My spiritually mismatched marriage chronicle began in a dance club in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ya, that’s right! That is where I met my husband. We dated long-distance for more than a year then married quickly. It wasn’t the best of circumstances in which to begin a marriage. At that time in my life, I’d abandoned the faith of my Sunday school years and was living fast and furious in the badlands of the Prodigal Nation. My brokenness and the devices of Satan left great wounds and deception upon my heart. As time passed, I found myself drawn into dangerous living that nearly destroyed my relationships with my family, my Christian friends, and almost took my life.
I was a mess.
It was in the middle of my mess I met and married my husband, Mike. Our first few years of marriage were fast-paced and complicated by a whirlwind of adjustments. We lived a worldly lifestyle, focused on career accomplishments, lavish vacations, and other shallow and perishing pursuits.
And yet, a remnant of faith from my childhood remained somewhere deep within my soul. Three years into our marriage, God whispered to my sad and battered heart. A yearning birthed within to return to the Lord of my Sunday school years. And just like the prodigal son of Luke 15, I ran home to the open arms of my loving and forgiving Father.
I was home!
However, I ran home dragging along my unbelieving spouse. And to say he was very unhappy about this new “man” in my life is an understatement.
Thus, my journey as an unequally yoked wife began. I was utterly unprepared to navigate the complexities of faith and marriage, which were opposed by vastly different worldviews. Raw hope urged me forward. I searched the Word for answers and Jesus spoke his instructions for life and marriage into my spirit. Through tough lessons I stubbornly resisted, especially in the beginning, Jesus urged my surrender to accept his wisdom and he revealed the nuances of loving my husband outside of selfishness. Following a significant number of learning seasons, I grew up. Yet, as the years passed, I continued to struggle with conflict, anger, fear, frustration, and sadness within my marriage. Even though I frequently failed, Jesus’s brilliant schooling was creating lasting change in my heart. After more than two decades of wandering, Jesus set me upon a firm foundation of faith. After I understood the significance of surrender and the advantages of quick obedience, our marriage entered a season of greater peace.
It was in this season I looked for equipping resources for women in unequally yoked in marriages, but resources were scarce apart from a few books and occasional Christian radio broadcast. After several years of learning to navigate with increasing success, I launched a blog, SpirituallyUnequalMarriage.com. I began sharing my marriage and faith experiences through writing, hoping, and praying others might also find hope in Jesus for their marriages. Since 2006, I’ve served this growing online community of believers. We walk together in faith while we pray for the salvation of our spouses.
Yet, with all my years of faith and all the thousands of prayers I’ve uttered, my husband remained a staunch agnostic. As the years lengthened, I battled confusion and doubt. I believed the Word of God, yet as we approached our twentieth wedding anniversary, my husband wasn’t any closer to God than the day I dragged him kicking and screaming into my realm of Bible-thumping faith.
And then, on October 12, 2012, in the fullness of time, God showed up.
On that day I stepped upon the Jericho path and began to march around the walled heart of my husband.
If you are praying for the salvation of your unsaved spouse, it is my honor to provide you with a roadmap for your march toward the Promised Land.
Marching Around Jericho is a spiritual guide. As you read through the pages, powerful and transformative instruction and equipping take place. We follow Jesus as he leads us around the walls, imparting kingdom truths with each passing, finally arriving at the gates of the walled-off city, our spouse’s unbelieving heart. After the circles in prayer are complete, we arrive fully prepared to command the walls to crumble and be removed, making a way for our spouse to step from the rubble of lies and captivity, into faith and freedom!
This is a journey of hope and one of significant challenges. But the spoils of this war become your pearl of great price, worthy of your efforts, each prayer you whisper, and every tear shed. The prize is love.
How do I know? I’ve marched around my Jericho for the past seven years. I’ve traversed the seemingly insurmountable mountains in our marriage, the valleys of doom and gloom, spiritual exhaustion, and faced storms that nearly toppled our bonds of holy matrimony. Yet by the grace of God, I’ve gained spiritual strength, a powerful prayer life, faith that moves said mountains, and authority in Christ. I’ve participated in miracles, healings, and uncovered truth wrapped in love. I have looked into the eyes of perfect love and experienced our triune God, intimately, through the ordinary and the divine.
Despite the enemy’s assignment to kill, steal, and destroy all that I hold near and dear, I now thrive in my marriage and am living the abundant life (John 10:10).
We, the unequally yoked in marriage, are the chosen to demonstrate faith in Christ. We’ve been given a unique platform to reveal Christ’s love to family members who otherwise may never see Jesus. Our unsaved spouse contemplates our victories as we model the Father’s unending patience, grace, and mercy. How do I know? I’ve lived these truths out in my married life while waiting for the salvation of my husband.
Now it’s your turn. It’s time to put away powerless Christianity and step into the war room. God is releasing his church into a new season: The Kingdom Era. We, the church, are called to step into a greater love, higher authority, and the fulfillment of our purpose as we prepare for the salvation of our loved ones. And the unequally yoked are on the front lines of this kingdom advancement. Unbeknownst to many of us, the day we said, “I do,” we stepped into the kingdom practice ground, our spiritually mismatched marriage.
Our faith and marriage vows have placed us in the classroom with Jesus, the best instructor on the planet. He is our Rabbi, teacher, friend, healer, and savior. We walk with the Holy Spirit who is the superpower to our faith. He whispers truths into our broken places and delivers us from the evil one. And never forget angelic armies stand ready, they play an integral part in our march around Jericho.
You are not alone. An entire host is on alert. They merely await God’s sons and daughters to awaken from slumber, deception, and fear. They are waiting for marching orders. The time has arrived for the kingdom of God to take back the ground stolen from the heirs of Christ. We must release the captives, heal the sick, and tend to the brokenhearted. This is our divine moment in his grand HIS-story to establish his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven and bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ home and then out to the nations.
Each year I marched around my husband, a powerful truth emerged which profoundly changed my faith-life. Surprisingly, the majority of my march rarely involved my unbelieving spouse. I found myself alone, an eager student, participating in a divine classroom with my tutor, Jesus. With every rotation around the walls, I gained a powerful kingdom lesson crucial to the final stand in the battle for my husband’s eternity. My husband was blissfully unaware of his small part in this great march. Well, almost unaware.
Year upon year the Lord gradually transformed me. But through the slow progression, significant and noticeable changes also occurred within my husband and our marriage. Every circumference built upon the prior. The annual lessons brought me step-by-step to the day when the Lord spoke, and the walls began to crumble before my eyes. My seven-year journey included acquiring and learning how to use tools such as intimacy, identity, authority, and power.
The overall purpose of our march around our unsaved spouse is designed to reveal our Kingdom identity and purpose. Knowing our identity in Christ is key to our victorious finale. Understanding my God-given identity prepared me for the battle of a lifetime, the salvation of one man’s soul.
Your march will likely be different in several respects when compared to mine. You may march a longer road or merely some months depending on your individual faith journey and where your spouse is in his or her response to Jesus. In the early years, I was convinced our marriage trouble squarely rested upon my husband. Our conflicts over lifestyle choices, parenting, and entertainment, just to name a few, were “his fault” because he wasn’t a Christian. I was convinced he was overly stubborn about anything faith related. I would entertain thoughts such as, If you would only turn to Jesus, my life would be a thousand percent better.
But that’s not the way of the Father. God is far more concerned about my faith and character development than my comfort. His highest and best for my life was to learn to live as his child. God wanted my eyes focused only upon him and willingly submit my spouse’s salvation to his timing and purpose.
Men and women of God, I promise you this: Commit to this march around Jericho with me and God will meet you in the journey. You are destined to become a kingdom warrior who wields great power and authority. You will find hope, truth, love, joy, peace, and powerful faith, and you will leave your children a legacy of holiness because you lived for the kingdom of God. Through all this, your spouse will see Jesus within you.
You will hear the Master say, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!
Adapted from Marching Around Jericho. Copyright © 2019 by Lynn Donovan. Published by Three Keys Ministries, Temecula, California. www.threekeysministries.com. Used by Permission.
Lynn Donovan is a speaker, author, and an ordinary woman who shares with audiences her everyday adventures of walking in the Presence of God. Her delight is igniting believer’s hearts with Holy Spirit fire, inspiring all of God’s children to step fully into their divine identity and purpose for their life.
She has been featured guest on the 700 Club Interactive, Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk and FamilyLife Today. She co-authored the award-winning book, Winning Him Without Words and also Not Alone, Trusting God to Help You Raise Godly Kids In a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage. She has a son and a daughter and a granddaughter. She lives with her husband in Temecula, California. Visit Lynn online at marchingaroundjericho.com.