Thriving In a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage – Part 2


Lynn Donovan

Hello House of WLW: Lynn Donovan here again today.  And as promised, let’s jump right into a powerful passage that has absolutely changed my life.  I pray you step into this truth with new understanding and hope.

One verse in particular gives me the greatest comfort as a mother. What is utterly fantastic about this passage is that it is written specifically for those of us who live in a spiritually mismatched home. I’m humbled and thankful to realize that God knew thousands of years ago that there would be marriages such as ours. What relief and freedom this truth brings to my heart. Read it with me from the Message translation:

For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God (1 Cor. 7:12-14, THE MESSAGE, emphasis added).

for clarification:

{in the KJV verse 14 reads as: 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

in the NIV verse 14 reads as: 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

in the ESV verse 14 reas as: 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.}

I’m learning that when we as believers love Jesus and walk in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we impact our environment. And, in fact, we bring God’s will and purposes into our lives and into the lives of our children. The living presence of God within us becomes so powerful that, Paul tells us, through the believing spouse every member in the home is sanctified. The living presence of God is so contagious, so powerful, that it creates an umbrella of safety over anyone who comes into that environment.

My friends, we as believers are uniquely positioned to release the purposes, the love and the very power of God into our children’s lives. Our kids are then included in God’s plans for their lives. They are sanctified—set apart as holy unto the Lord. They belong to the Lord. When we grasp this truth, praying with faith through the Holy Spirit for our kids, we need not live in fear for their salvation. Our love, our example, our Jesus is always enough. I believe this promise for my children’s future and for their eternity.

~an excerpt from Not Alone, Trusting God To Help You Raise Godly Kids In A Spiritually Mismatched Marriage by Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller


Wow…… just WOW!  Today let the truth of this passage roar in your spirit. Your faith covers your home. This was a paradigm shift in my thinking and changed how I approached spiritual warfare for my kids and husband. My holiness covers them. They are under the love umbrella of God because an ordinary wife lives with Jesus in her heart and home.

Never doubt that God hears our prayers - lynn

On Thursday I tackle this question: Who Is A Spiritual Leader? See you then. Have an amazing day today.

Lord, let this passage bring freedom to every woman here today. Let the truth and the power that comes with your living and active Word permeate every place in her heart and home. I ask that the Holy Spirit would prove the truth of how the prayers of a righteous mama availeth much. In Jesus name. Amen.

CONVERSATION: Do you worry about your children’s salvation?  What are your thoughts about this passage above (1 Corinthians 7:12-14)?

Love and hugs,



  1. awesome message! It brings hope and joy and we can see the light at the other end. I love the idea of the umbrella, I can’t wait until Thursday.

    1. Hi Mary,

      May the power and Presence of God’s Spirit and the love of Jesus overwhelm you and your family. I ask in the name of Jesus for complete salvation and the purposes of God for you and your family. In Jesus name. Amen.

      Have an amazing day in His Presence my friend. Hugs, Lynn

  2. Thank for you this massage Ms. Lynn. Well written and very heart fell.

    I do worry about my children’s future and salvation in this sin sick world. I love that passage because it’s very comforting to know that God is in control of their salvation and future. I know that in the end it is only by me teaching them and them accepting God’s love that they will be save.

    So, now I pray that God will guide me and teach me how to raise them to love Him throughout their lives.

    Please to you.

    1. Elissa,

      I see your kind and loving heart in these words. Your prayers are heavy on the ears of God. He will be faithful to pursue your children all the days of their lives. I’m praying they will rise up in this next generation and be the bright light in this ever darkening world. Your heart’s desire to raise them to faith is greatly honored and Jesus is right by your side. Take comfort and give your worry to Him. He will work in amazing ways to gain your children’s hearts. Hugs, Lynn

  3. This message hits so close to home for me! I am the Momma to four children, two of which are married and each have a child of their own, and two which are in high school and will soon step out into this cold, hard, sinful world. As it stands right now, of the two who are out of my home, only one professes Christ in his life, but he accepted Him early in life and has since struggled as he departed from home. I often worry that we are in the last days and find myself very concerned for the salvation of my children. My husband has claimed salvation, but his ideals on church and how to live differ from mine by leaps and bounds! For instance, he does not believe he has to go to church, whereas I feel that by being at church with like minded brothers and sisters in Christ, we are fed spiritually and have much to gain for our efforts to get up and go. He does not lead our family as a Christian man should, and therefore it often falls upon my shoulders to speak of God, lead prayer, or even remind the boys to be thankful before meals. I also have a very hard time coercing these nearly grown young men to go to church with me simply because they see a different example of a “Christian” in their Father. It is maddening for me that my husband and I cannot be on the same page with our faith…and I can already see the lasting impressions that are being left upon our sons because of it. I long for a unified home…where the love of Christ is placed FIRST and where the boys are taught to not only follow Christ’s teachings, but to adhere to the biblical word and place it first in their lives. However, after so many years, I have all but abandoned hope. I must admit I have never heard this biblical passage taught quite this way, meaning that I have never considered that there is an umbrella of safety over my children because of MY faith. It does give me peace of mind, but I still realize that once they come to the age of accountability, they must choose to follow Christ in order to be saved….which is hard considering I often think that every single one of my kids may now be accountable…and yet only one tries to live for Christ. 🙁

    With that said, please know that as I follow along with you on this, I find it is pleasing to my soul and I have a strong willingness to strive to be a better example for my children. It is in earnest that I ask you to join me in prayer for my family, and I thank you for your time and effort to help those of us who are struggling with this sort of problem in our homes. God bless!

    1. Robin,

      I could’ve written word for word everthing you posted except that we have 2 sons. Everthing else is identical to the life I am living. I find comfort in this scripture & article, as well as reading what you’ve posted. I don’t feel so alone… I also long for a unified home, SO MUCH! But I admit there at times I feel I’ll never see it happen in my lifetime. God be with both our families as well as others who are enduring a spritually mismatched marriage.

      1. My heart flooded with love for you Weary Wife. My dear friend, I truly know how you feel. I want to reach through this computer screen and hug you tight. I hope you can feel my embrace.

        I want to pray for you now. Lord Jesus. I just hear you speaking into this woman, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. You have already poured much into the hearts in your home. Lord, fill her up with a fresh anointing of hope and anoint her with the oil of joy. Show her where you are working and empower her to pray prayers that move You and let your powerful love cover all of them. In Jesus name.

        I’m standing with you. I contend for your house in the name of our Lord. I love you. Lynn

      2. Weary wife,
        Yes, it does help to know that others are experiencing the same trials, and that is why I think it is so important for us to share, as women, what we are going through in trying to follow God’s word and raise our children accordingly. Unfortunately we can never tell another human soul to seek God, nor can we make them follow through with it once they do. That is indeed a personal decision and unless one wants that one on one relationship with Christ, it’s not gonna happen. Like you, I feel alone and at times satan prompts me to doubt that what I long for in my heart will ever happen. HOWEVER…we serve an AWESOME God who once parted a sea to make an escape for his followers…so I have to believe that He can make a way for me and for you as well! It just gets very frustrating to do all you can and still feel as if you are just treading water and not getting any nearer to the shore, as they say. Yes, I know and realize that I am in a spiritually mismatched marriage…but accepting it is not nearly as easy as realizing it. What I truly want is for my husband to have great faith and let it lead him in how HE leads our home! I want him to assume his responsibilities with a thankful heart that comes from having a thriving relationship with Christ Jesus and being in God’s favor because of it. I want him to be able to show our son’s, by and through his love for Christ, how to be a Godly man. I even bought a couple of books about that very subject in hopes that he would be curious enough to pick one up and read it for himself…because he simply doesn’t accept it when I tell him with words, it just ends up in an argument, and that is not what the love of Christ is all about! I am weary…and even though we are told not to grow weary in well doing, it’s really hard not to when you are placed in the position of being the spiritual head of the household, when you are not really supposed to do that to begin with. I find myself having to quote scripture to my son’s and trying to encourage them and teach them about God and His plans for our lives…and it seems to fall on deaf ears, whereas when their Father speaks to them about ANYTHING they seem to listen earnestly. It is the male influence that he has over his son’s…and that is exactly why, in my opinion, that a man is better at leading his sons into faith than is a Mother. At least most of the time, given they have respect for their Father to begin with. (There are exceptions to every rule, of course.) And knowing that he does in fact have that influence over them and does not use it to lead them to God just really makes me almost angry with him at times….it’s as if I am holding him responsible for their souls, even though that may sound crazy to some. I know what he could do to sway them over…and yet he doesn’t do what he should. I tell him that if he does not do his part, the way I read the scripture, he will answer for the souls of his children. But he turns me off. I am frustrated, confused, and downright upset with him for how he handles this. At times I find myself avoiding him period because I get upset over it and know that if I am around him much he is going to ask me what is wrong…and I will not lie to him about it…so that would only bring on another fight. And when you get in a habit of avoiding your spouse, it is NEVER good for the marriage! So it is a vicious cycle I guess. I complain about the language on the television shows my husband chooses to watch, and the boys say, “But Mom we hear this or worse at school every day”…which is true I am sure, but they should not hear it at home…not in a GODLY home! I seem to be the “odd man” out around here, and quite honestly, I often ponder just throwing my hands up and calling it quits. If only he would at least try to humor me in how things go around here…like the television shows that are watched, the way in which things are handled (counseling the boys instead of yelling at them and making them angry), or even helping me to win the battle of getting them to church at least every other Sunday…that would sure be a big help! But instead we are sort of stuck in the mire…and nothing I say seems to make any difference.

        With that said, let us just pray together and ask God to intervene in the lives of our husbands AND our children so that good will win out over evil and we will see great things happening in the name of our Lord and Savior. God bless you and your family. I sincerely hope things turn around for you soon and that you have that unified home that we, as Godly women, both long for so desperately.

    2. Oh boy, I see myself in the future. As soon as I read, “He does not lead our family as a Christian man should, and therefore it often falls upon my shoulders to speak of God, …” you had me bawling. It can feel like such a heavy burden at times… before I remember that it’s not my burden. All I have to do is walk in His footsteps, pray for my family individually, and the Lord’s plan will play out in them. I have 4 children. My husband and I married in a very dark and rebellious stage in my life. Even when I heard God calling me back, I tried to play both sides. Finally last year I recommitted myself FULLY to God and His purpose. I gave my testimony and was baptized in front of my church and my family, even my husband was there. My husband tried to go to the church classes for membership, but he really pushed back on it. He started going to a different church, but hasn’t been back to that one in a long time. We had gotten into an argument, and I’m pretty sure now he only went there to try to pull me from the one I’ve been attending and bring us back to the lifestyle of “church gypsies,” going from one new church to another so that maybe nobody would get to know us too well… even God? Since recommitting myself for God’s purpose, and becoming the spiritual leader in this house (or trying my best to be,) my oldest son and my daughter were saved within months of each other. My second born claimed to be saved years ago at a Boy Scout meeting, but I worry because anytime I speak about God he gets a “spooked” look. I don’t know how to describe it. He’s 14, and I can’t tell if he’s not saved or going through that rebellion that I went through. I’m pretty sure even my oldest is going through it a bit, and not ready to let God have control over EVERY part of his life. My youngest is 5, and I just pray for my journey in Christ, that the Lord will continue to give me strength, and I will not give up because their spirits depend on it (hubby’s too!) Just keep doin’ His thing, and put one foot in front of the other. I praise God that He kept my Dad & Stepmom in my life, even though I pushed away from them so hard. He knew I would need them more than ever when I reached this point in my life.

    3. Hi Jennifer,

      I count it a privilege to pray for you and your children, your husband. And I absolutely know the feelings you have experienced and the loneliness you feel as the burden of raising your boys to faith lays heavy on your soul. I have lived in this place as well. Feel my warm hug as my heart is your heart.

      It is true that our children do reach an age of accountability and salvation is ultimately their choice. I find such comfort in knowing that while my kids are in my home they were loved. They were loved with the love of Jesus and that love impacted their lives.

      Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
      And when he is old he will not depart from it.

      This is great comfort to me as well. I was a prodigal adult. And should be dead from all the wild living. But I’m convinced the humble prayers of my mother during those years were heard by God and He wooed me home. Jesus says to pray with belief. Pray with out ceasing for their faith walk. And as the Proverbs says…. When they are old…. That may mean 84 but that is okay with me because we have an eternity ahead.

      Lord, move in this household and empower my friend Jennifer to pray prayers that rock the heavens for her children. God don’t let go of her kids and bring them into a vibrant faith in Your Son. In Jesus name. Amen.

    4. Robin,

      I hold you before the throne of grace. Jesus I stand with this mom who loves you and who is desperate to bring Your love and truth into her children and husband. Today, I ask for a fresh anointing of hope and a powerful filling of the Holy Spirit to inspire her to a perseverance in faith and prayer that moves mountains. Lord, equip her with wisdom, grace and gift her with laughter and delight. Release angels to fight for her and to stand with her as she contends for their salvation and their life choices. Jesus, help her and encourage her to not grow weary doing good. Send her every day whispers of love and encouragement. In Jesus name. Amen

      I love your heart Robin. You are a gift to this world and your family. Hugs, Lynn

      1. Thank you Lynn. I love your heart too my sister! I need so desperately to perfect my relationship with Christ, yet feel as if I am fighting such a huge battle considering I am surrounded by people in my home who are not on the same page. It is so disheartening. 🙁 The very desire of my heart is to see my children brought into the glory of the Lord and find saving grace before it is eternally too late! I long for my grandchildren to be raised in Godly homes where they will be taught about the love of God from birth up. And I really want my husband to shoulder his part of the responsibility for our home…as a GODLY HOME…instead of having to carry it alone as I have done for so many years now. I guess I am growing weary in some ways…even though I do not want to. I just feel as if there is far too much for me to bear alone, and without a helpmate that is as interested in walking in faith as I am, the burden unfortunately falls solely upon my shoulders. I am praying for strength to overcome and the wisdom to reach my sons while there is still time. I also pray for God to intervene and speak to my husband’s heart to show him that he is not where he should be, so that not only will our home be unified, but his soul will be in good standing as well.

        Hugs to you!

  4. I’m confused… “When we grasp this truth, praying with faith through the Holy Spirit for our kids, we need not live in fear for their salvation. Our love, our example, our Jesus is always enough.” Are my husband and children really saved because of MY faith?? I sooo wish for that, that would take my sadness and worries away, but that doesn’t seem right? Or is it??

    1. Sarah, I think the author misunderstands the scripture here, or perhaps the blogger is not clear in her statement. While we can be at peace in knowing that God is offering us a measure of safety in the “umbrella” of his grace, our children are not saved because we are. Each individual has the responsibility to accept the gift of salvation. We cannot impose a saving faith on anyone else no matter how much we want to. It may sound nice to say that because I am a Christ follower that my children are safely covered but the Bible doesnt say that. You are certainly setting an example for your children to follow and learn from when you live like Christ. There is much reason for hope. Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock,” and that means someone has to respond to the knock on the door. See? Each person is required to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” which means we each need to recon with who God is and make the step to trust Him. We cannnot rest in a false belief that our children are safe because we have trusted Christ. God’s word tells us a great deal about how to raise Christ trusting children. Read the Bible, not well intentioned blogs, to learn what God’s instructions are. I say this with all gentleness and kindness to all. We cannot make the mistake of trusting anything else.

      1. Michelle–excellent comment–thank you for standing firmly on God’s truth in all that you said. We all need to follow 2 Corinthians 10:5 and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ, weighing all things agains the Word and rightly dividing Truth and traditions/doctrines of men.

      2. HI Michelle, thank you for helping me in this. I did clarify in a comment below. I hope you can find it. Thank you for loving our Lord and for loving His people. Thank you for loving me. Hugs, Lynn

    2. Hi Sarah,

      I did clarify in a comment below. Hope you can read it. Girl, pray with a relentless belief for your children. God will go to enormous lengths to save them. His heart is greatly moved by our prayers for our children’s faith. Love Jesus with all of your heart. That is what wins little ones to Christ. Hugs, Lynn

    3. The Bible says that a believing wife sanctifies her unbelieving husband. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are the holy. {I Cor. 7:14} Sanctified means holy or set apart. When a godly wife continues living with her unbelieving husband, Jesus is in his midst. The home is filled with Jesus since the Holy Spirit lives inside the wife so on a daily basis her husband and children are getting a glimpse of Jesus. If she leaves him, Jesus’ presence in the home leaves with her.

  5. My husband used to go to church and now is turned off to church but still professes Christ. I have given up on his going to church with the kids and I . I know that scripture protects my children now while their young but when they grow up it’s another matter. The bible says train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. So I hope the training of going to church and being taught the word of God will cause them to live for God as adults.

    1. Jen,

      I absolutely believe in that passage. I was a prodigal adult. I should be dead from the wild years of prodigal living, my “dark years.” But my Sunday school days and my mother’s training and prayers were the path back to my vibrant and amazing relationship with my “Daddy.” Never stop praying and fighting the battles in prayer for your children. The key to this verse is the word “old.” That may mean 84 but I will take that. *grin*. Hugs. Lynn

  6. Beautiful article! John MacArthur preaches that joyful submission is a wife’s greatest evangelistic tool with her husband. As she submits to Jesus and her husband, it draws him to her. As she fills her life with Jesus and his love and begins loving her husband with this unconditional love, it is so powerful. I have seen many women wins their husbands with this powerful “God” tool!

    1. 1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

      I absolutely believe every word. ABSOLUTELY. It’s in the Word and I’m trusting Jesus that my husband will be won with our words.

      AMEN Hugs, and thank you Lori. Have an amazing day in His Presence. Love, Lynn

  7. beautiful message and I too love the idea of an umbrella of love covering my family. Thank you for sharing this message with us and I look forward to Thursday.

    1. Jesus, I ask for a fresh fire in the life of Casie. Show her something amazing today that inspires her to press on and press into more of your wisdom and love. Lavish your grace upon her kitchen, her children and bring forth a beautiful aroma of love from her life. Let her life shine brightly in the darkness. Let Your love be so powerful in her life that it changes the atmospheres where she dwells. I ask all this in the merciful, loving and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

  8. I sooo soo hope this is true! Because my husband grew up Catholic and I must say he has a very scary view of God and religion which holds him back. He goes with me every Sunday to our church and will take the kids even if I can’t make it, but that is as far as he will go. He will even willingly give of our money, but yet if you ask him about his own relationship with God he is unsure. So this passage is so relieving if that is how it works. I pray every night for the salvation of my husband and kids! Thanks for this passage. I may even write it out and post it on my closet door!

    1. Melissa,

      I will stand with you as you contend for your husband’s heart.

      Jesus, fill Melissa with your purposes and lavish your great love and joy into her soul. Let such laughter and hope and love flow out of her that it lands like a flood all over her husband, every, single, day. I ask you Jesus to show her where you are at work and draw her closer and closer to you every day. Astonish her in some way today Jesus. In Your Name. Amen. I love you Melissa. Take heart God hears the prayers of our hearts. Hugs, Lynn

  9. I do not have biological children but I am a foster mama. I love the kiddos and teach them about Jesus- but then I have to trust God to take care of them when they leave my home. They only get to be under my umbrella for a time. I pray continually for them. I hadn’t heard this verse before. I am holding onto the end “as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God”.

    1. Oh Jenny, for you this passage is even more profound. You have influence, Godly influence, in lives that are in the Foster Care System. You could be impacting many, many for the Kingdom in so many ways. You bring them into your home and love them and share Jesus. What a beautiful way to use your life for our Jesus. I adore you. Thank you for serving the children this way and for loving them and I bet when you get to heaven many will be in line to thank you for sharing Jesus with them.

      Awesomeness!!!! I love you my friend. Power up and keep praying. You are a bright light. Hugs, Lynn

  10. I’m sorry but I don’t think I agree with this interpretation of the Scripture! I say ‘think’ because I am hoping I am just misinterpreting what is being said. Is this article saying that my entire family is saved just because I am saved?? That is completely not true!! In the NKJV, 1 Corinthians 7:14, the word ‘sanctified’ is used in place of ‘holiness’. This doesn’t refer to salvation otherwise the spouse wouldn’t be called an unbeliever. The sanctification is matrimonial and familial, not personal or spiritual meaning the unsaved spouse will hopefully see God working in the saved spouse’s life and will be convicted of their lack of salvation and hopefully lead them to be saved as well. I’m afraid this article gives a false sense of security for our loved ones. Children are not protected by our salvation. They are protected until God feels they have hit an age of accountability. It is then that the Holy Spirit will start convicting them as well and then that child has to make the decision to
    seek out salvation for themselves. It would be too easy for the unsaved spouse and children to just hang onto the back of your coattails and expect God to allow them into his Paradise if they haven’t made their own commitment to ask Him into their hearts. Ok thats my rant. I hope I’m just misunderstanding the article and the “umbrella” is not what I think it is. : )

    1. I’m glad you said this because I was confused too! Salvation is personal and does not transfer to other family members, as much as we wish it could!!

  11. Keep praying! My marriage is proof that God can change hearts. My husband was not a believer for the first 8 years of our relationship. He’s been saved now for 11+ years and people would never guess about his past! Pray and pray some more! Don’t nag him about it. I just went to church and took our son but I never nagged him about his not going. Once in a while I’d invite him. And I prayed for God to put Godly men in his life and that is what happened. Two of the men he worked next to were Christians not afraid to share their faith or answer his questions. And our neighbor he became friends with. Those were the turning points. For us, it was the men who really made an impact on him.

    1. Oh Mel,

      You give me such hope. You are a living example of 1 Peter 3:1. Thank you. I await my day to join you as a united family who lives for Jesus. So, so appreciate that you took time to share your story. Thank you Jesus for Mel and her persistent prayers for her husband. Delight her today and give her the desires of her heart (Ps 37:4) Hugs. Lynn….. Thank you girl. Have an amazing day in His Presence.

  12. I have been saved since my son was a year old and he is now 20. My husband is not saved. We have been married 22 years.I cling to these verses.Besides my son, I have a 17yr old daughter. They both have been saved for about 4 years.They both got baptized.It has not been easy. My husband wants nothing to do with what he calls “religion “. ( I call a relationship with Christ.)I have been praying for family for years.Stormie Omartian books and websites like this have been God sent. I give all the glory to God that my children are saved.I know someday my husband will be saved to. We have a good marriage .I thank God for his umbrella around my family.

    1. Amen… Amen… Amen Christine. I stand with you contending for your husband’s salvation. Your faithfulness has built a home that has protected and led your children to faith. 1 Cor 7… AMen.
      Well done good and faithful servant. Keep praying. Remain hopeful. So glad to meet you.

      Jesus, I ask for the complete salvation of Christine’s husband this day. Move circumstances into place to bring him home. In Jesus name. Amen.

      Have a great day my friend. Hugs, Lynn

  13. Lynn here… I will chime in and agree that our salvation doesn’t guarantee our children’s salvation. My hope that comes from this passage is that my children are included in God’s plans. Plans to prosper them, to give them a future. Plans that God will never leave them nor forsake them. That He will use them and pursue them with a relentless passion and purpose all the days of their lives. Because I have modeled Christ to them in their childhood and I have prayed relentlessly for their salvation.

    God will take and create opportunity after opportunity for my husband and children to come to faith. I know this to be true because I have watched God to wild and crazy things to grab my husband’s attention.

    It’s because of the hope I have in Christ and the sanctification or influence that is the powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me, my house and the atmospheres where I am, that I am not fearful of my husband’s and children’s salvation choice. I am believing God for his faithfulness to my humble and earnest prayers for their lives and eternities.

    I appreciate that you pointed out where I might not be clear and I’m so glad to be part of this conversation. There are very wise and loving women in the house of Women Living Well. Hugs, Lynn

  14. I’m sorry if I rub someone the wrong way here, but I’m going to disagree with this post. While I don’t think praying boldly and trusting God with the salvation of your spouse & kids is wrong (which is what I think you are trying to say here), I do think the use of Scripture is out of context to support what you are trying to say, therefore I think it’s wrong. Nowhere in the Bible does it support this “umbrella effect” of faith for holiness that is written here in the comments & post. The context of this passage of Scripture (which should be used in fullness all the way through verse 16) is talking about divorce & being unequally yoked, it is not talking about salvation (which is what most people equate the word sanctification to) through other believers’ faith.

    As divorce is concerned, the passage is saying that the marriage covenant will be seen as true and right, even if there is an unbeliever because both parties want to stay together, and therefore any kids would be viewed as “sanctified” (or “clean” as the original Greek states) as well. Culturally, this passage means that if both the husband and the wife want to stay together and have kids, then others should not view or treat this family as one would treat those having kids out of wedlock or being adulterous (as they would have done through the law of time & as we have seen judgements such as this in today’s Church as well). It’s saying that the covenant and bearing of children are legitimate, even if one is an unbeliever. It’s reinforcing the fact that God views marriage as holy and wouldn’t want two people to get a divorce based on faith, or being unequally yoked. This is also reinforced by 1 Peter 3:1-2 “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”

    Matthew Henry has an excellent commentary on this passage, which you can read here:

    1. Just to be clear, I DO agree that we need to pray in faith for the salvation of others & that God works in our boldness to approach Him with these petitions. There are so many other passages that say that, I just think the use and description of this passage contributes to the confusion and could lead people astray, thinking their faith saves their family, etc.

      1. Hi Holly, I hope you read my clarification in the comments. And I might disagree in great respect and love. I hear your heart but I live this every day. I know how much the atmosphere changes when I have Jesus walk into my house with me. I have watched God impact people around me. I stand absolutely on scripture and this verse is powerful for those of us who are unequally yoked. Our children are included in the plans of God. They are sanctified and many holy. Set apart for God.

        Holly, are you unequally yoked?

        I absolutely believe in 1 Peter 3 1: Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

        I live this every day and have watched God impact my husband and children through my faith and love. Appreciate your thoughts. I love you with the love of Christ. I really do. Hugs, Lynn

  15. I enjoyed this post, understanding that my walk with God will extend beyond the borders of my own soul, and will affect the atmosphere of our home.
    I was married in the church to a man who talked about God, and got on his knees in the middle of the night to cry and pray, and just last week I asked my husband to pray for our home and marriage. He could not do it. I asked him what his faith meant to him. He couldn’t answer. I asked him what he thought it meant to be a Christian husband and father. He couldn’t answer, except “I don’t know.” He mentioned that he thought a Christian couple would be happy with each other 100% of the time, and since he felt I wasn’t “happy” all the time, that I was not a Christian wife.
    I was broken-hearted for this man, and for our family. Though I had seen big changes in him (for the worse), I thought that deep inside I would still find the man I married. Now I am not sure, so I am holding on to God’s mighty power and love, and I will continue to reassure my husband of that Almighty grace and love. I have faith God can use me to be a carrier of His love and light to my husband and two beautiful little girls.

  16. Lynn,

    I myself am not unequally yoked, but I have recommended this series to countless people – several friends & family are struggling in marriages while being unequally yoked. I care deeply for their hearts and their hope, which means I care about what they are being taught through Scripture as well. I came here today because I was asked to look into the use of Scripture and the “umbrella effect” that was spoken of. The post is quite confusing and I can easily see how people can be led astray by what can be perceived as a false “salvation doctrine” in the post, especially if they do not know Scripture or don’t read all the clarifying comments. I think the amount of questions/discernment raised here, with this verse as the backbone of your post, speaks for itself though and I thank you for having graciously clarified your post in following comments.

    I do not disagree with you in believing in faith that God will save your kids or husband and praying fervently for that very thing. Several other verses speak to God honoring prayer and upholding the hopes of the righteous. I do not, however, agree that because of my faith, my kids are already set apart, sanctified and made holy (your words). I believe “Scripture interprets Scripture” and nowhere does it say that unbelievers are treated as holy like God’s people (or believers). The promises for God’s people are for those who have faith, not those that don’t.

    I believe that when someone chooses salvation, then the promises of God relating to their sanctification come into effect. So, my kids are not yet set apart for God nor are they made holy yet, because they do not have faith yet. There isn’t a Scripture that says they already are, in fact there are plenty of verses that say the opposite – that they are currently still sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness – therefore they are not YET “in the fold”, made holy, set apart, and included in God’s plan. However, though the reality is a “not yet” reality, it does not mean that I cannot pray fervently for it to be so. That through my example of faith, God will use it to draw them to Him and that they will come to faith in Jesus, attain salvation and then be sanctified and set apart as holy. I pray for that every single day with them.

    I love hearing your heart for the hopes of your family’s souls, that is such a wonderful thing to see & we should see this in every family, whether unequally yoked or not.

  17. Thank you all so much for sharing your heart and thoughts here.

    I have read this post over multiple times. I stand by Lynn’s words and her clarifications. She is not saying that unbelievers are saved through the salvation of the wife and mother but rather that God’s powerful presence is at work there in the home because of the mother’s faith. This is truth and Biblical.

    I just removed a negative comment and will continue to do so. If you have further questions email me at courtney(at) Let’s keep this comment section safe for women to openly share and respect our guest writer today.

    Lots of Love,

    1. I agree Courtney. I do think that at time the “typed” words can be misconstrued by the reader and I understand that Lynn was basically saying that we, as Christian women, are in a sense “blanketing” our families with the warmth and love of Jesus…which aids in helping them along to a life full of faith and led by God. And I do believe that God see’s that and is moved by our devotion to Him as well as to our families, and I also believe that our prayers are heard and that God will grant our prayers according to His will. Will that keep our loved ones from leaving this earth without salvation? That solely depends upon whether or not they choose to follow our lead and also follow Christ when they are called by Him to do so. But I do understand the “umbrella” effect she was speaking of and I in no way took it as anything other than what she offered it to be. I pray that everyone receives a blessing from the message given and I call upon each of you to join me in praying for understand of one another, so that we do not allow the evil one to prompt us to misunderstand one another and cause harm to come from good deeds.

  18. Lynn, this is very encouraging and helpful to me. I was raised in an unequally yoked family, with two professional parents and five siblings. Being the oldest of the six, I was by my Mom’s side in many ways, with my Dad at work most of his waking hours. She was our spiritual leader in our home. She took us to church and talked with us about Jesus and our faith. Our Dad was a great provider and protector, but never wanted to talk with us about our faith or answer questions about what faith was, and who we should have faith in. As my Mom died very young and my Dad didn’t want to be in anyway a part of our spiritual upbringing, my siblings fell into worldly ambitions, do not belong to a family of faith, will not talk of the gospel, and are a great concern and prayer request I have with God daily. I am encouraged with the thoughts of blanketing our families with the love of Jesus. I know God hears our prayers. I pray He reaches out and saves my siblings, and possibly did my Dad before his death. I am honored to have a believing husband and two children walking in faith in God. Blessings to you for your thoughtful insight. The scripture can bring life to us!

  19. Thank you so much for that post! I have a blended family. 2 daughters and a son that are mine from previous marriage and also a daughter and a son that are my stepchildren. My 2 daughters are struggling with homosexuality issues and I have faith that God will bring them back to reality. They were not brought up that way and they never once alluded to that type of behavior, so I know it is a choice. Both have been saved as teenagers but have made the wrong choices as adults. I know the Lord will bring them back, but it’s so hard as a mother to watch and still be involved in their lives, but I am. I love their friends separately as people but i do not condone what they are living. My oldest daughter has even asked me if i would attend a wedding if she was to get married. My answer is a FIRM NO!! It is NOT a marriage, a marriage is covenant between a man and woman and God. I will not waiver from my God and what i believe in. I will love my children no matter what, but i will NOT participate if they want a so called wedding. I believe God will take care of this before it gets to that point though. The holy spirit is guiding me daily on how to love them and let them see Christ in me.
    Thank you again for those scriptures, you are a blessing to all women. We are coming into a time where women will stand firm in their faith and bring our families with us to the kingdom. Amen and Thank you Lord for your Grace, Mercy & Love!!

  20. Thank you for your words and prayers. Recently, The Lord has placed these types of marriages in my heart and I launched a ministry called “unequal yet unction” last month in the Islands of the Bahamas. The scripture that you focused on in this article was indeed a pivotal point in my unequally yoked marriage and I was motivated by these and other scriptures that support this idea of an abundant life in such marriages.

    It is great to know that these community of women are ever present and I am motivated to continue in this process..regardless of circumstances. To God be the glory…..

    Have a great day.

  21. These posts give me so much hope as I am 7 months away from marrying an unbeliever.
    These verses gave me some hope that I can have a strong relationship with Christ. My fiancé has agreed to go to church with me every Sunday up until the wedding. He has questions and is actually willing to go. But I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in this.

  22. Currently my boys love going to church with me. Their childens church teaches on their level which is amazing! I have often wondered if they will become rebellious and decide they would rather follow in their fathers footsteps….This message was right on point!

  23. i thought i married a very godly man with my first husband. he went to church every sunday. i thought thats all it took. i thought that was a good sign. i soon learned that was just to look good on the outside. he was a total hypocrite. He was everything but a godly husband and father. It got so bad i had to leave him. He was bringing me down in my spiritual walk with God. It says in the Bible that the only kind of divorce exceptable by God is when your spouse leads you away from God and His Word. I was pretty young at the time so I didn’t know these things until much later in life. Looking back I learned how God was with me every difficult step in my divorce, and why He would condone my decision to divorce. I was only making $6.50 an hour at my job at the time and I had a 4 year old son to raise alone. My ex was always late with the child support payments. Somehow I was able to pay all the bills and put food on the table. That could only have been God. It was a miracle in my eyes. Many people were amazed at how well I was doing with so little, but God was always there to provide everything we needed. To this day, 20 years later, I am stilling thanking Him for all His blessings during that hard time in my life. I met a man who I thought was finally the right man for me, but I turned out to be way wrong… again! It took me 4 years to find that out, but God kept me from the trouble of marrying the wrong man again. Something always kept us from being able to marry each other. I thought he was also a godly man because he prayed and talked about God a lot. I was wrong again. This time I thought real long and hard about why I was having a hard time meeting a good man. Wasn’t a good person? Didn’t I deserve better? Then it dawned on me. I don’t know what is right for me, not like God does. He is the one who created me. Only He could know who would be the right one for me. And also, He already had someone in mind for me before I was born. All I had to do was pray and ask with a since!re heart. I only prayed for about a month when my prayer was amazingly answered. Wow!!!! Way better than I ever could have dreamed he would be. God is amazing!! This my advice to everyone. Pray for your spouse to be. Count on God to do the choosing for you. Don’t count on yourself or anyone else. My second husband and I could not be more perfect for each other. I’m not saying we never argue, but when we do, we do it just brings us closer together. We never give up on each other. I thank God for him every day. He is a godly husband and father. We are growing spiritually together. We are always on the same page when it comes to God and His wonderful will for us. I have no problems submitting to him like God wants. I never have to worry about us not working out. God is the one who brought us together, the only One who knows everything and knows the future. Our love for each other grows more each day and it didn’t start with lust so it’s a real love. It will never end like some marriages do when they started from lust and sexual attraction. Not to say I was not attracted to my husband. Far from it. I thought he was too handsome for me, and what in the world would he see in someone like me. We have been happily married for 16 years next month.

  24. these things mean so much to me. praise God for women like you who can help show us things. My husband isn’t necessarily unsaved, but he’s given up on the church and the christian lifestyle. we are mismatched. maybe not unequally yoked, but certainly mismatched and its been a source of heartache for years.

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