What To Do When Your Spouse Has Little To No Faith?

Joy Lowery Russaw

2021-02-16 5 min read

Now, I could just say, pray for him and take him to the cross. However, there is so much more to it than that. Pray for your spouse? Yes. Take him/her to the cross? Absolutely! But first, let’s think back to the day you met. What tickled your fancy about him? What set her apart from any other woman in the room?

Now, go back to the person that each of you were when you very first met. I will use myself as an example for you. My husband and I first met back in 2017. First sight, he was indeed handsome! Now, at the time, I was not looking for love by any means. I was so satisfied with Jesus! Or so I said I was. I was very content with just my daughter (2 month old at the time) and I. Now, I fell in love with many things about my husband. From all those many components of him I loved, me trying to help him be a better him consumed me.

As a result of the love we had for one another, we got married September of 2019.  Keep in mind, we had “known” each other for one year prior to marriage. Did I consult God on whether this was the man that he had destined for me? Correspondingly, did I seek God while in the dating phase with my husband? I sure did not. We dated December 2017 and were married September of 2019. From one date and year to the next, I consulted God not once. The word says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”. I did not seek Him for that relationship and, I was not living righteously. Okay so, I was not living real crazy but, it was not righteous either. My husband was out of the will of God and, guess what? You guessed it! So was I! To emphasize, I kept saying “Who shall separate me from the love of God?” In other words, who or what should be more important than me loving God?

Meanwhile, it came a point where I began to yearn for God.  This was the turning point in my marriage that began to cause a little friction. With that being said, I began to grow and my husband was still the same person I fell in love with. Did you catch that? I started to read the Bible more often, church every Sunday, even prayed a little bit here and there. Before my husband and I moved in together, I told him that the person I was prior to that move in, I will continue to be that person. Because we both had a past right? I said nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ, right? With the growing will to learn more and more about Christ, I felt that my husband should be the same too. Why was he not “churchy” like me? Why didn’t he pay attention when I tried to incorporate Bible Study? The real question is, “Did I not know these things about him in the dating phase?” These are all questions that I would not have had to ask myself, if I would have been in God’s will from the beginning. Let me break it down for you. Just because you arrived before your husband, at this time, does not make you are better than your husband. Ecclesiastes says that there is a time and season for everything.

With that being said, your time and your spouse’s timing will not be spot on. Just because you are at the point in your life where you have now accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, do not criticize your spouse for not currently being at that place. During the dating phase we are to pay attention to the background from which we both are coming from. For instance, myself, I was brought up in the church. As a child I was part of the Sunbeams and attended VBS (Vacation Bible School) faithfully each year. I served as a choir member in the church at a young age and, attended Sunday School. As a child, my mother taught me the basic fundamentals that I would need in order to be the type of wife God meant for us to be. She taught me how to wash clothes, how to do the dishes (and don’t forget to sweep that kitchen), how to prepare a meal (even when there weren’t always many options to choose from), and many other things. My husband did not come from that same background and, I do not fault him for that. You know what? I do not even fault his parents for that. People can only teach what they have been taught or experienced. He did not experience the Sunday School, the VBS, serving in the church, being taught the fundamentals of being a Godly man. There is a difference in being taught how to be a “man” and how to be a “Godly man”. Any man can be a man. We are man and woman by genetics, by nature. But how to be a Godly man or Godly woman, well, that is a different type of teaching.

Again, you ask, what does this have to do with the topic at hand? It has everything to do with it. Your spouse cannot give you what they do not have. If they were not taught and/or learned how to be a Godly husband or wife, they will not possess those qualities. The same person that you fell in love with and that same person that you said you wanted to spend your life with, stick with them. This is the perfect time for you to be an example of what God can do. You need to love your spouse for the part of them you do not like and, for the part of them you fell in love with. God’s word says in 1 Corinthians 7:14-19, “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.” With that being said, just because you have grown to have a relationship with God, do not criticize your spouse for not being there yet. What you must do now, is live the life according to God’s purpose, and then your husband will follow suit. Important to realize, whether you had faith from the start or had no faith at all, what matters is keeping God’s commandments.

Ultimately, you are the key to your spouse salvation. I say to you, do not grow weary in well doing, as the word says. Correspondingly, do as Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” Be intentional and specific in your prayer to God. Do not be anxious for your spouse to make the change that you are looking for. Allow God to do the changing and, in the meantime, you do your part. Sit at His feet and speak (pray) to Him. Cast all your cares on Him, He can handle it. Although it may not seem like it now, let go and let God. Although cliché, it is so true, and it works! 

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