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.
My Secret Idol (my husband’s salvation)