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“Six Things I’ve Learned from Having an Unbelieving Husband”

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A dear sister in Christ shared this in response to the post about a wife whose husband didn’t want her to go to church for a time. I’m so thankful she is allowing me to use her comment as a post! I am sure there are a number of you who have unbelieving husbands, and I believe this wife’s words may bless you greatly – in fact, even if your husband is a believer, I think there is MUCH we can all glean from what God has taught our sister (Note – single sisters in Christ, please do not purposely marry an unbeliever. Please only marry a man who practices walking with Christ and who wants to fully submit his life to Jesus – God commands us only to marry a man who is “in the Lord.”):

Thank you for sharing this lovely, encouraging post about a subject which is no doubt extremely relevant to those of us who find ourselves in this awful situation of being ‘unequally yoked’ with a non believer. What I love so much about this blog is that a lot of us are still in our ‘bad’ situations, or working on them, rather than always reading about success stories: “I prayed and fasted for 2 years non stop and my husband came to the Lord” type of thing!! I have read several books on this subject, and while these kind of stories can be encouraging, it is sometimes nice to know that others are in the same boat and having the same struggles, and I praise God we can encourage each other like this!

I became a Christian 12 years ago, after I had been married for 10 years. My husband was (and still is) very atheistic and actually quite “anti-Christian” in his views.
God has taught me many things over the years and I’ve made many mistakes in how I handled things. In fact, only recently (when I discovered this blog!) has He shown me so much about disrespect, control, and idols in my life, which I had no idea about! So I am very much a work in progress but I will try to share some of the mistakes I made over the years, and how I have now – or should have – dealt with them 🙂

1. I would argue with him regularly, and try to make him see my point of view. I would say inflammatory things like “so if God didn’t create us then how do YOU think we all got here?” He would usually reply with “I don’t know and I don’t care!!” – which would drive me mad!! I became so resentful about his refusal to look into Christianity, that I was disrespectful to him pretty much on a daily basis – and thought it was ok! Because it was all his fault, right?! I can honestly say, that since I gave up the resentment to God, and started trying to honor Jesus in my life more and more, I haven’t had one of these kind of “discussions” and I totally accept that, for whatever reason, he is not ready to think about these things.

2. God taught me a lot about patience, because like the wife who wrote this post, my husband was not at all happy about me attending church, reading my Bible, or doing any “God stuff” at first. I had to be patient, tread carefully, and not put church first too often. I often messed this up and got the balance wrong, but God helped me to be wise after a while. Gradually, he accepted my involvement, and over the years has become genuinely supportive of various church activities. He has also allowed our children’s involvement, for which I am so grateful. He even came to both their baptisms.

3. I found that I can thank God for the husband He has given me, and even feel blessed to be married to a non Christian! He is kind, caring and loving, and also totally supportive of me and the children, and always there for us. Yes I do feel lonely sometimes, sitting in church surrounded by couples, but actually there are occasional advantages to having a ready-made excuse for not doing something, or being on a particular rota 😉 “My husband wouldn’t like it” Haha! Also, because he is not yet saved I can look forward to the precious celebration I hope to one day have when he is! If he had been a Christian all along, I wouldn’t have the possibility of this joy to come.

4. I used to feel jealous of Christian couples, who could pray together, make Godly decisions for their kids, do Bible studies, etc. but I’ve realised that no marriage is perfect, and these couples have their struggles too, and that actually my husband is pretty awesome really, compared to some of them! I also know several friends who are married to Christians, but their husbands don’t pray with them, talk about God at home or do any of the things that are in my “rosy picture” of a Christian marriage.

5. I have been guilty of saying many things like “He’s never going to become a Christian” and “It will take a miracle to get him to believe” which I have realised are cursing words that I have spoken over his life. I have repented of these things, and now make every effort to only speak words of blessing and thanks over his life. And now that I’ve repented and realised this, God has shown me SO many ways in which I can bless my husband and be thankful for him.

6. I used to believe that if I prayed enough for him, fasted, acted ‘right’ etc etc then eventually I would “get through” to him. I now realise getting through to him is God’s job, and that I should’ve been playing my part of being a respectful, Godly wife who can”‘win him without words.” Now that I have concentrated on honoring Jesus and sorting myself out, I realise how much peace I can have by letting go of that responsibility to save my husband! I have also let go of the idol of having him saved, and now I can honestly say that even if this never happens, my aim is now to honor God and bring Him glory, rather than change my circumstances.

 

RELATED:

When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God

My Secret Idol (my husband’s salvation)

The Blessing of Having a Husband Who Will Not Pray with You

My Husband Is Not Being a Good Spiritual Leader

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

9 thoughts on ““Six Things I’ve Learned from Having an Unbelieving Husband”

  1. “which I have realised are cursing words that I have spoken over his life”
    profound, what a great realization about the importance of having faith

  2. Veronica, Sunshine, and Jason,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to our hurting brother. Thank you for joining me in prayer for him and his family. The enemy wants to take this family down – I don’t want to see that happen! Let’s gather around them and surround them with God’s love, truth, blessing, encouragement, and prayer!

  3. Elizabeth,

    Thank you so very much for sharing your story! Goodness, you have both experienced unemployment – that would be very difficult. I admire your attitude and spirit and the creativity y’all have had. I believe your story may bless many other people, as well.

  4. Refined,

    That is really interesting! Thank you very much for sharing. I’m so thankful that Greg didn’t give up on me – and that I didn’t give up on him – that we rode out that really painful part to see God begin to bring healing and restoration. Of course, there will be more painful parts in the future, as well – but I pray for God to give us all His power to overcome and persevere through those trials and to be faithful to Him and to our spouses for His glory.

    I have rarely seen two people decide at the same time to change in Christ. It has always been one to start with. God begins to work on that one, and then begins to bring healing through those changes to the other spouse so many times.

    This is beautiful and powerful! Than you so much for sharing, Refined!

  5. April its very interesting to read of other wives struggles in their marriages….I became a Christian in 1985 and for the first two years cried every day non stop always praying for a divorce. Finally I realized that was not going to happen and that to show my husband respect….even though I felt none was the way forward. I had to look over my husband to Jesus Christ to be able to show respect in a situation where I was very unhappy. I quickly started to look for things I could respect in my husband and put the things I didn’t like on the back burner so to speak……After 4 years as a Christian I was at a coffee morning one day and grumbling to a friend re Hubby. suddenly another lady came over and thrust her hand literally under my nose, she began saying ….I was gardening yesterday and I got this thorn stuck in my hand…..I was a little disconcerted however I went on grumbling to my friend. A little while later a different lady came over to me and did the exact same thing, she stuck her hand in front of me and amazingly said…..I was gardening yesterday and got this thorn stuck in my hand……incredible. Needless to say that did then get my attention and as I walked home I was thinking….there is something about a thorn in the Bible. so I got out my bible and looked it up. Sure there it was in 2 Corinthians 12: 7 – 10……..My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in your weakness……After I read that I knew in my heart my husband was never going to become a Christian, nothing was going to change. That was hard for me to accept, however it has proven true, we have now been married 45 years…….I freely admit I don’t really know what Gods plan is in all this but I do continue to follow love and trust….Angie

    1. Angiecliffordskitchen,

      Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story! How I praise God for His work in your heart and life. 🙂 I am thankful for your faith, love, and trust in Christ. I pray God might bring your husband to Christ, my precious sister. I pray for His greatest glory in your life, your husband’s life, and your marriage.

      Much love to you!

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