Can you share some tips on how a believing wife can respond to an unbelieving husband.
Whether you’re married to an unbelieving husband, barely believing, or a believing husband, the tips I’m sharing will help strengthen any marriage.
In some unequally yoked marriages the unbelieving husbands aren’t hostile toward the Gospel, meaning, they don’t mind you going to church. They don’t mind having worship and praise songs in the home. And they don’t mind you raising your kids in the faith. They are not angry about your Christian faith. But that’s not always the case for every unequally yoked marriage.
Some unbelieving husbands condemn wives for going to church. Some forbid them to listen to any “Jesus/church” music in the house or car. And some husbands won’t even allow their wives to spend time with their Christian friends and family. In fact, some would like to move their wives out of state! Well, I got news for a man like that…Jesus will still be in Texas, New York, West Virginia, etc. No matter where he wants to take his wife, Jesus will always be with her, because Christ is in her heart!
This teaching is geared toward the wife married to an unbelieving husband who is hostile toward the Gospel. But even if your man is not hostile toward your faith, I believe what I’m going to share will minister to you. Goodness, if you’re breathing and married…I think these 10 tips will help you, too.
1. Find a common authority in your marriage and build from there.
Ask him if he feels it would be appropriate in your marriage to treat each other with respect? The word respect might grab his attention.
Ask him if he feels it would be appropriate if the two of you had sex? Again, he might be listening to you now!
Ask him if he feels it would be appropriate if the two of you were kind to one another?
If a husband says no to all of these basic marital questions then I’d ask him why he’s staying in the marriage? Why hasn’t he left you yet? Is a marriage filled with strife, contentions, void of love and physical intimacy the type of marriage he’s always dreamed of?
You’re not looking to get into a disagreement with him here. Nor are you looking to preach at him either! You are simply looking to find answers to his heart. You’re being a friend to him as you find out what makes him tick in regards to your marriage.
After you learn what he has to say, (I’m going to assume he said yes to the respect, sex and kindness,) then you build from there in your marriage. So when the arguments ensue, you could come back to asking him questions in a humble manner.
Hey honey, didn’t you say you felt it was appropriate for our marriage if we treated each other with respect and kindness? Can we start over and do that?
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1
2. Diffuse the conflict.
It’s easy for an unbeliever to feel like they’re an enemy with someone who’s a Believer. As a wife, try not to make him out as your enemy, because he’s not. The Lord calls the two of you one flesh.
One of my favorite verses regarding a difficult person is this one…
If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the LORD will reward you. Prov. 25:21,22
Is it easy to heap burning coals of shame upon someone’s head? Absolutely not! You’ve got to die to your flesh.
I have a couple of friends that are in marriages where they are unequally yoked. One friend’s husband is outright hostile towards her and her faith. One day as I was sharing with her, I asked her what her husband’s favorite homemade cookie was. Her response, “Chocolate chip.” At the time of the conversation she was serving in our church’s kitchen making, guess what? Chocolate chip cookies for our cafe! I said to her she should go home and make a batch of chocolate chip cookies for her husband. Just because. Not to butter him up or manipulate him. But as a kind gesture. She looked at me like I had lost my mind. And then I told her to make some dough, roll up individual balls and place them in the freezer. And the next time her and her husband got into a fight she should whip them out and bake them up for him. At this point her mouth dropped open and she gave me the stink eye that said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Being that you’re married to your guy, here’s something else you can try to soften his heart. Start taking your clothes off in the midst of the argument. Yep, you read that right. I said, “Get naked.” I’m sure he wouldn’t know what hit him. Again, I would take this approach if I wanted to soften his outrageous and sometimes completely ridiculous rantings and outbursts. (Mind you, I’m not talking about a guy who is physically, emotionally or mentally abusing you, but rather someone who is not exercising self-control in the midst of an argument.)
He doesn’t have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, therefore, he’s not going to exercise self-control like a Believer would. So keep that perspective.
3. Show humility.
Something I hear often from wives who are unequally yoked with their husbands is that they’re constantly walking on eggshells as their husband is waiting to point out to them how they have missed the mark.
Well, here’s a new flash. WE ALL MISS THE MARK! But these wives feel because they’re representing Christ they need to be perfect in their husband’s presence since he’s always watching her. Well, yes, I would agree that your witness matters to the unbeliever, but there’s a big difference between trying to please the Lord and trying to being perfect.
Perfection is not attainable here on earth. Something I believe every marriage needs, whether the man is saved or not… is humility.
When you screw up, apologize. It’s as simple as that. I believe our world needs more humility. Imagine if we all walked through life humble? Wouldn’t that be an interesting site to behold? Hmmm, we’d all start to look a little bit more like Jesus, wouldn’t we?
So try the path of humility rather than perfection. By the way, pursuing perfection is exhausting. Don’t even bother taking this path. I think when your husband hears you constantly apologizing for falling short, perhaps he’ll feel a little more compassionate and empathetic towards you rather than outright hostile. Of course he won’t always embrace this because you’re walking in the Light and he’s in darkness. Sometimes those in darkness recoil by having the Light turned on them. But again, humility gives them a chance to realize they don’t have to act so proud, so tough, so “I’ve got everything under control and I don’t need Jesus in my life.”
Humility says, “I don’t have everything under control and I need my Savior to help me.”
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Live a poured out life for Christ,