ARGod Can Save Your Unbelieving SpouseDo you feel discouraged and disheartened because your spouse does not believe in Christ? Are your children affected by the complexities of faith differences?After having gone through the challenges of being married to an unbeliever, a sister uses her own experience to encourage others who might be going through the same trials. She encourages others to hold on to faith, perseverance, and patience in the Lord in order to bring their unbelieving spouse before Christ. Hers is a story of submission, trust, and reliance in the Lord.
The biblical parenting model is one of a father and a mother working together
to raise children who love God and obey Him. A man and his wife can make this
joint effort only if he and his wife are of one faith and share the same basic
beliefs. If they do, they can encourage and support each other as they work
toward a common goal.
However, if this couple does not share the same basic beliefs, the challenge
of parenting becomes twice as difficult. I can tell you that my parents had it
very difficult. I almost followed in their footsteps. But God changed all that.
What is your story? Do you long for your spouse to share the same basic
beliefs? Believe. God can save your unbelieving spouse. Please let me explain.
The Lord Our God Will Open a Way
Because you know your spouse better than anyone else, you may sometimes find
yourself wondering if he or she will ever become a believer. Do not doubt. If
you doubt, you will be discouraged. Do not give up on your husband or your wife.
If you do, your heart will become bitter and, if left unchecked, it will become
Instead study Paul's counsel to men and women who were in your shoes. He told
them not to walk out of their marriage. He put it this way, "For how do you
know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband,
whether you will save your wife?" (1 Cor 7:16).
Therefore, if, in times of frustration, you catch yourself muttering under
your breath or uttering in jest that your spouse is a hopeless case, ask God to
forgive you. No situation is ever too difficult for Him to handle. If you let
Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we worship, can save your spouse. He will open
I know this firsthand. The way came for me in the form of a test. Soon after
I found God and made my way back to church with two young children in tow, my
husband wanted me to sever all ties with the True Jesus Church or risk the
breakup of our marriage. This put me in a difficult situation, like that in
between a rock and a hard place.
Under ordinary circumstances, I would have given in to him for the children's
sake, especially since my own childhood was embroiled in religious conflict. But
I had finally found God after a lifetime of wandering in the wilderness of this
world, and I did not want to give Him up now. As far as I was concerned, I
wanted to keep my faith and my marriage.
There was another reason. The conflict made me realize that I was another
generation of women in my line of the family whose husband was an unbeliever.
Somehow, it occurred to me that if I did not hold on to my newfound faith, the
pattern would never be broken and my daughters would, through no fault of their
own, be next in line. The thought frightened me.
The Lord Our God Will Give You Faith
You will know in your heart when God has opened a way for you to introduce
your spouse to Him. When God has opened a way for you, your resolve is to follow
His lead. You will not get lost if you do. When God opens a way, He does not
leave you alone to figure out where to go and what to do. Instead, He will guide
you every step of the way.
He sees the big picture of your life, as well as your spouse's life.
Remember, He is the creator of heaven and earth and everything in it, you and
your spouse included. It's important that you remember God is in control. If you
do, you will trust Him, even though you cannot make sense of everything that is
going on now or see what's up ahead.
Still, there are some practical things you can do at this time. You can
develop a keen sense of observation and go where He wants you to go. Listen to
what He is telling you. Obey Him. This is your time of trial and temptation. A
merciful God, our Lord will give you the measure of faith that your heart
I know this firsthand. Without God's mercy, I would not have known where to
go and what to do when the Lord opened a way for me. A grown woman in my early
thirties, I had only just begun reading the Bible a few years earlier. If anyone
had given me a Bible knowledge quiz in those days, I would have failed; not even
an open book test would have helped.
But there were a few passages that left a deep impression on my heart and in
my mind. One of them was Jesus' parable of the persistent widow (Lk 18:1-8), a
story our Lord told to show His disciples that "they should always pray and not
give up." The woman's persistence fired up my imagination!
It also triggered childhood memories of my mother's habit of reaching out to
the folks at church for their prayerful support, and I found myself imitating
her. In due time, the Word of God would be proven right.
The Lord Our God Will Give You Patience
Times of trial and temptation are ordeals that come and go in a Christian's
life. They are a necessary part of our spiritual journey. Every ordeal helps us
grow one step closer to meeting God's standard of perfection. When you
understand this, you will not try to get ahead of God. You will learn to
A large dose of patience will help take off much of the pressure you are
already experiencing. Living in these uncertain times, you may feel a great need
to speed up the process of your husband or wife's conversion. But if you are
impatient, you may hurt the process more than you can help.
Your impatience may add to a lot more pressure in the home than that which
already exists in the course of everyday living. A build-up of pressure blows
away the peace and stability in a home. When parents let this happen, our
children are the ones most affected.
As a believer, you want to keep in mind that the Lord our God understands the
sense of urgency you are feeling. When you do, you will learn to keep your
emotions in check. You will not try to hurry up your spouse's conversion
according to your own timetable or give up on him or her altogether. A merciful
God, our Lord will give you the measure of patience your heart desires.
I know this firsthand. I grew up in an environment where the believing spouse
nearly always brought the couple's children to attend Sabbath services without
the unbelieving spouse's approval. Many ill feelings are created in these types
When I was caught in between a rock and a hard place, I found myself
gravitating toward Peter's counsel to women who were in my shoes. Here's that
verse in today's NKJV Bible, "Wives...be submissive to your own husbands, that
even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the
conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by
fear" (1 Pet 3:1,2).
These words shone like a lamp in the dark to give me a sense of direction in
my time of trial and temptation. They gave me hope and encouragement. As a
result, I told my husband that I would not go to church if he did not want me
to. I did not know when he would change his mind, but I was willing to wait. In
due time, the word of God would be proven right.
The Lord Our God Will Give You Perseverance
If it is your heart's desire that your spouse will become a believer, you
must be prepared to support and encourage him or her every step of the way. Are
you willing to stick it out, however long it takes, and, whatever
sacrifices you must make? This calls for perseverance
A dictionary defines perseverance as "continued steady effort to achieve an
aim." Perseverance is good for us. It helps us become better Christians. It is
written, "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and
complete, not lacking anything" (Jas 1:4 NIV).
Knowing that we still have a long way to go in our own Christian walk helps
us look at the situation in proper perspective. When we remember that we
ourselves haven't quite make it yet, we will learn to empathize with our spouse
and help him or her along, whether at great risk or minor inconvenience.
When we have this kind of commitment, nothing and no one can distract us.
Instead, we will keep our eyes on Jesus and keep on going. Again, a merciful
God, our Lord will give you the measure of perseverance your heart desires.
I know this firsthand. We used to live a five-minute drive away from church.
When my husband started attending Sabbath services, we were in the process of
moving away to a more affordable part of the country.
For a time, I worried that if we bought a house before my husband became a
believer, he would never get saved. As it turned out, he received baptism of
water and of the Holy Spirit well before the purchase of our house was
finalized. But here's where perseverance comes into my story.
It so happened that during this period, my husband's employers were making
improvements to the production lines at work and he was required to be present
on Saturdays. Although this wasn't a problem when we were still living at our
old address and I could drive the short distance to church, it became an issue
after the move.
Immediately, I found myself making Sabbath plans that did not include my
husband. I took our children to church on public transportation. My husband was
very unhappy when he got home from work one evening. Because my plans weren't
going so well, I stopped to consider the situation.
Somehow, it looked to me that I was becoming a stumbling block in a new
believer's Christian walk. It didn't look right. Drawing strength from the
virtue of submission as taught in the Bible, I waited for my husband to complete
I did not know how long I would have to wait, but I looked forward to the day
when we would again be going to church and worshipping God together as a family.
In due time, the word of God would be proven right.
In Bible times, God regularly turned around impossible situations in people's
lives. My experiences tell me that the Lord still makes such things happen
today. You only have to believe that He does. I do not know how He will make it
happen for you, but my experiences tell me that you have to change your attitude
and let go of feelings and thoughts that chain you to the letter of the word.
Rather, give yourself permission to trust in the might of our Lord Jesus
Christ. He will guide you to know what it is to believe in the spirit of the
word. To take this bold step, you need to pray for strength and courage. God
will help you. He will not let you down, and He will save your spouse.
I can testify to this because my husband received baptism on January 1, 1989,
about one and a half years after God had opened a way for me to introduce him to
the Lord. He received the Holy Spirit at the next spiritual convocation that was
held six months later.
The following year, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. On December
13, 1993, my husband passed away. Five evenings before he died, he suddenly
called out in his sleep, "Lord, here I am." I can make no more compelling
argument than this.
May our Lord and merciful God give you faith, patience, and perseverance. May
His name be forever praised.