Are there people in your life who, when they speak, you sometimes feel the Holy Spirit moving through them? Dineen Miller, my guest today, is one of those people. I have yet to actually meet her in person, but every time I receive an interview from her, I am truly inspired. She has taken a topic which could leave many a spouse complaining about the person to whom they are yoked, and has turned it into a reason for praise. If you have no idea what that can look like, read on. You won’t be sorry.
Dineen has also been so gracious as to give away one free copy of her new book, Not Alone: Trusting God to Help You Raise Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home, to one lucky commenter. A winner will be chosen one week from today, so please include your email address in the body of the comment.
Can you tell us about your new book co-authored with Lynn Donovan?
I have yet to hear a mother say, “I’m a good mom.” As moms we doubt we’re enough to do the job, to raise our kids to know Jesus. The truth is, we’re not, nor do we have to be. God’s right there and He’s partnering with us to raise godly kids. That’s what our new book, Not Alone, is about. It’s for moms who are spiritually mismatched, divorced, separated, or single. God has our back. With His help, we CAN raise godly kids.
I suspect this book could inspire even mothers in spiritually matched households. We all need to place our full faith in God to help us raise our children.
What is the hardest part of raising Godly children in a spiritually mismatched family?
Having two parents with two different viewpoints, who technically have equal right and say to what their children will be taught. So the biggest challenge I’ve faced, and I see many of our readers face, is to do so respectfully and honor the prebelieving spouse’s views in the equation. Sometimes that spouse can be negative or disrespectful of the believing spouse’s faith views and will put down her beliefs in front of the children. It’s crucial in this case that Mom and Dad sit down and discuss respecting each other’s faith choices and to find ways to compromise if needed. Dad may not believe in God and can be honest with the kids about it, but He doesn't need to make Mom look foolish because she does believe in God.
Are there any blessings you’ve found raising children in a spiritually mismatched marriage?
Intentionality. Nothing is taken for granted. Especially eternity! I know being married to my husband (who’s a great guy and dad, by the way!) really pushed me to know the Bible. So my faith runs very deep and my girls have grown up with seeing their mother reading her Bible and pursuing her faith.
Plus they’ve witnessed first-hand the challenges of a spiritual mismatch. My oldest daughter just married a wonderful young man who’s a very strong believer. I started praying for my girls’ future husbands when they were little. My oldest daughter and her husband are a constant reminder to me of how incredibly faithful God is!
I love how God has worked you through this situation.
Can you give us one suggestion of what to do?
Pray and believe. A mother’s prayers are powerful. And we can teach our kids about God in the backyard, at the grocery store and anywhere it seems to be the right time to point something out that’s so clearly by Abba’s hand. The more we live our faith in our daily lives, the more our children catch it. We do our part, and God does the rest.
Can you give us one warning of what not to do?
Don’t see your prebelieving spouse as the enemy, especially in the faith arena. I know that’s hard at times especially if he or she is very antagonistic about it, but I do believe that even then God is bigger. God is always bigger than our spouse’s unbelief. It’s not up to us the change them or make them believe (that applies to our children too). Our job is to love them with the unconditional love of Jesus and let Him do the saving part.
Study carefully the way Jesus interacted with people. You’ll learn a lot about what sacrificial love looks like and what it really means to love someone right where they are, and still see the potential God has placed in them. The exciting part is Abba wants to partner with us to help release that potential in the ones we love and pray for. When we can place our focus there and not on what’s missing, we become a major part of the equation.
Treat a person like trash, and they’ll become trash. Treat a person like you believe they can become what God has planned for them, and you will be on the front row witnessing miracles.
Did I say Amen, yet? Well, Amen again!!!
When I first started going to church, I got very involved in several ministries and gobbled up everything I could get my hands on about faith and God. I think my husband got worried because he would ask me a lot of questions about what I believed. I would hesitate because I was afraid I would say the wrong thing. He was afraid I was being “led by the nose” without being sure of the “facts.” That really pushed me to read and study the Bible more so I could answer his questions intelligently and confidently. And I’ve been hooked ever since!
I love that!!!
You just won the Carol Award for The Soul Saver, your novel featuring a couple who is in a spiritually mismatched marriage. How does that feel?
AMAZING!!! That award and so many other things that happened around it are such gifts from God. I am truly living and experiencing Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
The Soul Saver was inspired by Abba and my life. I wrote it out of obedience and my love for Jesus. It’s all His. He is my delight and my GREATEST reward. So everything I do I see as chance to “delight” in Him. And the more I do that, the more He pours out these amazing blessings. One of my favorite parts of that award and story is on our blog. I hope your readers will take a moment to read it. I got to wash feet! http://www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com/my_weblog/2013/09/blessed-to-wash-feet.html
Wow, just read that one. God is definitely intentional.
Do you have any fiction books on the horizon?
I’m working on a short story right now about a woman who spends a week with Jesus but doesn’t realize who He is. My husband wants to help me self-publish it and has even offered to read it. For that reason alone I will finish this story!
And I hope to finish a kind of sequel to The Soul Saver. It’s a completely different story and set of characters but carries the prophetic aspect of art. Instead of sculptures it’s paintings and the one painting them is an ex-mercenary. The book’s about seeing purpose in our pain and knowing who we are in Jesus. I hope one day soon it will have a home too!
Oh goody! I can’t wait. Make sure to let me know so I can interview you again.
Thank you, Connie! Always a pleasure being on your site. Love your interviews, my friend! Hugs!
And don’t forget to comment below to be entered to receive a free copy of Not Alone: Trusting God to Help You Raise Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home.
Dineen Miller believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader and a small group leader fuel her desire to ignite the souls of others through words of truth. She’s also a C.L.A.S.S. Communicator and has been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk and FamilyLife Today. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, and they are the proud parents of two daughters and a son-in-law. Dineen is the coauthor of the award winning book, Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and author of the ACFW Carol Award winning book, The Soul Saver. Visit Dineen online at MismatchedandThriving.com.
Other posts you might like: