SPIRITUALLY SINGLE: Living With an Unbelieving Husband

SeparationWe’re called to live at peace with everyone, including our unbelieving spouses, which can require extra effort on our part,” Ellen says. “We all have to find what works best in our individual situation. There’s no magic formula, but God will help supply the right answers if we ask.”

That said, don’t be afraid to grow. Looking back, I realize my growth has enhanced our marriage and didn’t hinder our relationship, as I originally presumed it would. When I put God first, He changed my heart toward Dean.

Whole Heart

God used Paul’s advice to the Colossians to challenge me: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (3:23). God was asking me to put my whole heart into my marriage —for Him.

Lori, a friend at church, shared with me what God taught her during a difficult period in her marriage. “Regardless of what Steve did or didn’t do, regardless of his salvation status, and regardless of his contribution to the relationship, God expected my best. Marriage isn’t a 50/50 proposition, but rather my giving my 100%.”

Those words have haunted, rebuked, and blessed me many times over the years. She’s right. When I stand before God, I long to hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful wife.” I don’t desire to stand before Him blaming Dean for my shortcomings. “But, God, I didn’t because he didn’t…” Those words won’t carry much weight with the Almighty.

Reasons to Grow

The spiritual condition of my spouse doesn’t change my role except to create a more vital need for obedience to Scripture. As Peter reminds me, the unbeliever will be won over by the behavior —not the words of his believing mate. Even more reason to grow. How an I practice what I do not know? And how can I know unless I grow in my knowledge of God?

Proverbs 31 paints the epitome of a godly woman,yet never states whether her husband practiced faith. With so little revealed about him, I must surmise his spiritual condition held no relevance to her role as a godly wife, nor does my husband’s for me.

So I pass the gauntlet on to you. It’s with love, hope, and prayers I say, “You grow, girl!” Move toward God with passionate fervor. Don’t wait for anyone or anything. May God bless you as you grow in Him!

This article comes from the book: Spiritually Single by Jeri Odell. It was published by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, Missouri. Jeri Odell has been married for 34 years and has persevered alone in her Christian walk for nearly 29 of those years.


The following web site article links are provided to help you further as you strive to live with your unbelieving spouse. Please click onto the link below to read:




There was a Revive Our Hearts radio broadcast series titled “When He Doesn’t Believe” with Nancy DeMoss who was interviewing Nancy Kennedy, who is married to an unbelieving husband, that you might find especially helpful. Below are two of the links to the audio and transcripts to this compelling interview. Please click onto the links to listen to and/or read:



If you would like to obtain the book that Nancy Kennedy wrote, that was being discussed throughout these interviews, please click onto the link provided below:


If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

Print Post

Filed under: Spiritual Matters Unbelieving Spouse

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


79 responses to “SPIRITUALLY SINGLE: Living With an Unbelieving Husband

  1. I sure am struggling to love or even want to love my unbelieving husband. Last time he was home (truck driver) his swearing was from the depths of hell. I struggle with esteem issues, living life, hurt feelings, and he and his family are all big heavy personalties.

  2. It’s right and biblical that it is only God who saves indeed. I am sailing the same boat with my husband, but I know that God is on the watch and he is my lawyer. One day God will save him and I shall sing a song of thanksgiving to my Savior. Amen.

  3. I am a man and my wife has fallen. She started drinking like we used to do. How do I bring her back? She doesn’t want to go to church or to do anything about God. My world is upside down. We work different hours, and I know now I should have found a way to take her out on a date; stupid me! Any sister that can help?

    1. I am sorry to hear that and I had the same problem. I tried all I could and I think it resulted in a defensive push back. I was called a teetotaler. I finally stopped him from drinking in the house by explaining that I could call the police if he got out of hand. He started drinking and driving unbeknownst to me. Around that same time I let go and let God. He fell asleep at the wheel after having cocktails shortly thereafter. This resulted in a crash and he had to comply with taking a breathalyzer around two to three times a week. That stopped his drinking. He has resultant liver problems from drinking. It has been three years since then and he is acting like a dry drunk where I ask dear friends to pray for us. I prayed for you both.

  4. I am also struggling with an unbelieving husband. I just recently found out, after a lot of prayer from our Pastor (Since we were almost at the verge of divorce due to his alchoholism), that he has been a member of a cult since 2010…which is before we even met. I am now in ruins about this and I am struggling to deal with this information. To make matters worse, I am 5 months pregnant and he even threatened to kill me and our baby. I don’t know how to handle this. I am constantly scared of him and what he will do next. He says that he has been delivered and that he no longer goes to the occultists but how do I trust him after he has been lying to me since the first day we met in 2013. I am not a person who believes in divorce and I have asked God time and again what to do. All I can do is pray and believe that the reason God put us together is for his (my husband’s) salvation and that he is free from bondage.

    If anyone has advise on a similar situation, I would really appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

    1. I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I would like to provide the information I know of to address whether your fear is real. If your name is on the vehicles’ title he drives, and you have a cellphone where you can use APPS, and you can attach a GPS tracker to the vehicle, then, you can legally determine if he visits such locations for your peace of mind. I prayed for you.

  5. I feel I am never at home even though I am home. I guess I haven’t felt at home with with anyone anyway. I felt at home while I was single and living alone. My husband gives me the “I am a man of God, then, the I have fallen short of the glory of God” routine and it sends our marriage in circles. His routine is the same for his family, wherein, I invite his family over for the holidays and he proceeds to swear in front of the young children. If he loves me as much as he does himself I don’t feel it and his family probably feels the same way. It seems he identifies with a set of values and beliefs learned based on his employment and not set down by God. I guess God, his family, and I feel the same way. He seems to be manipulating the system. I hope I can feel at home in this forum.

  6. Hi, my name’s Amanda. I’m new here. I’m a Christian and got married on a “whim.” My husband told me he was saved before we got married and now he is saying he didn’t believe in his heart. He studies atheist books every day and is conversing with them on different web sites and going to atheist meetings. He does attend church with me but he is taking what he learns and doing the opposite. He is kind to me tho and loving. He doesn’t hit or curse me for the most part. He has said we can stay together or divorce and he don’t care which we do.

    I’ve have told him that us separating or staying together is his decision and that God has told me if he chooses to stay with me or divorce me that I can live with that either way. He does still read his bible that we bought each other for Valentines day. He bought me one; then then I bought him one the following holiday. He is holding onto one scripture though. God saves those who are crushed in spirit and rescues the broken hearted. So that’s good:) He holds good morals and says God wouldn’t send him to hell because he is a good person. I don’t believe God sends us to hell because we are “good” but because we don’t believe in the one who sent his son for us and died for us. I just simply tell him Jesus loves him and that seems to give him peace.

    Now as a Christian wife I do the best I can; I could probably do better. We both have bipolar and are on disability; we don’t work. I keep house, cook, laundry and clean. Along with treatment everyday for my disorder. He is starting day treatment next week with me. I say we go to church we don’t now because my mom was letting us use her vehicle and she needed it so she took it back. We walk everywhere now. God has truly had mercy on us even living in a divided house. I just kinda wanted to share what I’m going though. Any advice would be great. Thanks, Amanda

  7. Praise the Lord I know God can do all things and I believe one day my husband can change and we live a full of God’s love. Please pray for my husband.