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.

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

  1. (USA) I have been married to my husband for 8 years. We met in church and at the time we had the same Christian beliefs. We didn’t have much in common, but our foundation was God. We would always uplift each other when one was down, encourage each other and we admired each other’s faith and we grew together as strong Christians. We were involved in many aspects of our church. We were part of the choir and would organise the youth activities for the church. My husband became a youth minister and he was a role model to the young people and a great encouragement to our church.

    About a year ago, my husband had a negative experience and since then, he has turned his life completely around, to the point that he no longers believes in God. Since that time, it has been a struggle. We’re trying to find different ways to reconnect but it’s not easy because we both feel a wall between us. We no longer have the same friends, being that he is 30, he started to go out in bars once in a while, which I may not agree with because of my beliefs, but I do understand. I do not have many friends being that I am from a different country, so I do not have my family with me and he is all I have here.

    I love him and I want things to workout for us but I am not willing to leave my faith because it is who I am. I let him do what he needs to do because he needs to have his own experiences and I want him to be happy and as long as he respects me and my beliefs, I can be understanding. What is difficult is to find the middle ground, because he’s atheist and I’m a Christian. I am 31 and would like to have children soon, but how is that possible since we cannot agree on the same beliefs? How will we raise how children? I know that we both want our marriage to work because we love each other and we are also best friends. But If anyone has advice on how to make our love grow even though we have spiritual differences, I would really appreciate any advice.

    1. Julialuv… Hold strong to your faith. I lived in a home with mom (the believer) and dad (claimed atheist). It was hard on us children as dad was a drinker (sometimes abusive physically). It was hard on mom. Most my life I thought that was just how my dad was. I found out that my dad had a negative experience at church when he was a teen. All my life that’s all I knew. My mom never stopped praying and believing for my dad. After 20+ yrs they divorced.

      In 2006 my dad was diagnosed with cancer in April and in December we was told he didn’t have much time so the last 2 weeks of his life he sobered up and asked for prayer and he prayed. With all my heart I believe due to the peace God has given me that he made it. Not that I want it to take your husband this long. The problem with my father was he grew hard-hearted after his negative experience. So whatever happened in your husband’s life needs to be faced and dealt with. So that is where the healing starts and it needs to be asap. I pray God can help and I know he has the ability to do it. Forgiveness is the best for him and I say from experience that is a hard bone to swallow.

  2. Me and my husband are separated. When we met it was soon after I gave my life to Christ and I asked the Lord to send me out. I went through enormous trials. My husband I met at a Bible study and he said he was a Christian. My best friend’s husband introduced us together and then told my husband that he did not need to marry me. My husband did anyways because he did not listen to my best friend’s husband.

    It was like the narrow road I went through with him. I have never seen such darkness before in my life. He had 4 children that the state gave him. That was his sister’s children. I worked; he didn’t. He lied with his dad with all the kids. He basically got the kids for the money. He did not care for any of their needs. I had to do it all and I have a small child from a previous relationship that is now 7.

    I left him many times because of his abuse. He was verbally and mentally extremely abusive. He is responsible for so much hurt and pain that I have in my soul. I still cannot figure out how to get healed from it yet and really need prayer to get through it mainly because I do not understand why the Lord would ask me or lead me to that house and give me the desire to be married and it ends in the way it did. We are still married but have been divorced once and remarried. Now we are back at my mother’s house. He is extremely sick and both my mom and dad are not belivers but have witnessed my husband professing to be a believer and seeing all that he has done to me. It all boils down to my husband telling his testimony that the reason why he has done all that he has is because he did not know the Lord.

    But he can’t and I have seen him get even close to death and still refuse to see the truth because he says it hurts too much. It is extremely draining on me and all I want is freed from it and be closer to Christ and have a clean conscience before the Lord. I want to be right with God but I don’t want to go back to my husband because he tears me down and uses scripture against me. He even calls me Judas. He has almost destroyed my spirit. I can’t see how the Lord wants me there and why I can’t get redeemed and the Lord bring a new community of believer to me and let me continue living and be healed from this torture.

  3. I have not spoken to him for a week. I left the Church because of all our arguing and conflict. It was killing me. One lady in the church told me just obey the Lord. It was like I can’t; I don’t have Christ’s strength now. I pray that the Lord brings me close friends, believers that are committed to Christ, and helps me be redeemed from all this. I am hoping the men in the church will minister to my husband. That way he can be healed and freed from all this and lead me and the children to healing also. But I do have doubts. It hurts so much.

    1. Hi Amanda. I read your testimony, and understand your frustration completely. We have to allow Christ to strengthen us and mortify the deeds of our flesh, and crucify the longings in our heart. There are so many godly examples in the word of God that can enlighten our situation and bring peace to the overwhelming circumstances in our lives. I say “we” bc I am also in a marriage with an unbelieving spouse.

      While our circumstances vary in testimony, I encourage you to seek God’s word for everything! We can TRUST it above how we think, or feel? Have you ever read about Abigail and Nabal? Or the testimony of Lois Timothy’s grandmother and godly mother, although her husband was a Greek, raised Timothy to be a godly preacher, who Paul highly exalts, saying, “I have no other man thus likeminded who will naturally care for your needs. These women were women of understanding in their trials. They were not “emotional basket cases”. They allowed God to work in their hearts, and the fruit of their labor was seen before all.

      God hardened Nabal’s heart, and he literally died allowing her to remarry a godly man: David the sweet psalmist of Israel. No doubt she was a prayer warrior, a woman of great understanding (as the Bible professes) before the eyes of God and man… You and I, everyone in our situation. And Timothy’s mother was commended for her upbringing of one of Paul’s greatest shadows. We are called to suffer. Unfortunately, our flesh does not like or understand this, but our flesh is going to the grave, and it knows that. Our soul yearns to be right with God.

      I encourage you to read the entire book of psalms. It will help you to pray, and break through with God! We have to get out of our emotions, and live obedient lives to God’s word. When I read your testimony, it dawned on me that God has put you there (though the children are not your own) to be a godly example to them. To show them how to love a person who is altogether unlovable.

      Our children are watching us. To see if we are the “real thing”. They are souls who need to be won to Christ. We know God can only change the human heart. Sometimes it’s easier to see the faults of others. We have to be honest about ours. God wants us to love our husband’s and our children, to teach the younger women how… We must strive to put our feelings aside! Love is not a feeling, like we always thought it was… Like getting roses, and chocolates ( that would be a nice change) but love is respect. Jesus says, “If you love me, then keep my commandments”. We have been commanded to love our husband’s even when they do not obey God’s word. Read 1 Corinthians chp 13 over and over, and over again. Until the word is hidden in your heart. I like to replace the word “love” in this chapter with “Jesus”.

      I pray for your healing, for any bitterness, or ill feelings of divorce be crucified (I am speaking to myself as well). Satan, we rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ! The Blood of Jesus is against you! God bless you to do all He has planned for you in this life… May he strengthen your testimony as you cry out to Him.

      1. I realize your comment was posted almost 2 years ago, my response may be a little late, but maybe right on time… God knows. I will be praying for your marriage in the meantime. God bless you Amanda, and all who come to this website. May the Lord God of heaven grant us mercy, grace, peace and restoration, as we endeavor to fight the good fight of faith! Keep on the firing lines! Love, your sister in Christ, handmaiden of the Lord, Elizabeth

        1. Elizabeth, your response was an encouragement to me in the dark valley I find myself in currently. Thank you!

  4. My husband was born to a muslim faith. His parents separated when he was young and for the greater half of his life he never practiced or followed Islam. He went through a period in life where he gave his heart to the Lord, but then life circumstances lead him away. We married after dating for 11 years. He never expressed any issues with me going to church. I am born into Christianity and have given my life to God. I have also strayed away from the Lord but now that I desire to live right before the eyes of the heavenly father my husband now objects.

    He says we believe in different things and has told me to choose. I’m devastated because since we married we have had more sorrow than joy. We were even separated for a time. When he asked to reconcile I sought counsel with the Lord and found my answers in the word of God. It is through God that I managed to forgive my husband in the first place and now he wants me to choose. I cannot live with myself if I turn away from the God I know, the God whom I call Father, the God who gave His life for me. I don’t know what to do as my husband is not interested in hearing, or seeing or compromising with me. I am prepared to compromise with him, and allow him to follow the faith of his choice because I know the power of God can save him. I know that he can be saved through me. What should I do?

    1. Dear Nikita, I’m so sorry for you and sincerely pray for you to stay strong in Faith because I know how hard it is to stay faithful to the Lord in a hurting marriage. Recently I’ve been struggling also with keeping my faith as my focus, as having a happy family totally collapsed after a discovery. I found my unbelieving husband was looking for my replacement on some dating-matrimony offers site recently and actually 2 yrs ago when we were separated due to his alcohol habits, emotional abuse and his declaration that he didn´t want me anymore (I had to go overseas to my hometown with my 4 yr old son).

      I came back after 2.5 yrs to Mexico believing that he had re-evaluated his life and after having received 2 prophecies from 2 dfferent elders that I shouldn´t be anxious and my family would be restored and I would grow solid roots. Unfortunately my husband still wants to lead a sinful life. My objections or strong limits only provoke him to get a divorce (I’m actually going for a vacation to my homeland in 2 days and he told me he doesn’t want be back and wants a divorce).

      Anyway, although I’m heartbroken I still prefer my faith (although I had some doubts) because it is the only thing that keeps me alive and has given me strength to go on. When I feel like losing it, I feel like death is the only solution.

      At this point I could never be as malicious as many people would, because God continues to be in my heart and although I feel like taking advantage or revenge, I am not capable of doing anything like that. So PLEASE don´t waste your precious treasure in HEAVEN to please somebody, it’s not worth it… Let God decide what to do with this situation and believe me, although you don´t feel it’s good for you, you will see it afterward. Maybe you need to separate for some reason, you never know… we are living in last days, anything could happen. Love and Blessings!

  5. Hi, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for these words of wisdom. I recently have been struggling with my spouse claiming that he no longer believes in God. My husband and I have been married for just about 2 years. Our journey from the time we met 6 years ago has been a rough one. We were both brought up in church. I grew up in a Non-denominational church. He grew up Catholic and in the past 7 years has been going to a Non-denominational church (where we go to church now).

    From the beginning of our relationship, He and I have had to fight to be together. Kind of in a “Romeo and Juliet” sort of way with my parents believing that my husband was not the man God intended me to marry. Eventually, they came to accept our relationship and grew to love my husband. Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed my husband not wanting to go to church with me and not wanting to participate in church activities. I’ve been praying for him every day that God would draw closer to him and he would want to draw closer to God.

    Last night, he actually sat me down and told me what has been on his heart, or his mind. He shared with me that he no longer believes God is real and that believing in God is just people rationalizing events and circumstances that happen to us. He told me that he thinks that during our whole relationship, he has put on a “Christian mask” in order to appease me, my parents, and people at church just so he could marry me because he loves me. He stated that he is no longer going to put that mask on and will no longer be going to church with me anymore.

    My heart has been breaking hearing those words in my mind over and over again. I just want to thank you for your words of wisdom in this post. They have brought comfort to my heart and spirit. Regardless of his walk with God, I will continue to grow in Jesus and keep praying for him and that I show him Jesus every day.

    1. Hi, Jessica, I understand how you’re feeling with your husband being an unbeliever. I have a similar situation; the only thing is that my husband is a devout Catholic who believes the only way to salvation is being Catholic and participating in the Sacraments. He is very zealous when it comes to his Catholic faith, but this didn’t start until after we were married.

      I too was brought up non-denominational, but soon discovered I really didn’t know Christ. I was brought up into a church but never experienced the born-again experience. We all can go through the motion of thinking we’re Christians because we said this prayer or that person said you’re a Christian. The only way to know for sure if you or your husband is saved is my asking the Holy Spirit to lead you to know if you’re of the faith.

      Studying 1 John is a good start. Only the Lord can give you that peace and assurance. When I married my husband I didn’t know much about the Catholic faith and soon found that it is not the true faith only a counterfeit. You are never at peace with God and as a Catholic must do things to merit your salvation, but even then you must go to what they believe is purgatory to cleanse you from your sins.

      The Catholic Jesus is sacrificed daily on an alter and worshiped as a wafer. You can’t go to Jesus because he won’t hear you unless you go through His mother Mary. Mary is exalted as sinless mediator and is the fourth person of the trinity. She is called the Queen of Heaven and she must be honored in the Catholic faith. But, Catholics do more to honor Mary they worship her by praying to her, kneeling before her image, and giving her divine titles that God alone desires. When I married and became Catholic I was struck with excepting the Catholic Church as truth or believing what the bible says.

      Because I choose to study God’s Word and believed what His word says I have been an enemy to my husband because I choose not to participate in Catholic traditions or believe it’s teachings. I have been bullied, dragged by my hair, and he has thrown things at me because I told my husband that I choose to follow God’s word and not the Catholic Church’ teachings and doctrines. I have tried witnessing the true gospel of grace to him, but he won’t believe. He rather merits his own salvation than trust in the only person that will save him truly and forever – Jesus.

      I have been having a heavy heart lately because I am a stay at home mom who desires to be with like minded Christians and to be encouraged in the faith. My husband has stopped me from attending a Bible believing church and seeks to control my life. I am trying to submit to my husband like God’s words says, and show him my faith through my actions. But, at times it’s difficult and I cry a lot and want God to save him or save me from all the hurt he as caused me. I just want to say that I want to pray for you about your situation with your husband. I know the pain and I believe we as believers in Christ need to come together and pray against the enemy blinding our husbands from knowing the truth and to pray for the strength and peace to keep walking in the faith. I hope and pray I you read my message and that we can bring together women and moms together to lift our husband up to the lord.

      1. I hope and pray that you are ok! This is an abusive situation and you need to know that God would never want you to be in a dangerous situation like this… I hope you can get help and support away from your home life – I pray in Jesus name for your safety and for your husband to know the Lord and the peace He brings. Love to you Valerie!

      2. Thank you so much for writing this. I married someone who was a lapsed Orthodox Christian. I am nondenominational. When we first married, he claimed to enjoy or at least be ok with my church. Behind my back, though, he was telling our friends how much he didn’t like it. The mistake I made was not marrying someone I was equally yoked with, and I tried to make him go to my church.

        I tried to support his Orthodoxy to a degree, but it’s hard to really do that because I don’t believe in it. At our 1 year anniversary, he told me that he had contacted a divorce lawyer and wouldn’t be coming back to our church. He said we either find a church together or the marriage was over. I consented. We looked at a few churches. He then said that he must go to a church where the body and blood are in the communion. He made very offensive comments about my church, and I have been very angry about all of this. I feel I was extremely foolish to have married him, and I so feel betrayed.

        Thank you for your comments. It helps to know that I’m not alone. At church it does seem like everyone else is sitting n.v g there with their spouses and all I well.

  6. Hello, I have been in a relationship for 11 years in which I wanted to marry. For financial reasons we haven’t and were about to this year. All the while we had been praying to God worshiping together in Jesus Christ’ name. For the past couple months he has been saying Christianity is a lie; I have been praying for him but this is just getting worse. Am I wrong to fight for Jesus?

    1. Hi Stephanie, I read your text and I very much admire your resolve to stay close to the Lord, and to honor Him. With this resolve, you can never “lose.” To answer your question, I would say No, it is not wrong to “fight for Jesus.” However, I do not know what you mean by this statement. Do you mean, “convince your boyfriend of the truth of the Christian message so you can marry?” or do you mean, “I am a Christian and I cannot change my position?” (meaning that you would not marry?)

      I am a believer, and am married to a believer now for 36 years. When we were dating, neither one of us was believing, but when we married, we were both believing. That is a story for another time. My point is, it is not for nothing that the Bible says “Do not be bound together with unbelievers, for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). It’s interesting that you have not married in all this time, and now your boyfriend is claiming that Christianity is a lie. Perhaps God is trying to show you something? You will know in your own heart. Ask Him. He will surely answer you clearly on such an important issue.

      He certainly did with us! We were both believers when we married. Our faiths are very different, my wife is very much a “prayer warrior” while I am more quiet. I do know this, that after all these years, our faith has been a major factor in keeping us together. I cannot imagine being married to someone who is not believing. You cannot share the deepest things of the heart- namely the presence of God, His working in your life, the wonderful knowledge of the Love of God. An unbeliever cannot understand these things.

      I know, I came to the faith at age 24. I had no idea before that age what the Christian message was… and even less what the “Love of God” is. If, by “fight for Jesus,” you mean “continue to pray for your boyfriend, and allow your boyfriend space for God to work in his life,” then you are likely on the right track. I believe that one’s choice of a marriage partner is the second most important decision a person can make in life. (The first being the choice to follow Jesus.) When you give this relationship to God, and allow Him to work His will, you can never go wrong!! I hope to hear from you again… WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Hello. Thank you for your words. By fighting I mean to stand strong in my faith. I also mean to stand up for what I believe in. When my fiancé said Jesus is not Lord, I told him not to say that to me and I cannot marry someone who doesn’t believe and that God comes before him. My feelings are very hurt because I love this man and we cannot pray and worship together like we once did. I will stay in prayer and continue to study Gods word. I know that in time God will answer me.

        I wish in had a “Ms Clara” from the movie “War Room”. Someone to meet with daily. This is very heart breaking to me. This man adores me and my children whose father passed when they were 3 and 5. May God continue to bless your marriage.

        1. Hi Stephanie, That was a fast answer! Standing strong in your faith, and standing for what you believe are certainly a fight!! I can imagine your feelings were VERY hurt!!

          Actually, at one point I said the same thing to my wife, that we couldn’t marry because we didn’t share a faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Very painful! She was hurt and didn’t understand either. I had no idea how it would turn out at the time. Later she came to the faith on her own accompanied by a mutual friend… that was now 37 years ago! Who knows how God will work with you and your fiancé? I do know that miracles are possible… (every person who turns to Jesus is a miracle). Stay in prayer, stay in God’s Word… do what you’re doing Stephanie!! I admire you!!

          I hope you find a friend with whom you can share your feelings and struggles in a more personal way… but lacking that… this site has been a great help to me. If you’re part of a church fellowship, certainly you can find support there?? I very much hope so!! In the meantime, you’re taking the right road… and your trust will certainly be rewarded! Do you think your fiancé once did believe… and that this is a passing phase of short term doubt? (You mention you worshiped and prayed earlier.) Or do you think that perhaps he never really believed in the first place? Difficult!! (but not impossible!) Mmmm… In any case he will be challenged to really examine his heart. I hope to hear from you Stephanie… Take care!! WP

          1. Everyday just gets worse. He says we have been brainwashed for too long and I couldn’t possibly understand his struggle as a black man, being that I’m an Italian woman. It’s like he’s being brainwashed. This has never been an issue in the past. He was once a believer for sure. I am just so hurt. I have to be strong because that’s who I am. I must choose Christ first. I am ready to separate until he gets his mind right. God Bless U from the Netherlands!

  7. Hi Stephanie, My first question is, “What is his struggle?” Is it whether to believe or not? Or is it something else? I do not see why skin color would have an effect on things of the faith. You can certainly ask him to talk, to help you understand his struggle as a black man…(men are not good at expressing their feelings… I know… sorry.) You say he was once a believer for sure. What happened to make him change his mind? You have relationship now for 11 years, and you said that he has been behaving this way for the “last several months.” I can imagine this is very hurtful and difficult for you… I greatly admire you for how you are handling this!!

    My next question is, “Why did he believe at first?” How did he first come to the faith? Was it a “feeling” or was his belief based on evidence for the faith? (There is a great wealth of very solid evidence that Jesus is in fact God’s Son) Is your fiance a technically oriented person? If so, then looking at the evidence will be of great help to him. Another question, “Why does he now NOT believe?” What about you? May I ask, “Why do you believe?”

    I know I am asking questions here…but these are important if you both are to come to a place of mutual faith and a deeper understanding which will strengthen your faith. I wonder if separation will bring him closer to the faith…or if it will only create more distance between you. In any case, he has to know that you love him, but that you cannot compromise your faith. But you have made this clear already. Do you feel that he loves you? that he wants to be with you, but he is having problems with his belief? It would be good to determine why he believed at first, and why he has had a recent change of heart. Of course you need to know why you believe as well. So important…!!

    My heart goes out to you…really!! I will think of you / and pray for you in the coming days…. Please come back soon with an update on what is happening with you? You take care Stephanie. You are strong!! Find other believers to share with you and carry this load with you!!

    I hope to hear from you soon…. and thank you for your blessing… bless you too…. WP (Work in Progress)

  8. My husband has not been very good to me over the years. Last year I was saved. I couldn’t be happier to have the Lord but I’m also at a place that I don’t know what to do. My husband is not saved and he still disrespects me. I’m not supposed to divorce. I’m probably not brave enough and I can’t find it in me to love him. Yet my faith is all about love. I’m trapped and don’t know what to do?

    1. Hi Julie, Sometimes we need all our strength just to put one foot in front of the other in situations like this, when the tunnel seems endless, and the darkness absolute. My only answer would be to do what you know is right in your heart, and what agrees with Scripture. Even when you don’t feel like it, and the feelings of love are absent. I think that when we knock together, in faith, the framework, that is, the wood support beams, the cross beams, the bare essentials of a building, that God steps in and fills in the walls, the interior, the decorations, the wall hangings… to create the house/home that you envision in your spirit, are not able to build all by yourself.

      You need other Christian couples and trusted friends to talk to and learn from…. and perhaps cry with… who will support and help you. Seek out such people, if you don’t already have them in your life. A man needs to be respected… a woman can make or break a man very easily. We like to give the impression that we are strong… but I have to admit, that we are not. Certainly not by ourselves. That’s why in the creation story, where God creates all the basic things… He always said, “And God saw that it was good.” Then He made man, and He said, at the end of Genesis 1, “God saw all that He had made and it was VERY good.” That’s the FIRST time that God says “It is NOT good” is His comment on man’s being alone.

      We men need our wives! A man believes he can conquor the world when he senses that his wife believes he can. When you, with the help of the support group I’ve described, love and respect your husband, and believe in him, and trust God for the strength and “wherewithall” to do this, I believe that God will step in and build a wonderful house and home around the wooden frame you contribute through your love and respect. Easy? No. Worth it? YES.

      I hope this helps you Julie. I hope you come back to this site… and allow the people here to help you and pray with you and for you. WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Hello brethren, praise the Lord. I am struggling with a dilema of how I can get married. I was living a fornication free life but 10 years ago my fiancé asked me to accompany him to his village so that he could introduce me to his parents. He asked me to board a vehicle to his hometown then we would go there together. I did not know where his village was so he took me to a wrong destination. To cut the story short, he raped me, abandoned me, and I had to find my way back to my home town.

        I feared to tell anyone what had happened since I was a church minister. I later realized that I was pregnant. I tried to contact him but he avoided me. I was put under church discipline. I gave birth to a baby boy. He later resurfaced to apologize. Though my family was against him, I tried to give him a second chance because he involved his family and promised to marry me. It never came to pass, instead he was now living off my little income.

        I also found out that he had a string of girls he had impregnated in the same manner. I decided to turn to God and stayed for 4 years before I met a junior pastor in our church who also promised to marry me. He obliiged not to engage in pre-marital sex. One day he visited with his brother in the evening. I welcomed them, and made some tea. After some time his brother moved out claiming he was going to pick up a motorcycle from the garage.

        It started raining hard and it grew dark. His brother never came back. It happenend again. He wrestled me down on the couch and me. Out of fear, I reported to the senior pastor, who dismissed those claims that I had intended to do that. I got pregnant again and was put under church discipline. I gave birth to a set of twins boys. He also abandoned us.

        After another 3 years I was now getting desperate to marry since it is a taboo to be a single parent. I met Ben who is my current fiancé. He lost his job immediately and he’s unable to raise the bride price requested by my parents. He has no job or any other source of income. I am afraid though he loves and respects me. Could I be having a problem?

        1. Hi Josephine, Allow me to say I am extremely sorry for the wrongs that have been done to you, both by these two men, as well as by the church! I hope and pray that you and Ben can form a God-centered family despite the cultural conditions which can raise signficant barriers! You do understand that the Bible is the written Word of God? Where in this Book does it say that it is taboo to be a single parent? Also through no direct fault of your own!!

          Is your fiancé Ben also believing? Are your parents setting a high Bride-price to prevent your getting married or do they have other and perhaps legitimate reasons for disagreeing with your marriage to Ben? (Yes the Bible does tell us to “honor your father and mother so that your days may be long on the earth.” Please notice, it says “honor” rather than “blindly obey.” My parents also disagreed with my marriage to an earlier girlfriend… I am happy I listened to them, but that is another story.) Does Ben share your cultural convictions? While your situation is difficult, it is by no means impossible! Please let us know how we can be of further assistance to you… WP (Work in Progress)

          1. What’s sad is that there is not one story of victory on this blog. Not one person is testifying of what prayer and sticking by their unbelieving mate has done. God has received no glory in any of you sticking by these unbelieving spouses. This is very discouraging.

  9. Hi Margaret, Yes, what you say is true. And yes, very discouraging. I do recall reading the story of a unbelieving husband and believing wife. He liked betting on the horses at the Sunday races, and she was concentrating on getting her husband saved. He would ask her, “please come to the track with me, it would be nice to share this activity with you.” She replied, “But I want to go to church on Sunday, and I don’t think gambling is right!” So they went their separate ways on Sundays.

    Finally the wife felt that God was telling her, “Go to the track with your husband. You don’t have to gamble! You can just sit with your husband and watch!” So she finally agreed to go with him. After several Sundays, she discovered she liked watching the competition, and the horses were beautiful! So she started to really enjoy herself. Finally the husband said, “If you can go to the track with me, I can go to church with you!” So he went to church…and asked the Lord Jesus into his heart. Here is a story of a believing wife who stuck by her husband…. with a new soul added to the Kingdom.
    I like stories like this…Cheers, WP

  10. Thank you for writing this. God used you to answer my question as to, do I move forward in my relationship with God with an unbelieving husband? It is incredibly hard but the answer will always be yes.

    1. Hi Ashley, The Bible speaks rather directly to this question… See 1 Corinthinas 7 v 13-16. Indeed the story of the wife and the unbelieving husband at the racetrack seems to be a direct intervention by God to a faithful wife.

      A “Proverbs 31 wife” would be a blessing to any man. It seems from your short account that you have the basic character of such a woman. Yes it is incredibly hard… but I think any other “life path” would be immeasurably harder! We men need our wives!! It is not for nothing that in the creation story, the first time God states that something is NOT good is the fact that the man was alone. (see Genesis 2 v 18).

      If you can surround yourself with a Christian community, this would be a great asset for you. Your life as a Christian will have more of an impact on your husband than you can imagine. God works through the women!! I see this time and time again!!!

      Take care Ashley, I hope this reply is of help to you, WP (Work in Progress)

  11. So, I am a Christian woman who willingly married herself to an atheist man. I don’t need people to tell me that that goes against the Bible. It’s done and I am here now and my faith calls for me to be a good wife. But honestly, it’s hard. My husband is one of those hardcore atheists who delights in debating faith, but not out of curiosity, more to prove how nonsensical it is- In his eyes anyway. In fact I would go as far as to say occasionally it’s like being married to an atheist Pharisee. I try my best not to push my faith on him. I read everywhere that you should display faith through action but what exactly does that mean? How do I do that? Is there a support group or forum or something I can join where I can receive advice on the biblical way to manage this or to just receive support from others in the same situation? Its hard. He finds all things to do with faith, including people losing their faith, amusing while I am there trying to hide how heart breaking it is to me.

    1. Hi Lorraine, I do not know of a specific forum which addresses your issue, but I would say that many here on this site would have significant input on “how to demonstrate your faith through action.”

      I am a husband married 36 years, my wife and I are both believing, but our Christian faiths are very different.

      I would also say that there is a lot to the simple saying of “Let go and let God.” I believe the Bible teaches that we are the “messengers,” or.. “the postman or postwoman..” Our job is to “deliver the mail.” It is God’s function to actually work in a person’s heart and bring about conversion / repentence though processing / “reading” that mail.

      I would lilke to tell you a short true story which I believe answers your question. The scene is believing wife, unbelieving (and a little cynical) husband. The husband liked to go to the Sunday horseraces and bet on the horses. He would often ask his wife to go with him. “No,” she said…. “I want to go to church… and betting is not biblical.” After several weeks, during her prayer times, the wife felt that God was telling her to go with her husband anyway. She didn’t have to bet, she could just watch the races. “OK,” she thought… she told her husband one Saturday, “Yes, tomorrow I would like to come with you.” Very surprised, he said, “Are you sure? God does not have a problem wtih this?” (He was being a little cynical again.) “No, I don’t think so,” she said. “Horses are beautiful… I would like to go.” So she went the next day… and on several Sundays following. She liked watching the horses and jockeys, and was having a good time with her husband. Without any warning, the husband announced one Saturday, Well… If you can go to the horses with me, I can certainly go to church with you.” So then he went to church… and soon after… he became a child of the King. Of course the wife prayed for her husband, and did all the other things Christians do to convince their friends of the Salvation Message. I think this account illustrates a few things which need to be mentioned.

      – The husband no longer felt judged by his wife’s refusing to go.
      – The wife was submitting to her husband’s wishes.
      – Through her obedience, the husband then submitted to his wife’s preference.

      Yes the Bible teaches wives to submit to their husbands, (Ephesians 5:22), but the verse just before that (Ephesians 5:21) tells Christians to “be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” meaning to me that husbands need to submit too.. not just the wives only.

      I can imagine it is very hard to be a good wife under these conditions. Your husband doesn’t know (yet) how fortunate he is to be married to you.

      I hope these words help. I also hope you come back again, and that we hear from you. Take care Lorraine, WP(Work in Progress)

      1. Hi Lorraine, A similar account is the following – of a factory worker and a good friend of his, a young girl who worked the same shift as he. He was the believer, she was the very cynical unbeliever. He, the believer, was very zealous with his faith and would tell everyone he knew; most were polite, but she, his good friend was very “anti.” Finally, in his morning prayer time, He felt God say to him, “Say nothing at all to Greta today… nothing!” So he obeyed, even though it went against his “grain.” The next day Greta came to him, all excited, and exclaimed, “NOW I understand! NOW I see what you mean!” Yes, she had asked the Lord Jesus into her heart late the night before. He asked her, “After so much resistance all these weeks, why the sudden change?” She said, “When you said nothing at all, I thought you must be thinking, “Greta is beyond hope, what’s the use? I’m wasting my efforts.” “That scared me,” she said, “and then I thought, ‘Am I really that far away? Is there no hope for me?’ ” In effect, her first sincere prayer. Later she said, “All the things you told me about Jesus dying for me and taking my sin on Himself… it all fell into place and made so much sense….”

        I will write more later…. Take care, WP (Work in Progress)

  12. Hello! Thank you for sharing this with me. This is an encouragement for me. I’m not married, but a friend of mine has talked about marrying me, but he has a different lifestyle than I do. I’m more devoted to my Lord and saviour than he is. I strongly believe in some way, in God’s way and time, that he will come to the Lord. It gets thrown in my face that I shouldn’t be unequally yoked with an unbeliever; I know that already. But every time I break up with him (my friend), he comes back into my life. We have a lot of differences, so both of us agreed to be friends.

    He still doesn’t want to move on from me to meeting someone new. I’ll just continue to pray for him that he will give his life to Christ. Maybe it’s apart of God’s plan for him to come into His Kingdom; I can’t say for sure so I’ll keep praying. Maybe my friend never had that Godly love in his life; maybe he needs that. He knew that I was a Christian when we started dating. Please stand in agreement with me and pray for us ladies. Even though you don’t know me, you know my situation. Thank you for this message. God bless.

    1. Hi Anonymous, You are very welcome! Perhaps the following may be an additional “clarification / encouragement” for you. Neither my wife nor I were Christians when we first met each other. She was brought up in the Catholic church in the Netherlands, while I was raised in the Episcopal church in the US. We both were searching for God in our own very different ways. We met at a party in New York City and knew each other as good friends for about 2 months until she went back to the Netherlands. After that we did not see each other for 18 months- we wrote airmail letters. In that time I became a believer after a bad car accident, my sister’s conversion, and several other incidents in which I was confronted with the truth of the Gospel and the choice which stood before me. (I had never heard this in the organized church.)

      After the 18 months, my wife (she was then a good friend, not girlfriend) then visited me in the US for two weeks. She was staying with a friend of mine during that time, and through her stories, and through the decision making process about where we would go from here… she became a Christian. We married almost 2 years later after another visit of hers to the US and my first visit to her country, the Netherlands. That was 36 years ago. We now have 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren. We have lived in 4 nations and have moved 7 times. I have lost my job twice.

      I do remember thinking to myself during our dating years that I wanted very much to marry her, but that I couldn’t do so for the same reason you mention in your text. Her conversion was an unexpected, and wonderful event!!

      People have “easy talk” when advising others about the course their life should take- in your case, not to marry your boyfriend because he “does not believe.” Too often, they give advice too hastily. They forget that they cannot feel or appreciate where you are and the stake you have in the situation. Yes the Bible is pretty clear about that, and there are also stories of Christians who marry unbelievers and then later regret that decision.

      I also believe that God is more interested in our happiness than we give Him credit for. He works things in the best way possible for all parties concerned, something we are incapable of doing, we do not have the information, nor the expertise to take on such a complex job!

      There is a reason that your friend keeps entering your life. Your story sounds like ours really. My wife kept coming back into my life… similar to the way you describe in your text above. For you… perhaps it’s better not to “break up” so often, but rather just get to know each other as friends, spend time together, talk of the things on your heart, share with each other the really important things. Pray… yes… of course, pray. Share with your friend what Christ in your life means to you… at the right time in the right way- you will know how to do this. Challenge him with the facts and truth of the Gospel. My wife and I were good friends way before we both really knew we had feelings for each other.

      God has His hand on your life. You sound like a patient and loyal person. Your friend must see this. Give him space… let go and let God. Easy for me to say… but I do not say that lightly. I remember all too well. I hope you come back and let us know what’s happening… :) Take care, Cheers, WP (Work in Progress)

  13. It’s becoming very challenging for me in my relationship with my husband who is not saved… I have only been married for two years now. At times it seems that I question myself .. But I tell myself that God sees everything, and I believe that God wants to change me, not my situation .. God wants me to trust him and to pray for my husband .. It may not seem fair at times .. But God wants you to grow in the spirit so we go through trials to makes us stronger in his word. God bless! ~ Joelis ~

    1. Very true Joelis…No matter how much we strive and struggle, God did say through Paul, “We live by faith and not by sight….” even though everything in us is screaming sometimes to “live by sight,” for whatever reason, God has ordered things this way. You’re right, God does see everything…. and He knows where you are, and He looks after you, most of the times in ways we do not see :)
      WP (Work in Progress)

  14. I have been married for a year. I am a pastors child raised in the Lord all my life. I met my husband and with our 3 years of courting he showed me that he was a believer throughout, until 2 months after our wedding. Then I saw him drinking; I was so devastated that I began to cry out to God. I asked God so many questions but got no answers because I asked God for a believer. Then gradually he intertwined himself with these lukewarm Christians in my church. Every time there was an event with these lukewarm Christians they always invited my husband and I was dragged there. But I always cry in my heart because I hated being there because I didn’t fit in and they all knew but I didn’t want anything to cause issues in my marriage. Now I am asking God to change things around because I don’t want to be around those worldly people and I dont want my husband there either. What should I do?

    1. Hi Valeria, While I was not raised in a Christian home as you were, but came to believe in my mid-twenties, perhaps the following viewpoint will differ somehwat from your own.

      When you say, “I saw him drinking,” What exactly do you mean? Are you talking about an occasional glass of wine with a meal (I would think OK) or do you mean getting intoxicated with the guys in a bar on a repeat basis? (not OK). Are you saying now that your husband is not a believer because he drinks? Has he not made a confession of his faith? Can you see him live out his faith in other ways? Is he kind, considerate, patient? Does he show the fruits of the spirit in his life? I am sure you would have answered “Yes” to at least some of these questions before you married. Did you parents meet your then fiancee? What was their feedback?

      Why are you saying that some Christians in your church are “lukewarm?” Mmmm…this seems to be a dangerous label. I have the feeling you do not know these particular Christians very well, but perhaps I am wrong. I think perhaps some people would label me a lukewarm Christian as well because I am not the demonstrative type but more quiet. It is very difficult for me to be “exuberant” and “joyful” and “ecstatic.” I do not tend to raise my hands in worship, often I do not sing because sometimes the worship songs go so deep, that I can only listen and absorb much better than try and follow the music and the words. Even though I have been believing for almost 40 years I know I still have much to learn.

      You ask, “What should I do?” I would say…just love these Christians with whom your husband is spending time. Get to know them. How did they come to the faith? What was it that drew them to Christ? Be a “Proverbs 31 wife” to your husband. “Overcome evil with good” the Bible says. Accept them for where they are at this time in their lives… and… when they feel accepted by you, and not judged, perhaps they will open up to you and you will see a new side to them. They may have gone through traumatic experiences which make it very hard for them to “fathom” the love of Christ. I know this is the case with me.

      Be patient…pray…show the fruits of the spirit…get to know them…respect your husband; That’s what I would say….

      You take care Valeria…they may need your love and acceptance more than you realize. WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Then there are many of us good men out there that are still single. Unfortunately many of us would have preferred to have been married to a good wife and have a family that many of us still don’t have today. Many of us are not single by choice.

  15. I am hoping someone may be able to help me. I have been with my husband for 5 years married 4. When he first told me that he was interested in me, I told Him that I believe in God and Jesus and in His creation. He told me he felt the same. At that time I wasn’t going to church but I had mentioned to him that I was needing to go back and he was fine with this. As time went on it turned out that he wasn’t telling me the truth.

    Just recently I have recommited my life. Upon telling my husband that God is to come first he has become deeply hurt. And it has turned into a lot of arguing. I have been trying to not say anything much of the time. How do I tell him that my love for him is not a lesser love. God is first but this is not a threat to him or our son.

    1. Vanessa, Your husband ISN’T going to understand this. Only someone who is enlightened by the Lord would get it. I do (as a sister in Christ), but as long as he isn’t a believer, it’s all confusing to him. Don’t you remember how it was for you before you accepted the Lord as savior? Things weren’t spiritually clear. He is “looking through a glass darkly” and doesn’t see things clearly on a spiritual level –MUCH darker than you do. You can see part of this concept explained in 2 Corinthians 4:4 where it says that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.” It is veiled to them. He’s looking through a veil that the enemy of our faith has thrown over him.

      As I said before, I understand what you mean. It’s kind of like the love I have for my husband. I can love him enormously and still love my 2 sons. I love them both differently from my husband and differently from each other… same with our daughter-in-laws, and same with our grandkids. There is plenty of love for all, never running out, and it is different than the love I have for the Lord, which is beyond anything I can explain. But this concept is difficult for someone with eyes that are not spiritually open.

      Please read through the articles and quotes in this topic of “Spiritual Matters” as it pertains to living with an unbelieving spouse. I hope you will see that this is a difficult way to live together, but it CAN still work. You will need to love, love, love him “as unto the Lord” and be careful of what you share with him spiritually because he just doesn’t understand it. That doesn’t make you better than him… but it does mean that you are spiritually different. And you need to pray that God draws him to Himself so his eyes are eventually opened. That’s what happened with my brother. We loved on him and my sister-in-law loved on him and eventually through the eyes of love, and especially because of God’s opening his eyes, he came to Christ about a year before he died (at too young of an age).

      I pray for you –that you will be God’s ambassador to your husband… not hitting him over the head with the Bible, but by loving him, as God’s colleague. You aren’t his Holy Spirit, God is. Let God be God and find ways to live together with your husband in peaceable, loving ways without compromising your spiritual walk. It will be difficult, but you can do it. I pray God helps you and opens your husband’s eyes.