Unequally Yoked Issues

Elizabeth - posted on 05/08/2010 ( 71 moms have responded )

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My DH and I have been married for 5 years, I have been a Christian for 1.5 years. My DH grew up Conservative Southern Baptist, but rejected his religion and upbringing about the time we started dating (his ex cheated and caused a great deal of emotional harm and when she moved back home, the church he grew up in where his grandfather is a pastor took her right back in with open arms and I think that just killed organized religion for him).

So, for over a year now I've attended a local Episcopal church without him, I was baptized in February 2009, and I also regularly attend bible study. He's never agreed with it, but he's never spoken against it either. That changed last night. Admittedly, he was drinking, so his tact was non-existent. He was frustrated I was going to church, chided me for believing in a piece of fiction, and accused me of being a stupid sheep. He also said he didn't like how the Episcopal Church was changing me into a "republican" ,though he's always teased me for being a bleeding heart liberal. I know this sounds mild, but his exact words included curse words and it was so bizarre.

On one hand, I felt like I was supposed to defend my faith He even made fun of my testimony. I was completely unable to get pregnant for over a year, we did hormone therapy but for no medical reason my cycle just went away. I had an afternoon in September 2008 where I put it in God's hands, I started attending my friend's church, and attending Bible study with an open mind and heart. In October 2008, just as we were about to start Clomid and I had to have an ultrasound after my cycle to make sure there were no blockages, my cycle didn't come. Thinking we'd have to do another round of hormones to make me cycle, I was so frustrated. I woke up with a killer headache one morning, took my last pregnancy test in the cabinet, and I was pregnant. I don't think infertility is a punishment by God, I only know in my case, infertility was probably the only way God could get my attention and bring me to the realization that I am not the end all, be all master of my universe. He argued I was worshipping a silly coincidence of biology, that it takes time to get pregnant and it was something "we" did.

I had no words last night. I was angry, hurt, and didn't know what to do. I wanted to scream at him, but I knew there was no way I could convince him of faith with negative words. Not long a Christian myself, I know it's my job to make others aware of the Truth and Good News, but it's not up to me to convert anyone. That's the Holy Spirit's job and God's department. No one could make me a Christian any faster then when I was ready to accept.

So now I'm confused. I did pray last night, and I spoke with my husband this morning. We made tentative peace, I let him know how much he hurt me last night. He maintained me going to church "doesn't bother him, he doesn't agree with it, but he won't stop me." But I feel a dilemma. I know I don't have to go to church to be close to God. I don't want to destroy my marriage or antagonize my husband. I do realize maybe he IS threatened by my changing, afraid I'm going to leave him behind. I firmly believe in the Scripture that says I am to honor my husband, but also that I can behave in a chaste and reverent manner and without words win my husband over to embracing religion (1 Peter 3:1-2).

Sorry for the length, but it is a big crisis for me. I'm brand new and still firming my walk with Christ. I am looking for any insight (scriptural or experience) anyone has that can help. I've thought a little bit, and I DO want to respect my husband too as well as God. I know it's possible some of this is the influence of the enemy, but even last night as I was upset, I heard fear and worry in my husband's voice more than anything. Kind of the intention behind the bark? If I was outside looking in, I have changed a great deal and thrown myself into church work from the get-go. I do the church newsletter, I created the church website, we have 5 computer sin our living room right now that I managed to get donated for our mission trip in Honduras and loaded with open source software for the pastor down there and the medical hospital.

So here's what I am contemplating, backing off on attending church (make it once a month, not to dishonor God, but to honor my husband's wishes and make church going less threatening, and stay in the Word as I do daily anyway). Bring more prayer into the home. I've never let my husband see me pray, and maybe if his fear is just of the church, and I remove that fear, but still keep God close to me, my daughter, and him with prayer and study, it will be more positive.

Please be kind, even if you horribly disagree with the idea of reducing church attendence. Please don't suggest I leave my husband (I will not, he is who God chose for me and is a very good man. He does respect me, is a wonderful father, a wonderful lover, and we have a great marriage. We were not unequally yoked at marriage, so the scripture about not marrying someone unequally yoked doesn't really apply). Thank you for your support and advice.

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Cyndel - posted on 05/30/2010

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Personally I don't think cutting back church is the answer, especially not to one week a month. Every other week would be better or better yet staying home one Sunday a month, for the simple reason of you need christian love, support, and teaching. As hard as it is, your decision right now is honoring God more or your husband more. God does tell us to honor our husbands, but before anything at all we honor and obey God. And Paul (I believe) tells us not to forsake the gathering together of the brethren. Though keeping it to Sundays and maybe a bible study once or twice a month and cutting out all the extracurricular activities should help a lot (esp. if your bible study happens when your husband is working on a hobby or at work or out with the guys). I know the desire to get really involved with church and ministry, but right now your ministry is your husband and daughter.
Elizabeth, you truly need to find a strong married couple, or perhaps two (It needs to be an older couple who are many years mature in their marriage and faith), whom you can talk to, ask advise from, and pray with. They will support you, teach you, love you, and pray for you. It is so hard being unequally yoked. I do not know from my own marriage, however my father, though I believe he is a christian has really fought submitting to the Father, it was really a battle sometimes. He hurt my mother, brother and I deeply many times in his thrashing battle to run away.
You seem to be making an excellent theological beginning to your Christian walk. Keep learning and keep growing. Don't fight your husband, love him and submit as long as what he asks isn't a violation of what Jesus and the bible say. Teach your daughter to honor her father even if he doesn't believe in Jesus and go to church, both of them will need that. But also teach her (when she is older) what commands of God out weigh what daddy says, she needs to know when it is right to obey God rather then daddy and when she should submit.
I want you to know that even if your husband never comes to Christ, and I truly pray he will, but if he never does, your time and trials have not been and will not be wasted, obedience to the Father is of first importance, and what you are doing is obedience. I will pray for you and your family, I hope this helps and encourages you. God bless you and yours.

Betsy - posted on 05/21/2010

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Dear Elizabeth,
My heart goes out to you. I am unequally yoked...for 13 years. I have been praying for God to reveal Himself to this man. We have been separated twice. Once 5 years ago for 9 months and right now since October. He likes it when I go to church...because I am a better person for it...and he gets alone time.

ANYWAY...the best advice on this board is to be quiet...win him without a word...thats what God says to do in this circumstance. So, I don't even talk to him about it anymore.

GOD GETS THE GLORY!

You have a lot of great advice and love being shared on this post.

Just a couple of thoughts for you...

1. The Stormie O'Martian book..."Power of a Praying Wife"...I have it, but, I also bought the little prayer book: "The Power of a Praying Husband". I use that to pray for myself....b/c he's not...and I never know what I need...so the book gives me ideas!

2. Another thing: I lay hands on my husband at night when we are in bed and going to sleep. I PRAY AND PRAY over him until I fall asleep! He doesn't know that's what I am doing though...he thinks I just want to touch him. : )

3. I know it is difficult to stay in a marriage where you don't see eye to eye with your husband...but, this journey is for God's GLORY. Life on this planet is but a vapor, it is over so fast and then we will be with Him in eternity.

4. God describes His love for us as a groom would love His bride. It is my purpose to love him unconditionally...I look "stupid" to my family and some of my friends for staying in such a tumultuous place, but, I KNOW it is for God. If He wants my husband out permanently...HE will take care of that.

In the meantime, we are separated because he was unbearable and we made a decision to separate. We almost split permanently over the winter, he went to a lawyer. I called in ALL my prayer partners for emergency prayer requests...after that, my husband said it made him sick to even think about getting divorced! AND...he changed....his heart softened toward me and his behavior changed.

We are in counseling (not a Christian, of course)...but this guy is pretty good. My husband can't come back until we have enough therapy to re-engage. I don't know what that means, but God is in control. The last time he just came waltzing back in. This time it will be VERY different.

My husband could not STAND my faith and how I looked at life...through God's lens. Through therapy, he has learned that I have a right to live a life that fulfills my needs as a Christian. That I don't have to hide my music, my books, my thoughts...that he gets to "live" and think and act the way he chooses...and I do too. not only that, but he needs to be supportive of the things I resonate with (God)...

the NON-Christian Psychologist even told him it would be a good idea to to church with me sometimes, because I do things with him that I don't LOVE to do...I just do them b/c that is what he likes...(Jazz concerts, sporting events, etc.) LOL!!!

Lisa - posted on 05/10/2010

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I would recommend the book: Created to be his Help Meet by Debi Pearl -- sooo good! She addresses similar situations and how God wants a wife to respond. Continue to pray, but submit to your husband and allow him to be the leader in all things. If he doesn't want you to go to church, then find a way to worship at home. Don't let him feel you are throwing your "spirituality" in his face. Love & serve him and he will want to be a better man for you and your family :)

Audrey - posted on 05/13/2010

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Your husband is hurting and not really understanding that the LOVE of GOD is unconditional and all accepting if we repent. Unfortunately, he is very immature in the faith but keep on praying for him, for your marriage and his reinstatement into the faith - Let GOD deal with HIS prodigal (your husband) - you continue to pray for your husband and be his help mate - a kind word turns away wrath and a praying wife is a total asset to her husband.

Your sister in Christ,

Audrey

Mary - posted on 05/11/2010

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You are absolutely right to stay with him. The Bible says that if you are married to an unbeliever and they are willing to stay with you - stay together - and perhaps you can win him by the way you live (as you referenced).

Church attendance is not mandatory for your salvation, and it's true: God doesn't just live at church - He lives in you if you've accepted Him, and church is actually the body of believers coming together.

With that said, I still don't think trimming your church attendance would be wise. First of all - you need support. Church is a wonderful gift from the Lord and a precious time of fellowship. It is also a wonderful time of learning from the perspectives God has given others. Second, you are being such a good example - even if your husband doesn't always encourage you to go - your commitment to go is a physical symbol of your commitment to the Lord to him.

Bringing more prayer into the home is a wonderful idea. Also, being a picture of a Jesus like Christian to him. I can understand how people get frustrated with churches - they are full of imperfect humans and sometimes are not perfect. There are so many people who have had bad experiences with Christians and churches - let your husband see the real Jesus, that's what will change his life!

You may have a long journey ahead, but the Lord will sustain you. If you need a listening ear, encouragement, prayer partner, or anything please e-mail me: cmsiniard@yahoo.com.

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Cheryl - posted on 12/31/2010

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Well I don't know what it is that you want someone to say since you seem to have your mind made up. I don't think that reducing church is going to bring him in. Everything seems to be based on his needs and not yours. Every man must work out his own soul salvation with fear and trembling. You can't use that scripture about honoring your husbands if he is not HONORING GOD! That scripture is talking about Christian marriages. You have to think about pleasing God before you even think about pleasing your husband. It's okay that everything is hunky dory at home and you just want him to go to church or pray or something. You go to church to worship God with fellow believers. Don't stop doing what you're doing. That is just the devil mad because He can't stop God's work. Keep up the good work and go to church as often as you can even as you see the day approaching.

Carla - posted on 12/29/2010

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Your husband has been greatly wounded by people. We, as people, have this tendency of blaming God for what People do. My story is the same, the incident different, but the outcome the same. I would not suggest you decrease your church attendance. You have put this thing in God's Hands, and He wants you to stand firm. Sometimes we have trials from outside, sometimes from our own family. Whatever or wherever they come from, we are to continue trusting God to solve our situation.

Your husband is watching you, make no mistake about it. When he sees that you have 'true' belief, not like those people from his old church, he will soften. Trust that the Lord is still talking to your husband. He did to me when I walked away. He would come to me and whisper 'are you ready yet?' I would say 'no, not yet.' He would say 'okay', and let me alone, but I was NEVER alone, you know? When my life totally fell down around my ears, when I cried out to Him, He was right there!

Your Scriptures are right on. You have to love and reverence your husband, but God is above your husband. It is Him you have to please, and He will take care of the rest. Hubby understands, he truly does.

God bless, honey. My husband returned to the Lord, it took many years, and a lot of heartache. This life isn't always easy, but it is always worth it.

Jennifer - posted on 12/27/2010

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I believe that unequally yolked means non believers and believers marrying, BUT I also believe that marriage is sacred. No, you shouldn't leave him. You should surround yourself in those ministries that will help you grow in your Faith. The Lord does come first and your relationship with Him needs to grow. You need to be involved in ministries to be an effective light to your husband. That's what faith is all about. Stepping out and standing tall when you can't see then end. It's so important for your husband to see you walk by faith and lead by example. I applaud you for not yelling or arguing during your disagreement. When I was married I didnt have that kind of discipline. Pray hard and God willhelpyou.

Lindsay - posted on 12/27/2010

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Continue going to church. The church will help. Your faith in God is more important than your husband (as it well should be). The reason your husband fears it at all is because the devil is doing things with his mind. Don't allow it to stop you from going to church and fellowship with the other members. You don't have to go to church to further your relationship but going to church weekly is a helpful reminder. And it says in the bible where 2 or more gather together in His name, he shall meet us. I don't think you should leave your husband, but every once in a while invite him to join you for bible study or get wild at heart (a book) for him. or ask him to join you for church. I would not leave him. He needs you to lead by example. I was in a similar situation, but my husband was faking it. Now it only took a year and some change before my husband started changing from the inside. I know a lot of that had to do with my praying for him and God changing his heart. God does some pretty amazing things. Hope this helps you. And God bless you and your family

Madeleine - posted on 06/01/2010

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Sweetheart-no one is to embrace religion. To believe in Jesus is not at all religion...that fails...But to trust in Him who died for you and your husband is more than what religion can give....Pray for your husband's healing of his heart-and tell him that when you put your trust in man-you will lose your faith, but putting your trust in God-that's a different story! Show him God's love and mercy. He must let go of the past and move forward-God forgives-why not us?

Heather - posted on 05/30/2010

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Thanks for the update! It's awesome to watch God work! I will continue praying!

Elizabeth - posted on 05/30/2010

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ANOTHER UPDATE:

Today, I went to church, with his blessing. I stayed home with him for 3 weeks, and we had many mini-discussions about what it means to support one another in things that are important to us, even when the other one doesn't necessarily agree with the importance of the activity.

My husband was lonely with me gone every single Sunday. This morning, he helped me get our daughter ready for church and even said encouragingly to her "Are you going to church with Mommy?"

Is everything perfect? Of course not, and he still doesn't like my religion. But it's a start. I felt better going to church today with his agreement, and made sure to come home happy when greeting him.

Next Sunday is our 5 year wedding anniversary, but I am scheduled to be a reader at church. I think as a compromise I will just go to the service (11-12:30) and not the breakfast and bible study before hand. That way he and I can spend the rest of the day together.

I have a lot of people praying for my marriage and I am too. I love my husband so much, and there is very little I would ever deny him. In some ways, working through this is making us stronger and perhaps ushering in a new period of our marriage. We are less than one year from getting out of the service, and we both have changed in 5 years. But, I'm staying in prayer, and through God, all things are always possible.

Sheila - posted on 05/29/2010

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I have a friend who was unequally yoked, and her marriage almost came to an end. She has a prayer journal, and every day she would pray some verses out of Ephesians 1 (sorry, I'm not sure exactly which ones they are) for her husband's salvation. By her faithfulness to God, she saw her husband start going to church with her and eventually get saved. You need to prayerfully work it out with God regarding what you should do about going to church, but it sounds to me like you are already doing that. God does say not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together with believers, so I would say to sit down with your husband and get direction from him concerning how often he wants you to go. You may find out that he really isn't opposed to you going to church, but would like for you to be more available for him. I think that is what Paul was talking about when he was saying that it is better to be single. If you are married you have to split your time between God and your family, whereas a single person can devote all of their time to God. I am in no way suggesting you leave your husband, because again, you are right about that. God says that if he be pleased to stay with you, then let him stay. (The way I understand that it means that hubby, being the unsaved person, should be the one to leave if anybody is going to leave, but it sounds like that is not the case, either.) Sometimes we get so wrapped up with serving that we forget to make time for our husbands. I just wonder if he feels like that is what has happened, and that is why he acted the way that he did. Hope this helped. I'm sure that you will get it all worked out.

Sara - posted on 05/21/2010

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First off, good for you for continuing to grow in your faith w/ a husband who has so many doubts and fears! It is so important for us as Christians to fellowship w/ other Christians, to grow, to keep one another accountable, to pray for one another. If you feel that it is important to back off on attending church on Sundays, maybe you can find another Bible study at a time that he wouldn't even be home to be "bothered" by it.

I also agree w/ Heather, get the book the Power of a Praying Wife. It goes through all the different areas of a marriage, because each area can be a cause of disagreement, anger, fighting, betrayal. Divorce should not even be an option for you as a believer, as very clearly stated in the Word. 1 Corinthians 7:13 "And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him."

It is also very important to continue to be in the Word, and to learn and know the Word so that you may be able to answer any of his questions w/ wisdom. Colossians 4:5-6 "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

As far as it being "possible that this is the influence of the enemy", that is EXACTLY what this is!!! One thing that you will find is that the stronger you become in your faith, the more of a threat that you are to the enemy, and the more he will attack you. So many people think that once you become a Christian, life becomes simple, and that we don't have any problems in life. In reality, it's the complete opposite. Take Job as an example. It is SO important for you to continue to grow in your faith. Continue to fellowship w/ other believers, pray always, and spend time in the Word. Continue to love your husband as the man God created for you. Continue to be faithful to our Father and he will remember your prayers.

QuaShawna - posted on 05/21/2010

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Hi I do believe that by you staying firm and faithful to God your husband will see that a good change has come into your life.In 1Cor 7 in talks about how a saved wife sanctifies her husband.So trust that God has your back!He'll give you the strength you need to be a good wife and still be faithful unto Him.

Heather - posted on 05/21/2010

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Elizabeth,

Agreeing with many others... you've received great information & support here. I'm thankful for your honesty in sharing with us all & in others support, prayers, & suggestions. You all have truly helped me this evening as well. The book suggestions are wonderful reads, very helpful! Stormie Omartian & Strobel share great information, I've re-read several times.

You can also check out this blog for wives in spiritually unequal marriage: http://unequalmarriage.typepad.com/ They are currently revamping this site (if it asks for a password, just hit cancel) & scroll down to see any blog posts! They also have a facebook page to support each other as well: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirituall...



Additionally - if you'd like to join others on facebook - next month (June) we're going through Stormie's book to pray for our husband all month! http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=12...



Please know you're not alone - will be praying for you. Hang in there!

Hugs, HL

Karen - posted on 05/21/2010

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If God brings you to it; He will bring you through it...You are being prayed for!

Kristi - posted on 05/20/2010

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That is a hard situation to be in; marriage is hard even with both as believers! You're right about not leaving your husband; it says once you are married to an unbeliever, if the unbeliever wishes to stay married, then you should stay married. It also mentions that the believer may bring the unbeliever to know God eventually. It is not certain, because he has free will, but it is a possibility.
In my experience, people will be more angry and lash out (like the 'weird' experience while he was drinking last night), when they are convicted by the Holy Spirit. My unsaved aunt used to act like that - hated on people that believed, but once she got saved she apologized.
It didn't sound like your husband disapproved of your church attendance, but that he was just lashing out at you. As long as he doesn't 'forbid' you to go, i would keep going. Keep up the faith - it will be easier to be encouraged by fellowshipping with other believers - joining a Bible study or Sunday School group would be ideal. Don't hide praying from your husband unless it will instigate a fight...but you're also right not to be too preachy or rub it in his face. He will eventually see a change in you and his heart will hopefully be softened and come to know God as well. Read 1 Corinthians chapter 7 regarding marriage, divorce, believers with non-believers, etc. That is a great passage that will hopefully bring you encouragement. And don't give up on your husband - you're right to keep praying for him and setting a good example. Pray for yourself as well, because you need strength to deal with this situation! God bless you!

Maya - posted on 05/20/2010

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I feel your pain to some extant, as I too am in an unequally yoked marriage. He does not resist it though, in fact he is a Christian, just not a very interested Christian and it is always me suggesting reading the BIble together/leading the kids/suggesting church, etc.

Anyway, one thing seems clear in the BIble, and that is that a believer should not leave the unbeliever. If the unbeliever want to leave, that is their perrogotive, but you are to be a light in his path and win him over by your actions. Tough responsibility I know. I don't think you should give up church, but as long as it doesn't lead you to fall away, skipping services occasionally might help. The main reason to go to church is to continue meeting w/believers to encourage each other in the faith. You don't have to go to a certain building to be w/God. The early church was simply fellow believers meeting together in homes, praying, eating a meal together, reading the Psalms and letters from the apostles, singing. You don't have to go to a particular place to do this, but it is important for your faith and growth to meet w/other believers on a regular basis . Maybe a women's group/bible study or something?

Kim - posted on 05/20/2010

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All I can say is God must come first above everything else and you can't compromise that. You should continue to pray for your husband and have others pray for him.Anythings possible with God! but you must stand your ground with your husband that
god comes first because we have nothing without God! and in order to have a successful marriage it has to be God centered, believe me I am not judging I have had my fair share of issues in my marriage but it is God who has got me through every issue and always will. Thats a tough situation, but I believe you will eventually win your husband over to christ by example more than your words but please always put God first we have nothing without him!

Frances M - posted on 05/20/2010

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Your thinking is correct. You were not unequally yoked when you first married. God just converted you first. I was unequally yoked for over 13 years. God showed me in scripture what to do and my husband became a Christian 9 months later. God also had me write a book about it and it is on line free to anyone who needs it. It has a 98% success rate. It is located at http://www.unequallyyoked.us/ Even though you are not really unequally yoked, there are many Biblical principles in the book that could help you until God's converts your husband. My e-mail address is pennywind@pennywind.com Feel free to write me at any time. I am praying for you and your family.

[deleted account]

There is a lot of great advice, so I'm just going to keep this short. God has placed you in this marriage for a reason, always remember that. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He already knows your needs and wants. Keep praying for your husband. Keep going to church and prioritize your church activities, find a balance so that your husband doesn't feel like he is completely left out of the picture. Shower him with your love, respect him and be the wife that God wants you to be for him. There is no need to preach at him, simply pray that God will soften & open his heart to receive God. Don't lose your faith. God Bless you both!

Sonya - posted on 05/20/2010

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If you have a wonderful husband, then you are blessed and I would not take that for granted. However I was married for several years to a man who completely lost his faith (what little of it he had.) It was very difficult for me to try to keep my children believing in God when their Father told them otherwise, and in our case the marriage did end in separation. We have been apart for seven years now and I think that we are both much happier for it. But, in our case we married very young and we really did marry much too quickly. I think that God has given you a gift with your husband and that as long as your children believe in God that is the most important thing. God is more than the man who wears the robes, or the building that we all gather in on the sabbath. Sometimes tradition DOES lay by the wayside, but as long as morals, strength, and faith prevail for your children you know you have done the right thing:)

Katherine - posted on 05/19/2010

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Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." God does not contradict Himself. Ephesians 5:22 "Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord." Colossians 3:18 "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." God says to submit ourselves to our husbands as to the Lord. The Lord would never tell us to sin. Therefore, when our husbands tell us to do something which is a sin (forsaking the gathering together of believers), we can not obey. We are to obey God. God does not, however, decree the frequency with which we have to gather, other than Sabbath. Exodus 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" So should you flaunt it in your husband's face by going to choir Thursday, Bible study Wednesday, missions Tuesday, Women's group Monday and worship on Sunday? Probably not, unless you really want to irritate him. However, God mandates that we worship Him, He mandates that we gather together to do that, and most places do this on Sunday. Therefore, go to church on Sunday. There is a difference between honoring someone and obeying someone to the point of sinning against God.

Julie - posted on 05/19/2010

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I disagree - if your husband does not want you going to church then you should honor that. We get our support from God and God alone...
I had a simliar issue when I first got saved... my mom did not want me going to church ... and I talked to the pastor and he reminded me that I was to honor my mom...
Within less than a month she asked me why I wasn't getting up and going to church today!
God asks us to be obedient to HIM - His wrod does not change ... we are to submit to our husbands... and He can take care of our husbands... (or, parents)

Andrea - posted on 05/19/2010

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1 Peter 3:1-4 says, "Wives, likewise, 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. Do not let your adornment be mearly outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."
The hardest part is "without a word." As a follower of Christ, you are the salt of the earth and light of the world. Let your life, your action, and godliness, be the witness to him.
Church, yes, is a good thing to be a part of, but you can always read the Bible at home. You can always pray - all day and everyday. No one can take the communion you share with the Lord.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand." John 10:27-29
I will pray for you.

Amber - posted on 05/19/2010

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if your husband feels that christians are hypocritical then you cant quit going to church. if you back down at a hard situation then he will see that. he is looking for any flaw he can to validate his opinion. do not shove it in his face but maintain your ground. you just need to say "i am sorry you disagree but this is how i feel and we can agree to disagree" just continue to love and support him. i had to do this with my husband. he came back changed after basic training and various deployments. when i laid off church for him our marriage suffered more. i finally told him that i would be at church and if he wanted to be with me he could go otherwise i would be home when it was done. he does go now and i even finally got him to a military bible study but it has taken years to get him this far. prayer is key!! not just yours but anyone else you can get to pray too. God's will is the only one that matters and God will not destroy your marriage if you are seeking his heart. so dont give up church, or your work for God. keep it up!!

Katherine - posted on 05/19/2010

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Just as God says "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's", we must render unto God that which He requires of us. Namely, joining with others in worship of Him (i.e. going to church). Is your husband head of household still? Yes. Until that which he requires of you goes against what God requires of you. In all things God comes first. Just as we are to obey our local/civil authorities until what they tell us specifically goes against what God tells us, and then we can not obey. Satan will always want you to reduce your time spent with other Christians, because when you're with other Christians, you receive support and uplifting. So, he'll use anything he can to get you to stay away from church, including your love and honor and respect for your husband. While it may seem like you're honoring God by doing what your husband would like (staying home from church), you would not be. Have faith that God is working all things for HIS good. No matter the outcome, God will be glorified! Pray without ceasing for your husband. Whether or not he turns to God is not in your hands, but God always tells us to pray!

La'Tonya - posted on 05/19/2010

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I agree with what most of the other ladies have said. Prayer is the key. Pray not only for God to reach his heart, but for God to help you stay strong in your faith and mentally/emotionally survive the pain that this situation is causing you. He has a plan for us all and in time it will be revealed to you. God has given us the free will to either accept Him or not. The decision is up to your husband, whether or not you choose to stay and continue to deal with whatever he throws at you is up to you. I would also like to remind you that respecting you includes allowing you to choose to follow God and His teachings without telling you that you are stupid for doing so.

Pamela - posted on 05/19/2010

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Stay with your husband. Be a Proverbs 31 woman! At the same time, realize that your total jumping into the church activities can be seen as a threat to what your husband considered a "safe" home environment. Keep going to church at least once a week. We all need to be fed spiritually. If he has his hobbies that don't include you, then he's being rather selfish to expect you to not get involved outside the home. I was married to an alcoholic. He told me numerous times that it was the church that caused the ruination of our marriage, when in fact it was his totally abusive behavior that came between us. My church in fact was the only thing keeping me sane at the time. Maybe you don't have to do all the other stuff for the church that you do. Maybe this is the time to just let the church and God's word nourish you. When your husband sees that you're not turning into a cult member or nutcase, he will eventually come around. I hope that when he's ready, that he will seek spiritual counseling to help him over his very deep wounds. As to the ex-wife...if she repented to the church at large, admitted her sin and asked for forgiveness, she would have been welcomed back with open arms. We are all sinners and daily offend a righteous God. We are called to forgive those that hurt us.
I hope that you continue to read your Bible daily and that God leads you in the right way to go.

Audrey - posted on 05/19/2010

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Elizabeth,
I am here to tell you you are not alone! I have gone through the exact same thing as you. I became a Christian after I got married and my husband is Catholic. It has been 2 1/2 yrs for me, which I have been married for 3 now. First off, it takes a lot of courage to put this on here for some advice. So kudos to you for it. Second, the last thing you need to do is cut back on going to church. You can still honor your husband, but maybe cut back on so many activities with the church. Do not stop going though. THat is the worst thing you can do for yourself. Fear is what keeps us from sharing with our husbands about what God is doing in our lives. You have to make the decision to not give up on him and let God deal with him in his timing. That was my problem for quite some time. I wanted my husband to see the change in me so that he would become a Christian. I just pushed him away. Now after 2 years, he is coming around. He actually starts up conversations about God such. THat is a huge step. So don't give up. Let God do it in him. Your husband does see a change in you and it will bring him back to remembrance of his love for God. Trust me, it will happen!

Krisanne - posted on 05/19/2010

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Whatever you do do NOT slow down attending church that is exactly what Satan wants give an inch he will for sure take a mile. If your husband is having issues with your walk with God then just be pleased that God is convicting him. Keep praying keep reading your bible don't hide your faith especially from your husband because if you look like you are embarrassed with it, it will just show your hubby that it is really not that important to you. Your husband drinks that is an issue all in itself as a child I grew up in an unequally yolked family mom believed dad does not He is a drinker... a really good drinker he has it mastered I am sad to say. My brother and I begged mom to leave dad when we were younger but she refused. Mom is a strong lady who says she made her choice in him and knows God put her in this relationship for a reason. I just feel for your daughter she will be going through a major struggle as she gets older. My brother still will not speak to our dad due to his drinking and ignorant treatment of our mom. Never physical but verbal attacking her belief all the time. Be prepared Satan will try to break you and he will use every possible in that you give him. I feel for you and will be praying for you and your family as you have just begun your battles against Satan and this will also involve your husband He will become more angry about your faith and will attack it any chance he gets to make you feel conflicted it has already begun. Just remember to stay strong and keep attending church this is where you will be supported and fed in your struggles. Find a small group where you can have a more intimate place where you can study God's word open your heart without fear of making anyone uncomfortable and find safety from the attacks. Your husband may be a good man but the more God speaks to him he will either give in and let God into his life or he will fight it and you for being an example of what he knows to be true. I have lived all sides of your situation. Growing up in a split believing home, having an unequally yolked relationship, and having turned away from God because my best friend died in an accident. Thing of that was Satan looked for any excuse to make me question my faith and I let him in with doubts and hurt and anger. The best part is God does not turn His back on His children. He hurts when we hurt He celebrates when we do He loves us unconditionally. Please don't let my words discourage you but look at them as encouragement Be strong We are still praying for my dad and he may never come to Christ but I have a peace about it because God knows what I need in order to deal with it and I know that it will all be in God's time (I hate waiting).
Be the example your daughter needs for she will watch how you deal with your struggles and learn to lean on God as well if you show her how.

Julie - posted on 05/18/2010

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Preach the gospel at ALL Times - ONLY if neccesary, use words...
Love him - he's been hurt and blames God and now is taking it out on you.
Pray for him as God is the only onw who can heal his deep wounds.
When he is SOBER - ask him if he'd like you to quit going to church. If he says "yes" be willing to quit.
Remember, true Christiainity is not about 'church' its about your relationship to God, right? No one can take that away from you. Wheile he's at work, read your Bible fellowship with other gals who are believers... but again LOVE HIM!

Regenia - posted on 05/18/2010

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Honey, don't feel bad my husband was that way last year. It became my reason to stop going to church because he didn't want to or didn't feel like it. When My 5 yr old started talking bad about God, something had to be done. I started going back to church taking both of my girls while my husband stayed at home. I used to come home with an attitude because he never came with us. So I prayed about it, God told me to keep inviting him, if he says no, continue to pray about it. Well I got to the point, where I started giving up and God told me New Years Eve night, don't worry your whole family will be in church, and when I bring your husband to church, I'm gonna use him. Well last Sunday, my whole family were baptized at church and my husband was ordained the head deacon. My advice to you is continue to pray, continue to go to church don't reduce your time with God, you will reduce your Blessings. Read the Power of a praying wife. Honey it works. My husband is my testimony, there's nothing that God can't do, your husband will come around, but trust that God will bring him in!!!

Lindsey - posted on 05/18/2010

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It's a tough situation, and obviously you are trying your best. The Bible doesn't advocate for leaving your husband. On the contrary, Paul says to stay together and maybe he will be won over. I would check out Lee Strobel's book "Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch". A number of ladies in our church deal wiht this situation and have said the book is very helpful.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/18/2010

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Oh I forgot to mention, over the summer I will start attending my women's bible study again. I did discuss that with him, and he really doesn't mind me going to Bible study. I really think it's just the deep scars he has about "church" and they are still healing, lo these 7 years later (although to be fair, over the years the gashes have been reopened again and again every time the ex-wife was evil and spiteful (she ultimately destroyed the marriage with infidelity, but I know he wasn't a saint either in terms of respecting his wife and correctly handling discord, but both of them were young and ill-equipped to deal with the struggles of marriage) and the "church family" down there took her side.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/18/2010

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UPDATE: Thank you all for your advice and kind words. It's not completely resolved, but we have a cease fire. I am focusing on serving my family in the household and staying in prayer. I spoke with two of my mentors at my church, who know my husband, and they agreed it's best not to antagonize him right now, keep praying, and to come to church when it isn't going to cause problems. One of them also thinks perhaps the Lord is working on my husband's heart, and if that's so the last thing I want to be is an unhelpful Christian (I know first hand how derailing that can be).

We did have another conversation (everyone sober :) my husband isn't an alcholic or anything, he just was drinking that night) and he tried to pull the "I don't care if you go to church." I explained to him that wasn't good enough, that I needed him to be supportive of me going to church, just as I am supportive of his softball and his sailing and any other hobby he loves. He tried to say this was different, and I said "Okay, so you agree faith isn't just a hobby, and yes I have changed but it's still me. Going to church, not going to church won't change my relationship with God, or that I pray for you and our children every night. You are my husband and I don't LIKE doing anything, even going to church, if it leads you to resent me."

We're still not too sure what the compromise will be. I might go to church this Sunday for Pentecost, but I will see. I think it will just take some time to undo some of the damage I did by jumping so far in and making him feel like he was being left out (on his own wishes, but probably doesn't change the way he felt). People always think women are the super sensitive ones, but I'm here to tell you, men are pretty fragile too!

I'm still reading my Bible, singing praise songs with my daughter, and it may sound old-fashioned, but I do stay home and I'm really trying to get back into keeping the house kept up. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some brainwashed woman who thinks I must be a doormat for my husband etc. I just know he values a clean house in ways I do not, and he is under a great deal of stress at the moment with school, getting out of the service, and hoping the ex-wife sticks to the agreement so my stepson is here for school next year. Plus, I stay home and I SHOULD take pride in my home.

I'm prayerful that with time, my husband will soften his hardness against "organized religion" as he calls it, and I accept that may not be while we live here. God's in the driver seat, I'm just along for the ride. :)

Tamara - posted on 05/18/2010

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This helps me through all my trials. Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

I think you are right to stay with your husband. For all you know the reaction that he had the other night could be because God is working on his heart and his flesh is fighting back. Keep praying for him and be respectful of him and show him love. Your relationship with God should be #1 Relationship with your husband next and then your relationship with your church. Sometimes we can get too involved in church stuff that we can neglect our family. I love attending church so this is nothing against you going. If you feel you are needing more church than one service a month then you should go more than that but it isn't a requirement. Jesus Loves your husband no matter what your husband feels about him. Just pray and leave the rest to God:-) Your prayers will be answered.

Michelle - posted on 05/17/2010

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Hi,
You've got some great advice already here so I am just going to add some scripture to back some of it up... I was saved in 1992 and my husband was not until 1997. Hard yes, worth obeying the Lord in my marriage and my faith, absolutely. He was "won without a word"...
1 Corinthians 7:10-16; Hebrews 10:24-25

Melinda - posted on 05/17/2010

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Elizabeth - you have been given much to think about so I won't add much more. Know I am praying for you. As for what you should do about attending church - I would pray and ask God what He would like you to do....and then Be still and wait for the still small voice to guide you.

Ruth - posted on 05/16/2010

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The best thing you can do in this situation in PRAY and FAST for your husband. You must stand in the gap for him. You don't have to go to church to HAVE church. Jesus is WITH YOU always. Be an example of Jesus to your husband.

[deleted account]

You are in a challenging situation. I feel that you want to be "faithful" to God and to your husband. I makes it difficult when your spouse does not catagorize the importance of personal faith in the same order as you do, (God first and everything comes second) and yet, as the female - you are looking to your husband to be the Christ like lovng leader in your marriage and set the tone for your marriage in regards to spriritual leadership.

You do have choices though and I would not stop attending church yourself if you can help it, you do need to be spiritually fed and be part of fellowship in your community. You may want to "test" the real feelings of you husband and stay away from church temporally (without letting him know you are seeing how he really feels about your church attendance). This way you can observe how your husband reacts. This should not change your daily devotion time or any other aspects to your chirstian walk except for not attending church for a few weeks. Hopefully your church community will reach out to you, noticing your absence and If he realizes that you have not changed in anyway, that your are really the same person with or without church that may help you clarify the next step for him and you.

Draw on your relationship with Christ to let you know what you should do. He will never let you down.

Kindest regards,
Grace

Rene - posted on 05/15/2010

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God knows your heart and I believe He will honor your committment to your husband. Your DH feels threatened by your church attendance. I am torn over the reducing the amount of time spent at church. But maybe for a short period of time lessen your church goings. I wouldn't hide your pray time from your DH. He needs to see that you can love Jesus and also love him. I would let him know how you feel and your plan on reducing going to church to show him you are committed to your marriage. Is there a woman's bible study within your church that you can attend? Maybe he won't be insecure with you meeting once a week with women. You say your husband respects you, no disrespect intended here, but if he has asked you to stop going to church or belittles your beliefs than how is that respecting you? My father became a christian late in life but never cared that my mom took us to church.
On a different note, my sister also couldn't conceive and she went through many procedures for her 1st child (took 5yrs) She became a christian, after forgving herself from past aggressions, she became pregnant without the help of Dr's. She basically told her Drs that the Lord could do it.They laughed at her. She was pregnant within 6months. So congratulations. Hang in there. Jesus is in the business of changing hearts and lives. He will soften your husband's heart.
I just reread your post and noticed that you said you have given your all to church work. Maybe that is bothering your husband. Maybe he thinks you are spending too much time on that than on time at home. Just thought. Talk to him about exactly what bothers him about you attending church. Don't except his lack of faith and him thinking it's a silly fantasy as a reason.
I will be praying for you and your DH.

Teresa - posted on 05/15/2010

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I don't believe you should stop going to church. That is what Satan wants you to do. My husband doesn't go to church either. His parents drug him to church all the time, but at home they did not live like Christians. He also has trouble with crowds. I attend church with our daughter, and we pray before we eat and read our bible. He believes in God, just not church. Don't let satan use your husband and marriage to destroy your relationship with God. Being a young Christian, you need to have the support, and encouragement of your church family. It is so easy, especially early in your christian life, to get out of the habit of going to church, praying and reading your bible. I have been there, I know. I believe satan attacks us where we are the most vulnerable, so be strong, and do not waver from your faith. I will be praying for you and your family. Maybe if your husband sees that you are not giving up on church and sees you pray and read your bible, his heart will soften up and he will come back to God. He probably associates church with his ex-wife now, and it makes him hurt, so he doesn't go. Alcohol makes people say really hurtful things. I pray that he will quit drinking, for your sake and the sake of your marriage. We can only stand so many hurtful things. God bless you.

Becky - posted on 05/15/2010

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I just want to say hang in there! I have had lots of frustrating struggles with my husband but prayer and friend support always bring me through. I don't want to leave my husband, either, but I've felt on the edge more than a few times. I think your husband needs a lot of healing from bretrayal which seems more than once and if you think cutting your church attendance down, you could try it and see if it helps. I think you're on the right track and it's good that we can tell God anything - even our angry feelings and He has all the best answers. Don't give up! :-) Becky

Kelly - posted on 05/15/2010

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I think You should keep on keeping on. I was unequally yoked in my first marriage. I backed away from church and eventually stopped going. He blamed God for everything. Eventually he left me for someone else, then her for someone else. Believe it or not, he is now married to that last person and they both attend church regularly. She started going to church and held her ground. I don't think she preached to him or begged him, however by standing strong in her Faith, he eventually followed. This was an eye opener for me. If I had stayed in church and continued my journey, maybe he would have eventually followed. I don't know. I just know what I see. I am happy for them, just wish I had done things differently. On a side note, I am now happily married to a Christian Man.

Gail - posted on 05/14/2010

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No matter what the decision is you ultimately make just remember that GOD is ALWAYS to be put first. Just keep loving your husband. He will read the bible that you are. Conviction is a very difficult thing to feel. I see that your husband is feeling that conviction!! I'm thinking that he sees in you what he's always wanted.A relationship with the Lord! Keep praying for him. Talk to your pastor or/and prayer partner! Don't let Satan win this battle. It has already been won!
Gail

Dawn - posted on 05/14/2010

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ok, i would never tell you to leave your husband; God wouldn't want that either. BUT i will tell you...don't stop going to church or lessen the amount of times a month you attend. Continue going the same as always. God is working on him and he is fighting it. Let it happen! by attending fewer times, you are letting your husband win, therefore choosing your husband over God. God ALWAYS comes first, then your husband and family.

The battle your husband is dealing with is God working on him and he is fighting tooth and nail. Hubby is jealous of your inner peace and acceptance and this is something HE has to deal with...not you. Why should you change who you are if he won't? God is greater than anything, and He is a miracle worker. Give God time, and your hubby. he will come around.

God Bless and enjoy your new lil life. they grow up far too fast! seems like just yesterday I gave birth to my oldest son (he is turning 18 in exactly 2 weeks!) Bring him or her up in a good christian home with values and putting God first.

Tierra - posted on 05/13/2010

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Yes the bible does say honor the husband but thats only if he is in right standing.Remember Christ is the head of our husbands.Christ comes before anything that includes our husbands.

Jamie - posted on 05/13/2010

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I was raised Pentecostal though my parents were baptist. At 14 my parents went "searching" they settled on a pastor out of Az ( I believe) and they do studies on tape. I stayed away from most of it other then praying and reading my bible at times. I considered myself Non-denominational when I met my Dh who was a non-praticing Mormon. We agreed right away on how we would raise our children, they would be brought up with the basics and then taught the different beliefs when they could think for themselves. This changed about two years ago. With our son getting older I found a church I liked (Seventh day adventist) and attended regularly. His family started pushing hard on him about a year later to rejoin the church and I got stuck in the middle. We finally went back to our old agreement when I would not budge. I was worried about my children and what they would be taught that I do not agree with and he has told me before neither does he. (He is just anti-religion period because of his step mother and all considering her sooo Godly) he talks to God though and trusts in him. I have prayed every day of our marriage that he would get closer to God and at some point come to church with me and the boys even if he doesn't join. He has come a long way but it had to be on his time. I have chosen my path and will not let anyone come between me and God. Good luck in what ever you decide. Just keep your faith in God and remember that Satan will try his hardest to get you back the closer you and your family get to God.

April - posted on 05/13/2010

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Someone else mentioned the book "The Power of a Praying Wife." It compiles different prayers and biblical promises you have over your marriage, it's really good.

God has already given you everything you need to overcome this. Just remember what God has already done for you when you put it in his hands and he gave you a baby... he wants you to do the same again. God wants you to lean on Him. When you pray, ask about your extra time at Church and ask how to talk to your husband. And always remember that God has good plans for you, think of this an opportunity for God to take you to the next level and heal your husband from his past hurt.

Feel free to contact me any time you need encouragement.

Important verses to keep on hand:

-For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities. Ephesians 6:12

-For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

-God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

- Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28

- He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak Isaiah 40:29

- Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

-Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see Heb.11:1

-We live by faith, not by sight 2 Cor. 5:7

Rona - posted on 05/12/2010

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Could it be that particular church, or the denomination? My first husband's family have all attended the "foot washing" or Faith Way Baptist church; therefore my ex-husband was reared into the idea that Old, Hardshell, "legalistic" Faithway Baptist was the "TRUTH", while other Baptists, denominations, was "UN-TRUE" churches. I myself was born and raised Southern Baptist, the old country church in the old traditional gospel music (minus the tambereens and clapping choir); yet in my young adult years I grew into a large, mission oriented (local and abroad) church and got plugged in there. I began realizing that "Church" is not as important as your relationship with Christ, and that without Christ, church is just a buliding full of people. I began realizing that God calls Christians to "Assemble" ourselves in church, and that is a practice of being obedient. But it doesn't assure your salvation.Grant it, my (then) husband followed me to THIS church, but only because he was not a spiritual leader, but yet a simple follower, his parents and immediate family would have little to say or do with the Church we became a part of and eventually my ex husband dropped out all together.
My fiance (now) was raised in the same kind of Church I was, but when we first met he all but hated the church I was a member of and faithfully attended. He said it was overwhelming (over 4,000 active members, with right at 2,000 present at any given sunday) and their worship was so different from how he was raised. We, of course, fussed and fought about church, but agreed we wanted to be in church. I suggested we find a church we were both comfortable. IT WORKED! When I started letting him be the spiritual leader (considering my ex-husband never would lead, and I had become accustomed to being the spiritual leader) he actually started pulling ME to church. Sunday school, getting involved with the youth, and, outside of illness, haven't missed a church gathering yet. I think he just needed to see that I WANTED him to be the spiritual leader, but I felt that I wasn't going to put HIM ahead of GOD in my life; I told him I was going to church, and if he chose not to that was between him and GOD. I told him I was also not going to refrain from being my normal self, that if he saw me going to church, reading my bible, speaking freely of my Lord and Savior, praying, taking our kids to church, involving myself in choir and church activities I was not going to let Satan use HIM as a way to keep ME out of church! Honey, nearly every sunday for the longest time, I would be getting dressed and rebuking satan all at the same time, HA HA! Everytime my fiance would start in on me, I was shouting "Get behind me satan!". But I know NOW it was because he was dealing with his OWN relationship with Christ and was rejecting the role of spiritual leader.

Courtney - posted on 05/12/2010

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don't leave him..the bible says a sanctified wife sanctifies her husband...and plz don't decrease church attendance...this is however the precise reason why God tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. God will get you through this but plz teach your children to not be unequally yoked and teach them to let the holy spirit lead them to the right one b/c he will not lead you to an unsaved man or one who is not as on fire for God as u..b/c the husband is the head and when the husband can't properly lead in a godly way..it forces the wife to be the spiritual breadwinner which is out of order. There are plently of women going through this so i would suggest seeking advice from them and God of course b/c i'm not married (but God has shown me ALOT about the process of choosing a mate and it just turns me off when i see that his passion for God is not as fervent as mine)
Find scriptures concerning this and meditate on them and speak them everyday...eventually he will come arround just keep praying and living godly in front of him...let him see jesus through you. don't condemn him just love on him...i will definitley pray for you guys...god bless u! :)

Tomesa - posted on 05/11/2010

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honestly, being unequally yoked with a man who does NOT believe in God is a problem. instead of asking US what to do, take it to the Lord in prayer...this is a spiritual emergency, i am praying for you. whatever you do...i don't believe in putting God on the backburner for anyone...not even a husband. attending church less would NOT be an option! please be blessed and take this issue to the Lord.

Vicki - posted on 05/11/2010

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Elizabeth, my heart and prayers go out to you. It is very clear that you have a great deal of compassion and love for the Lord as well as your family. Very few couples in this world are exactly evenly yoked all the time. It is something many married couples continuously strive for, and pray for. Sometimes they pray together, other times apart.

My husband and I separated for 3 years. During our time apart, we each developed our own personal relationship with Christ at different church homes. The Lord healed us and brought us back together 4 years ago. At first, we took turns attending both of our churches. Then we both agreed that one seemed to fit better, and we've been attending ever since.

I guess my best advice would be for you to keep developing your personal relationship with Christ through prayer, learning His word, and obeying His laws. Ask him to show you His way of being in this world with your husband. I caution you from spending all of your free time at church. Free time is a limited resource in most marriages, especially in families with children. Personally I think the amount spent away from home should be negotiated prior to making any outside comitments.

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