Encouragement and Insight

WHAT A DIFFERENCE ONE SALVATION MAKES!

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When I thought about all of the things I wanted to share with the “love, honor and vacuum” audience regarding my (almost) 25 year marriage to my husband, I could not help but make it an encouragement to those who are still waiting for their spouses to receive salvation or even for those who have accepted Jesus, but you, as yet, have not seen much fruit in their lives.

I walked down the aisle fully aware that I was being unequally yoked in marriage.  I was a 25 year old Christian girl who believed I had found my prince charming and did not want to think about the consequences.  I was not walking with God at that time and was choosing to do my own thing anyway.  Like most women, I just believed that I could change my man once we committed to each other at the altar.

As with most marriages, it was not long until the reality of my decision really began to present itself.  I believe that God speaks to us loud and clear through his word and the Holy Spirit, so I had no excuse.  The difference really began to concern me when our first son was born 3 years later.  Having that child made me begin to think about my responsibility for his little soul.  I re-dedicated my life to Jesus and began to grow and change.  That’s when the real trouble began.

My husband could see these changes and began to get resentful.  I was choosing to drink less, watch more appropriate television, study the bible and tithe.  I also voiced the need to begin to take our son to church.  He very clearly let me know that all of this was not what he signed up for.  In his defense, I can imagine that I must have been judgmental and withdrawn at times.  I knew that all I could do was begin to pray for him.

I prayed for seven years and still,  my marriage was slowly falling apart.  My husband turned 40 years old that June and two months later I received the phone call that he was in the ER and had suffered a heart attack.  This was our turning point.  My husband had a King Hezekiah moment that day:

2 Kings 20:1-6The Message (MSG)
20 Some time later Hezekiah became deathly sick. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz paid him a visit and said, “Put your affairs in order; you’re about to die—you haven’t long to live.”
2-3 Hezekiah turned from Isaiah and faced God, praying:
Remember, O God, who I am, what I’ve done!
I’ve lived an honest life before you,
My heart’s been true and steady,
I’ve lived to please you; lived for your approval.
And then the tears flowed. Hezekiah wept.

4-6 Isaiah, leaving, was not halfway across the courtyard when the word of God stopped him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, prince of my people, ‘God’s word, Hezekiah! From the God of your ancestor David: I’ve listened to your prayer and I’ve observed your tears. I’m going to heal you. In three days you will walk on your own legs into The Temple of God. I’ve just added fifteen years to your life; I’m saving you from the king of Assyria, and I’m covering this city with my shield—for my sake and my servant David’s sake.’”

My husband promised to give the Lord what was left of his life if he would spare it.  God answered his prayer.  Unlike King Hezekiah, my husband could not recite back to the Lord all the good things he had done for Him.  He only knew that he was a sinner in need of a savior and Jesus could be his righteousness and cover all of his mistakes.

What did I learn in those seven years of waiting and praying?  I learned to guard my mouth and not cast judgmental glances in his direction.  I learned to say something once and then surrender it to God and leave things between the two of them (yes, God can still speak to your spouse even if he is unsaved).   I learned to not quote the bible at him.  I recognized when I was trying to force God to hurry up and answer my prayer.  The most important thing I learned was to praise God in the situation.  I really believe that the praise was what brought my husband to salvation.

Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

My husband’s transformation was dramatic!  He soaked up the word daily like a sponge, and began to proclaim the gospel boldly.  He was now a Jewish believer who had found his Messiah!  He would joke that, much like the Israelites, he had wondered around in the desert for 40 years and then he heard the voice of God and came into the promised land.  He prayed for people where ever he would go.  A day did not go by that he would not share the love of Jesus with someone in his path.  He demonstrated the heart of David and would dance and shout before the Lord.  He never cared about who was watching, he only cared about what his Lord thought of him.

His life ended in what seemed much like a King Hezekiah story.  When he received salvation, the Lord asked my husband to do two things.  The first was to preach the gospel to his family and the other was to become a licensed pastor.  He completed those two tasks this Fall.  One week after completion, the Lord took him home. He had granted my husband 16 more years from that day in the ER and then called him to glory.

I want to say to all of you who feel like you have been praying for years and not seeing results, that God hears your prayers.  We have to remember His ways are higher than our ways.  I want you to never give up believing that no matter how old your spouse is and how many years you have been praying, God’s timing is perfect and your spouse has the potential to fulfill all God has for him in a short period of time.  My husband made more of an impact globally in the kingdom of heaven in 16 short years than most people do in their lifetime. He never wasted an opportunity.

I am asking you to NEVER give up hope and even this day begin with a new strength to praise and thank the Lord for what he is about to do in your husband and your marriage in this season of your life.  Don’t allow the devil (or your own thoughts) to cause you doubt, discouragement and defeat.

Let’s encourage ourselves and our Sisters in Christ to never give up praying for those we love, because of the everlasting difference that each and every salvation makes!

Be blessed,

Donna

“To everyone who's hit their limit And even when you think you're finished It's not over yet Keep on fighting Out of the dark Into the light It's not over Hope is rising Never give in Never give up It's not over” –For King & Country, ”It’s Not Over Yet” ...#God #Faith #Perseverance This quote courtesy of @Pinstamatic (http://pinstamatic.com):

As far as the east is from the west, our sins are removed from God’s memory. (Psalm 103:12 NIV)

 

"God says...trust me" - Roy Lessin by Ana1983

 

 

 

 

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42 comments

  1. Thank You Donna!! I am so glad that i was privileged to be by your side through this entire journey in yours and Eric’s life… you have been a source of Godly example of Grace and patience and Godly Wisdom! Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unbelievable! Our stories are so similar. We were married 8 1/2 years before my husband was saved. He is now an ordained minister. My best advice to women with unsaved husbands is don’t try to be the Holy Spirit! He doesn’t need our help.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you for this post. I really needed it. I am at the point where I am ready to give up after 17 years of marriage. My husband knows the Lord but he continuously choose the path of destruction.

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  4. Very beautifully said, Donna. Yours and Eric’s walks (separately and as a couple, actually) have spoken volumes to many about the faithfulness of God, the treasure of His presence, and the act of laying down ones’ own agenda in order to do His will. He is faithful.

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  5. Tearfully and joyfully I rejoice with you over what God did in Eric. You never gave up and God heard your prayer. I watched and saw the miracle transform. What a blessing your marriage is and what a testimony . I encourage all to Stand for their marriage.

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  6. What an incredible testimony! What an couragement to everyone praying and believing for their unsaved spouse or loved ones. Eric’s testimony is still alive and advancing the kingdom!

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  7. His life’s testimony continues to reach people through your words Donna. What an amazing testimony. Thank you for sharing. I love all your articles. Even though I can’t come council with you in person right now, reading your websites lifts me up until I can come see you again. Love you and lifting you up in prayer❤️!

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  8. Your story has been such an encouragement to me. I’ve been married 28 years and thought I married a true believer only a couple years ago my husband revealed to me he doesn’t believe the Bible is the word of God he says things about God’s word that seem blasphemous I have just been reading about King Hezekiah so it’s amazing that was part of your story I feel like I’m praying my guts out and nothing is happening he’s even getting worse I’m trying not to be the Holy Spirit I just can hardly have a conversation about God with him anymore he at least goes to church with me on Sunday but that’s about it thank you for your help and prayers I am so encouraged by her story

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  9. Lesli, The most important part you can play in your husband’s life right now is to completely surrender him and all of your thoughts about his salvation to God. When we get our head and thoughts out of their head, then God can begin to do a bigger work in their lives. As a Christian counselor I see this concept work all of the time. God is teaching us to surrender on a deeper level while He is drawing your husband closer to Him. Do not speak the word……show him Christ through your unconditional love and acceptance of him regardless of where he is at in his walk with the Lord. I’ll be praying…..

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  10. I married the most grounded Christian man I have ever met almost a year ago.. Just yesterday he said he doesn’t think he believes in God anymore and he does not want to go back to church. I am so lost and so confused. I feel like everything I once knew is changing and falling apart. What do I do?

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    • First of all let me say how sorry I am that you are going through this trial. Try to stay focused on the fact that God will use this for good to strengthen you and your husband both as you forge forward in Christ. My first question is did something unfortunate happen in your husband’s life recently? If so he may be wrestling with why God allows bad things to happen to His people. I am attaching a great article from Bible Gateway just in case that is part of the issue. https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/07/why-does-god-allow-tragedy-and-suffering/

      My next question would be does he have a religious relationship with God where he has “gone through the motions” of religion all of his life, but has no REAL interaction with the Holy Spirit? If he does not at least feel as though God speaks to him in His Word, or his prayer time or in Holy Spirit guidance, then he would most definitely begin to feel like maybe God does not exist. He may need to be discipled by someone who does not have limits on God and who is mature in Christ.

      As his wife, you have power and authority in prayer. According to Matthew 18, you have the keys to the Kingdom: 18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

      When you pray, bind up anything in your husband’s life that is keeping him from hearing the truth of God’s word and loose the truth of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit over his life in Jesus name.

      19 “Again I say[c] to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

      Find a trusted person to pray with. Choose someone who will not judge him or spread gossip, but just hold him up in prayer with you. Finally, each day after you pray for him, surrender him completely to God for the rest of the day and just love him. Don’t try to convince him, don’t try to control him and don’t criticize him. You continue to go to church. If you feel as though a change in churches is necessary, then by all means go for it! Keep me posted as I will be praying for you both.

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  11. Sadly, I can relate to many of these women. My husband and I dated long distance for six months before deciding to get married. Because he is in the military, I moved to where he was. When we were dating, we would go to church together, pray (only if I led or I asked him to), and have open conversations on the Bible. (He even has 4 tattoos of bible verses). However, shortly after moving in with him, problems began. We couldn’t get along because we couldn’t communicate. The worse of it, he refuses to go to church with me, make any friends (in a town where I have none and no community), and now I have been in counseling which he tells me it is a waste of money and will refuse to go as well. He told me I am a hypocrite for going to Church and it doesn’t make me a better Christian. I know I’m not suppose to give up on my marriage and I know the Lord put him in my life for a reason, but it’s so hard to pray for us knowing that my marriage may take several years to heal, and we don’t even have children yet. I don’t want children in a home where the father can’t support my spiritual and emotional needs.

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    • The other day I found out my husband was cheating on me. I still have not confront him, I am seeking biblical counseling until I do. I don’t know if this was a one time thing or this is who he is. Please I need prayer for Gods guidance whether I should stay in the marriage or not. He is verbally abusive and blames all our problems on me. Is God trying to rescue me from this marriage? That’s what I’m praying to find out.

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      • Ashley, only God knows each detail of your marriage, but I will be praying that you have His peace about whatever decision you make. I pray that your answers will be crystal clear!

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  12. I am deeply sorry to hear about the current state of your marriage! May I suggest that you order a copy of the book “Keep Your Love on” by Danny Silk. This is the best book for helping couples learn how to communicate in love and has saved many, many marriages. There is also a workbook if you like to document what you are learning. Ask your husband to go through the book with you. If he will not, then you do it on your own. I have seen many marriages repaired by one person working on their side. Eventually the partner will come along side of you and begin to do the work! Keep me posted!

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  13. I was fooled into marriage by my husband and inlaws who are not rooted in god but are extremely greedy and worldly..i was told that my husband was saved but then after marriage I found otherwise and whole of his family live carnal Christian lives fully believing that they are right and we are wrong..I have a 1y old daughter and I’m very concerned because they have told me that I am too religious and that they are going to raise my kid their way..it stresses the hell out of me and I think of divorce several times a day

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  14. Grace, I am so sorry that you are experiencing this with your husband and in-laws. At this point, the best course of action is to stay rooted and grounded in God’s love and make sure you are working toward truly knowing who you are in Christ. If your identity is not rooted in the Kingdom, it will make the journey through this trial more difficult. Find healthy ways to meet your husband in the middle wherever you can without compromising your faith or the Word of God. Get counseling if needed with a Christian counselor even if you have to go alone. Of course, more important than anything else, is to trust God to change this man’s heart. Nothing is impossible! Check back in for prayer anytime!

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    • Can I connect with you on Facebook or mail please..as your story is similar to mine and the end result is so encouraging..I really wanna believe my husband will also have a turn around the way your husband did.. but there are times my faith is really very thin and need help..then I will contact you

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  15. I’ve been having a spiritual battle with my own issues I need to deal with. I see myself procrastinating on getting on my knees, seeking his guidance through the word. It’s almost like I’m watching myself cry, deteriorate, yet I know what I need to do. I don’t know why I am afraid. I don’t want to find out infidelity because it will break me. I am well aware I have to surrender it all completely at his feet but I can’t. The enemy takes over my mind and I loose it. Lord please help me because I don’t know what to do and how to do it.

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    • Molly,
      Take encouragement because we have all been there! My husband calls me crazy, it’s all in my mind and that I’m able to control it when I have spiritual warfare. No, it is real. Satan attacks your weakness’, he makes you doubt. Ultimately, my husband is right in a way, we have the power to overcome it but only when we surrender because we have the Holy Spirit in us. You are not alone. Even the strongest Christian woman have days (weeks or months, years) like you’re having. I know I do.
      Praying for you,
      Ashley

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      • Thank you, last week I began to pray, trust and read the word. That weekend my husband decides to go out with friends and I blew a gasket. I completely forgot all I was trying to do. My heart has ached so much that I felt like giving up. I even cried out to God and said “did you not hear me, what am I doing wrong”. Yes I know it takes time but it’s so hard. My faith and trust in God is back to square one. I’m ashamed to say it and even think it but this battle I’ve got going on is tearing me down slowly.

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  16. Molly and Grace, I love the way you are praying and encouraging each other here. May I also suggest that you watch some Dan Mohler sermons on youtube. He is great for helping to smooth out the emotions and look at things from God’s perspective. Some of the sermons are long, but you can always break them up into smaller increments. Keep up the good work. God knows your hearts! I’ll be praying for both of you today.

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    • I am fearing the worse and not letting God take over my heart and change me. I’m afraid of him cheating, doing things that do not honor our marriage. That is all I think about…everyday, all day. I am so discouraged and don’t know what to do.

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      • Molly I would encourage you to pray Hosea 2:6-10 verses over your husband and ask god to put a hedge of thorns and a hedge of fire around him so he will not run towards other lovers but return to you..this scripture is powerful for bringing deliverance to those with cheating spouse

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  17. Yes, keep decreeing and declaring scripture over your lives and your husbands. It is more powerful than any enemy can face. Make sure you are speaking and thinking healthy, holy things over your lives and your husbands. What we think about and speak about, we bring about. That should give you a holy, healthy fear/desire to speak out the positive opposite. It’s the most powerful weapon next to scripture that you have. Back everything up with scripture and speak it out loud. You must began to grasp the concept that next to God, our minds are the most powerful thing in the world. We must think and speak good toward us. One scripture to back this up is: “As a man thinks, so he is.” It’s not easy but it’s vital and will help to bring you peace. Worry just breeds more worry. I am praying for you all today.

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  18. Hello ladies, I wanted to share something with you. As of right now this is the only support group/people I can trust. Thank you for that. I woke up when he was leaving for work and I eventually went back to sleep. I only had about 45 minutes left for some extra sleep. I had such a vivid horrible dream of him cheating. I confronted him in the dream and he admitted it and confirmed all the times I accused him “in real”’were true. I woke up crying and so emotional. It feels so real. I know it was a dream but is god trying to tell me something?

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  19. Sometimes dreams are warnings. Sometimes dreams are just mixed with our fears. Just continue to pray and don’t confront him about the dream. Break every unhealthy and Unholy emotional tie that you knit with that dream in Jesus name. I’ll be praying for you today.

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    • Thank you. Please pray with me for this spiritual warfar to be lifted. So I can let go and let god take control. Pray for these bondage’s of procrastination, fear and laziness break free. I get complaisant and think things are ok because he’s home, he isn’t going out. This is when I see myself begin to step farther and farther away from god. I don’t want to be this way. I want to take refuge in his word. Trust in him. Seek him and get so close to him that the enemy will have no choice but to flee. I need to stop everything and just get on my knees. Pray for this stronghold to be broken in me.

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