from his years as a starving college student. But what if you weren’t taught to budget? What if you grew up and mom and dad who virtually gave you whatever you wanted? Or what if spending and saving were not taught, talked about, nor modeled?

Destructive conflict with regard to finances in a marriage is where there are two spenders and a tit-for-tat attitude by both.

He says, “If she spends that much, then I will too.”

She thinks: If he is spending his paycheck like that, then I’m going to do the same.

Similar conflict exists where one spouse is responsible but the other lacks financial responsibility and disrespects the values of the saver.

Examples exist on both sides of the sexes. A husband drives home a new truck to an astonished and heartbroken wife who is saddled with a car payment they can’t afford and was not included in a large financial decision. OR a wife continues to spend on the credit card even when her husband points out they aren’t making a dent in paying it down.

In the Donovan home, throughout our entire marriage I have handled the checkbook, bank accounts, filed the tax returns and managed most of our money decisions. The stress of meeting obligations has weighed heavily upon me. This is true of every person who handles the money for the marriage. There were years where we lived paycheck-to-paycheck and I worried how and when to purchase groceries, pay the insurance or balance the bills.

And before my marriage, there were weeks I would pay the bills as a single mother and have $25 left for gas to get me to work for two weeks. Scary. But by the grace of God.

However, I always found a way to get the bills paid and I forced myself into restraint. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t splurge in certain circumstances. I did. But not outside of what I could afford.

So, SUMites it’s tax season. It’s time to talk finances with your spouse. If you are walking on eggshells over your money, it’s time to visit Dave Ramsey and get yourself out of debt. It’s time to take control of your finances and bring peace into your lives. It will be difficult at first but becoming financially free from debt and the constant stress of financial pressure will release an enormous freedom over your marriage.

Start with prayer. God cares a great deal about our money. There are over 500 verses in the Bible about money and 40% of Jesus’ parables deal with money. Ask the Lord to help you. Ask the Lord for supernatural provision. I could share several stories about when I needed money or provision and the EXACT amount came into my hands within the week.

But, God also expects his people to have self-control (gift of the Spirit). So ask for, and exercise, self-control and make a commitment together with your spouse about how and when to spend money. Talk about the boundaries that need to be set if one or the other oversteps this commitment.

Ask God for the money to get to the conference. I can’t wait to hear your story when it shows up.

Alrighty, what is your story about marriage and money? I’ll see you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn