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Thread: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

  1. #1

    Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    I'm sure this is already covered somewhere, I just can't seem to come up with the right keywords to find something meaningful.

    The situation: Married couple and one person is "saved", while the other isn't (yet). They both believe in God, just aren't on the "same page" or level of comitment spiritually.

    I'm looking for books to read, testimonies, scriptures or bible study plans to read on this topic, enrich my knowledge, help with my prayers, etc. I know this is a fairly common situation, but it has really started to put a wedge between us in our relationship. I can be patient and hope she grows in her faith, but how do I handle this? How much do I encourage vs. sit back and let God work on his own?

    * I said "saved" because I know there are several denominations on here from various backgrounds. I don't want to get bogged down in the differences or even start a debate. So I said "saved" to cover whatever term your particular belief has. In the end, from a relationship standpoint with your spouse it's essentially the same situation. Whether the hurdle is being saved, baptism, experiencing the holy ghost, etc...

  2. #2
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    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    I was in the same situation, but my wife was the believer and I was not.

    She just lived her life out as she was led, and I watched. This went on for years.

    My change came when I met others who lived like she did, and I then realized that I wanted to have what they had.

    She still loved me, and she was still my partner, but she didn't push except to ask me occasionally if I wanted to go to church with her. I eventually did.

    The only reading you should need is the text where your behavior toward our spouse is given. Showing love, compassion, concern, and understanding will help you through all of it.
    Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
    George Orwell




  3. #3
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    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo View Post
    I was in the same situation, but my wife was the believer and I was not.

    She just lived her life out as she was led, and I watched. This went on for years.

    My change came when I met others who lived like she did, and I then realized that I wanted to have what they had.

    She still loved me, and she was still my partner, but she didn't push except to ask me occasionally if I wanted to go to church with her. I eventually did.

    The only reading you should need is the text where your behavior toward our spouse is given. Showing love, compassion, concern, and understanding will help you through all of it.
    Is not what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians relevant:

    To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 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 consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:12-14)

    I also had a similar situation. In the end my wife not only came around but far surpassed me - or, better, showed me how arrogant I was in some of my thinking about righteousness. Sometimes God places us in situations to allow us to learn as well as teach.

  4. #4
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    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    Love.
    Serve.
    Support.
    Pray.

  5. #5
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    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    Quote Originally Posted by guero View Post
    Is not what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians relevant:

    To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 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 consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:12-14)

    I also had a similar situation. In the end my wife not only came around but far surpassed me - or, better, showed me how arrogant I was in some of my thinking about righteousness. Sometimes God places us in situations to allow us to learn as well as teach.
    Yep. Isn't is amazing how God works things out for us and through us?
    Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
    George Orwell




  6. #6

    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    1. Always set a good Christian example, someone she can respect.
    2. Don't let self-righteousness cause conflict. Don't use God as an excuse to harm the marriage.
    3. Be patient.
    4. Respect her views.

  7. #7
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    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    1 Peter 3: 1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, that, even if any are disobedient to the word, they may be gained without the word by the conversation of the wives,

    Since you also are a *bride of Christ" then this scripture applies to the man as well, in regards his "Bridegroom"... Your wife may be won, by not a word, but as she sees your chaste and respectful behaviour as a " Bride of Christ!", in submission to your *Husband*!

    BarElohim.

  8. #8
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    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    Quote Originally Posted by Dante2004 View Post
    I'm sure this is already covered somewhere, I just can't seem to come up with the right keywords to find something meaningful.

    The situation: Married couple and one person is "saved", while the other isn't (yet). They both believe in God, just aren't on the "same page" or level of comitment spiritually.

    I'm looking for books to read, testimonies, scriptures or bible study plans to read on this topic, enrich my knowledge, help with my prayers, etc. I know this is a fairly common situation, but it has really started to put a wedge between us in our relationship. I can be patient and hope she grows in her faith, but how do I handle this? How much do I encourage vs. sit back and let God work on his own?

    * I said "saved" because I know there are several denominations on here from various backgrounds. I don't want to get bogged down in the differences or even start a debate. So I said "saved" to cover whatever term your particular belief has. In the end, from a relationship standpoint with your spouse it's essentially the same situation. Whether the hurdle is being saved, baptism, experiencing the holy ghost, etc...
    Some have already mentioned about self-righteousness and pride, which are the same thing really. As I've been reading and rereading the replies and meditating in God on how to respond so that what I say might be a blessing, He's been showing me my own self-righteousness and pride and presumptuousness and uncompromising stubbornness and near spiritual isolationism that I've shown my wife since we were married over 20 years ago. I "believe" she has an intellectual understanding of God. She's English so she went to schools that taught the Bible, theology and so forth; she was exposed to it, I guess. There's alot more to that story but from what God has been showing me over the past year that God would have me share with you are largely things I didn't do:

    1. Communicate openly and try to see things (including you) from her perspective. You may find you're more on the same page than you realized.
    2. Pray but make sure you're praying for the right thing. Don't presume to know precisely what to pray for and above all, don't rely on your own wisdom.
    3. Ask her opinion on things and honor her by doing things her way as far as it's within God's will. Little things like asking her what shirt looks better on you or what paint color scheme she prefers for a room, and then doing those kinds of things, have a big impact.

    Praying for you, Dante.

    God bless.

  9. #9

    Re: Married...one person "saved", the other isn't...how to cope

    I don't have anything to add, except that I love all these responses (even Sheth's!) and I'm impressed that others have had identical or vice-versa experiences. Good thoughts everyone, and Dante, I will pray for you and her.

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