Through past heartbreak and hardship, author Miranda J. Chivers found herself in a place of refuge under God with reflection on I John 4:4 (NKJV): “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
In our interview, Miranda shared her experience that led to the making of Unequally Yoked: Staying Committed To Jesus and Your Unbelieving Spouse. And from that experience, she provides the Words she heard the Lord say to her as mentioned in her book: “Pray for your unsaved spouses. Pray for each other and their unsaved spouses. Pray together corporately, all you who have unsaved spouses. Come together and pray.”
CarrollZavala (Lanette Zavala): What motivated you to write about marriage?
Author groups often tell beginning authors, “Write about what you know.”
I’m 62 years old. I’ve had lots of trauma and drama in my life. I’ve been divorced and remarried. I’ve suffered many types of abuse. I’ve been in multiple accidents and faced death many times. I’ve suffered chronic illness, severe depression and PTSD. I’m the parent of two intellectually challenged adults.
I have so many stories to tell. The trouble I have is deciding which story to tell first and in what context.
I never planned to write about marriage. The idea came completely out of the blue during my prayer time and journaling with the Lord. One morning—during my prayer time—the suggestion to write this topic simply flowed from the keyboard.
Writing about the unequally yoked marriage was challenging. The intimate topics that I discuss in my book required digging deep inside my soul and reflecting on some very painful episodes in my past. It also demanded that I search the scriptures to understand every subject from a Biblical perspective. This stretched me spiritually and emotionally. This book helped me to become a better person and a better wife.
CarrollZavala: How does your book minister to wives?
Although I use the term “spouse” in my book, I know more women than men will be reading it. From my experience and observations, women tend to be more sensitive to the problems in their relationships and they want to improve their life. They also tend to read more self-help books. When a woman is having a problem in her marriage, she often looks for help to fix her husband or to repair the relationship.
My book is a self-help book that encourages women to improve their relationships with their husbands by examining their own spiritual life. I stress that the best thing that a woman can do for her marriage is to live a consistent Christian lifestyle and keep her eyes focused on Jesus.
To betrayed spouses?
In my book, I don’t discuss adultery in any detail. However, I do discuss the issue of pornography as a type of adultery. I also talk briefly about addictions. These are common problems faced by many couples today, but they are complicated topics that need more space than I could provide in this book.
To abused spouses?
Sadly, I’ve been both a witness to abused women and been the victim of abuse. I dedicated an entire chapter to this subject. When a woman complains about her abusive marriage, she doesn’t want to go into the graphic details of what is happening to her. She’s afraid to talk about it. Often, she’s even more afraid to get the help she needs.
In my book, I help the Christian spouse sort out the difference between abuse and persecution, and I encourage her to get help. Too often the church wants to sweep these situations under the rug. I’m calling it out.
We need to understand that abuse is a serious problem. The church needs to recognize the problem and identify the vulnerable. If the church would make a bigger effort to help those suffering, perhaps they might have better success in saving the lost.
Unfortunately, most women cannot get the help that they need within the church. Usually their only choice is to access secular support. Churches need to become more responsive and supportive for all mental health concerns.
To engaged couples?
My book encourages couples to examine their faith differences before they get married. One of my editors commented that every Christian who considers marrying someone who is not saved should read this book.
Several women have contacted me about their unequally yoked unmarried relationships. One woman broke up with her boyfriend after reading my book. It helped her to realize that their relationship was spiritually unhealthy.
CarrollZavala: How has any mentorship or ministry contributed to your insight for your book?
My fifteen years of experience as a social worker gave me insight into the emotional and practical side of human suffering. I also spent about fifteen years as a participator and leader at Al-Anon family groups and also at Celebrate Recovery. I’ve received years of personal counseling—both medically and spiritually— to understand myself and to get through some really tough stuff. I’ve had some wonderful people hold my hand as I’ve journeyed through those dark valleys.
Recently, I’ve been introduced to Repairing the Foundations ministry—another Christian healing ministry that I intend to explore further. I believe that as you receive insight in one area of your life, you are responsible to pass it on to others. I believe that, my job is to help others to heal as I have been helped.
CarrollZavala: What do you find that your craft of writing does for you as an author?
Writing is a cocoon of safety for me. I love to sit my computer and ignore the world while I get lost in my own thoughts. It’s my escape from reality. Writing helps me to express my ideas to the world and to God. It also helps me to sort out my own problems and gain new perspectives on situations. Mostly, I write for myself rather than for others. If other people benefit from my writing, then I feel that I’ve accomplished something special.
CarrollZavala: As a writer, how have you knowingly inspired – or currently aspire to inspire – in your readers?
I want my readers to discover their internal resilience. I want them to learn how to swim in deep waters with the supportive strength of the Holy Spirit. All Christians need to know the depth of the Father’s love and the power of the cross.
Too many Christians leave their faith at the church doorstep and don’t know how to practice it on a daily basis. They are missing so much. When we actively engage with our faith and apply it to every aspect of our life, we can discover a power that energizes and infuses us with overwhelming love. When we do that we can get through any trial.
To my unequally yoked readers—I challenge you to commit yourself completely to Jesus and allow him to guide you in your marriage. When people see Jesus in you, their life will be transformed and your life will be happier.
CarrollZavala: What upcoming events do you have – such as speaking engagements, online touring, or author appearances – that will allow your readers to hear more from you?
Becoming an author is a new experience for me. I’m excited at the opportunities that are beginning to come my way. I’m looking forward to speaking in churches and women’s faith groups in the near future.
I do have a website and I’ve started a new blog there. I blog on faith, family and writing. My website address is www.mirandajchivers.com
I have started a Facebook peer support group for persons struggling in their unequally yoked marriages. People can join that at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1985193568387251/ (Unequally Yoked Support Group).
Other author interviews include Chandra Hawthorne’s Accountable To God.