By Angie Lewis
Did you know that God commands that believers marry in the Lord? If a believer marries a non-believer the marriage could possibly weaken the Christian commitment of the believer. Even so, some Christians marry unbelievers because love has blinded them.
Some Christians believe they can change their spouse to be what they want them to be once they are married, but that is not true at all. In fact a person has to be willing to change for themselves, and not for anyone else.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
If you recently have become a believer and your spouse has not, or if you married an unbeliever in err, you are obligated to remain married to them. Marriage is designed to be permanent even through the tough times, such as being married to an unbeliever.
And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. (1 Corinthians 7:13)
If you are married to someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ as his or her personal savior, it can be a very difficult time. You have to be strong for them, yourself, and for God. Be the believer for your spouse, but be careful that you do not undermine your own faith because of your spouse’s unbelief.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances. (1 Corinthians 7:15)
The above scripture is letting the believer know they are not bound to try and keep the unbeliever with them but it doesn’t say anything about remarriage. That’s because remarriage to someone else for either spouse would be committing adultery. (Matthew19-9) (Matthew5-32) (1 Corinthians 7-39) (Romans 7:2)
Belief in God is not something that happens because you “go to church” or because you “eat a bite of bread” and “drink some grape juice”. These practices are religious rituals that are fine to carry out and experience but they can’t save your soul.
And anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10: 38)
True belief in Christ means action. The only thing that will “save you” (preserve your soul) is “taking up your own cross and following Jesus Christ”. Going to church is not taking up your cross and following Jesus Christ and never should be mistaken as such.
We can certainly talk a good talk and tell others what good Christians we are, but if our actions say something different won’t that confuse our unbelieving spouse? Of course it will. Taking up your cross simply means to die to your sinful and selfish lifestyle. It means you have let go of the old behavior and attitudes that kept you a slave to your sins. It is a rebirth in Jesus Christ.
To put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-23)
Are you reborn a new person in Christ? Do you love your unbelieving spouse unconditionally or are you resentful and bitter inside? We have to be careful how we as believers betray ourselves to others, especially to those who have not accepted the Lord for their life. Are we helping our spouse accept Christ or are we discouraging them?
Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
Are you constantly asking your spouse to go to church with you and they refuse because they don’t get anything out of “going to church”? Perhaps you should research going to other Christian churches in your area, or simply begin a bible study session in your home and ask your friends and family to join in.
Many times when one accepts Christ for their life they must overcome personal issues within them. These issues will dampen their relationship with Christ. The best way to help your spouse come to Christ is to not behave self-righteous and talk down to them. The more you behave with a “holier than thou attitude” the more your spouse will run from whatever you have to say.
Instead “show” your spouse Christ’s principles working in you through your actions. You don’t have to say anything to them. Let them see. Be an encourager and a friend. Be doers of The Word and be the church for your spouse. God’s people worship in Spirit and in Truth. Belief, faith, and trust must have hands and feet. God’s people are the hands and feet of God.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
Angie Lewis is a published author and co-founder of Healing Ministry: http://www.heavenministries.com.