Between Two Loves

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When the man you love wants nothing to do with the God you love . . .

Marriage is challenging enough, but when your partner rejects your very source of life, it's easy to feel as though you're torn between two loves. Caught between the desire to please God and the desire to please your husband you need wisdom and encouragement.

In these hope-filled devotions, Nancy Kennedy offers empathy, solace, confidence, and joy. With Scripture as her ...

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Overview

When the man you love wants nothing to do with the God you love . . .

Marriage is challenging enough, but when your partner rejects your very source of life, it's easy to feel as though you're torn between two loves. Caught between the desire to please God and the desire to please your husband you need wisdom and encouragement.

In these hope-filled devotions, Nancy Kennedy offers empathy, solace, confidence, and joy. With Scripture as her touchstone, Kennedy points you to the God who wants to help you reconcile your love for him with your heartfelt love for your husband.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Given that without regard for denominational differences women are the engine of church life throughout America and perhaps the world, this is certainly a book whose time has come. Kennedy knows her subject-her previous titles include When He Doesn't Believe-and her book is structured as a series of short counsels, beginning with a scriptural citation and closing with a prayer. Not all readers will be happy with Kennedy's advice, which sometimes seems to guide women toward self-sacrifice. But even Kennedy does not believe in endless suffering: to her, "the victory is that God will give strength and power and sufficient grace to do the right and healthy thing." For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310248484
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.23 (w) x 7.46 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Kennedy is an editor, feature writer, and columnist for The Citrus County Chronicle. Her features have won several first place Excellence in Religious Writing awards from the Florida Press Club. Her books include When Perfect Isn't Enough, Mom on the Run, Honey, They're Playing Our Song, Prayers God Always Answers, Move Over Victoria, I Know the Real Secret, and When He Doesn't Believe. Nancy and her husband live in Florida.

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Between Two Loves

Devotions for Women Whose Husbands Don't Share Their Faith
By Nancy Kennedy

Zondervan

Copyright © 2003 Nancy Kennedy
All right reserved.


Chapter One

The Geometry of Faith

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. Hebrews 10:22

I had been a Christian for a few years when I joined a prayer group with three other young moms my age-and a brash nineteen-year-old named Kenny. Reluctant to study the Bible and put what little I did study into practice, Kenny constantly chided me for holding back in my faith. At the time, I was concerned that my relationship with the Lord was driving my husband and me apart, and I was afraid if I drew any closer to God, it would cause an even bigger rift. To me, it made more sense to wait until Barry joined me in the faith, and then we could draw closer to the Lord together.

Kenny disagreed.

To prove his point, he drew an equilateral triangle on a piece of paper and labeled the top point GOD and the base points HUSBAND and WIFE.

"The closer you move toward God, the closer you'll be to your husband," he said.

I thanked him for his insight, but I didn't believe him. What did some nineteen-year-old kid know about marriage? When I got home, I took out my ruler so I could prove him wrong.

But the kid was right.

Geometrically speaking, a husband and wife are never farther apart than when they're both at the base. And even if only one person moves toward God, the distance between the two spouses decreases.

When a believer is married to an unbeliever, there's always the temptation to hold back, to wait for the other one to come along. But the truth is, unless you move forward, you actually move farther away.

"Draw near to God and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8 RSV). Draw near to God, and trust that you'll be drawn closer to your husband as well.

* * *

Loving Father,
It wasn't always like this-
This distance between my husband and me.
I miss him. I long to be close to him again,
Yet I long to be close to you as well.
Once again, I'm feeling torn. And afraid.
You're bidding me to draw near to you
And promising that if I do, you'll draw near to me too.
Although I long to have my husband join me so we can draw near together,
Ultimately, we each stand before you on our own.
When I hold back from you, I miss out on so much that you have for me-
Love and patience, peace and joy, wisdom and strength-
All the gifts that enable me to draw near to the one I love.
Thank you, Lord. I see much more clearly now.
Draw me nearer, my precious Lord.
Amen.

Is My Marriage a Mistake?

* * *

Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 (NKJV)

* * *

Nobody gets married with the desire to live unhappily ever after. We stand next to our beloved and promise to love each other:

For better ("We'll have such fun!")

For worse ("How bad can it get? Our love will see us through")

For richer ("A four-bedroom house will be perfect")

For poorer ("We'll survive on macaroni and cheese")

You know the rest.

But we probably never planned on one day having our lives radically changed by faith in Christ-and we never, ever imagined the resulting spiritual chasm.

Then one day we find ourselves wondering if our marriage was a mistake. We ask, "Are my kids being harmed because their dad makes fun of my faith? Wouldn't it be better to get out now and find a Christian to marry?"

However, the question isn't, "Do I think my marriage is a mistake?" but "Does God think it's a mistake?"

In their book What If I Married the Wrong Person? Dr. Richard Matteson and Janis Long Harris point out that dwelling on whether or not you married the right person ignores God's stake in the choice you already made.

No matter whom we chose to marry, it didn't take God by surprise. Not only that, even if we did make a mistake, God is more than able to take it and use it as part of his higher plans for us, our husbands, our children, their children, and so on.

God knows what he is doing. He never says "Oops." So, next time you start thinking that your marriage is a mistake, consider this: It just might be that God has placed you with this man at this time for his kingdom purpose.

From eternity's perspective, it's not a mistake. It's a call to service.

* * *

Lord,
When I look at my life-at my marriage-
Sometimes it's hard to remember that none of this
Took you by surprise.
It's easy to forget that everything
Is from your all-wise and loving hand.
You who keep the stars in place knew what you were doing
When you placed me with this man.
He's the husband you have given me.
Even if we married because of a sinful choice
Being married isn't sinful.
It's not a mistake either, because you don't make mistakes.
Thank you, Lord, for in that I can rest.
Rest ... and be confident that
all things,
Even my most foolish choices,
You will work together for good.
You've promised it.
Please keep reminding me, Lord.
It's so easy to forget.
Amen.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Between Two Loves by Nancy Kennedy Copyright © 2003 by Nancy Kennedy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.................................................7
The Geometry of Faith........................................13
Is My Marriage a Mistake?....................................15
My Husband's Bible...........................................17
He Is Mighty to Save.........................................19
The Gospel and the WWE.......................................21
Think on These Things........................................23
Guard Your Heart.............................................25
Time Will Tell...............................................27
Blessed Are the Flexible.....................................29
Love for the Least...........................................31
Rx for Disappointment........................................33
The Santa Claus War..........................................35
Sunday's Comin'..............................................37
When the Devil Walks in the Door.............................39
A Love That Does.............................................41
Wind of Change...............................................43
Set Apart for Blessing.......................................45
How to WOW Your Husband......................................47
A Clear Glimpse of God.......................................49
A Wife Deserted and Distressed in Spirit.....................51
If Only .....................................................53
In Christ, I Am .............................................55
The Power in Prayer..........................................57
Persevering Prayer...........................................59
God's Word, My Prayers.......................................61
Don't Give Up!...............................................63
Hope Deferred ... and Renewed................................65
The Storm Before the Calm....................................67
When Money Divides...........................................69
Creating a Life Prayer.......................................71
The Pressure to Be Perfect...................................73
Why Does Daddy ... ?.........................................75
"Sticks and Stones"..........................................77
The Man in the Mirror........................................79
Who's the Boss?..............................................81
Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus....................................83
Contentment of Desire........................................85
Roots of Rejection...........................................87
Recipe for a Grace Sandwich..................................89
Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting.................................91
Living in the Now............................................93
Listening with Love..........................................95
Lighting a Fire with Your Words..............................97
What Sex Means to a Man......................................99
In the Mood?.................................................101
Married Friends..............................................103
Give Your Husband Freedom....................................105
How Much Do I Tell?..........................................107
When Words Hurt..............................................109
Courage in a Fortune Cookie..................................111
He's Jealous of God..........................................113
Blessed Forgetfulness........................................115
Standing (Not) Alone.........................................117
The Silent Treatment.........................................119
Waiting with a Patient Heart.................................121
Loving with Forbearance......................................123
I'm Angry, Lord!.............................................125
Thanks in All Things.........................................127
Psalm of Thanksgiving........................................129
God Loves the Word Impossible................................131
Loving a Negative Spouse.....................................133
Ethical Shades of Gray.......................................135
Sunday Morning Struggle......................................137
Setting an Example for My Kids...............................139
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Husband..............................141
Lean on Me...................................................143
Including Dad................................................145
"But Dad Doesn't Have to Go ...".............................147
A Word Aptly Spoken..........................................149
God Is Able..................................................151
Between Two Loves............................................153
Called to Ministry...........................................155
What Species Is Your Mate?...................................157
Envy Rots the Bones..........................................159
He's of Another Faith / 161
How Long Until ... ?.........................................163
With Eyes Wide Open..........................................165
"The Only Way Out Is Through"................................167
What's Right with This Picture?..............................169
From Victim Thinking to Victor Living........................171
My Anxious Thoughts, God's Faithful Word.....................173
Not Guilty...................................................175
Would I Like to Be Married to Me?............................177
Praying for His Repentance...................................179
God Uses Unbelievers Too.....................................181
The Power of Choice..........................................183
Stopping the Drip............................................185
Falling out of Love..........................................187
Whatever It Takes............................................189
Like a Diamond in the Sky....................................191
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    Hope from Heartache

    When someone writes about the troubles she¿s seen, and how God has held her up and taught her, you get a book worth reading and passing on. That¿s the case with Nancy¿s devotional presentation of principles for women in unequal yoke marriages. With about 90 devotions, the book can become a year¿s companion if included twice a week in a woman¿s devotional life. That¿s a good pace for implementing the suggestions Nancy makes for loving and upholding a disinterested or antagonistic spouse. She emphasizes the principle of 1 Cor. 2:14, that an unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife. Her story about ¿grace sandwiches¿ (p. 89) is a good word picture for responding with honesty yet affirmation. Even if you¿re not in a marriage with a non-believer, it¿s a book worth getting for someone who is, and who might not buy a copy herself. Encourage her with a copy as a gift that says, ¿I care.¿

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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