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Marching Around Jericho - Lynn Donovan

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
December 12, 2020 1:00 am

Marching Around Jericho - Lynn Donovan

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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December 12, 2020 1:00 am

If you’re in a spiritually mismatched marriage, don’t miss this edition of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Lynn Donovan prayed for the “walled-off heart” of her spouse for years. Then she read the biblical story of the walls of Jericho that came tumbling down. If your heart yearns for your spouse to come alive spiritually, don’t miss the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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If you're in a spiritually mismatched marriage, don't miss today's Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. You get to control the spiritual atmosphere, the peace, the joy, the love that's in your home, because you're the believer.

You are that powerful in the Lord. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, author and speaker, Lynn Donovan, will give help and hope if your spouse is on a drastically different page spiritually.

You know, this is one of the frequent questions we get for Dr. Chapman on our listener line each month. And I think at this time of year as we head toward Christmas, it brings a lot of the pain and the hurt to the surface more because you see the distance between you and your spouse. So listen to what Lynn has to say and see if you're not encouraged by the conversation straight ahead. Dr. Chapman, I want to ask you, this is one of the big struggles in marriage that I see, this mismatch. Do you agree with that?

Well, I think it is, Chris. You know, the Scriptures ask the question, can two walk together if they're not agreed? And the answer is, with struggle. And especially if it's a spiritual disagreement, you know, because let's face it, what we believe about God impacts everything else we do in life. And so if one is really a follower of Christ and the other is not, that's a pretty big difference. And so yes, it is a struggle. And you know, sometimes people are not Christians when they get married and one of them becomes a Christian, one of them isn't. And sometimes, you know, a Christian will actually knowingly marry a non-Christian.

So yeah, there are a lot of folks in this situation and I really am excited about our conversation with Lynn today. There are small M mismatches. You know, I disagree with my spouse over eschatology, you know, what the end times could be like or what heaven's like.

But we're talking today about the capital M mismatch. You're running toward God, you're running toward a relationship with Jesus, and your spouse is not there with you. So if that's where you are today, I hope you'll go to FiveLovedLanguages.com. You'll see Lynn Donovan's book, Marching Around Jericho, Praying Your Unsaved Spouse Into the Kingdom. Lynn's a speaker and author. She shares her everyday adventures of walking in the presence of God. You've heard her and seen her on national TV and radio programs. She's co-authored the award-winning book, Winning Him Without Words.

She and her husband live in Temecula, California, and you'll find her online at MarchingAroundJericho.com. Well, Lynn, welcome to Building Relationships. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Chapman and Chris. It is an honor to be with you. Your book profoundly affected my life and marriage and gave me hope and understanding of my spouse. I'm so thankful to you, and it's an honor to be here to share my story and give hope to others who are on this journey with me or behind me.

Yeah. Well, we're certainly glad that you're with us today. So why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you met your husband, how long you've been married. Just introduce yourself to us. Sure.

Certainly. I was raised in the church. I grew up in Sunday school, and I knew Jesus from as far as I can remember. I was baptized at a young age.

And, you know, I would call what is commonly most people or some people have is a relationship with church instead of the vertical relationship with Jesus Christ. And so in my 20s, I fell away from the Lord, and I went into the bad, you know, the bad prodigal land of disbelief. And I met my husband during that time, and I met him at a dance club in Las Vegas, and we married. It was good in the beginning because we were, I was far away from God and we were living, you know, the worldly lifestyle. And then things started to change and I became disillusioned a bit.

Yeah. So when you got married, you were not walking with God. And what happened that brought you back to God? It was about three years into our marriage that the father of love called me back. He spoke to my Sunday school little girl self and said, come home to me, daughter. And I went running home to my father who had his arms open wide and welcomed me home back into my faith life. However, I was dragging behind me my unsafe spouse who was not very happy about this new man, so to speak, in my life. And that's when I realized, oh boy, we are really different in our faith and values, and I'm in a spiritually mismatched help.

What do I do? Now you prayed for your husband for 20 years, if I'm remembering, and he was not following Christ, so this went on a long time. And you prayed for him a long time. But then there was a radical change that took place in your prayer life.

Tell us about that change. Yeah, I was sitting in church one day and reading the word, and I believed the word of God. And I was talking to the Lord, and I was like, I believe your word, God, where are the miracles? And at that day, he decided to answer and sent me off on this journey, and I had a radical encounter with his love, and it ignited my prayer life. And after 20 years of praying for my husband, learning to do life with him well, and overcoming so much, though, I had an encounter of love with a father that just sent me off on a new course to really step into my faith and start to believe for the miracles, to see my spouse change, to see him come to Christ, and it was wonderful.

It was wonderful, and it's changed my life forever. Now you state that it's important to strengthen and build your marriage and your faith with the right warrior tool belt. That is, the belt of truth.

What truth do you need to know as you begin on a journey like this of marching around Jericho? I think the first truth I needed to know, and I think every believer needs to know, especially when you're living with an unbeliever, is that God is always good. He is a good father.

He is good all the time in every way. He doesn't punish us. He doesn't condemn us for marrying or being married to an unbeliever.

If we've repented once and asked for His forgiveness, it is done. He's just more interested in our love and our faith and praying for our spouse, and He's more interested in our spouse's salvation. So we have to start there with God is good and develop our love relationship with the Lord. We have to know God is for our spouse's salvation. That is the first truth, is just understanding God is so very good.

He is a good father, and that transforms our whole paradigm about looking at our marriage and our spouse and life in general. Lynn, tell us about this whole concept of marching around Jericho. I mean, many of our listeners are familiar with the Old Testament story of Israel, but tell us how you apply that to your own prayer life for your husband.

Sure. When I started this journey, I was 20 years married to my husband and had this encounter with the Lord, and I feel like at the time I went through a seven year journey, which was so similar to the Israelites who marched around seven times the walls of Jericho. It was they were going into the Promised Land and I felt like I was going into the Promised Land. And every time around accomplished something in the spirit realm. And every year that I prayed and learned a different tool, it impacted greatly my life, my faith and my marriage and my husband.

And so the tools I learned was like every year with a new tool with intimacy. First of all, with the father, I needed to learn my identity as a child of the Most High God, my identity as the bride of Christ and who I am in Jesus. Then I had to learn my authority in Christ. And wow, what a fun journey that one was. And I had to learn about the power that the Holy Spirit brings into our lives to pray really effective prayers and to protect our family. And then I had practice tools, very practical tools that I learned that the Lord gave me. And then I walked into my maturity in Christ and marched around in his glory in the final year. So every year felt like a march around these walls of my husband's heart, which was so similar to the march around Jericho to take the walls down and let the glory come in and take the Promised Land.

Now, seven years is a long time. You say, among other things, that hungry people are willing to pay the cost to experience the deeper things of God. What is the cost? I feel that my desperateness for my husband's salvation led me to be hungry for more of God. And when I became sold out, on fire believer and understanding that my father was good and he had good for me, that's when I really was willing to pay the cost to understand more and to hear his voice.

And, you know, paying the cost means it's not once a week church attendance. It's in the word. It's praying and establishing a conversation with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit. It's sitting alone without your cell phone and talking to him, asking him questions. It is surrender.

It's quick obedience. All those things come with a cost and they seem expensive on one side, but when you get to the other side and see how much the Lord is waiting to pour into your life, if you'll just let go of this one thing that's holding you back, it is extraordinary. And it's worth everything to have an intimate relationship with the Father. So you mentioned this intimacy as being really the first tool with God, intimacy with God. What are the practical steps that lead you into deeper intimacy with God?

The practical steps is first making a commitment. I want to know the Lord God Almighty. I want to know who he is in his word. So you need to be a study of the word. You need to know the word.

You need to get the word of God in you and understand what he's saying and understand his character. And like I said, spending time with him without distraction, focusing just on him and you and your relationship with him, understanding and having conversation. I love to ask the Father questions and he loves to answer questions.

And I find journaling is very effective for that. It's establishing time like any relationship, spending time together, exchanging in dialogue, seeking one another out, understanding each other's character. That creates intimacy. And our Father is so waiting to have intimacy with all of his children. So intimacy involves time, among other things.

Time spent together with God, the conscious presence of God. You indicate that there is spiritual warfare going on both in you and in your spouse during this time. Talk about that battle and what did you see in your husband that indicated there was a battle going on within him? Yeah, the enemy is always aimed at family and marriage. He wants to destroy the family and especially every marriage.

And he will do anything to work his way in between a man and a wife to create distrust, tension, quarreling. First, I had to deal with my own anger and then I had to work with my husband to call out his anger. And when we were able to see, wait a minute, this is the enemy, especially me, I needed to recognize the enemy's assaults. And I think I had to overcome a lot of those myths that the enemy doesn't pester or try to destroy Christians.

He's especially aimed at the Christian believer to discourage us and keep us from reading the Word or praying, and especially for our own lives, our family and our husband. Now, how was your husband responding to all of this as you were getting more and more intimate with God? How did he express what was going on inside of him? In the early years, my husband was very antagonistic about my faith.

But like I said, we've been married 20 years at this point and we had found a place of peace and rest in our differences and respect. And he had softened so much over the years. And as he saw me grow in my faith, I would start to pray for things and they would actually happen, things that were unexplainable.

And he took notice. It was all those little things that started happening in me, the change in my demeanor, my sold out heart for God, a sold out woman of faith in the home. You just can't help but affect those around you. You have Jesus within you and that comes out and it can change, I don't care, the hardest heart. And my husband slowly and surely saw this change in me. And as I was taking authority away from the enemy and releasing more of the love of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my home, it had a profound impact on him personally. So living with a person who's walking with Christ would tend to have a positive influence on the spouse.

Absolutely, yeah. Christ in you, the hope of glory. And my prayers, boy, the angels move on him. I would release peace into my home. I would bless my husband in his work. I would bless him every day. Those kinds of prayers change hearts.

They change homes. They release the kingdom of God right within your very home. It sounds to me, Lynn, like this prayer walk, you know, the marching around Jericho.

If you go to FiveLovedLanguages.com, you'll find out more about that featured resource today. But this was not just, okay, my goal is to get my husband to believe in Jesus and agree with me on every spiritual thing. Your real goal was, oh, God, change me in a way that will move into his life, that he won't be able to say no to you because of the change that you've made in my own life. Am I catching that?

You are catching it. I think it's so funny that we get married and want to change our spouse and that rarely works well from my observation of years. But when we start to change and we are filled with so much hope, so much love and goodness and truth, like it just comes out of us and our spouses, our children, people are affected. They feel it.

They know that you have something different. And so I didn't go into this whole journey understanding that this, you know, my husband would be so profoundly impacted. I was just sold out in love with Jesus Christ, and I was on this wonderful journey of learning intimacy and my authority and all of that.

I was having a blast. Little did I know, over the years of marching around, it was affecting my husband, but I had the best part of the journey, because it happened to me. Yeah, yeah. You talk about one of the other tools, in addition to intimacy with God, as a kingdom identity. Your identity.

Explain that. Sure, I needed... I think I was lost in my identity.

I didn't fully understand what the Word said about who I was as a daughter. I would read the Bible stories and think, oh, those are really great and Jesus is awesome, but there came a point where there was a turning around in me where Jesus said, No, Lynn, I want you to do these things. I have modeled these things. I want you to pray for healing for people. I want you to pray for deliverance. I want you to model love. And it became very real that as a daughter of the Most High God and a disciple of Jesus Christ, everything that He taught is something that I am not... I'm given gifts to do and I'm expected to do. I am expected to bring the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

That is what He modeled and He showed us how to do it. And so I had to have kind of a switch in what I was believing about myself. My identity as a child isn't passive and just praying and hoping. It's like, I am really going to believe and pray serious prayers and watch and expect my Lord to show up and reveal Himself and change circumstances. And so I needed to understand that I do have authority and I do have power in the kingdom. I am equipped with the Holy Spirit. I have angels that have been sent to support me and understanding all of that really allowed me to engage in powerful warfare for my home and for my family. So in reality, we use the term, become more Christ-like. But sometimes that's just the general term that we use without getting specific about what did Christ do?

What was His lifestyle like? Now there's a story you tell about becoming a lunatic for God. Explain that to us. Yeah, you know, I'm really about the practical.

Give me a practical tool. So this was a very practical tool I learned kind of by accident. But for many of us, we have old thought patterns that will creep back in. And I would have this old reel start to roll when I was mad at my husband. I'd go out in the garden and I would be digging out there and I would just hear this voice about my husband and all these negative things and how angry I was at him. You know, I'd have a really great looking garden. But boy, my thought life. And one day I'm standing out there in the garden.

I stand straight up with the shovel in my hand and I say, wait a minute. I am normally a nice person, so I know these thoughts are not coming from me. And I know they're not coming from God.

They're coming from the other place. And I reached up and said out loud, I take these thoughts captive to Christ, which is what God says to do in the Word. And I put my finger to my temple and I flung them away.

And they stopped immediately. And so I started to practice this. And I was driving around.

Most of the time that old reel would happen when I'd be driving in the car alone. And so I would reach up and I'd say out loud, I take these thoughts captive to Christ. And I would point my finger to my temple and fling them out as I was driving around my town here in California. And I probably looked like a lunatic to a lot of people.

But it worked! If you are persistent and you say, I take these thoughts captive to Christ, and I would fling them away, it worked. So I welcome everyone to become a lunatic too, because it will transform your thought life and you won't battle with those old reels of thoughts that are destructive and negative. Yeah, I think all of us have heard that term, you know, of taking these thoughts captive to Christ. But I think many have been rather fuzzy on, well, how do you do that? So you're giving us a picture here. Yeah, and it really works.

I challenge everyone to try it for 30 days when that old reel comes in. You say it out loud and it is... Anyway, I welcome everyone to become a lunatic with me. Lynn, what role does forgiveness play in all of this in terms of prayer and your relationship with God and your husband? Yeah, forgiveness is at the core of everything. We receive forgiveness from Jesus.

It's all about repentance in the kingdom. And bitterness and unforgiveness is the quickest way for the enemy to keep us divided. And we need to offer forgiveness. It's a choice we make.

It's hard. It doesn't mean all the time that what happened to you was right. It's just that unforgiveness will keep us in our own prison and that's exactly what the enemy wants. So learning a lifestyle of forgiveness is the most powerful thing to keep you in peace and rest. Let it go.

Give it to Jesus. He will see you through it. He will release you from the chains of bitterness and hopelessness. His forgiveness is released into us and we are able to truly forgive others. And in the book I share a powerful model of how to walk through complete forgiveness to deal with the emotional wounds and trauma and to really turn around and then bless the person.

And you can do it through Christ and it completely frees you. And then you're not bound up in bitterness and you can move on to more important prayers. And forgiveness needs to be a lifestyle. We need to be in forgiveness all the time.

Somebody offends you or you get offended. It's forgiveness. Forgiveness heals so much of the soul.

I hear you're using the word release. You release the anger, release the emotions to God. There's a part of that that interfaces with forgiveness it seems to me. As you mentioned earlier, repentance. God says if you repent, I forgive you. And we know God doesn't forgive everybody. But God does forgive anyone who's willing to confess their sins.

But sometimes our spouse doesn't apologize. They don't come back and ask forgiveness. And that whole concept, I like that mental concept of releasing them to God. Rather than you're taking control and saying I'm going to make them pay back. I'm going to make them pay for this. I'm going to lash out at them. We put them in the hands of God who is both loving and also righteous. Is that a part of what you're saying as well?

Absolutely. We can release them and we have Christ in us. The hope of glory. We can release them to him even if we didn't get an apology. We can say, Lord, you love me. You love me so much that love covers a multitude of sins. And I know who I am in you.

I don't need to be affirmed with an apology. And I just assign over my husband. I assign over what happened here to you. I release it to you. I choose to bless him.

And I will walk in your truth, your peace, and your love. That is powerful forgiveness. That is freedom.

Yeah. I think releasing them to God doesn't restore the relationship. But it does remove the animosity between us when we release them to God. And then we can be God's agent in returning good for evil.

Absolutely. Which is not natural. What is natural is that we return evil with evil and make things worse. But when we become a hand of God and the voice of God, we're returning good for evil. I think people who are not Christians have a hard time grasping on how we can really do that. But as you say, it's in the power of Christ who is in us, right?

Absolutely. You can't do that on your own. I know.

I've tried. It's Christ in us. We have the Holy Spirit in us. We have a supernatural God in us. And He can help us forgive and release. And it doesn't make sense to unbelievers. And that's why if you offer that kind of forgiveness to your spouse, it makes them think.

Something's going on here that's different. Because the world would tell them evil for evil. But you have forgiven them. And you can even love them through the love of Christ. It's amazing what Christ will bring when we are hungry for more of Him and in intimacy. Lynn, I have a couple of questions as I've listened to you and Gary talk.

And this is really good. It really gives a lot of hope that there can be change because you're really talking about transformation of you, of the spouse who is walking with Jesus and then allowing God to do whatever He wants. But let me ask you two questions. Number one, did you ever feel like walking away?

Did you ever feel like God, I want to follow you and this guy is a ball and chain on me and that kind of thing? Number one and number two, is this a guarantee? What you're talking about here, if you just do these ten things or this seven years of the walk around Jericho, is that a guarantee for God to do what you are hoping Him to do?

I'll unleash you now. Well, to the second question, I will say no, it's not a guarantee. It doesn't matter though. We can love God and have the most amazing journey with Him no matter what our circumstances. Some of us are put in very challenging marriages, some of us have illness. Whatever journey we're on, God is bigger than all of it. And His whole point is for us to learn to love through whatever we're walking through.

And He will never fail us and you may not see the outcome you were hoping for, but you will see the miracles on the way. And it's the journey that matters. It's not so much the end, it's the journey.

It's walking with Him every day in belief and watching His miracles surround you and seeing what He's doing in the world. It is the journey, it is learning to love and that's the most important thing. And as far as the first question, I think every person who's been married is like, oh boy, this is really tough today, I'm out of here.

Those thoughts can creep in. But what I've learned over the many years is that sticking it out in the hard times brings you to years like what I'm living in now. My husband and I are in this beautiful season and we are an echo to one another's life. We adore each other. We live here together 24-7.

It's peaceful. We are in harmony and the hard years were worth it because I guess I was extra stubborn and the Lord knew I needed an extra stubborn guy in my marriage to drive me to the truth and not look to my husband to fulfill my needs, look to God alone, look to Jesus Christ. And I needed all of that. I needed it.

I needed to be turned around. I needed some hard things to rub off my rough edges and that was my spouse. In the Word it says, you know, don't divorce and I believe that, and there are exceptions with abuse and things like that, but living through the hard years is worth it. It's worth it for that one life. It's worth it for what waits ahead. It's worth it that you honor the Lord. It's worth it.

Everything is worth it to stay in there on those hard days. So, walking or running in God's direction with him, even if it doesn't guarantee that your spouse will eventually turn to Christ, you are a better person. You are accomplishing God's purposes for your life. You are enjoying the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Obviously you want the spouse to come to Christ.

You hope that's going to happen. But even if it doesn't, you don't regret that you've walked with God. Absolutely. No regrets. You can't regret walking with the Most High, our Creator. And like I said, if it's marriage or if it's a health issue, no matter, you know, financial, whatever it is, there's hardship in this world.

Jesus told us there would be hardship. But walking hand in hand with the Trinity every single day makes such a difference in our lives. It's worth every minute to spend with the Lord and develop your intimacy and your trust and your identity.

And then just watch him work. Even if the end result isn't a baptism or it's not healing completely, you will experience other miracles that will blow your mind and seal your heart. And it's so worth walking with him. In the book, Lynn, you say, and I'm quoting here, abiding with God reduced conflict, irritation, selfishness in me and surprisingly also in my husband. My intimacy with God determined the spiritual temperature of our house. Tell us more about that.

You bet. I believe that when I really started to walk in my authority and the power of the Holy Spirit, and I was established in my identity and my intimacy, I would just take authority over conflict in our home. I would just say there can be no argument here. There can be no strife.

All anger has to get out. I would bless my home with peace. I would bless it with the shalom of heaven.

I would bless our marriage and release a spirit of unity and cooperation and love and admiration and respect. Those kinds of prayers move the spirit realm. The enemy must get out because I cover our home with the blood of Christ and I welcome in the angelic and all those blessings come flooding in. And so I changed the atmosphere of my home through my faith and what prayers I was releasing that get backed up by the angelic realm.

And it absolutely will then affect everyone in your home. You get to control the spiritual atmosphere, the peace, the joy, the love that's in your home because you're the believer. You are that powerful in the Lord.

So even the unbeliever living with someone who's walking close to God and experiencing what you've been talking about, they have to be influenced in a strong way by what they're seeing and feeling in you. Right. For example, conflict. I didn't want to engage in it anymore. I didn't need to be right. I didn't need to be all of that. I know who I am in Christ.

I don't need to argue for it. And I don't need to look to my husband to fulfill every need. And I was being so filled up with my quiet time and my prayer time with the Lord that it released him to walk in his own freedom to take his time to find Jesus on his own because I stopped putting pressure on him. I stopped having expectations like you need to go to church with me because I don't want to go by myself. I went to church off by myself and had a blast in worship and he found peace. And it was when I released him from all these expectations and all the conflict that probably I stirred up because I was so anxious and insecure myself. When I became who I was to be in Christ that just all went away, it profoundly impacted my husband.

Let me ask you a question. Leslie Strobel talks about this too, this whole concept, because Lee Strobel, most people know Lee Strobel's name from his writing and speaking and teaching. Leslie started going to church and she became a Christian. And Lee was just adamant against this whole, he wanted to prove it wrong, you know, first of all. But he said, look, you go to that church, but don't give many of our money.

He just did not trust those Christian people over there. What if you have a situation like that where, you know, you want to support the ministry of the church and you want to give, but your husband says, no, you can't do that. How do you handle that situation? Yeah, tithing is a big deal in a spiritually mismatched home for that very reason. It's very frustrating to us who are so engaged at church.

We find help and support through our church family where maybe we don't get that from our spouse. And so we believe in tithing, we want to tithe. But I found that if we do that in secret or we do it, you know, or we tithe when our husband says not to, it creates so much conflict in the home that it just isn't worth doing that. Angering your husband over tithing, you can tithe in so many other ways. Like I would give my time, I would teach Bible study, I'd volunteer in the children's area. There's so many other ways to tithe.

I would tithe in prayer, I would tithe in so many other ways in order to keep peace in the home, and I think that's very important. And I found that over time, my husband, my unbelieving spouse, was actually the one that was supporting so much of my ministry online. It's like he joined with me at a heart level that I'm involved in this because, you know, she's using the money he earned and I paid for many, many ministry things out of his, you know, he worked. And I would do ministry.

And so over time they will soften. It's just allowing the love of God coming out of you. And I find that after a while, many, many spouses are, they're completely fine with tithing.

But in the beginning, if your husband is opposed to it or your wife is opposed to it, really tread carefully there. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. Because God is not bankrupt in that He has to have our money, right? Now, we've talked a lot about the enemy and alluded to the enemy. Who is the enemy and what are the commonly held beliefs and deceptions about the enemy? Yeah, the enemy. Man, I didn't understand the enemy. That was one of my biggest learning curves and what really created a transition into powerful faith.

I didn't understand how the enemy operated, what his game plan was, what his tactics were. And when I really did a deep dive to understand the enemy, which is Satan and the demonic realm, the principalities and powers that is talked about in the word, when I really began to understand that the devil is out to kill, steal, and destroy every single day, especially believers. However, we have power and authority over them through Christ Jesus.

He paid for it on the cross. His blood brings that to us as modern day disciples. And some of the myths I think I believe from my church years was that the enemy would never bother or oppress a Christian.

That's just simply not true. The demonic realm is after believers. Satan wants to destroy the Christian church. And so understanding that oppression can come about, the devil will manipulate people and relationships.

He'll manipulate conversations to create misunderstanding and offense. Offense is a big weapon of the enemy. And so when I began to understand how he would twist words and how he would create destruction, how he would create oppression because I believed lies about who I was or I believed lies about who God was, when I uncovered the truth and started walking in the truth, the enemy lost his power.

And that's when things really started to shift. How do we overcome the works of the devil? We overcome them through faith and understanding who we are. We overcome them through belief in the Word and exercising the Word through our voice. Our voice is very powerful as royalty of the kingdom. And when we pray, like I said earlier, take thoughts captive to Christ and you say it out loud, that moves the spiritual realm.

The enemy has to stand down and the angels are released. Our voice is so powerful when we speak. There's many passages in the Word about the strength of our voice. In Proverbs 18 21 it says that we have the power of life and death in the tongue.

That verse is legit. It is true we can release life and goodness or we can release death into relationships, into marriage, into our children. I say choose blessing. Use the power of blessing. Bless your children, bless your home, bless your marriage, bless this world, bless our country.

That is powerful prayers that defeats the enemy and releases the kingdom of God. Then you talk about the power of love and that it comes with risk and reward. Why is love a crucial part of the process? Earlier I said that we come to this planet to learn to love.

Learn to love our Father and learn to love others. It's a journey of love and love is a risk. Love is vulnerability, love is truth, love is risking rejection. But the reward when we learn to truly love out of the heart of God, that's what changes the world. Love changes the world.

It feeds the hungry, it saves a marriage, it releases people from bondage. Love is where everything begins and ends. It is out of love that we can walk through challenging marriage issues, we can walk through illness. It is love of the Father who surrounds us that we can be encouraged every day, I'm going to get up and do this again, I'm going to choose to bless today. It is love that takes us down the path of understanding and goodness and forgiveness. Love is at the core of everything that is worthy in this life. And love is not something that we generate ourselves, right?

The source is Father God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Yeah. Yeah. Scriptures say that the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. And we are channels of his love.

Yes. Alright, so now, our listeners are asking, what happened to your husband as you came to the end of this seven-year journey? Yeah, this was the most amazing part of the story. So, after seven years of marching around and learning all these tools and changing the atmosphere, it came to a moment where I was in worship and I was talking to the Lord about changing out of the ministry I was in, and I go, what do I do, Lord?

Do we end this? And he says, this ends with a baptism. And it seemed so impossible from where I was standing. I hadn't talked to my husband about baptism in over two years or anything about faith for two years.

Yeah. It seemed impossible. Six weeks later, after a number of amazing, miraculous, successive events and conversations with my husband, my husband and I drove to the church on our 27th wedding anniversary, on the very day that we married 27 years earlier, just because God is good that way and delights, and my husband was baptized, and I watched that man go into the water and come up as a son of God. Yeah, it still blows my mind, and it was, what a finish to that part of our lives. It was beautiful.

I still get teary. And that, of course, was the longing of your heart all along, but you were not focusing on him being converted or you're converting him. You were focusing on getting to know God and walk with God and experience God, and let that spell out in your life with him so that he sees it demonstrated the changes in your life.

Yes, absolutely. And that's the fun thing. That's just so kingdom. It's kingdom of God, like, focus on me, Lynn, and I'll do the miracles all around you, and you can just delight and thank me and honor me and worship, and what a blast. And again, I can't say that's going to be the ending for everyone, but if you go on the journey I've had, it won't matter. You will be so in love with our amazing Father and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He has got so much to show you, so many things to give you, gifts and delight, and if your spouse comes along for the ride, hallelujah. If he doesn't, you bless him and love him and have the time of your life on this love journey.

You know, I think many of our listeners would say, I've never heard it put this way before. I think this is one of the values of what you're sharing and the value of this book. It focuses on our relationship with God and our fellowship with him and learning who we are and what he's given us and enjoying life with God in spite of the fact that you're not spiritually united with your spouse. You're living a full life with God.

And then if and when the spouse does come to Christ, wow. Tell us about that. What's it been like since then?

Sure. Well, like I said, we entered into a season of peace, mutual love and respect. You know, I'm in a different place on my faith journey than my husband is, so there's going to be some kind of mismatch always in that just because I've been on this journey for decades, and he's just dipping his toe in the water. But what I've noticed the most is the peace that we have in our home. People will come in and comment on our peaceful home.

They don't know what it is, but it's peaceful. And he feels that we have mutual love and respect and honor, and he is free to explore his faith and meet Jesus with how he needs to, and I am as well, and we mutually honor and respect that. And it is a beautiful season to enter into, and I'm so thankful to the Lord for everything that he's done. So you're not forcing him to be where you are in everything in your walk with God, but allowing God to work and walk with him as he grows in his relationship with God.

Yes. Lynn, let's say there's somebody listening who's a Christian, and they're dating someone who isn't a Christian, and they say, wow, it worked out so great for Lynn. It'll work out for me too. I'm just going to keep on going. What would you say to that person who's dating or maybe engaged to somebody in a mismatched relationship? Yeah, what I would say is do not be unequally yoked.

It's in the Bible for a reason. The struggles are very real, and I share with people who write to me and ask me questions, you know, I'm engaged to an unbeliever, and I tell them what they're really going to face. There are going to be years of going to church alone and feeling lonely. They're going to raise kids with different values, and those are very real issues, and it's difficult, and you may be in love now and think it'll all work out, but different world views will come into play, and it's very challenging. Go to the Lord and ask Him, truly seek Him about your marriage. You need to have a strong conversation with your potential spouse about faith and establish what your family life is going to look like, and I would really go to the Lord and pray, you know, reveal to me your intention in this relationship, because it is very, very challenging.

There are many years that you feel alone and struggle, and I would just truly encourage someone to go to the Lord and pray about that relationship. Lynn, what is your hope for those who read this book, Marching Around Jericho? I want to be a voice of encouragement in the very hard days. It's worth it. Turn your expectation away from this man. Turn your eyes fully to the eyes of Jesus Christ. He will not let you down. He won't fail you. He will help you. He has wisdom to give you to walk through the conflict.

He has encouragement. He'll sustain you in the hard years. He will take care of you. He will provide for your every need. Turn your eyes fully on Christ, and I encourage you, stay strong for your family. Your children need you.

They need parents that love the Lord and will love them well. I'll be the voice of encouragement. It's hard, many years are hard, but if I can do it, just an ordinary woman, you can do it too. Just grab the hand of Jesus, look in his face, and say, take me forward, Jesus, and he will not fail you. He will walk you into the promised land.

Whatever that looks like, he will take you there. Well, Lynn, let me just say amen to that. And thank you for being with us today and sharing your journey, and thank you for putting some of that journey in this book.

I do believe that God's going to use this book, Marching Around Jericho, to help many, men and women, who are married to someone who is not a believer and not walking with Christ. So thanks for writing it, and thanks for being with us today. Thank you, Dr. Chapman. Thank you, Chris. It's such an honor to be here, and thank you for allowing me to share my story and the hope I have in Jesus. You can find out more about that resource at FiveLovedLanguages.com. Again, the title of Lynn Donovan's book, Marching Around Jericho, Praying Your Unsaved Spouse Into the Kingdom.

Again, go to FiveLovedLanguages.com. And next week, what Christmas hymns teach us about the true meaning of the celebration. Don't miss an encouraging musical discussion in one week. Our thanks to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-21 03:22:24 / 2023-08-21 03:40:27 / 18

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