Unequally Yoked

 Posted by on September 17, 2013  Add comments
Sep 172013

Are you married to someone who does not share your faith? Maybe they have never known Christ or maybe they once did, but have drifted from Christ. Whether you married an unbeliever or are married to a prodigal spouse, being unequally yoked can be is a challenge for your marriage.

Unequally Yoked at www.habitsforahappyhome.com Although challenging, I believe God is calling us to be faithful and remain in our marriages.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11  Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

Verses 10-11 are clear and most Christians are familiar with them. Verses 12-16 are more specific to unequally yoked marriages.
Paul writes…But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.  And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.  But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.  For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

As a believer, we know that a marriage is not whole without Him, but can you have that if only one of you seeks it? I believe you can. You should seek a fulfilling marriage, all the while never forgetting the ultimate goal for your spouse, salvation.

Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

What do you do in the meantime?
Always keep in mind that God is working in your spouse’s life. You may not see it, but trust that He loves your spouse even more than you do and He has plans. Be patient and trust in the Lord.

Be loving and kind to your spouse in all things. Show your spouse what a godly marriage looks like. I am always telling my oldest son to, “be a brother, not a parent”. This is great advice for this circumstance. Set a godly example, just as an older sibling would and let God convict and direct your spouse as a parent would.

Try to avoid taking the “eye for an eye” or “I’ll show him!” approach.  Do not do things just to “get back” or “show him what it’s like.” Do not fall into this trap; it is a vicious and unforgiving cycle. You will find that you often have to give up your right to win and defer to your spouse’s needs, but it is necessary and it is how we are expected to behave as Christians.  Self-sacrifice is a necessary part of becoming more like Christ.

Invite your spouse to special services or programs at church. Do not get upset or angry if he/she says no. Lay the invitation out there and leave the rest up to God. Pressure, nagging, and guilt are not affective in leading your spouse to Christ. You have heard the saying, “Let go and let God”; this is especially relevant to your spouse’s salvation. The best thing you can do is stay in God’s Word, pray, and wait on the Lord. You must learn to trust in His sovereign control.

This is a delicate topic and one that usually cannot be openly discussed with anyone, including your closest friends. Because of this, I would like to direct you to resources that have helped in my journey and I hope they will be as much a blessing to you.

Winning Him without Words by Dineen Miller and Lynn Donovan
Dr. James Dobson interviewed the co-authors on his radio program here.

Marriage Missions International

How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong by Leslie Vernick

Focus on the Family

Love your spouse unconditionally, even when it’s hard. Endure your difficult marriage, if for no other reason than to show your love and commitment to Christ. Always strive to genuinely reflect Christ in your marriage, showing patience and kindness. The easy path is often the wrong path, He is working on you and in you, do not get in the way of that just to take the easy path.

  One Response to “Unequally Yoked”

  1. Great advice! And it works. Just ask my sister, married for 18 years to a man who was not a believer. (A good husband and provider, but not a believer.) She practiced what you mentioned above all that time, and this past July, on their anniversary, he told her he’d accepted Christ. Now she is still practicing the same things as he grows as a new believer.

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