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.
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.