Unequally Yoked

Growthtrac Marriagec Medic


How do you manage when one partner gets saved and the other doesn’t? Now that I’m in Christ, I cannot continue in my past sinful life, but my spouse isn’t a believer. Essentially we’ve ended up living separate lives. Further, my partner ridicules my walk with Christ. Help!

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Our walk with Christ is difficult enough without the additional challenge of having a mate who doesn’t share our faith! This issue is so significant, the apostle Paul warned Christians against being “unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14) Paul knew problems would arise if two people with disparate beliefs were joined together.

That being said, you are now married to an unbeliever. And while you have obvious challenges, you are now in the position to positively influence your unbelieving mate. Scripture teaches that he may be won over to Christ without words, but “by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence in your lives” (I Peter 3: 1-2). Your behavior DOES impact your mate. As you view your home as a mission field, your faith will be fueled with fresh purpose and passion.

Please remember, if you don’t remedy the problem of leading separate lives, this will be your marriage’s undoing. Even though you don’t share Christ’s love, this need not preclude you from enjoying your husband and still having a wonderful marriage. I’d like to offer a few suggestions to help you form a powerful, positive connection with your mate.

First, ask your mate gently not to ridicule your faith. Request he respect your deeply held values and beliefs. Should he continue to disrespect you, don’t bicker or get “hooked” in fruitless arguments. Simply repeat that you’d like him to respect your faith and your church activities.

Second, take time to enjoy each other. Again, be very careful about not leading separate lives. Take an interest in what interests your husband. Share in his activities, assuming they don’t lead you astray. Invite him to be part of your life, even your faith activities. Take care not to become so involved in church that he feels abandoned.

Third, emphasize commonalities, not disparities. There is still much you both can share together—so build on those things. Every couple has different thoughts, values, and interests. Search for common beliefs and interests and amplify those. Make an adventure out of finding new, healthy activities you can enjoy together.

Finally, be a witness to your husband by your actions. You probably won’t win him over with words, but, as the Bible says, by your example of purity and quiet reverence to Christ. Pray for God to shine through your life. Your husband will, in time, quite likely find this attractive.


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