Is it Possible to have a Gospel Centered Marriage If I’m Married to a Non-Christian?
This is the third of three posts highlighting the difficulties, responsibilities, and encouragements to Christians who are in “unequally yoked” marriages. Today’s post examines the hope and encouragement for the Christian spouse.
Many Christians are in “unequally yoked” marriages, whether by choice (a believer knowingly married an unbeliever) or Providence (one spouse is saved after marriage). Marriage to an unbeliever (or— more hopefully— a pre-believer) can be challenging, but it can also be a rich environment for the Christian to experience God’s help and mercy in personal and profound ways, so take heart. You are a child of God, and as such, it is possible for you to experience the Gospel in the center your marriage. My last post highlighted your responsibilities, some of which might feel impossible to you. On your own they would be, but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
How Can You Possibly Carry Out Your Hard Responsibilities?
- First, remember you are not alone. God is with you and is using even this difficult circumstance to accomplish His plans and purposes for you and in you (John 15:1-11; Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6). Jesus Himself understands what you are going through. His own family at one point did not believe in Him (John 7:5), and his own people did not receive Him (John 1:11). He has compassion for you and is praying for you (Hebrews 7:25). He will strengthen you (Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:17).
- You have real hope for a glorious future, so take courage and keep hope during your sojourn on the earth (John 14:1-3; Romans 15:13; Hebrews 6:19-20, 10:23; Ephesians 1:13-14).
- If you feel alone and lonely in your marriage, how much more must your spouse feel, who does not have the fellowship of the Spirit and the communion of saints? Be compassionate, merciful, and patient, remembering from whence you came (1 Corinthians 1:26).
- Remember that through your faith your spouse and children are blessed, whether they realize it or not, and are in the best possible situation for finding God (1 Corinthians 7:14; Acts 17:26-27).
- Without making your spouse feel even more excluded from your life, surround yourself with Christians (not many – just one to three should do) who will listen to your hurts and fears, hold you accountable to not give in to complaining or despair, “share” their hope and joy with you, stand with you in prayer for your spouse, and rejoice when you rejoice and weep when you weep.
- While you pray and wait for his or her salvation, remember that it is okay (and good and right) to enjoy your spouse and the blessings your spouse brings into your life (1 Timothy 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5; 10:24-32).
Join the Conversation
In what ways has the Lord helped you in your role as the believing spouse of a noon-believer? How have you used your experiences in this challenging situation to bless others?