What to do When You are Married to An Unbelieving Husband” by Stephane Singletary

Finding my way through these years with my husband was difficult.
God’s love and compassion, gave me the strength to face the battle that was just beginning.
Living with an unbelieving husband is challenging, and can be downright difficult at times. We are worlds apart, thoughts afar. 
Each a day you are faced with a man who wants nothing to do with “your” God and cares only for himself and the things you are fleeing from.
He looks at you differently, says words just to hurt you, you kneel in prayer but end in this same fight over the things that pertain to God.
Are you in these same shoes?
How do we, as women of God, live with and love our unbelieving husbands?
Can I submit to this man?
How do we love them through the darkness and show them the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Year after year these are questions, I struggled with. Gal, I have knelt in the place of prayer asking that his heart be changed. My struggle was real
No one knows the heart of a man except God
 We were living in two different worlds, living in the same house, trying to raise two
children. I wish I could tell you that if you just follow these basic principles outlined for us in I Peter 3 that your husband will become a Christian in a year.
But that is not how it works. God knows when your husband will be ready to accept Him, and He alone knows what it will take for him to bend his knees and confess that Jesus is Lord over his life.

 “For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you shall save your wife?”  1 Corinthians 7:16
I wrote “Winning Him Without A Word, Learningto live and love an unbelieving husband” so my story could be an encouragement to women who are on this journey with their husbands.
Are you struggling like I did?
From the heart of a woman who has been there, who has walked this way before.
I did not save my husband, God saved my husband.
I was less than perfect at being a Christian wife to him, but through prayer and following the Word of God my husband was able to see the light in the midst of his darkness, five years later.
Today, I share these four lessons I learned all through those years:
   1.  The Power of Submission “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husband, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without the word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.” 1 Peter 3:1 NKJV
Yes, there is that word again!
I know, it is a tough one to hear, but it is the first thing that Peter tells us we need to model before our unbelieving husbands.
God is a God of order and rank.
He has placed certain people over you in your life as a child, your parents, as worker, your boss in authority over you. 
Every time you obey the traffic lights you choose to submit to the laws of the city.
You pay your taxes because you choose to submit to the government that God has
placed in authority over you.
Submitting is not difficult, we do it all the
time; we just have a hard time submitting to our husbands, and in this case they are unbelievers. 
God has placed your husband to be the head of the home, the Commander.
Submission is a “voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden” (Greek/ Hebrew Lexicon) It means that no matter where our husbands are at spiritually we have a
responsibility to them and to God to submit to their authority.
Submission is not a giving in and bending over to let him walk all over you.
Jesus was in submission to the Father, but He was considered equal with God the Father.
We are to be in submission to our husbands, but God sees us as equals as well.
When we truly grasp the meaning of submission we will begin to see ourselves as no longer singular, but as a part of a unit, a part of a team.
Our motives for submitting to our husbands is not because “God said” so much as it
is, “God said and I love God, so I am going to submit to this man God
has placed over me, because I seek to please God above all else.”
Now you see your choice for submitting, in this case, to an unbelieving husband means that we seek his good above our own. Our motives for submitting are not for our good and our benefit, but for his good and his benefit.
  2.  Remember, You are Not the Holy Spirit “…even if some do not obey the word, they,
without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.” 1 Peter 3:1
     This for me was a difficult passage to grasp. I am a dive in head first kind of personality, so when I gave my life to Jesus Christ I went all in. I held nothing back, and preached to every person I could.
But my husband was not ready to hear what I had to say, and the more I tried to
tell him about Jesus the farther away he went.
And there I was mistaken,
The more we try to preach at our husbands, the less likely they will respect
Christ. Our words and efforts to try to “save” them actually hinder the power
of God working in their hearts.
God does not force Himself upon anyone, He did not force you to become a Christian, and He will not force your husband to believe either.
My husband needed to see who Jesus is through my walk with Him.
A pastor of mine once said, “You may be the only Bible people ever read, and you may be the
only Jesus people ever see.”  It is about how we live before them as Christians, as true followers of Jesus Christ. Don’t try to be the Holy Spirit, let God be God and you be the light that He has called you to be.
  3. Make what’s important to him, important to you “Finally, all of you be of one
mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be
courteous,” 1 Peter 3:8
My husband and I were struggling in our marriage.
I was struggling with his lack of faith and he was struggling with my faith.
There was constant tension in our home. He was always fussing at me about our household finances. He saw the glass half empty; I saw the glass half full. I believed that God could move mountains and provide all our needs.But he saw only the low balances in our checking account and the numerous bills that came each month. He saw no way out except through hard work and cutting expenses. I just wanted to pray and believe. This created a constant battle in our marriage. 
One day, during a prayer group I belonged to I poured out my heart to my fellow sisters. I told them of the struggle we were having and asked for prayer, for myself and my husband.
One of my sisters took my hand and said, “Make what is important to him important to you.” She explained that our husbands, no matter where they are in life, need us to recognize what is important to them, and we, as Christian wives need to respect whatever that may be. Her words cut me to the core.
Just as the scripture says we are to be of “one mind” with our husbands. Some versions have the word “like-minded”.
What is important to your husband? 
Is it finances? 
Is it his career? 
Whatever it is, we must, as Christian wives, align ourselves with them and make what is important to them, important to us. Philippians 2:3.
We are to “let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself.” We are to esteem our husbands better than ourselves. This means that we are going to have to let go of what we want and pick up what they desire.
This means that we are going to have to let go of the struggle to be ‘right’.
Your husband needs to see Jesus. He needs to see the light of the gospel of grace in his life.  
When we allow our wants and our
needs get in the way of his, we block out the light of Jesus. 
Jesus laid down all that He had for you, and for your husband. He was willing to put on the flesh because you were important to Him. Your husband needs to see that example
lived through you.
When we desire a situation to be resolved or to be better, we have to be the first
ones willing to change.
 This is hard to do, take it from someone who understands and has walked this way before, it won’t be easy.
Being of one mind means that we no longer fight against them, but we now agree to fight alongside them. Your unbelieving husband needs to see and experience Christ Jesus for himself. He needs to see the sacrifice of Christ, and it all begins with you.
Esteem him,
Love him, and
Respect his desires and dreams.
They are a part of who he is, and you are a part of him. Make what is important to him, important to you. You don’t have to agree with it, all you have to do is give him the respect he is due. There is hope for peace in your home. There is hope and a light at the end of the
tunnel, you just have to be willing to walk it.
If you are struggling with and unbelieving husband or a lukewarm husband and need someone to talk to, please email me. You are not alone sister. There is someone else who has walked this way before. 4. Trust God: Finally, I want to encourage you today to keep walking and trust God through it all. Don’t give up in prayers and hope.



This is an excerpt from the book. You can buy Stephane’s book today Available in Paperback and Kindle copies

About the Author
Stephane Singletary gently leads “The Upper Room” Women’s Ministry where writes and teaches women to love Christ. 
You can find her writing regularly on her blog One Woman at A Time, on Facebook and Google+
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