When Your Spouse is Not a Christian

When Your Spouse is Not a Christian

You cry. You pray. You wonder how long you can hold on. You wrestle with guilt and loneliness. You look at other Christian couples with envy. If you’re a believer, daily life has special challenges when your spouse is not a Christian.

And whatever your spouse’s spiritual status, you also still have all the other “stuff” of married life to contend with; communication, intimacy, money, in-laws, children, etc. You may struggle with the same false beliefs about marriage, and need to be reminded of what is true about marriage.

You may be tempted to believe that other couples where both partners are Christians have it so much easier, or that if only your spouse would “become a Christian” everything would be OK. That’s not necessarily so. Some of the most heartbreaking stories I hear are from those whose Christian husband or wife abuses, betrays, or otherwise causes them extreme pain.

That said, some of your challenges may be unique. How do you deal with your spouse when they don’t share your faith? How do you balance what may feel like competing loyalties? Is it worth it to keep on praying?

Paul encouraged those whose husband or wife was not a believer to remain married if their spouse was willing. (1 Corinthians 7:12-14) God may use you to draw your spouse to Himself. (1 Corinthians 7:16)

But what practically can you do to both survive and “help” God bring your spouse into His kingdom? Here are 5 keys.

  1. Don’t play junior Holy Spirit.

God has not given you the job of “fixing” or “saving” your spouse. That’s HIS job! No human being has a right to play Holy Spirit in anyone else’s life – not even your spouse’s. (You DO have a job though. More on that in the coming steps.) God honors your spouse’s free will, and you need to do the same.

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5 Steps to a New Marriage in 2017

5 Steps to a New Marriage in 2017

(While this is written especially for my women readers, the principles apply wither you’re a husband or a wife.)

Wouldn’t you love a New Marriage for 2017?

Have you been making some New Year’s resolutions? Or perhaps you gave that up long ago, believing that doing so just sets you up for failure and disappointment.

Either way, we’re at the beginning of a new year. Remember that God loves to do new things – even in your marriage. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19)

In addition to losing twenty pounds and being more consistent with reading your Bible, perhaps you’ve also decided to work on your relationship in this new year. Perhaps you’d like to:

–          Be more loving and respectful to your husband

–          Stop nagging and complaining so much

–          Be the submissive wife the Bible says you should be

–          Pray for your husband more regularly

“WOAH! Stop right there! You’ve just hit my red-button issues. You had me for a moment, but I’m not going to read any farther!”

I get it! Being “submissive” has often come to mean getting stepped on and abused. No nagging sounds like letting him get away with whatever he wants. Praying more feels like spiritualizing something that falls apart the moment your needs aren’t getting met.

Take a deep breath, girlfriend. This is not the older “be nice” kind of religious marriage advice. Nor is it the newer “be yourself” message many women have tried and find less than satisfying in the end.

I believe God has a New Marriage waiting for you. Remember, He loves creating new things!

You do want a New Marriage, don’t you?

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7 Steps to Freedom from Pornography and Compulsive Masturbation

7 Steps to Freedom from Pornography and Compulsive Masturbation

How do you find freedom from compulsive sexual behavior? What does it look like? What does it take to get there?

I’ve been overwhelmed by your response to my post last week about Dealing with Masturbation and Pornography as a Christian. I’ve heard from men and women all over the world who are crying out for freedom. And I’m here to tell you that God has a way out! There is a pathway to freedom! And that’s what this post is about.

This is not for you if you wonder whether what you’re doing is wrong. It’s not for you if pornography and/or masturbation is not your struggle. It’s not for you if you think maybe you should “cut down” on your consumption of compulsive sexuality.

But if the Holy Spirit has put His finger on this part of your life and said, “This right here; it needs to stop. Let Me have this!”, then this post is for you.

This is for you if you’re sick and tired of the bondage, the hiding, the shame and the guilt. It is for you if you’re ready to do whatever it takes to find freedom. It is for you if you’re ready to fight with everything in your being to experience Christ’s victory in this area of your life.

You cannot be successful in this journey by going half-way. If you’re not all in, you’ll fail. Jesus has freedom available for you, but you cannot do your own thing in one area and expect to win a battle with compulsive sexual behavior.

This means war!

So pick up your sword, get furiously angry at your bondage and the one holding you there, and get ready to do the work ahead of you. As Mel Gibson when he played William Wallace, find the scream in the bottom of your soul and cry out with all your might,

FREEDOM!

7 Steps to Freedom

Here’s what it takes to get there.

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Your Marriage is on the Rocks: 3 Things to Do

Your Marriage is on the Rocks: 3 Things to Do

It looks like your marriage is about over. Love, intimacy, communication, connection – those are all long gone. What do you do when your marriage is on the rocks?

Only this week I’ve heard from:

–          A church friend whose husband just moved out after 18 years of marriage

–          A husband who feels no love for his wife and sees no hope of getting it back

–          A wife whose husband told her she has only 10% of his interest before he calls it quits

–          A husband who feels he has no emotional energy left to try to fight for his marriage

–          A wife who is ready to leave her marriage, and is only staying because of finances

–          A wife whose husband refuses to talk and has told her he is ready for a divorce

You may feel very alone right now. But you’re in lots of company if it seems as though your marriage is hopeless.

If you’re in that situation you may be reacting in one of two ways. You may be feeling frantic, desperately trying to hold on to your spouse. You may be going through their belongings or phone or social media looking for evidence they are seeing someone else. Or you’re trying to force a hard conversation, manipulate them into staying with you, or nagging them with your snide remarks, criticism, and suggestions.

Or you may be doing the opposite. If your marriage is hopeless, why try any longer? You’ve checked out too, and are only going through the motions. Children, finances, or convenience are keeping you from leaving yourself, but there’s absolutely no relationship with your spouse. You’ve been hurt too much, betrayed once too often, neglected too long – and you have nothing left.

If only you knew what to do next!

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Are You one of the Lazy Christians?

Are You one of the Lazy Christians?

FootballIt’s football season – that time of year when 50,000 or 100,000 spectators desperately in need of exercise sit for hours watching 30 or so fit athletes desperately in need of rest. But somehow the running, tackling, and throwing by those 30 never seems to rub off on the 100,000.

I have nothing against football, but being a fan will not improve your health and wellbeing one bit! And neither will being a spiritual spectator. Lazy Christians are in grave danger of losing strength and fitness. That’s you – unless you start engaging in your own spiritual exercise.

Just yesterday during a prayer group I’m a part of a pastor became desperate as she cried out to God about the social-club playing-church entitlement mentality too many believers display. Our pastors, our leaders, cannot do our fighting for us! They cannot grow your character, protect you from the enemy’s attacks, influence the world around you, or fulfill the mission God has given you to do.

To switch metaphors, in a war the generals don’t do the front-line fighting; the soldiers do. And in the spiritual battle for your soul, your family, your future, or your nation, your spiritual leaders cannot do the fighting that only you can do. Your spiritual leaders have a great responsibility in their roles. But you cannot expect to find healing, purpose, joy, or victory unless YOU strap on your sword – or your running shoes.

In the United States we’re in the middle of perhaps the most contentious and important election our country has yet seen. And for those of us who care about the kingdom of God, we dare not let the news cycle or the overwhelm dissolve us into the apathy of a spectator sport.

5 Ways to get your Spiritual Exercise

For your physical health you need moderately intense physical exercise alternating with periods of rest and renewal. It’s the same with your spiritual health.

You cannot remain at a high intensity of spiritual warfare indefinitely without periods of refreshment. But the vast majority of Christians in our culture are in no danger of spiritual burnout or overwork! We’re in much more danger of being spiritual couch potatoes waiting for someone else to do our running or our fighting for us.

And you cannot get nearly the same benefit from someone else’s spiritual victory as you can from experiencing it for yourself.      Tweet that.

Here are a few ways to get your spiritual exercise that will help you maintain – and grow – your level of fitness and impact.

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