Honoring God in an Unequally Yoked Marriage

In the church, she appears to be single. She’s the believer whose husband never joins her because, while he may or may not believe in God, he has no interest in Christianity. While she is devout, he can be found somewhere on the continuum between tranquil unbelief and agitated intolerance. Such unequally yoked unions are not ideal and definitely not recommended, but it’s reality for many evangelical women—myself included.

Recently, TGC published an article by M. Connor on how she came to understand prior to her wedding that marrying an unbeliever is not what God intends for Christians. Unfortunately for many believing women, this realization doesn’t occur until well after the rings have been exchanged. Other women come to faith during there marriage, and often without their husbands. For all of these women and their families, there is an important question that needs our attention: How does a wife honor God’s intended plan for marriage in a circumstance that doesn’t comport with God’s plan to begin with?

Ministry of Wives to Husbands

Scripture provides clear instruction to those married to unbelievers. Paul writes,

If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy (1 Corinthians 7:13-14).

The apostle doesn’t specifically deal with how we navigate the every-day difficulties in this kind of marriage, nor does he encourage “missionary dating.” He does, however, speak to the ministry potential in unequally yoked situations. That the unbelieving husband “is made holy” does not say that he enjoys salvation vicariously through the believing wife, but rather that proximity to his wife’s Christ-centered living creates opportunities for godly influence. Each time a wife models godliness (1 Peter 3:1-6) to her husband, that’s another moment he’s not being influenced by the godlessness that desires to lay claim on his soul. In this way he “is made holy” because he is set apart from the world and more likely to receive the gospel. Similarly, because of the decision to remain intact as a family, children of the marriage have a greater opportunity for exposure to the influence of biblical truth.

As difficult as it is to accept—and it was for me—these words on marriage between believers and unbelievers written to the church at Corinth are not merely recommendations but timeless truths that apply today. By choosing to stay in the marriage, the unbeliever provides an opportunity for ministry to the believing spouse, aiding the restoration of two relationships. We can’t change the person we are married to—even when we want to; we can only work on becoming the person God has called us to become. This isn’t psycho-babble but an appeal to the grace and mercy of God.

I’ve seen firsthand how it has transformed my own spouse in various ways and at various points during almost 20 years of marriage. When we choose to live as Jesus lived, with a tender influence that avoids anger and provocation, the “hidden person of the heart” can soften the hardest of hearts. Husbands sometimes soften to the work of the Spirit and miraculously transform from the natural to the spiritual. Sometimes they don’t. But we are called to be faithful to Scripture despite our circumstances and individual longings.

Unequally Yoked: Functionally Egalitarian?

For some women in spiritually unbalanced marriages, it’s difficult for them to understand how they can honor God’s design for marriage in their marriage. If her husband isn’t a Christ follower, he cannot provide leadership in matters of faith even though he might be able to function with the borrowed capital of godly wisdom in other meaningful ways. Then again, he might not. In the absence of a husband fulfilling his God-ordained responsibilities, wives should not seek to assume his role but to fulfill their own God-ordained responsibility of living in a way that demonstrates respect and purity, “that he may be won without a word” (1 Peter 3:1). This, of course, doesn’t restrict her to unqualified silence but guards the relationship by asking her not to pressure him to fit her own standards in her own time.

The responsibility that belongs to her husband parallels Christ as head of the church (Eph 5:22-24) and is rooted in the order of creation (1 Tim 2:13). Believing this truth does not detract from her spiritual maturity, nor does it lessen the need for a husband and wife to communicate and learn together what is best for the well-being of their family.

Some argue that in these situations where the husband is present yet essentially absent, functional egalitarianism results. But we cannot expect an unequally yoked marriage to represent the best of either a complementarian or an egalitarian framework. Yet when a wife chooses to honor the model for marriage God instituted prior to the fall, the trajectory of such a marriage can be oriented toward the design that reflects the relationship between Christ and his Bride, the church (Eph 5:32).

Spiritual Health Promotes Marital Health

A wife’s spiritual maturity shows forth when she encourages her husband toward faith in the same gentle and affirming way she would share Christ with any other person she encounters with the gospel. Because of the stress and other difficulties in such marriages, husbands can often be the last person to experience the same compassion and grace other unbelievers might expect from his wife. For this reason, every wife should study God’s character and allow Christ’s example of grace and mercy to permeate every single thought with a particular awareness for interaction with her husband.

This spring I reckoned with my husband’s eternal destiny when he was diagnosed with a genetic heart disorder often first discovered in the morgue. His emergency situation helped remind me that for my ministry to him to be effective, my love for the truth of God’s Word needs to be deliberately coupled with a gentle spirit and ongoing, intentional expressions of love and compassion. Over the years, it’s been easy to blame his behaviors and addictions for any of my growing callousness in the relationship—a mindset to which any person in an unequally yoked marriage can fall prey. But Paul’s words to wives of unbelievers remind us that God calls even us to participate in the redemptive stories of those he has called to lead. It matters that we are spiritually mature.

As our culture becomes less churched, more single-marrieds will be in our midst. The challenge is not just for wives of unbelieving husbands—or husbands of unbelieving wives—to know how to glorify God in his design for marriage, but even for pastors and ministry leaders to connect, equip, and minister to them. Wives can be grateful to know that God, in his revealed Word, provides grace-filled instruction for how to live in a circumstance that falls short of his intended plan for marriage. Through the work of his Holy Spirit, these marriages can truly be redeemed in both structure and function.

Bride photo by Danny Ignacio, Vignette Photography.

  • Pingback: Linkathon 6/20, part 1 » Phoenix Preacher | Phoenix Preacher()

  • Kim

    I married my husband thinking that he was a Christian and he professed to be a Christian but I really can’t see fruit or leadership in this direction. So I live my marriage as unequally yoked, not by choice.

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Kim, it’s challenging especially in your situation. But I hope you’re encouraged to know what God has in mind for your marriage. Your ministry is not insignificant to your husband :)

      • Kim

        Thank you so much for your encouragement!

    • MJ

      Me too. I married a man reccommended by his Pastor that I met in my Church’s singles ministry who professed to be a born again Christian. A few weeks after the marriage his TRUE personality came out and I had 21 years of a loveless marriage. He sure fooled me while we were dating and engaged!! :(

  • Lisa Robinson

    Sarah, first let me commend you on such a well articulated piece and having the courage to share your story. I admire your maturity and strength. When my late husband was alive, how I wished that my situation would be addressed instead of the usual suspects. Yet, every sermon involving the family somehow overlooked the issues you raise here. So that left me relying on scripture and drawing the same conclusions as you highlighted.

    But I also have a concern for some women in this situation so please allow me to open up a little. I married by husband during my 13 year rebellious period away from the Lord. It was only after I repented that I realized the difficult contrast. But moreover, I subjected myself to emotional abuse because of unresolved issues from my childhood that contributed to both the rebellion and the decision to marry a man who was not kind or loving. However, under the guise of submission, I came to the conclusion that I should be a good Christian wife who models the prescription in 1 Peter 3. It was kind of a vicious cycle. Not realizing that I was subjecting myself to abuse because of the unworthiness I felt, I validated both his and my behavior under the rubric of submission and male leadership. I wanted to honor God and his word after all.

    He passed away in 2004 and in the past few years, I have gained so much clarity of the both the issues that drove me to such a situation and the attitudes that compelled me to endure what I experienced. So it leads me to conclude that there are possibly many other Christian women who enter in to such marriages for the same reason. And that makes me wonder how much harm is fueled and continued by telling the Christian woman that her job is to submit no matter what. I know that is not true in all cases and we should encourage Christian spouses to obey the word. But what happens in situations like this? In fact, there were those who tried to tell me that my submission did not seem healthy. But in my mind I was obeying word though I suffered for it. Still, the Lord works it out for his good. Also, this is no indictment against the complementarian position though I wonder if we make too much out of male leadership, even in an unequally yoked situation.

    • http://restorationretreats.com,kathyharrisonlpc.com Kathy

      I would so love to email with you and your experience. This sounds like my life story exactly….all of it. I’m growing through it…and balance of submission (stepping aside), and putting God as first, the person I need to please, while being kind, considerate (regardless of how another behaves) is sometimes, not healthy if the priority of persons isn’t correct due to childhood emotional issues. I totally get your life. I am in more need of God to achieve the healthy balance to live out the Biblical principles. My life is so similar and still living in it. I too, sometimes wonder if I am living in a healthy way. Staying close to God is all I know to do and focus with him, and in loving kindness to my husband as well. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story.

      • Susan

        Hi Lisa and Kathy,

        I too can very much relate to this article. Thanks, Lisa, for the link. I married a man who I thought was a believer but, entered into an agonizing relationship full of pain. Although my husband always attended church with me the fruit of the Spirit was absent and that which took it’s place was a constant assault on me. I too tried to be the submissive wife, nevertheless. I wanted to be obedient to God in the midst of my painful circumstances. Maybe we could have a three-way conversation. I know how hard it is, Kathy. I longed for a friend to understand my painful life. I felt isolated in the church–like I had to protect my husband’s reputation. What a lonely place to be! My story has improved. My husband came to true conversion almost four years ago, some months after I finally told him that I doubted he was a true believer. That got his attention. He began to wrestle with God over this question. I sought the Lords help as this unfolded. God lead me, and my husband, who finally said to me one blessed day in July, “I have something to tell you. I gave myself completely to the Lord.” Oh, the incredible day that that was!

        I can share the whole story with you if we connect. I can now see how much the enemy used my husband to attack me during those 21 years that my husband was a false convert. I don’t share Lisa’s story of abuse prior to marriage. I was raised in a good Christian home only to be shocked by who my husband really was after we married. I too appreciate Sarah’s article, and the fact that she too has endured and sought to be faithful to the Lord in the midst of a very difficult situation! This is where a good theology of suffering is born. Escapism is the norm in our culture….in human nature, period. But, God shapes us most through these long-endured trials. How much I have learned through all I’ve been through!

        • http://restorationretreats.com,kathyharrisonlpc.com Kathy

          I would love to hook up with you and Lisa….my husband claims to be a christian now…and sometimes I really think he is…never goes to church, but has some understandable reasons but not really Biblical…yet ignores me a LOT, emotionally abusive, and puts me down or needs me to be in a one down position. I feel so isolated. Would love to get together on this and talk more…I need the connections of women who live in similar circumstances

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Lisa * Kathey, thanks for your comments! I got into my marriage in a similar way….walked away from God for a few years and through his Spirit found my way back. These aren’t uncomplicated situations, especially when abuse is involved. I don’t believe God has called us to endure abuse but to have a disposition the desires spiritual and relational disposition with a heart to submit even during a difficult process of healing.

      Having a support system in an unequally yoked marriage is important, this can’t be overstated and I pray this for women (and men) who are unequally yoked and in our churches. Our leaders, I believe, need a special sensitivity to this (as if they don’t have anything else to think about…) and make sure they are effectively connected to others through whom they can grow in the faith and develop appropriate relationships.

  • http://restorationretreats.com,kathyharrisonlpc.com Kathy

    I so appreciate this article. I have described my life spiritually as a “single-married” person as far as church is concerned. I’ve been a single-married in church for 11 years. I don’t recommend it either…but twice in one day…the scripture specifically addressing this has come across my path…and goodness knows…those of us living it, need the encouragement or I do. I encourage other women whose husbands are emotionally unavailable, intellectually or spiritually…to be reminded as I remind myself..to be the person God called me to be while not taking on the leadership role God gave to husbands. We are with a confident but quiet spirit…in His hands! Thank you so Sarah for this article!

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Kathy, I don’t think I could have summed it up any better. Agreed – its not something to recommend, but it does put us in a particular position to encourage young people not to take this route if it can be avoided. We know from experience the difficulties first hand – spiritual and practical – right? :)

      • http://restorationretreats.com,kathyharrisonlpc.com Kathy

        INDEED. All I can say to those who might look up to me is to be honest and encourage them NOT to go this route. I knew better…did it anyway.

  • Stacey

    Thank you for this article. I to have lived in an unequally yoked marriage for almost 3 years. We married 5 years ago as unbelievers and I was saved 3 yrs ago and went through a dark period in my marriage. It was a hard road, riddled with lots of sin (anger and bitterness on my part), and I learned some very hard lessons in a short amount of time. If the believing spouse focuses on his or her own walk with God and instructs their children first, then the unbelieving spouse’s heart is more likely to be soften. Nagging all the time does not work. Also, the most important lesson to learn is that God saves, not us, so don’t focus on trying to save or fix your spouse. A good book, that I gave to my mother to help her cope with being unequally yoked, is Beloved Unbeliever, Loving Your Husband Into The Faith, by Jo Berry. I only intended to read the first chapter of this book just to make sure it was doctrinally sound for my mother and ended up reading the whole book. My husband was saved a few months before I read this book and it still was applicable to me as a struggled with submitting to a husband who lacked Biblical knowledge and discernment. I recommend it to all Christian women who are unequally yoked.

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Stacey thanks for sharing your experience. We learn much from those who endure for the sake of honoring God. :)

  • Barge Hauler

    Sadly it’s not just wives living with unbelieving husbands. A number of men I know who are trying to live Godly lives have seen their previously devout wives fall away for a number of reasons, and personal experience can attest that although the marriages can seem perfectly functional from the outside, without a mutual Christian spiritual element a lot is missing.

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Barge, you’re absolutely right. When that mutual spiritual element is missing, we long for it to be filled and try to make things seem to everyone else and to ourselves that things are ideal. Trusting God seems to be the greatest challenge when we’re stuck, when God doesn’t want us to have the attitude of being “stuck” but to have a willingness to remain if that is the desire of the unbelieving spouse.

  • Pingback: Honoring God in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, by Sarah Flashing « Grace, Glory, and Gospel Endeavor()

  • Sheri

    At times it is difficult to hear if you do not align with an unbelieving spouse you are not ” loving” them.

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      “Align” is a pretty broad term.

  • http://www.Spirituallyunevenmarriage.com Deborah McCarragher

    Great article Sarah. Indeed – being in an unequally-yoked marriage is complicated and often exhausting. After being married for 30 yrs. (23 of those unequally-yoked) I can tell you that pressing into the Lord and continuing with your own personal walk is imperative. We cannot foretell our spouse’s conversion experience, nor can we play the Holy Spirit and bring conviction upon them. We must, as I Peter 3:1 states, “win them without a word” as we live out our faith day in and day out. Are we a perfect portrait of a Christ follower at all times? No – not hardly… but we continue to rely on our Savior to guide us and strengthen us as the years go by. Our faith relies in Him and not in what our spouse does or doesn’t do to fulfill our deep desire to have a mate who loves the Lord Jesus with their whole being.

    Your statement, “but guards the relationship by asking her not to pressure him to fit her own standards in her own time” is key to giving God the permission to be sovereign in all things. Our goal should be to lift Him up – that He might draw them unto Himself…

    I maintain a blog for women living in a spiritually mismatched marriage at http://www.Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com

    God bless you. (Hebrews 10:23)

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Deborah, that’s the key….our own walk with the Lord. Really the unequally yoked spouse need not do anything more than any other person…continue to grow in Christ. this is why discipleship is so important!

  • Josiah

    Thank you Sarah for this article, although firstly as a male I almost didn’t read it when it seemed to be addressed primarily toward women, so I was glad that it wasn’t the case.
    I can strongly identify with what you’ve experienced, as I’ve been married now for four years to a non-believer. I too walked away from God during that time and didn’t listen to my peers about the danger I was walking into. Since then I have turned more and more back to the Lord and continually pray that God will save her.
    I really do feel blessed, she is a fantastic wife and she has no problems with my faith – in fact she -encourages it, yet doesn’t need it herself (yept!) there is just an emptiness that I pray that God will will someday, hopefully sooner rather than later.

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Josiah, glad you read it. :) There was no need for me to write husband/wife throughout the piece…what I wrote is true for both except for the leadership aspect.

  • Mary

    Dear Sarah,
    The content and recommendations of your article sound very reasonable. I became a believer during my marriage because I couldn’t understand why my husband was so emotionally abusive to me (there was a great deal of conselling which was completely ineffective). I suffered severe mental illness as a result. I think that leaving him was my only choice if I wanted to stay alive. My ex continues to treat me and our children abusively.
    What about women like me?

    • http://www.womenfaithculture.org Sarah Flashing

      Mary, first I’d ask you to consult with your pastor because in a forum like this its impossible to provide the kind of feedback that is truly appropriate. You should stay safe, but with a desire for a restoration of the relationship. This means taking care of your own spiritual growth and praying for your spouse. But I can’t emphasize enough the importance of speaking with your pastor on such matters.

      • Mary

        Dear Sarah, At the height of the abuse, my husband knew how important the church was to me and went to see my vicar in order to convince him that I wasn’t sane. This made it untenable for me to stay at that church. In order to stay safe, I had to leave. My girls and I are now trying to make a new life for ourselves. We’ve moved and now attend a new church, though I still feel an outcast for being a divorcee. This and the continued abuse of my ex to me and my children makes me feel that, despite my deep faith, that blessings are just not for us.

  • http://restorationretreats.com,kathyharrisonlpc.com Kathy

    I so enjoy this blog because it encourages me. I am curious..as I am new to this site, how do you get your pictures on your name? :o)

  • Carly

    I came to Christ 3 years into my marriage but my husband showed no interest in following the Lord himself. I stayed hopeful that with much prayer, along with an attempt to fulfill my role as a godly wife, he would also. In the next couple of years, we grew apart so much that we lived separate lives in the same house, along with raising 3 kids. As I found out later, my husband had become a drug addict. I was ready to give up and separate, despite all I knew about how God intends marriage to work and the picture that marriage gives the unbelieving world about his church. Long story short, my husband went through addiction treatment and is now attending church, praying, asking questions, has repented in several areas, and is on his way to being a totally surrendered follower of Christ. We both have a ways to go, but our relationship is the best it’s ever been. I believe the Lord answered my prayers for my husband by breaking us both and is now rebuilding us to the glory of his name. I just want all people in this position to be encouraged and not give up. He really will restore all the years that the locust has eaten!

  • Pingback: Check out | HeadHeartHand Blog()

  • http://www.aclutteredmind.org Kevin Sorensen

    Thanks for this helpful post. As a pastor of a smaller church, I have several “church widows” in my congregation–probably a disproportionate amount given our size. It pains me to no end to see these women struggling in the fight for faith, sometimes with several small children or with one or two teens on the verge of rebellion, living this “quiet witness” before their unbelieving husbands. (I have yet to see this be the case in the reverse–believing husband, unbelieving wife; I’m sure it exists, but I have not personally seen it in 27+ years of ministry.) This is helpful counsel in an area where I’ve not often felt I had a “good answer” or piece of advice for them.

    I read/reviewed a book back in January by Carla Anne Coroy. “Married Mom, Solo Parent” addresses this issue and more. I found it helpful and have recommended it to a couple of these women in our congregation.

  • Pingback: Take a Look: Catching, Leadership, Unequal Marriage, Marriage Fail - Power of the Home - Power of the Home()

  • Cheryl

    Truly critical mass is reached when the couple involved is in ministry, with one or both spouses ordained, or serving in church leadership, music ministry, counselling, evangelism, etc. When the wife realizes that her husband is a ‘phony,’ there is no way out but to insist the hypocrisy stop. This is what I did at the end of 2000. And so after more than a decade of intense Christian work, we stepped back from everything and moved away. Now it is 12 years later, 2012, and I see clearly in retrospect how my husband was undercutting our relationship with God and our relationship with each other during those ten years. Nothing has improved, except that he is no longer basking in false Christian limelight, except in his own mind. Others are not being deceived. As for me, I pray daily for the grace to be strong and continue, even as God knows I am struggling with not only anger, but with fullblown contempt for this man, whom I have learned to despise. Hiding this truth 24/7 is impossible. The truth will out. In the morning, I can hardly stand to look at him. Many times, I go into screaming fits. He deliberately sabotages simple things around the house, now that we are retired. It is part of his pattern of passive-aggressive abuse. I am suffering, and Jesus is allowing all this for His purposes and His glory. I never ask God why. I trust the situation will be resolved sooner or later. It may take the death of my husband, or the death of myself, to find the answer.

  • craig k

    Don’t ever think it’s just Women who are Unequally Yoked and Church Widows. I am a man who lives for Jesus and am now divorced after 5 years of serving the Lord and becoming Born Again. I faithfully serve Jesus and go to church by myself. Thankfully after several years she allowed my son to go with me. He is saved now Praise Jesus. I only worry now after the visitation orders he may not get enough time at Church. There are those who Hate The Light and I believe I was married to one. A Thorny Ground Hearer I am guessing. After I became very ill 5 years ago and turned to the Lord for mercy my ex-wife began to reject me. She rebuked the scriptures although she said she believed in God in her own way. She refused prayer, refused Ephesians Chapter 5, and seemed to create a God with laws to her own liking. I am not proud of my failed marriage and only see that I need the Lord even more now than ever. Not once did I tell her she will Burn in Hell for anything. So why do I feel guilty as if I drove her away I don’t know. I can’t help myself. I love Jesus more than life and will not quit serving him. She looked at me with the magnifying glass waiting for me to fail and then point the finger -> sinner not worthy.
    Unequally Yoked is the most difficult thing. If you can I Highly recommend following Apostle Paul’s teaching and don’t be Unequally Yoked. It will be way sweeter with fruit to be Yoked to a believer. Whatever you do Honor God. Don’t listen to the world listen to the Lord. I could not file for the divorce although she tried to force me. I love God too much but in the end she did it. You are my everything Lord Jesus. I give you my life.

  • http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com Barbara Roberts

    There is help for those who are being emotionally abused in their marriages at A Cry For Justice. Just click on my name. The blog addresses the sin of domestic abuse in the evangelical church.

    We define domestic abuse as a pattern of conduct by one spouse that is designed to obtained and maintain ungodly control over the other spouse. It can be emotional, financial, social, sexual, physical and spiritual. Usually it covers several of those categories at once, if not all of them.

    • Kim

      Oh Yes Thank you Barbara Roberts for that website. I love that website and it helped me so much.

  • Linda

    What about a pastor (female) who’s husband is not part of the church? Where can I find Scripture for this? I have checked under leadership and yoked; still could not find an answer.
    I am trying to get this information for my friend who is attending a small church with a female pastor who’s husband is not part of. I explained to her that as a leader, this pastor has to be an example and walk the talk…what do you say?

  • Tiff

    After reading this article and other’s responses it felt a little nice to know that I’m not the only one. I was never married, but we were together for 5 1/2 years. About 3 years into the relationship I accepted Christ and I ran with it. My partner on the other hand had quite a bit of anger and frustration. I knew I shouldn’t have been with him and tried multiple times to end it. Last year when I went off to college, I ended it. That whole 10 months apart wasn’t easy. Whenever I visited his family I missed him. I missed “us” and the good times. Here we are 10 months later trying to figure out what to do because it’s not the same without each other. I know we are called to be equally yoked and I have seen first hand the consequences in a marriage if not. Ultimately, I want God’s Will and I want him to know Christ. I can’t change him, only the Holy Spirit can. He needs prayers, lots of prayers.

  • Michael

    I appreciate your article and experience as well as your wisdom. My circumstances are a bit different. I am a pastor, a divorced pastor, who met a woman after divorce whom I fell in love with. Her words were she needed the “spiritual part” of her life she never had. She looked at our relationship as an opportunity for that. After time, I never really saw much growth nor interest in growing in spirit by her. I ended the relationship, only to see the pendulum swing for her…she dived into her faith, went to Godly people, experienced God in very real ways, counseled with a pastor…in part because of her grief that I ended our relationship. I stood at a distance, watching, observing…seeing if the “change” was genuine. Long story short…I believed it was, I asked her to marry me, we did, and now a year later I see no interest on her part in growing spiritually other than attending church with me on Sunday mornings. In fact, her behavior, her interests, and even her language suggests she is going in the opposite direction. She doesnt seek our Christian friendships, or studies, and seeks out old friends who do not “build her up,” but pull her backwards. When I lovingly hold her to account for her actions or lack thereof…she agrees, says she wants to change, but does nothing. I feel as though I was lied to. That my marriage is a lie. We have no children together thankfully. My hearts hope was that I was marrying a spiritual partner who would embrace ministry with me…instead I have married a woman who has created a diversion, a distraction, to the office and ministry God has called me to. Everyday is a struggle. Everyday I long to hear something edifying and spiritual come from her. I recently had surgery and longed to hear her even say, “I will pray for you.” Those words never came then, or now. I am a pastor, a good pastor, and effective pastor…but this situation is causing me to experience a mild depression. My concern is I do not see anything changing…and my heart wants to move on.

  • Julia Di Salvia

    Thankyou for your article, one cannot truly understand unless they are in an unequal yoked marraige themselves, God bless those who tell us to submit to our husbands but we must submit to our relationship with God first, I know what suffering is, as I read everyones comments it blesses me that Im not alone,
    Philippians 3:10 (1611 King James Bible)

    That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death,
    Ias i picture Christs suffering for us, it encourages me to get strong on the suffering in our marraige, The ore we suffer the more we run to the Lord, it helps to be THANKFUL for our suffering, in my experience it has helped me not to be bitter but the fruit of the spirit to be looooooooooongggggsuffering. each blow to the marraige with words of thunders of wickedness, love back,1 peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.Proverbs 15:1
    King James Version A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. these verses are my survival, its deepening me to be like Christ
    Proverbs 25:21-22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
    22For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
    My husband is yet to be saved, its important i have found to avoid doubtful disputations, my husband says he is saved but has an athieistic heart. I was far from the Lord when i got into and married, i married to stop living in sin, not because of love even though I tried to break up with him many times, its been the tower of babal ever since being confounded in our communication, 1 timothy 5:11-12 was my basis in marrying. its very very hard, Praise the Lord anyway

  • http://TGC Kathy

    I appreciate the most recent comments on this article….It might as well have been coming out of my mouth…. :o) Although we have a difficult spot in life that I don’t wish on anyone else, it is encouraging to read and hear others experience the same trials. Thank you for your post.

  • Pingback: Submit is Not an Ugly Word | The 429 Spot()