Unequally Yoked?

Posted on November 19, 2011 by

I was reading an article on WorldNet Daily, as they closely followed the case of the 3 homeschooled children ordered into public school as part of their parents’ divorce case. There was a portion of the article that struck me and it triggered memories of a time in my marriage when my husband and I were out of sync, spiritually speaking. The husband, in this case, reportedly claimed that life in the household was “turned upside down” when the wife became apart of the church she currently attends.

I don’t want to get any further into their specific case, because that’s not what this post is about. It simply reminded me of how blessed we were that our house wasn’t turned upside down. But it wasn’t a coincidence. I would like to offer some support and advice to wives who are married to unbelieving men or even husbands not as passionate about their faith as you. I have walked this walk and while I am so thankful that I’m not walking it anymore, I do remember what it was like and I hope that what I am about to post here will be helpful advice.

The first thing is DO NOT treat your husband as if he is somehow less of a husband because he has not come to faith or is not as into the Bible and church as you are. That is the worst thing you can do, no matter how tempting it seems. The Bible is clear: we are to honor and submit to our husbands even if they don’t obey the word.

The next thing is this and I can’t emphasize it enough: please don’t be a whiny or a preachy wife. The same verse I referenced above says that they may be won without a word. I know that’s hard for many of us, but trust me. I tried it both ways and silence, at least on some matters, truly is golden. The last thing you want to do when you have an unbelieving husband is talk “Christianese”, quote Scripture incessantly, and change the entire atmosphere of your home overnight. Particularly if you were an unbeliever when he married you. You can turn from sin without becoming unrecognizable to your man.

When I say unrecognizable, I hope its understood that I mean in a negative way. You can still be fun-loving, sexy, and all the things your husband loved about you and serve God is what I’m trying to say. And Christianese is annoying to most people anyway. If you don’t know it, don’t bother to learn it. Walk your walk and you don’t need it. Prayer is your most powerful weapon anyway. Use it to keep your attitude in check.

As a wife, your first ministry is to your husband, whether he is saved or not. When I didn’t attend church on Sundays, I cooked a big breakfast. When I started going to church, I found a church nearby that held an early morning service at 8 AM. By 10, I was at home, in the kitchen, flipping pancakes and frying sausage. My husband barely even missed me since we slept in most Sundays anyway. And I didn’t go to midweek services. I wanted to be home and available to my husband when he came home from 10 hours of working to provide for me and our children. I had no trouble shooting down those church folk who questioned why I didn’t come to midweek services. That was their litmus test of faithfulness, not God’s. In fact, I’m sure I had my Father’s blessing because I had my priorities straight.

In the 2 years between the time I came to faith and my husband came to faith, we got along swimmingly. There was maybe a couple of months when we were adjusting, but after my self-righteousness gave way to a desire to carefully study, obey the word, and use wisdom, we had few problems.

One weekend on the first Sunday of the New Year, I got up to get dressed for church, and he got up and got dressed too. The rest, as they say, is history. I shudder to think what might have been had I turned into a nagging, religious zealot who berated my husband or made him feel like I thought I was a better person than he was. After all, I was simply an undeserving recipient of God’s grace, and my heart’s desire was that he would receive it too. But he needed to see that it was something worth receiving.

Posted in: Relationships