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Daughter of the King - born from above in 1989.

Deborah grew up in a military family and moved to Florida in the early 1970's.  She began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as her personal Savior. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her writing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Sunday Morning Again... Can You Relate?


It’s Sunday morning again.  You get into your car and drive to church – again – alone.

I attend a couple’s class at our church.  I used to be in a women’s Bible study group years ago, but since I have been attending my current church, my husband has attended services on occasion with me. He is comfortable with our pastor and is familiar with some couples that we knew from another congregation.  I say all that to say this: Then why do I feel so out of place in church?

When our son was young, or when he was older still living at home, it seemed easier to go to church and not get distracted by couples sitting in the pews.  Now that we are empty-nesters – it seems that I have become increasingly more aware of the fact that we are not worshiping together.  We’re not even sitting in church together – much less worshiping together.  I struggle with wandering and sometimes inappropriate thoughts.

In II Corinthians 10:4-6 Paul tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

 To my husband’s credit – he does attend services with me on occasion.  He has joined me in attending a class social or couples dinner outing – albeit reluctantly.  He just doesn’t have a desire to fellowship with believers or be in a church setting.  I have stopped trying to play Spiritual Shrink or Holy Ghost Investigator when it comes to “why?”

Truth be known, it was somewhat easier for me in years past when I attended a women’s only Bible study because we supported each other in prayer, in fellowship and in mentoring.  It was more comfortable to be surrounded by other women who didn’t have spousal spiritual support.  Now I find myself feeling like a fish out of water, or you could say – out of “living water”.

I often feel like a salmon, swimming furiously upstream – trying to leap over the rapids of “happily married couples” and the rocks of “you can be happy too!” mentality in my quest to reach safety.  I know in my mind and heart that God loves me and I press into Him all the more when I feel discouraged.  But there are times during the church service when I struggle to keep my focus on the preacher’s message – and simply look around at all the “couples” in church.  Please, tell me I’m not alone…

Back to II Corinthians 10:  in a spiritual sense - I shake my head and gather my thoughts once again. I sit and re-evaluate what’s going on in my mind and feelings, and give it over to God. 

I take time to thank God for my salvation and thank Him for such a good man He gave to me 30 years ago for a husband – though I didn’t come to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior until 7 years into this marriage.  

 I regain my focus as I tune-in to my pastor’s sermon and re-adjust my thinking to align once again with what God’s Word tells me about my situation at home.

I recall to my mind I Peter 3:1-4, and how it is my “inner” woman that will attract my husband to Jesus Christ.  The years of seeking to know God better, attending church, working on my Bible studies, praying, helping others and living out my faith – that is what is drawing him closer to the Savior.  My Spirit woman will draw him nearer to the God who created him for fellowship. 

I consider what I Corinthians 7:13-14 has to say concerning the unbelieving spouse, and how they are sanctified by the believing spouse. If the unbeliever desires to stay in the marriage, the believer is obligated to dwell with them in love and devotion – as unto the Lord.

This verse in I Samuel speaks to me regarding the above scenario: “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (vs. 22).  The Lord spoke to my heart that my obedience to Him in loving and being devoted to my husband – regardless if he is a believer or not – is better than my “sacrifice” of living in an unequally-yoked marriage.  

 I do not have the right to play the victim and feel sorry for myself.  I do not have the right to hold it against him.  I must love him with the love of Christ and let God move in his heart and mind.  I must concentrate on my obedience to what God has for me to do as a godly wife and helpmeet.  I must keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and not on my circumstances or feelings.


(Here is an excerpt from  MISSION POSSIBLE  Chapter 6 - In the Meantime, Serve)

Beware, that while you are busy serving and waiting, often the enemy will delight in torturing you with thoughts of defeat. You’ll be sitting in church, watching the other couples and think, “Lord, what about them?” “They’ve got each other, Lord…” “When is it going to be my turn?”
 And the Lord would answer me, “What is that to you? You follow me.” The Apostle Peter questioned the Lord about John and Jesus told him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me” (John 21:21-22). We need to have an attitude of gratitude and not question God’s authority and sovereignty. We are human and we will have days when we’re discouraged and down, but we must encourage ourselves in the Lord as David did in Psalm 42:11, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” If we never had anything else to praise God for except our salvation, we should be a most grateful people!

This past Sunday was no different than many previous Sundays, except for the fact that I caught myself doing exactly what I mentioned earlier in this article.  But this time I looked around and said to myself, “It sure will be great to sit here with my husband, Lord, and worship You together. So glad You’re working in his life and heart.” 

What a relief it is to give it all to HIM…







Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”.  It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 



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8 comments:

  1. I love this line, Deborah:

    “It sure will be great to sit here with my husband, Lord, and worship You together. So glad You’re working in his life and heart.”

    That's what I pray every Sunday. One day, my friend... :-)

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  2. Thank so much Dineen! We gain strength from each other while we wait, Amen? Be blessed.

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  3. Deborah, I can relate somewhat. When my first husband asked for a divorce, I went to church alone for the first time in 11 years. I felt alone and awkward among all the couples; we had been in a couples class too. I just felt like all eyes were on me--now alone.

    But thankfully, my friends rallied around me and made me feel welcome. They didn't treat me any differently. They loved me.

    I pray you have Godly people who rally around you and love you through this season. I stand in agreement that your husband will one day sit next to you in the pew.

    Blessings, my friend.
    Daphne
    http://blog.daphnewrites.com

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  4. Thanks for the visit Daphne. There are indeed many scenarios that makes one feel awkward in church - including what you described. And yes, God gives us others to encourage us when we are hurting and lonely. Of course - the Lord is our strength and song...

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  5. I love this post. I relate to swimming upstream, and I struggle with the reality of tose closest to me not sharing my passion. But I, also am starting to realize and embrace better vision and focus. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my Blog oday. I think your book also sound interesting. Look forward to keeping in touch in the blogosphere! In His Grace, Dawn

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  6. Thank you for the visit Dawn - you bless me with your comments! My "mission" is to share the truth of God's Word with others while encouraging them in their spiritually mismatched marriage. I will see you in the blogosphere for sure! :)

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  7. Deborah, I found you at the I Peter 3 Living Yahoo group, and have enjoyed visiting your blog. We seem to be on the same page! I just wrote a blog last Sunday about this very topic. http://blog.wonwithoutwords.com/?p=2839 I pray that you find solace, refuge and strength while you wait for I Peter 3:1 to be fulfilled! Shari

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  8. Hi Shari - thanks for stopping by! Nice to meet a fellow sister that shares God's love with other hurting women who love Jesus - but their spouse doesn't share their zeal :)

    I will visit your blog soon! God bless and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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