Honoring Your Spouse When It’s Difficult
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, … 1Peter 3:1-6
At first glance, this may seem a bit contradictory. After all, if we’re not to be yoked with unbelievers in the first place, how is it that we find ourselves in a position of honoring our unbelieving spouses?
The answer, of course, is BOTH! The Word of God is truth and abiding by its word keeps us safe and blesses our lives by helping us lead a life that is consistent with His desires for us. For me, the bigger meaning behind both of these verses is simple; we worship the God of second chances (and 3rd, 4th, 5th, and so on…)!!! How wonderful is that?!?!
It’s true that marrying an unbeliever brings with it many trials and heartaches. Unequally yoked partners do not share the same world view or the same hope. My pastor always says that all of us put our faith into something. That is perhaps the most frustrating and discouraging truth. The believer, through all trials, believes Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The unbeliever oftentimes chooses to put his faith in himself; a recipe for disaster, disappointment, and unreasonable expectations.
In this Godforsaken world we live in, I’m always saddened when I hear people say things like, “I don’t need your religion shoved down my throat.” While, of course, these are perhaps the people who need to hear the Good News more than anyone, there is something to be said for just throwing a Bible verse against the wall, and hoping it will stick to the heart of the unbeliever.
We need to walk in faith. It’s the difference between walking the walk and talking the talk.
Have you ever seen a person that just exudes joy? You know their life isn’t perfect but something separates him or her from everyone else? If you were to ask them where it comes from, many times you’ll find that it is their faith in Christ that sustains them in a world full of sin and disappointment.
Showing your spouse (not telling them) what a Christ-like spouse is supposed to be is perhaps the most important thing we can do as followers. This is difficult to do sometimes. It can be downright frustrating to us because we oftentimes question, “Why should I treat my spouse like a believer when he/she isn’t one?”. The answer is because you are a follower of Christ and like all of our earthly relationships we are to honor God by loving others. It isn’t about us; it’s about honoring God and if there’s any way we can bring our spouse to the point of belief and salvation isn’t it worth it?
Ultimately, only God can change a person’s heart. However, you may hold the key to opening a door to the marriage that God intended for you. Remember this, the next time you find yourself in despair or discouragement with your unbelieving spouse. Continue to pray for your spouse; that God would soften their heart, in order to hear His voice. And pray for yourself, that God would provide the wisdom and patience needed to overcome such a huge disparity in your life. God has you here for a reason and he will help you get through it!
In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – I Thessalonians 5:18
Heidi Anderson currently resides in Washington State. She is a wife, a mother of 2 beautiful children, a small business owner, and works full time at the Christian school her kids attend. In her spare time (if there were such a thing!), she plays in a country music band, doing local shows in the Seattle area. In addition to spending time with her family, she is also deeply involved in her church, studying history, politics and all things relating to music.