So you want your man to attend church with you. What wife wouldn’t! But sometimes your guy might be resistant to your efforts. This is what one wife is dealing with in her marriage. Here’s her story…
Our marriage is completely on the rocks, in the natural. I told my husband I will go with him to ‘his’ church, but he still refuses. He blames my church for our marriage breakdown and says nothing can fix it. He, however, doesn’t want to go to his church either. I have to admit that I have to re-learn respect and everything else biblical as God intended it to be. My husband has hurt me so much and I have developed a lot of resentment and bitterness towards him. I find your blog very helpful as it helps me with the practical aspects of the Word and how to implement.
Any advice on the fact that he won’t attend church?
Click below to hear my response.
Jolene: Okay so you’re in a hard spot, this reader is in a hard spot, obviously every woman who is married has that desire to spiritually connect with their husband but as this reader wrote in he’s not a believer. You know a believer would desire the things of the Lord and have that heart to draw closer to Jesus Christ. So the Word, we go back to the Word for our guidance and for learning how to just walk in these situations.
Eric: Well the issue is not just going to church, I mean that’s not the issue.
Eric: The issue is for him to become a believer. That’s one of the core issues here.
Jolene: Right, that’s the core issue. I labeled the program “How to Encourage Him to Attend Church” because there are many wives out there that are in similar situations that may say that their husband “believes in God but he’s not going to church” but the root issue is- Is Jesus their Lord! Because if Jesus was their Lord they’d be at church. Anyways, so my counsel to all the wives and even if you’re a single woman listening in, this is why I write to you gals to make sure that your guy is on fire for the Lord before you walk down the aisle, because this right here is the prime example of a wife whose heart is just broken over the spiritual things in their marriage.
Eric: And obviously neither one of them were saved at the time that they got married.
Jolene: Right, right. So here is a perfect example of how you know this woman gets saved, and her and her husband are not on the same page spiritually and what she could do. And the Word always has the answer! Always! The Word has the answer for everything that you guys are going through! So we go to 1 Peter 3:1-2, here’s your action for a woman who is in this situation, “In the same way you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, then even if some refuse to obey the good news, your Godly lives will speak to them without any words, they will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.”
It’s your conduct! It is your conduct that wins him over to the Gospel, that’s that good news, even if some men claim to be believers but their actions say otherwise, the Bible says “you will know them by their fruits” and a wife could look at her marriage and say “Psht, there ain’t no fruit on that tree! That fruit is all dead and rotten.” So we go back to the Word, so it’s always the action.
I like to look at it in the sense of when you guys were dating what was it that drew your husband, or drew you to your husband, what was he drawn to you? What made his heart leap in your relationship? Because often times what happens is that we stop kinda dating our spouse. We get in the mundane, we lash out, we get bitter like this wife and so we become resentful and our hearts grow hard towards one another. I would be that wife that acted like his girlfriend back in the day, and those actions, those actions of respect and love and acceptance and encouragement that will soften any man’s heart. Now “Will it happen overnight?” Not generally. Usually it takes an awful lot of time to break down those walls because he doesn’t know if he can trust you. The issue isn’t necessarily, you know right now he’s blaming it on your religion and you’re blaming things on his religion but if you break down the walls and show humility and show forgiveness and show love. You know you can look at 1 Corinthians 13, you know that whole passage in there “love is kind” and so forth, read all that and put your name in there and ask yourself “Do I act that way towards my husband?” Try putting those things in action in your marriage and then see what happens to his heart.
I had a reader who wrote to me not to0 long ago, she read one of my posts that went viral, and she wasn’t, I don’t believe she was walking with the Lord at the time or she didn’t really understand maybe she just had “okay I believe in God but Jesus wasn’t my Lord” and after back and forth emails and so forth, uhm I think it’s been a year now, she said she had been attending church, her husband hadn’t been in church in I don’t know, 18 years, and actually the guy at the time wasn’t even her husband but he didn’t want to have anything to do with church but she started going. She started attending church and one day he said “well how come you’re not inviting me?” because he saw her life transformed. When somebody sees your life transformed by Christ and they’re like “woah I don’t know what to do with this”. Their first thought is like “I want nothing to do with this”, their wanting to deny the Lord but sometimes when you keep living that life, it becomes so attractive to them that they’re like “I want what you’ve got”, “I want that Jesus that you talk about” and that’s the hopes in the 1 Peter 3:1 verse where is says “you may win them over by your pure and chaste conduct” it’s your actions that are so beautiful.
When you look at Jesus, you know Jesus doesn’t come down on you, hammering down like “Yo! You’ve done this wrong and I can’t stand this about you and you don’t forgive!” He doesn’t act like that! He woos you, you’re drawn to Him and so when we act like that as wives towards our husbands, our husbands are like “yeah that’s my woman!” and all of a sudden they start to change and they start to become that loving husband. So the issue, don’t be so focused on whether or not he attends church, be more focused on imitating Christ and living like Christ and let go of the whole church thing. You go to your church and honor the Lord with your life because your relationship with Christ comes before your relationship with your husband.
Eric: So the focus could be wrong, the focus could be my husband verses me and my walk.
Jolene: Right. Nine times out of ten that’s generally, you know what I learned early on our marriage, and I don’t know if had, I don’t know if I just looked at it as my husband had been saved for so many years and I was the newbie, the new believer, that I’m like “I’ve got to learn all this stuff” and not because I had to in order to keep up with him spiritually, that wasn’t the case, but because my heart wanted to know Christ more. And so I was just more concerned about my walk than Eric’s walk. I never really looked at “How come you never really do these things?” I mean was he falling short? Was he a sinner? Sure, I mean, we all are. I always just took to heart, my walk, because when I read my Bible, I read it with Jesus talking to Jolene, not Jesus talking to Eric. You know because I have a relationship with Jesus and if Eric’s relationship is not where I think it should be then that’s between him and the Lord. So yeah, don’t look at it as the issue is the church. Whether or not he’s attending your church or what he says about your church. You just focus on your relationship with Christ and let that love, and that grace and that humility spill forth from you into the heart of your husband and over time you know he might soften up and say “hey I want to know a little bit more about this Jesus that you talk about”
Eric: Okay, so let me ask you the really hard question “What if he doesn’t soften up? What if he goes the other direction?”
Jolene: Then you keep following Christ anyways, and you keep doing these things anyways because, the bottom line is, if Jesus is your Lord you’re gonna obey Him. Jesus said “if you love me then you’ll obey me” So hard things? Absolutely, especially when there are bitterness and resentment, but every single woman I’ve met, we all wear those hats from time to time and for me I just want to take off that hat and stomp on it and burn it and throw it in the trash and run it over with a tractor and get rid of because, you know, there’s no place for that in my life as a woman who calls Jesus my Lord. So yeah, hard to do, and you always have to go back to the Lord to get rid of that bitterness and resentment but He’ll, in time, He heals those wounds. Again look at you and look at Jesus and let the Lord move in your life.
Prior posts that might be of interest to you:
Live a poured out life for Christ,
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