by Kate Plourde

When I study, I use my King James Bible and a Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Both are quoted in this study. Before I start, I want to share a little something with you. I was saved on April 1, 1980. John and I had been married for 6 years already. I was no longer in love with my husband and I wanted “out” of my marriage. I no longer loved my husband and, in fact, hated him! I was married to an unbeliever for six years before he got saved. During these six years, God taught me how to be a submissive wife and what His Word said about being the wife of an unbeliever. God not only taught me in these areas but he healed my marriage and restored my love for my husband. Praise His Holy Name that He not only saved me, but He drew my husband to salvation six years later. I speak to you today because I have been through this. I speak from experience of the wonderful things God can do in your marriage if YOU allow Him to do it. That’s the key. Β Allowing God to work in our lives is a CHOICE. Β  We must allow God to work in our hearts, our husband’s heart, and our marriage. God desires for you to have a great marriage. God desires for your marriage to be equally yoked.For you ladies who are married to a saved husband, please read the study anyway as it involves submission … and we can ALL stand to have refresher courses in this very important area in our lives. πŸ™‚ Are you ready to commit to that? Are you tired of your marriage being rocky and miserable and unequally yoked? Are you desiring a husband who will serve God and love Him? These wonderful things CAN be achieved if you do your part with your heart and leave your husband to the Lord.

Let’s get on with the study then πŸ™‚

Heavenly Father, I know that all things work together for good for those who love You. I pray, Father, that You would use this study to Your glory and that You would heal the heart of the lady who is desperately trying to draw nigh to You. I lift up each marraige represented here and pray God that Your Holy Spirit would work in the hearts of the women to be the help meet You want her to be. I ask all these things in Jesus’ Precious, Precious Name. Amen.

Definition of a Wife:

What does the Word define a wife as? A wife is a helpmeet according to Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him..”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what help meet means. She will help her husband and she will meet his needs. πŸ™‚ Simple, isn’t it? Does it say that she is a help meet only if the husband is saved? Not in my Bible πŸ™‚ Β Does it say that she is a help meet only if her husband is doing right? Β There are saved husbands out there who are not following God’s will for their lives. Β So where does God draw the line on being a help meet? Β He does not make any prerequisites.

When Does a Wife Submit:

Therefore, we are to be help meets regardless of where he is spiritually. Before I begin, I need to stress that God’s Word for wives does not only apply when we are married to a wonderful Christian man. It would be very easy to be a wife of such a man. God’s Word applies when we are married to an unbeliever, a back-slidden believer, drunkard, gambler, drug addict, etc. It applies to the woman who has been married for many years and is no longer in love with her husband (and vice versa). Well, Kate you might say, just how in the world can I be a help meet to a man such as my husband? He’s simply awful! The answer is quite simple. Let God work in you to be the kind of wife He wants YOU to be and HE will take care of your husband. πŸ™‚ This is not an easy thing to do… I know that. However, I’ve been there and I know what worked in my heart and for my marriage. Β We need to stop trying to change our husbands and let the Holy Spirit do the changing in him. Β If we concentrate on our OWN spiritual growth, we won’t have time to worry about our husband’s spiritual growth – or lack of it.

The best place to find information on what is expected of you as a wife is to go to the Source where the information is perfect and absolutely correct πŸ™‚ … and that, my friend, is your beautiful Bible. Let’s look at probably one of the most important passages of Scriptures for married women.

~1 Peter 3:1-6 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

1 Peter 3:1 God starts the verse with Likewise. Likewise means: In like manner; also; moreover; too. ….

Hmmmm, likewise to what? To see what Peter was referring to, you must go to chapter 2 and read the latter part of it. When these letters were written, they weren’t divided by chapters and verses as they are now so we lose that continuity. As you see, Peter is referring to Christ’s work on the cross and how we are now returned to the Bishop and Shephard of our souls πŸ™‚ Isn’t that beautiful? As Peter lays the groundwork here, he then moves on to chapter 3 verse 1. SOOOO, now that we are saved we have some instructions to follow.

Submission to Whom?

Next, the instruction is to “ye wives” … it does not say husband here. This is a definite instruction to US. Furthermore, that verse goes on to say that you are to be in subjection to your OWN husbands. Β Why do you think Peter would need to tell the wives this? Could it be that they were listening to other men but not listening to their own husbands? I use to be that way. My husband could tell me that the sky was blue but I wouldn’t listen to him. But let another man (especially a saved one) tell me that the sky was blue, I listened to him. Isn’t that sad? I’m ashamed to even say that I did that, but I did. πŸ™ (Thank You Lord for Your patience with me.) In fact, Peter thought this SO important that he says it again in verse 5.

I believe Peter had a tender heart for wives … he had a wife of his own. He knew exactly what we needed to hear and God spoke through Peter as he wrote these instructions for us. Verse 1 continues to say “that if any of your husbands don’t obey the word” … let’s park there for a moment. Does it say that if any of your husbands are not saved? No, it does not. Therefore, this could also apply to women with husbands who ARE saved but are backslidden. Both the unsaved and backslidden husbands are disobedient to the Word.

So what does Peter tell us to do if we are married to a man who is disobedient to the Word? He says that they “may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;”! 😯 Do you see that wives? When I first read this verse, the words WITHOUT THE WORD jumped off the page at me and convicted my heart! πŸ˜₯

This can mean several things: no preaching to hubby, no correcting him, no nagging him because he’s not going to church, no nagging PERIOD, no belittling him, and all those other nasties that tend to come out of our mouths when we are not happy with him. Why? The answer is in the latter part of that verse … so that they may be WON by the conversation of the wives. Well, if we’re not allowed to speak, what conversation is Peter referring to? God’s not saying that we cannot speak at all. He’s telling us that He doesn’t want us “speaking” THE WORD to our unsaved husbands. Our behavior doesn’t stop with our mouths. Our behavior continues in our attitude – sulking, rolling eyes, etc. Why do you think God doesn’t want you to quote the Scriptures to your hubby when he’s sinning? Aren’t we suppose to correct our brother in Christ like Matthew 18 says?

Not your husband! Let the Holy Spirit deal with your husband. You must remember that the Holy Spirit IS God! His way is perfect and His way will bring peace and reconciliation in your marriage … not YOUR preaching. You are not your husband’s personal little ‘holy spirit’! We have many opportunities to speak the Word – we can speak it to our children. Β Sometimes your husband will even overhear you from the other room. Β I truly believe that when we “preach” to our unsaved or disobedient husbands, it comes across to them as “fingernails on a blackboard.” I believe this because this is what my husband told me he felt.

What CAN I Share With My Husband?

Now let me stop here a moment to clarify that I am not saying that you cannot tell your husband that he has hurt you or share with him something that you would like him to do. For example, if your husband is constantly using the Lord’s name in vain, it is OK for you to ask him to please restrain himself from doing this because it hurts you. BUT, you don’t have to quote him the Scriptures that deal with using the Lord’s name in vain. Does this make sense? The Word says that you are not to preach to him… example: Hubby doesn’t want to go to church but yet you remind him that Hebrews 10:25 says that he should go to church. THIS is what God is referring to. Let the Holy Spirit convict your husband’s heart. He will accept it a whole lot better coming from God than coming from you. In fact, when we preach to our husbands about their sin, we distance ourselves from them. They will resent us for “being more spiritually minded” than they are. God knew what He was saying in this verse. Β Just go to church and let God deal with your husband.

It’s All In The Attitude

Let’s move on to verse 2. Our husbands need to observe our chaste conversation coupled with fear. What is God talking about here? Chaste means pure … pure conversation … I’m thinking sweet, clean, holy and uplifting conversation, aren’t you? But not just that alone … God says “coupled with fear” … what do you think He means here? God is saying that your husband should hear pure conversation from your mouth to the point where he actually can tell that you fear God (respect Him, reverence Him, obey Him). Do you suppose your husband thinks that you fear God when you’re snapping at him? I don’t think so. Verse 3-5 go on to describe the chaste conversation of the wife and how it does not mean “how she looks, fixes her hair” but how her HEART is. God is saying that the wife is to have a meek and quiet spirit … a mild and peaceable spirit. Can she truly have this type of spirit if she is preaching to her husband or correcting him spiritually? Of course not. Well, Kate, this is easier said than done. You know what? You’re right! It is. However, my Bible says that ALL things are possible with Christ. My Bible says that ALL things work together for good. Therefore, I must allow God to do the changing in MY heart. Forget my husband’s sins because I have enough of my own to deal with! :-S

Forget my husband’s faults. Forget my husband’s disobedience. Holy Spirit, work within ME to change ME and I will leave my husband to Your care, Lord. We’ve all heard the Scriptures that God is the Potter and we are the clay. God needs to mold you to be the wife He wants you to be for your husband. As He is working on you, He is working on your husband so give God a chance to work! He’s YOUR husband, not someone else’s. You cannot trade him in for another model, ladies. I hate to put it in these terms, but you are stuck with him. You chose him to be your life-long partner. You would be out of God’s will if you divorced him so the only alternative is to “” to the Holy Spirit and let Him work a miracle in your life by healing your heart of the sin of being an unsubmissive wife … yes, I said sin! It is sin because it is rebellion against God’s will for you as a wife.

The Extent of Submission

It IS sin to be unsubmissive. We’ve been commanded in several Scriptures to submit to our own husband, amen? Confess this sin and forsake it. Let God work in your heart. Don’t worry about your husband. God will take care of him. I’m speaking from experience. πŸ™‚

Lastly, verse 6 gives Sarah as our example. She called Abraham “lord” (little “l” not L). Webster defines lord as (1) master (2) husband (3) a title of respect, as applied to kings, or as to a respectable person. God is not saying that we should call our husbands lord with our lips but He IS saying we should call our husbands lord with our hearts. He is saying that we should recognize our husband’s position as master of our home and to give him the respect due him, just as you show respect to the President of the U.S. One of the definitions of master is “husband”! Does that make an impression on your heart? Your husband is given this position as lord of your home by God Himself.

So if any of you ladies believe that you just HAVE to rule your home because hubby’s doing a horrible job, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart! Β It is not your job to rule your home. It is your job to “help” your husband fulfill his role as master and ruler of your home. Your unbelieving or disobedient (to the Word) husband has the rule over you, your children and your home. Your husband has direct authority from God to be master of your home. Just because he is not saved doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the God-given responsibility as your head and head of your house. Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Why would Paul have to tell the Ephesians that the husband was the head of the wife? If husbands ruling over the wife WAS being practiced, do you think Paul would have to tell them this? Good question, huh? It is your natural fleshly desire to have the rule over your husband. We think we know better than our husbands at times. We think we just have to get our way or his way will lead us to ruin! Sound familiar? God says that your husband shall rule over you. Maybe youΒ are better at doing some things but that does not take away the fact that your husband is still head of your home.

If you think of a master of a house (either during the time of slavery or even an employer of a company), you think of someone who makes the decisions and runs the show. No employee would tell his boss what to do and get away with it. No slave would tell his master what to do without being chastised for it. Although we are not slaves or employees to our husbands, the concept is pretty much the same. Someone has to make the final decision if there is a split-decision. For example, your husband wants a Pontiac and you want a Chevrolet. Your husband has to make the final decision since the two of you are not agreeing in this matter … and guess what, ladies, YOU HAVE TO LIKE IT! Not just “like it” in your head but “like it” in your heart.Β  :slim: This is where submission comes in.

Attitude of Submission

You have to submit to the point where it shows on your face. You can say “All right, get the Pontiac, but I don’t have to like it!” … and your face looks as though you’ve been sucking on lemons! 😯 That is not submitting. Submitting is leaving the decision (whether it’s the right one or the wrong one) with your husband and trusting God to take care of this decision. God is still God and He can work through the wrong decision just as much as He can through the right decision. Let me take it one step further. Submitting also means not “throwing it in his face” when his decision ends up being the wrong one.Β  :-S

***ouch*** If you want to be in God’s will in your marriage, then you must desire to have your unsaved husband be the head of your home and ruler over your home. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean that you must get permission from him on what time you should eat lunch. It means that you SHOULD ask him if it’s OK with him if you spend money on a new dress… these are just examples but I think you get my meaning here. πŸ™‚ Even if your husband is not saved, he is still the head of your house. The sooner you accept this fact in your heart, the quicker you will be able to learn the meaning of submission. You cannot submit to someone you don’t WANT in authority over you… does that make sense? I clung to 1 Peter 3:1-6 in the first few months of God’s dealing with me on submission.

I read them daily and asked God to change my heart. I memorized Psalms 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” What is a right spirit in this study? It is the spirit of accepting what God has planned for your life as a wife to an unsaved husband… Accepting that God’s will is that you submit to your husband whether he is saved or not. Accepting that you are not your husband’s personal little holy spirit in charge of making him spiritual or godly. This is God’s job … and, after all, once God does the changing in your husband, it will be perfect and permanent. πŸ™‚

Submission applies to all wives … not just to those whose husbands are not saved. It is the will of God. It is harder for women whose husbands are not saved because she is unequally yoked. The wife of an unsaved husband goes through a spiritual battle every single day. She is placed in situations that an equally-yoked marriage does not experience. Does this mean that she should sin if her husband asks her to? Of course not. This is when the wife must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 we see that Peter was told that he could not preach the gospel and his response was just that…. I will obey God rather than men.

I like what Paul wrote in Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” …. as it is fit in the Lord … this is what is called a qualifying statement. Paul didn’t end his sentence after the word husbands. He continued with “as it is fit in the Lord” for a reason. So Paul is telling us that in our submission, we must obey the Lord’s commands and not go against His will. The husband abuses his authority if he commands his wife to sin. She must obey God. She can sweetly say to her husband that she fears God’s chastisement on her life if she disobeys HIM. God will take care of the wife if that husband gets upset with her. She is being obedient to God in this instance. However, in all other instances (where sin is not involved), the wife must obey what her unsaved husband asks of her. Her obedience and subjection is service done to Christ. When a woman submits to her unsaved husband, she is submitting to Christ. She is fulfilling God’s desire for her life. This brings much comfort and peace in a woman’s heart. It brought great comfort to me. I had such child-like faith when I was first saved. I just KNEW in my heart that God would take care of me when it came to submitting to my unsaved husband. I just knew that God would not allow me to go through certain things that would place me in a situation I could not handle.

Our Life

The wife of an unsaved husband experiences things that no other wife experiences. There are times that her husband verbally abuses her because of her faith. There are times when her husband mocks her because of her faith. There are times when her husband tries to provoke her to anger and sin so that he can appease his own guilty conscience. These times are extremely difficult for this poor wife. We women are created by God as emotional beings, therefore, we get emotional during these trials and tests. I have three verses that will help you during these moments. I encourage you to memorize these two verses and they will bring you much comfort. Psalms 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Have peace in your heart because you love the Lord and don’t let anything your unsaved husband says offend you or upset you. Tell the Lord about your hurt feelings. Tell Him how much you’re hurting inside. Tell Him how you can’t bear it any more. He WILL comfort you. He WILL give you that peace. He WILL take care of your problem. I promise this! God is not an oger. God is not insensitive. God is not heartless! God IS LOVE! He loves you! He doesn’t want to see you hurting!

The Difficulties

How many of you enjoy seeing your child hurting? None of you. God doesn’t either. He comes running when He hears us crying to Him. What a lovely and comforting thought, huh? God will NEVER give you more than you can handle. The trials we experience will also have a temptation to go with it. A temptation of possibly giving up and leaving the marriage, giving in and try to take the rule of your house away from your husband, giving in to the desire of yelling back and saying unkind words, etc. However, the Word says that God won’t give you more than you can handle and WILL provide you with a way to escape this desire to yield to temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” This is the second verse you should memorize. Turn to Him and share with Him your deep hurts. He WILL listen. He WILL not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able to handle! That would be cruel if He did and we know that God is love … He is not cruel.

The Solution

If you are experiencing a difficult trial with your husband (whether disobedient to the Word or unsaved) today, take shelter in the shadow of His wings. Psalms 57:1-2 “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” Take refuge in God until your calamities (trials) are past. A dear friend of mine shared these verses with me when I was going through a trial recently, and I felt that it would apply beautifully in this study. God will perform His will in your life for your benefit … you have to want it and you have to allow it.

God bless you as you grow in Christ in this area of being married to an unsaved man or a disobedient man.

Heavenly Father, again I lift the dear lady here who is in this situation. Help her, Lord, to have a teachable heart and a willing heart to be the submissive wife she needs to be to her unsaved husband. Bless her, Lord, in Jesus’ Name I pray.

137 Comments

  1. Hi!

    Thank you so much! I needed every word you wrote!

    God bless You!

    Sintija

  2. Thanks– this blog post was deeply encouraging. Its nice to know Im not alone in this process Im in. I know God cares for me, it has been major adjustment.

  3. You are not alone!! God knows what you are going through!!! God bless and feel free to write any time!

  4. πŸ™‚ Christ restored my love for my husband after a period of hating him as well. Even though my husband has yet to surrender to Jesus, God is molding him. More than that God is showing me how to truly be a wife and how to truly love my man. I am launching a ministry at my church called “Loving the Man God Gave You” and would love to use your writing. Would it be ok with you if I print this and use it as a resource for teaching what the word says about us wives being Godly women? Thank you.

    In His Grasp,
    Trish Teck
    Zion, IL

  5. Trish please feel free to use anything here!! Thank you for visiting!

  6. Thank you for this post. I am in this situation, and this just spoke to my heart in a way that I can’t believe. God bless you.

  7. I’m so glad that you visited, Kimmie!! Thank you for stopping by! It is not easy being married to an unbeliever or disobedient Christian. But it IS do-able. I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me!! πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you soooooooooo much Kate, I am going through the same things with my husband, but after reading your testimony I hope it is not too late. I did not know how to truely be submissive to my husband and allow him to lead our family. In every way you were speaking directly to me, now my backslidden husband said he has had enough of my mouth, preaching, non-submission etc. and he can not take it any more. Now that I understand what the scripture is saying, I am praying that God will create in me a renewed mind & clean spirit. I desire God to mold me into the submissive wife that He wants me to be for my backslidden husband. I will pray for my husband and let go and let God work on him. Thank you sooooooooooo much!!!!!

  9. thankyou so much, this has been very helpful, I too live with a backslidden husband.
    just one question though
    please don’t be offended, I do not ask this with a wrong motive, and mean no malice,
    I notice from your photo that you do not wear a headcovering????
    I agree with all your comments about subbmission, and I have also studied headcovering for 26 years and have worn one for 20 years, the Lord has blessed me soooo much in obeying this command. I have heard all the comments about how hair is our covering, but after years of study this just does not hold water biblically. πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you for visiting Sheila!! So glad you stopped by. I’m glad you were blessed by the post. As for your question on the head covering, I believe that a meek heart is the most important. Look what Peter tells us:

    ~1 Peter 3:1
    Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

    ~1 Peter 3:2
    While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

    ~1 Peter 3:3
    Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

    ~1 Peter 3:4
    But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

    ~1 Peter 3:5
    For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

    The woman who is in sweet submission to her husband with a meek heart is a woman who does not need to show it outwardly but is a woman who naturally displays it because her heart is yielded to the Holy Spirit. Mt. 12:34b …for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Now if my husband asked me to wear a head covering, I would have absolutely NO problem with it because I would be submitting. And as well, we must remember not to be a hindrance to our husband’s spiritual healing. For example, if my husband was bothered by me wearing a head covering and didn’t like me to wear it, I would not wear it. I would not want to be a stumbling block to him. After all, the head covering is not a salvation issue. It goes right back to the meekness of the heart.

  11. thankyou for taking the time to answer me, I do value fellowship and sharing of ones views etc
    surely though as you also say it is more important to obey God rather than man. I would not want to hinder my husband either, but if the Lord asks us to do something surely we should obey without question,
    and as my husband has often said to me, the headcovering is a constant reminder to him that I may be obeying the Lord but he is often not, yes it is a stumbling block but for the right reasons as it nudges his concience.
    we can also relate this back to the story of adam and eve, where it is suggested that adam was to teach and protect his wife but we find that eve had gone to the tree and spoken to the serpent, and adam said nothing. and man fell because of adam’s sin,
    therefore the headcovering is a reminder to man of the obedience of the woman and his need to be obedient also, and from the simple matter of wearing the covering, the greater matter of doing the right thing and being obedient is taught.

    I agree that the covering in itself does not save, only the blood of Jesus can do that, but I have in my 20 years found that being obedient in this simple matter brings blessings I would not have thought possible,
    the angels look upon man, and are interested in salvation and our walk of faith, they would not dare go before the throne of God uncovered, and must look down upon the church with confussion at times.

    thankyou again for your very helpful page, I have bookmarked it. πŸ˜†

  12. I think where you and I differ is the reason for wearing the head covering. God’s Word tells me that my long hair is my covering: ~1 Corinthians 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. Paul was speaking to a very carnal church. Verse 6 speaks of women who shaved their heads and Paul was saying that this was a shame – this is why THEY needed a head covering to show their submission. The women were to have long hair as their covering (verse 15) – so why need an added covering? Paul had every opportunity to add “another” covering here by stating the woman should have a head covering over her hair but he did not. If the covering were that important, this would be the place to add it. He would have given the dimensions of the covering, what the fabric should be made of. After all, the fabrics of all garments was emphasized in the Law. No other book in the N.T. talks about head coverings except for the Epistle to the carnal church of Corinth. Furthermore, the covering was to be a woman’s long hair.

    You spoke of obeying God rather than men. Acts 5:29 speaks of obeying God rather than men – however, we must read why this was stated and in what context. Peter and the Apostles were told NOT to preach the Gospel – that is why they chose to obey God rather than those who told them not to preach.

    We Christians have to be careful how we deal with each other as well as unbelievers. Let’s remember that the world is watching us. If they see us disagreeing with each other over areas that deal nothing with salvation, then it distracts them from the Gospel and they will not want to have anything to do with it. Let’s not communicate to the unsaved that clothing and “works” are THAT important when in fact, THE most important thing is salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    To other believers, let’s remember that we not strain at a gnat and swallow a camel over issues that do not make the Christian. Christ is our foundation – He is the center of our lives. Granted these verses were spoken to the Pharisees – but many believers put more weight on “doing” and “keeping” the letter of the Law of Scripture than they do concentrating on their faith.

    ~Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. ~Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

    Each Christian is at a different place in their pilgrim’s path. The Holy Spirit is our Guide and Teacher. It’s better to allow the Holy Spirit to do the teaching than to try to be another Christian’s personal little holy spirit. πŸ™‚

  13. Kate, I came to know the Lord on my 4th yr. anniversary, after my husband and I argued. Since then I have made the mistakes you spoke of that we are NOT suppossed to do out of ignorance. It was my desire for my husband(still unbeliever)to accept Jesus, but I finally realized it was the wrong way. As with you, 1 Peter 3 was what spoke to me. It has been a tough road for me to submit to not only God, but to my husband, even though with my lips I’d say I submit, with my actions I was fighting. It is truly a decision we have to make. As Jesus has told me very clearly “Make up your mind to…..” But I have to say that I am learning to not nag or “correct” my husband and keep giving him to God and am seeing a difference in my husband. I believe it is all in His wonderful timing. One question I do have is, that I don’t care to be around his friends(who aren’t saved), so when he invites me to go be with them I feel the screeching of the nails within me. What would be the godly way to handle this?

  14. Hi Brenda, thank you for visiting my blog and posting your testimony! That’s awesome! God is Good ALL the time πŸ™‚ In response to your question, I guess it would have to depend on what goes on when your husband and his friends get together. Remember, you may be the only “Bible” these guys ever see so the opportunity to be a testimony is always there πŸ™‚ They could see your submission and love for Christ in action when they see you serving. Invite his friends to your house for your husband and make them a meal. Serve them as you would serve the Lord Himself πŸ™‚ They will see by your chaste conversation and good will that you are good for your husband. And of course, pray-pray-pray πŸ™‚ Love your husband’s friends like Christ does – HE died for them as well.

  15. Thank you Kate for writing this and sharing with us those things we need to do and those things we ought not to do as we are married to unbelievers.

    I have been struggling with many of these points, yet praying that God will give me the kinds words to say….that I may be Christ like towards my husband.

    One thing you mentioned in your response to Brenda is having his friends over. Now, I know in our daily lives we cannot totally be cut off from the world. That’s impossible. However, in 1 Corin. 5:9-13 Paul warns the Corinthians to not eat with those that are the ungodly. I understand that we cannot cut off our husband’s friends as that would be one more way to push them away from the Gospel, but how do you feel about us as believers associating with them at a meal? Meals are seen as very intimate in Scripture, and I struggle with this greatly. I feel like I would be sinning against God to have such close association with them. We’ve done this once, and I was miserable. I wanted to run in my bedroom, shut my door and read my Bible and pray. It was just awful in so many different ways. That’s not to say I don’t pray for them…I do, but I truly believe there is a line we wives have to draw for ourselves..for our own sanctification.

  16. Hi Amy, thank you so much for commenting on this post! I can see where this would be difficult for you. You must remember that your husband is the head of your house whether he is saved or not. Your home is his home as well. Who are you a helpmeet to? If he wants to have his friends over, it is your duty as his helpmeet to meet his needs and that includes his friends coming over. How else can you be a testimony to his friends? What better way can you be a testimony to them than for them to see Christianity at work? Maybe none of them have seen a Godly Christian woman being a scriptural helpmeet to her unbelieving husband. Your actions are your Bible in this case. I know it’s hard to go through a meal with unbelievers … but again, remember, this is your husband’s home of which he is head. Let’s say that his friends curse in front of you. Take that opportunity to speak to your husband after they have left. Tell him how you enjoyed pleasing him by cooking for his friends and that you would enjoy doing that again. Then ask him if he would speak to his friends and ask them to refrain from profanity in your presence. Let your husband be the one to speak to his friends rather than you correcting them. If your husband is irritated with you because of your request, be sweet and serve his friends again then just leave the room once you have served (that’s always an option).

    On a side note, Amy, sanctifying ourselves is a daily on-going process. However, we cannot remove selves from the world altogether. Yes meals are intimate however Christ fed the multitudes. They weren’t all believers. There will be times when we are exposed to situations where our reaction is a testimony. We cannot act pious and self righteous but we must be a light and salt to an unsaved world. God never allows us to go through a situation for no reason – His Word won’t go out void. Our actions speak a thousand words πŸ™‚

    ~Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

  17. Thanks for your guidance and wisdom! This is great Godly advice! I agree totally..
    I have been saved for 10 years, my husband is an unbeliever secretly.. He has told me, but no one else.. I read my bible everyday and have for 10 years.. I even hid it from my husband in the beginning because he would get so mad at me and call me a holy roller.. So I read in secret.. Now I dont, I read in the morning whether he is gone to work or not.. He does not bother me anymore, but he still resents it because he brings it up in our disagreements. At times he wants to believe, and we have had our intimate talks about the Lord.. He has tried talking with me about his feelings and how he has a hard time believing.. And my response is always something encouraging and of faith, I never condemn him for his feelings.. In the beginning I did throw scripture at him for about a year, but realized this was making things worse and I wasnt being obedient to Gods word. But there are times I still get very aggravated with him because he has such a horrible attitude toward God and me sometimes.. I feel like he takes 2 steps forward sometimes and then 10 steps back, and I get so discouraged! I pray all the time for his faith and salvation. I have told him only God can change him, not me. And in hard times of our life he has always depended on my faith.. We have went through some very hard times lately – death of my father, bankruptcy, our home foreclosed, and income decrease by more than half, etc, etc.. It has been so hard, but I have kept my faith and only my faith has gotten me through it! My husband on the other hand has gotten worse… He drinks now, he has become more irresponsible, he takes risks with our children that make me very uncomfortable. I express this to him and sometimes in anger, but he resents me saying anything. He used to be such a protective father and now he acts like he dont care as much.. I have always struggled with him to encourage him to be the leader and head of our family.. He never acts like he wants to and leaves everything to me, which I dont want to do.. I have always desired for him to be the leader.. And lately he has gotten 10 times and worse and it makes me angry.. With all the sorrow we have had to experience lately, I feel like he has dumped everything on me and expecting me to hold up everything, when I am so weary and most of the hardships have been on my side of the family with my dad passing and all.. I have to be honest, I resent him for this.. I just need a shoulder to cry on and he is not strong enough to be that for me.. And because of this I have not wanted to be intimate with him as often. I still am, but it is not as often. He literally hates me for this now.. I feel like he has left me all alone and I cant depend on him for anything.. He told me last night that he gets in a bad mood when he sees me.. He told me that he has alot of hate in his heart for everybody, and that our marriage is hopeless.. I told him that I have hope for us and that God can help us.. And he said “whatever”.. In other words, no He cant help us.. To put it all in one sentence – I have always wanted my husband to be the leader, to discipline our children instead of me doing it all, to be responsible. I told him I wish he would stand up and correct me sometimes.. I love him still, but I dont know if he still loves me.. Because when he’s around I enjoy his presence, but he doenst mine because he told me.. I have tried, but failed at times, to be the wife God says for wives to be in the bible.. Submissive, (except for sex lately), not preachy, loving, forgiving, and prayerful.. I am by no means perfect and dont pretend that I have done everything right in every situation, but I know that most of the time I have done the right thing that God would want me to do.. I never imagined our lives would be where they are today, and I have so much sorrow because of it.. All I can do is pray and hope that my husband will be open to God and His love so that God can change him…

    Sincerely and Christ love reign forever!!
    Catherine

  18. Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for visiting and leaving your heart at my doorstep. I can SOOO relate to you, dear sister! May I be honest with you? Withholding your affections is sin. That will turn a man away in a heart beat. He will find someone else to give him those affections and it will be a repercussion of your sin. Confess it – ask his forgiveness – and forsake that sin.

    On another note, remember why you were created. You were created to be your husband’s helpmeet. If he refuses to do the disciplining, and other things, and wants to leave it up to you, then you are helping him. It does not matter whether you like it or not. The more you dwell on your dislikes, you WILL most definitely become resentful. Keep your thoughts focused above! We are told in the Word to be thankful in all things. That tells me that even my hardships, trials and tribulations are worthy of thanks! Why? Because the Word says that tribulation produces patience. God IS there and He DOES work in each of our trials. Knowing that He is busy at work comforts me during those difficult times. Please feel free to email me if you just need a shoulder and a word of encouragement! πŸ™‚ My email is: 777.maranatha @ gmail.com (no spaces – just here so spammers don’t pull it).

    Kate

  19. Hi Kate,
    Glad to know I am not alone on this and thank you for sharing.
    I married a muslim in Nov/1992 (I grew up in catholic family). In 2001 when our baby was 8 months old, he abused me for the last time (my neighbor saw what he did and called the police). The judge separate us and gave me custody of my daughter. In 2004 came to The Lord, was baptized and also dedicated my daughter to The Lord. In 2006 after being separated for 5 years, he demanded a divorce and I signed the papers for him. In 2010, we got back together, for my daughter’s sake and because he asked me to come back to him. I did and I have been doing everything the Bible says: been sweet to him when he is not, praying for him, forgiving, letting him be the head of our family, doing what I can do to be a wife for him….and praying for him.
    Things are getting to a point I do not know what to do. He found out this week, I was tithing (from my check only), he became a beast.
    What do I do in this case? thank you!

  20. You started well by allowing your husband to be the leader of your home. That’s awesome! Did you ask him if you could tithe on your check? If you didn’t, then you took away from his leadership. A wife picks her moments and petitions her husband with her requests. If he got angry, it probably means you didn’t ask him. As head of your household, he should be consulted on everything. That is what I would have done. At this point, I would ask his forgiveness for not having consulted him and tell him that you will do so from now on. A wife should not live in an abusive situation and it would not be wrong to leave for a while until he agrees to get anger management counseling and then you can be reconciled. I will be praying for you and your situation, Ester!

  21. I hope that you will forgive my long writing. I have read about being a submissive wife before, especially in the book Out of Control and Loving It by Lisa Bevere. I learned a lot there and now reading your post really helped bring back up some of things I studied before. I have struggled in my marriage to my (more or less) unbelieving husband (5 years). He says he believes in God, but then…he says that God doesn’t help him and that he’s not sure that he believes in Jesus. It’s a little confusing because at times he has come across very willing and desiring to find peace in his heart from God. He refuses to go to church now and doesn’t want outside help. Here is the catch to our situation. I married a felon who was not a US citizen. And I married him knowing that he was not really a believer. Why did I think I could be strong enough for the both of us??? Is it wrong to say I made a mistake in marrying him? Too late now, I guess. He was deported and I followed him with my daughter and our first child together to his home country in Central America. The first year we were there I feel I did a pretty good job submitting to him. He definitely wants to be the head of the house and has that machismo mentality. It’s not that he wants a wife to meet his needs, he expects and often demands it! This was so difficult to deal with because it sucked the giving spirit out of me. I started to resent and hate him! Then I was also dealing with being so far outside my comfort zone in a strange and foreign culture, starting over with no friends, complete loss of independence, I did not speak the native language, my body was not adjusting to the new climate and lack of air conditioning. I felt depressed, homesick and lonely a lot. My husband also did not have the desire to be intimate very often with me and I have struggled with this wound too. It makes me feel so alone and rejected that he does not want to connect with me. He can be very protective and affectionate, but can be very demanding and often moody. Very often (daily) I anger or irritate him for the littlest of things, like not shutting the door fast enough, or accidentally leaving the fridge door open a crack, or asking for a new shower curtain that doesn’t have mold growing all over it. He has been verbally and physically abusive a few times in the past and he has thrown things around too, but mainly because I have gotten so upset he just wants me to stop. I learned to not push his bottons and I walked on eggshells. I tried to please him and do my best to be a good, submissive wife (I did make some mistakes, I admit). Our standard of living down there required me to learn to live with much less than what I was used to and never really knowing the financial situation because my husband runs his own businesses. One day it was okay to spend $100 dollars at the grocery store and the next week, I would get ripped into for having spent $100 at the grocery store and hear complaints how I spent too much money and I’m spoiled and I should just leave back to the states because I’ll never be happy. (I know this is a self protective mechanism for his insecurity, but it still hurts to be told to leave every other day) I think he is a little better at communicating the finances with me now. I say all this, not because I want to dwell on all the past bad things, I want to give a foundation for why I am where I am. I thought I was going to lose it that first year together. I have never felt so low in all my life and so far down I could not find the will to leave the bedroom. I returned to the United States in the 12th month of being there to breathe and get some relief AND I just happened to be pregnant with our second child. I returned to him after 3.5 months in the states and a few months later we had our daughter. Turns out he was cheating on me from the time I left to take a break and breath a little. He said he thought we were done. He continued to cheat on me (I did not know it at the time) while I was pregnant and after I had our baby. I went back to the states for a few months when our daughter was 3 months old for “vacation” and when I returned, I came home to a man I did not know, he was unbearable. Worse than ever. I left two weeks later under great stress. I question if I should have left then but I felt like I did not know where else to go, but back to where I felt safe and that was in the states. He really hated me after that, but I had to reset my boundaries with him. I could not continue living in his house under his leadership the way he was running it. It took almost a year, but somehow we were able to find it in our hearts to forgive each other. I was in weekly counseling, he…well, he just has been living his life because he says he doesn’t need help. He’s learning things on his own, he says. He says he hates being alone and that he is empty without us there. He claims he hasn’t cheated on me since. We were able to go and visit for the month of August which was very nice, but now the kids are in school here in the states and we are used to our life here again. It’s hard to know what is best for the kids too. I’m scared to pack them up once again and move there only to end up turning around again. He has lost so much money the past few years, he cannot afford to support the family there anymore unless we lived on very low basics and I would be forced to find work teaching at a school. Which would be okay, but I cannot bring myself to pack up and move back there on a leap of faith that God will protect our hearts and provide for our family. If I don’t trust my husband, does that mean I don’t trust God? I surrendered to my husband’s authority with childlike faith before and I feel like it blew up in my face. I feel like I have to be more cautious and need some assurance that I am safe with my husband and he will (try to) love me in the way God says a wife should be loved and I will submit and respect him as the head. If I have forgiven him and he has repented of his sins (but still not a believer) should I move back to him and submit to him again anyway? When we start to talk about things, sometimes I feel sick to my stomach thinking about moving back to him and that place. He can still be ugly and unreasonable sometimes and I think I don’t have the strength to deal with him for a lifetime, especially in a place I don’t want to be. I am desperate for feedback from a Christian perspective. Mostly all I’ve heard when I talk to others about it, is that I should wait on the Lord and wait until it feels right. Is that the right approach? I feel like I am putting the condition before God that my husband must surrender his heart and life to Christ before I feel safe to return to him. I feel like without that assurance, I cannot trust him completely again. The longer I am away from him the further apart we are growing. I want to give up so often, but hold on and can’t stop wanting reconciliation deep down. I’m totally confused! What does a submissive wife do in this situation?

  22. It is not what I personally think but what does the Word of God say? Yes, you were wrong and sinned for marrying an unbeliever. You started off your marriage out of the will of God by disobeying His Word. The repercussions of sin follow us a long time. Therefore, the first step is asking forgiveness for being disobedient to God and repent.

    God’s Word says:

    ~1 Cor. 7:10-11 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

    ~1 Cor. 7:13-14 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

    Reconciliation is always the key to relationships. Christ came to reconcile us to God and we should follow His example. If your husband is beating you up, you should not stay in an environment like that. That is dangerous for both you and your children. However, work with him to get counseling (preferably with a Christian counselor) for his abusiveness. Make it clear that once he has received counseling and he will no longer physically abuse you, you will return. I would not return until you can be sure you and your children will have a safe place to live. If your husband agrees, receives counseling and wants you back, then the Word of God says you should be with your husband.

    If your husband does not agree to your terms, then God’s Word says to remain unmarried.

    I will be praying for you! Thank you for stopping by my blog!! I hope and pray that you will find God’s will in your situation. He is our hope and our peace!!

  23. Thank you for writing back so soon! Forgive me for asking one more question from your response. Because my husband broke the marriage covenant by committing adultery, do you think that I am free to leave him (and re-marry), even if I have forgiven him and considered making steps towards reconciliation at this point? I’m not sure if that makes sense…. If I say that I want to reconcile, but then decide the marriage isn’t going to work after all, for many reasons, including what led to and including his infidelity – must I remain unmarried? (Sometimes I think I prefer to remain unmarried. Marriage can be so much work!) I feel silly asking this kind of question, but for some reason I am getting hung up on what might be a technicality. I guess I was taught that once you forgive someone you must not hold their sin against them. I really do want to reconcile, but I do not see him making steps to seek counseling or work on things in himself. I figure I might as well let him go so that he can be free to try and rebuild his life and maybe start a new family with someone else. He is a good father and deserves a family. I do see small changes in him with more maturity and wisdom, and I ask myself if I’m requiring too much of him (that he seek counseling) and not trusting God enough.

    I am so grateful for your insights and prayers! God be with you and yours.

    p.s. He has not ever beat me up. He’s just gotten physical, as in strong-arming and being physically dominating a few times. Which did scare me (and him too!) I’m not afraid he will hurt me or the children…anymore.

  24. Hi Michelle,

    Are there sins that Christ would not forgive you for? There’s only blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which means not accepting Christ as Saviour. But we are to forgive endlessly (Matt. 18:22), so your husband’s sin is included. God told Hosea to marry Gomer and she was a harlot. Michelle, if your husband is willing for you to live with him and you are not in danger for your life, then you need to stay with him as Scripture says (1 Cor. 7:13). It doesn’t matter whether he’s a believer or not. It sounds like to me that you already have your mind made up and that you want to divorce your husband. However, look at what your life has reaped from being disobedient by marrying an unbeliever … do you really want to disobey God yet again by divorcing him and remarrying? Even if you don’t remarry, your husband will and you will be the cause of his adultery at that point. Two wrongs don’t make a right, Michelle.

    I am praying that you will heed the Holy Spirit and obey God’s Word in the matter.

  25. Hi again Kate,
    I just wanted to say that my mind is not made up to divorce my husband. Far from it! But figuring out how to make a life together work is very complicated. Just because we are apart does not mean that we are wanting to divorce. While I am working on giving him grace for the type of man that he is sometimes and how he chooses to live sometimes, I believe that we have been reconciled in our hearts; but it’s very difficult to be patient while we wait for God to make the way for us to be together again. Finances are the biggest barrier right now along with my lack of trust in him. If God wants us to be together, I believe He will make a way for us. It’s just really hard. I want the easy way and that path is not available right now.

    I’m sorry if I gave the impression with my words that I had made up my mind to divorce my husband. I was just expressing some thoughts as I am working through it all. Maybe one day I will get the chance to be a submitting wife again. And maybe…maybe I will even get a chance to enjoy a loving husband!

    Blessings!

  26. Hi Michelle, I’m glad that there is still hope for your marriage. I would hate that you would face more “spankings” from the Lord for disobedience.

    Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
    Matt 19:6 (KJV)

    The only place in the New Testament that speaks of divorce is in Matthew. Matthew was written to the Jews and spoke about this because they were able to divorce during their betrothment – nulling the marriage contract. That is why the King James Bible uses the word fornication in Matthew 19 rather than adultery… Because the marriage bed had not yet been consumed, it was not adultery but fornication. That was the only time divorce was allowed but the Jews became hard hearted and difficult so Moses allowed divorces for other reasons. But Jesus emphasized that from the beginning it was not so. You will find a lot of books out there supporting divorce but that was not God’s intention. It is best to study God’s Word and stay in His will πŸ™‚

  27. Thank You so much for being obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your writings. I’ve been struggling with the fact that I stepped outside of God when I married my husband. I was a beleiver and knew that he wasn’t and followed my flesh instead of God’s will. It has been very difficult and your writings have just given me so much hope and guidance. Thank You and God Bless

  28. Thank you for stopping by! The first step to healing is repentance, right? You’ve recognized the sin in disobeying God’s Word, now be the wife God wants you to be. If you ever need an “ear,” I’m here πŸ™‚

  29. Came upon this blog, and it encouraged me. I need to hear this over and over. When my husband and I got married 23 years ago, I though he was a strong believer. Almost immediately after the wedding, his true colors came out and it has been very difficult. We have three young-adult children now, none of whom are believers although they were home schooled for most of their education, memorized Scripture, etc. What I am dealing with now is depression due to a sense of failure that my children have rejected the Lord, and the loneliness of going to church alone and not having a believing spouse to serve the Lord alongside me. I can relate to many of the emails posted above. I have blown it many times by getting upset at my husband for acting like an unbeliever, when that is what he is. Please pray with me to have wisdom in my dealings with my children and husband, to genuinely show Jesus to them and to especially win my husband ‘without a jword” as the Bible tells us. Thank you!

  30. Hi Wendy,

    Thank you for visiting and for your comment! I have walked in your shoes. It is not easy but encourage yourself in the Lord. Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in your family. It’s hard not to be their personal little “holy spirit” but the same Holy Spirit who pierced our hearts and led us to Him, will also work in their hearts. Please write me from time to time to let me know how you are doing. Whenever you need a word of encouragement, please write – we can encourage one another πŸ™‚ Blessings! Kate

  31. hi kate..just wanna ask cuase 1 preacher says..(not a pastor)
    “If your husband is the hindrance for serving the Lord separate..or let it go” any idea about this pls,,,thanks

  32. Hi leyshir003, thank you for visiting! In response to you question, let’s turn to the word of God.

    ~1 Peter 3:1-6
    1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
    2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
    3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
    4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
    5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
    6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

    How any preacher can tell you that is beyond me. Is the husband willing for the wife to live with him? If so, she should not leave:

    ~1 Corinthians 7:10-13

    10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
    11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
    12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
    13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

    Peter says that we win our disobedient husbands (yes those who are a hindrance to serving the Lord) by being Christ-like – we are the only Bibles our unsaved husbands EVER see! Then LIVE like the Bible says to live, amen? WITHOUT a word, Peter continues. That means ALL action and no mouth. Treat your husband the way you would treat Christ if He were the one in your home. πŸ™‚

    I hope that helped!

    Kate

  33. Heather Crosby Gionet

    Can I ask if you have any insight or biblical references on what to do if what your husband asks you to do goes against Biblical teaching ? Or if he asks you to stop going to church? I know that final authority rests in Christ so we cannot allow submission to our husbands to be greater than our submission to God, but am looking for a verse?
    Any help? Thank you for the post, a blessing indeed.

    Heather

  34. When I was first saved, Heather, I didn’t know any better and was not taught correct submission by God’s word yet. I listened to my husband when he said I could not go to church. However, I spent time in my Bible during those times when my husband was at work. Now one has the availability of streamline videos on the Internet of wonderful church services that I did not have when I was first saved. Not going to church was a temporary issue with me (only about 3 months). After that, I went whenever the doors were open.

    When it came to doing something against what God’s word said, I refused. For example, the phone rang one day and he told me to tell the caller he wasn’t home (when he actually was). I told him I would not lie for him (Acts 5:29). I would not steal, I would not do drugs, I would not drink alcohol, etc. When a man is not saved, he cannot be your spiritual leader. Read Ephesians Chapter 5. A woman does not submit to a carnal man who demands that she sin. She submits to a man who submits to Christ.

    You must trust in the Lord (Prov. 3:5-6) to guide you but do not “lord” it over your husband (1 Peter 3:1-6). Let your inner spiritual beauty be the testimony of Jesus Christ. Remember, YOU are the daily Bible your husband will “see” in action. Pray for his salvation every time you think of him. As long as he is willing to live with you, the Lord will give you the grace you need to be the testimony He (the Holy Spirit) needs to get through to your husband’s heart πŸ™‚

    But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
    1 Cor 7:12-14 (KJV)

    I hope this helps!!!

    Kate

  35. Oh Kate I thank God for using you to speak into my life. I was so burdened lately. I gave my life to jesus Christ 2 years ago.i have struggled with my unbelieving husband becouse of his adulatory. I had a break down 2 years ago heard the news from my 11 yr old son he was at the other womens house and doing things with them.I went threw alot and I was invited to church and that I’d when I said lord there is no turning back I am following you. I have did wife group studies the excellent wife, I’ve read every biblical marriege book you can think of. He faces addictions,pornography,gambling, and almost one yr ago I was told threw him and my son he was having a affair with the same woman.I have forgiven him but he continues to treat me as if he’s not obligated to not try. Every day I’m put threw a test. And I’m failling so many times with him. I have came to a point where I have no patience with him. He will go to work and if he doesn’t feel like it he won’t come home. As a Christian woman that is a hard thing to Dave. I’m constantly asking God to forgive me for my attitude, and anger towards him.. Tonight I was weeping and praying that God would help me with this, and I googled online. And your website blog popped up. Thank you for your love for Christ first.. And helping is wives see God will deal with thier heart, I have to let God restore me.. God bless you

  36. I too was looking for direction as I have come to what feels like a crossroad in my life/marriage and googled “married to an unbeliever”. Thank you for your encouraging message of strength and scripture. My husband was once a believer in God but not much of a follower of Christ. Now after 10 years he is more agnostic than anything. I have been in and out of church during our marriage. After trying to live life without God as my number one. I have rededicated my life to Christ as of July 2010. I have seek’d marriage counseling at my church and have been given many of the same tools in your lesson. If I may get your insight on this: Submission is commanded in His word which I know is a commandment to all wives. I feel somewhat torn at times when my spouse is also addicted to drugs, does not work, does not provide emotionally when he is “high” or financially to his family. I have with Gods help and much prayer started working on loving him regardless of faults and seeing him through Gods eyes and trying my best in prayer to keep bitterness and resentment far from my heart. It’s a hard road I must say. I feel as an enabler at times because I take care of all the “responsibilties” of the home. He says he wants to change when we discuss how we need to make decisions about the direction of our marriage i/e counseling, temp seperation, drug counseling. Although he is against christian counseling. 2 days later he stays out gambling, comes home drunk, or I find pills that are his main addiction. Is separation ever ok? I pray for God’s direction in this decision but after struggling with this for a good 2-3 years, can I be strong in faith and prayer for my husbands breakthrough without living with my husband? It feels like my walk with the Lord is hindered when I am constantly thinking about all my husbands bad choices and the consequences that always follow; jail time, neglect, verbal abuse. It hurts more to know that if he only knew the sweet love of God how he wouldn’t continue seeking the world. And how can I be submissive to a husband that takes advantage and takes but does not give. ~Forgive me Lord if my words seem harsh, help me to continue to trust in you. ~

  37. Hi Yvonne, thank you for stopping by! You must let the Lord speak to your heart on this matter. Every situation is different. If you are in any danger while your husband is using, you must remove yourself from the situation. No it’s not wrong to leave your husband for a while until he gets himself straightened out. The sin is in divorce and remarriage. When you leave, you seek to reconcile. If your husband wants you to return home, you do so only if he seeks counseling and gets clean. You don’t mention if you have children. If you do, it’s even more important to leave if he gets violent. You must protect yourself and them.

    The key is reconciliation, just as Christ reconciled us to the Father through His blood. Once your husband has sought counseling and has quit using, then move back in. Always follow 1 Peter 3’s counsel in that your walk and testimony will be his “Bible” – not preaching to him.

    God bless you as you work toward this!!!! Stay in touch and let me know how you’re doing!

  38. Dear kate,

    I thank the Lord for you and your post. It came at a point in time where i had begun to loose hope. I married my unbelieving husband almost 7 years ago. I have never really being the nagging about going to church type ( although in th past i have requested that he accompany me and my children to church). I must put my hand up and say i have been guilty of the finger pointing in the past and so on. However, a few things have happened in our marriage:

    In the past he had been violent towards me. (isolated incidents within 4 yrears) Idecided to change profession ( of which i sought his permission; seeking his permission is one thing i mostly did), this meant retraining, he said yes. When i started retraining, he did not want to support me emotionally or financially this led to resentment on my part. At the time we lived on the east side of London. As my teacher trainnig course was drawing to an end, i started job huntng, found nothing in east london. Also at the time, we were looking to move house and had not decided on a specific area. i sought his permission to hunt for job within othr parts of london. He gave his permission. I finally secured the job. we were supposed to move home at the 11th hour he changedhis mind.

    A few cases incidents occured where he gave his permission and then rescinded on it. This became very frustrating to the extent that i found it hard to believe him about anything.
    3 year ago, i was tempted to leave,, as things were gettting out of hand, i could not breathe at home as i had to switch off the light, and so on inthe way he would do it etc. Seeing that we are all uniqely made, i did not think that was a possibility. As the job i secured was nearer my family home i would stay there weekdays ( with my daughter; at the time i only had 1 child). I felt i was livingin limbo as we werre supposed to move once i secured my job, but the move idi not occur. several times I suggested counselling ( christian), he said no. i even suggested holding a meeting with elders ( other fathers) to sort this out, he refused to attend. i was almost going to filling in the divorce proceeding form, ( even though he was apologetic) when i went back and read my bible 1 Corinth 7 and then the holy spirit took a hold of me. he then began to retrace his steps and tried to rectify some of the things mentioned. he attended one christian counselling and 2 sessions of non christian couselling. through this all we lived apart as therre was not enough room at my family home. we had to leave our previous abode. He went to stay with his twin. whilst we saved up fpr buying our place.

    last year , through joint concensus we started trying for baby no. 2, when i came down to starting the proceedings of mortgage application and house hunting, i tried to change his mind/ me being pregnant and hormonal, was far from amused. i had to employ my mothers coucil to talk to him. we finally found and conclude house proceedings just before the baby was due. Now that we have finally renovated and moved into our new house, i am gravely concern that he attempts to be nice to me werre wither short lived, or were never sincere, as once againg, i am having to instruct him on hoe to be a husband and a dad. What is worse is that initially, i did not want to say anything ( as i did not want to rock the boat). However, i believe my silence is taking a toll on my health and well being.
    I pray to to God to strghten me help me be a good wife to my husband as i feel really hurt. How can i be married yet feel alone???? πŸ˜₯

    out of desperation i googled “married to an unbeliever” and found your blog. It has encouraged me. As you say my belief in christ is constantly thrown in my face, where ever we go. I will need God’s wisdom in dealing those situations engineered to provoke me. Your blog has also help to dispell certain views on living with an unbelievinb spouse. I will need God’s strength on dealing with day to day life.

    God’s love,

    Titi

  39. God’s word is clear about the importance of being protective of yourself, when it comes to the issues of adultery and lust. Cheating husbands are violating God’s law for marriage, and unfaithfulness is a justifiable reason for divorce, according to scripture. Unfaithfulness puts wives at risk of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and it also degrades the sanctity of your marriage. The main reason why HIV/AIDS is increasing among heterosexual women in the US is because they are engaging in relations with men who are involved in risk-taking with other partners. Also, husbands who are abusing substances also put their wives and children at risk. Husbands who are taking intravenous drugs are at high risk of incurring HIV/AIDS through sharing needles, and husbands who are abusing substances with friends are at high risk of engaging in relationship risk-taking with their drug-using peers or having casual liasons with women they hardly know. Husbands who are using pornography or who are otherwise involved in the adult entertainment industry are lusting after other women in a manner that provides a legitimate reason for divorce. There is a linkage, also, between pornography use and husbands’ purchasing sex, either through online ads that allow them to engage with a prostitute in a hotel or local apartment without your ever knowing about it, or through going to strip clubs, massage parlors, or escort services – places frequented by pimps and prostitutes eager to make money off of their desires. A wife must put God first, and the Bible, God’s word, clearly states that marital unfaithfulness is a legitimate reason for divorce. This point is emphasized in God’s word because it is a means to protect God’s children from the multiple harms that are caused by this sin. God’s word calls us to be safe from adultery for many, many reasons, and it is completely acceptable to seek a divorce from a husband who is unfaithful. God’s word does not ever call for submission to a spouse’s demands to live in sin.

  40. Your points are all valid ones – many wives have been in the situations you have mentioned. However, I believe what Jesus said:

    Mark 10:7-12 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

    A woman who is in any one of the situations you mentioned can separate from her husband until he has sought help, gotten saved, and finally be reconciled to that husband. Jesus said that they are one flesh – they are no more two but ONE. God joined them together and no man can separate them. Therefore, reconciliation is the ultimate goal in a hurting and broken marriage. If the husband leaves that wife and divorces her, she should remain unmarried until he passes away.

  41. Thank you so much! I really need this teaching because I have been dealing with an unsaved husband and want to leave him and yes take control of my house as well..I really learned alot today from the word you made it plain.. Thanks again

  42. hello. i stumbled upon this article and i really enjoyed reading it but i have a question about something that may apply to some women reading this and struggling with it in their own homes. what if your husband is physically or sexually abusive to you and your children? what sort of submission does the word of God say about this type of marriage and family environment? thank you for your reply and God bless

  43. Thank you for stopping by!!! Any time there is abuse of ANY kind, a wife is not obligated to stay! I would seek safety and tell your husband that you and the children will not return until he has sought counsel and is healed from his horrible sin. Reconciliation is the goal but only if your husband has gotten right with God, has been through counseling and all of your family’s safety is assured!

  44. I am so happy, I came across this posting. I have been married for 8 years. We both were catholics when married. Jan 2011 the Lord scooped me up. Ive been following jesus ever since. My husband on the other hand has not been saved. We have 2 girls who also love jesus. My eyes have been so opened, my life has been completely changed. Both my husband and I smoked,drank,cursed, just a sinful life I lived . Hardly a life at all. So now I am heading in one way and hes is totally going the opposite. I have to deal with him smoking , cursing, making fun of me, verbal abuse,hes always angry. Ive learned through this year so much, the Lord has blessed me so much. My 2 girls have followed the Lord and are too learning and have submitted themselves to Jesus. My husband makes the money, but thats all we get, no love from him,no attention,nothing, its like hes not hear for us. He puts the money in the bank and thats it. I handle all financial bills etc…. He doesnt want to handle anything but work. I do everything else, gets kids ready for school, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaing, dr.appt, school functions, raising the kids, being a loving caring wife and mother. My youngest daughter has an uncurable disease and her life is in my hands, I have to manage her disease. I have been very submissive to my husband. I feel like hes getting worse. Just tonight I could not hold my tongue and I had went to get food to find out he took the money out of bank. I was embaressed at the store when atm card was declined, Lord knows I failed this test. I huffed and puffed and my girls were upset and I was upset, basically I handled and it didnt do a thing, I quickly caught myself and let my hubby kno@ I was sorry and gave him a kiss. I totally understand how these women feel, because I too go through living with a non believer . But my faith in the Lord is strong, I know cause the Lord changed my Life and believe me I was playing in the devils play ground.The Lord truly is changing me everyday and he listens. Believe and have Faith and be patient. God sees all, and he loves his children. I have so many stories and my testimony grows by the day. Praise The Lord Christ Jesus! I am just thankful for my girls, roof over my head, just everything God has given me. I know he will save my husband, I just have to obey his word, and do what Jesus would. Yes, days are so hard, but my days were harder and more brutel without god. I lived my whole life without jesus and let me tell you , its not a fun journey. I pray that my husbands eyes are opened like mine have been. Days I want to run outta the house ripping out my hair. But I dont, through us wifes who walk with the Lord, our husbands know this they are just men who dont know better and blinded by the devil, God is stronger.

  45. Basically, I wanted to say I was too once where my husband is and I feel sorry for him cause he doenst know . I pray for him and most I pray that the Lord changes me and to huide me on how to behave and act towards an unsaved soul. I feel that the Lord uses my husband to teach me, so my house is also my heavenly school. I sure wouldnt want to learn these lessons somewhere else. Ladies please pray for your husbands, and hold,your tongues. I am learning so much very quicklu, but when my husband is difficult I humble myself and do something nice for him. Dont get me wrong I do fail my tests that the Lord gives me, but I correct and move on and each time the next test comes I do better. I try my best to do the godly way. When I dont I am back tp square one and the situation gets worse, but when I do things like Jesus would have done, things never go so smoothly. Of course when I feel my husband is outta control, I leave the house until hes cooled off. No day is never perfect, but with God anything is possible. I have faith that one day the Lord will scoop him like me. Blessimg to all.

  46. Thank you so much for visiting, Elisabeth! It is wonderful to meet a sister in the Lord who is going through the same thing I am!! πŸ™‚ Blessings to you!!!

  47. Thank you for sharing your testimony with me!! I’m so thankful to know that I am not alone and that there are other women who have unsaved husbands and who are struggling. But with the Lord Jesus Christ as center, we are able to continue! Many times I’ve wanted to give up as well. But the Lord has brought me through each and every trial πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Please feel free to email me privately and we can continue to encourage each other as the times draw nearer to our Lord’s return!! I will email you so you can have my email address!!

    Blessings,

    Kate

  48. thank you Kate! I was truly convicted by the Word of God about submitting to my husband who is an unbeliever. Your study made me truly look at my own walk with Christ instead of my husbands. Thank you for your obedience and transparency in sharing your testimony with us. The Lord is so good because I have been praying and seeking His will during this trying time in my marriage. I married knowing it was not God’s will for me and I am thankful the Lord remains faithful even when I am not. I truly want to not only have head knowledge about the Word but I want to be a living sacrifice for the Lord. God bless you!

  49. Grace, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comment!!! It’s wonderful to share this road with someone else who is going through the same thing! I’ll be praying for you! Please keep in touch πŸ™‚

  50. I too am so thank full for your godly advise so refreshing, have read your teaching and am so excited to start submitting to my husband who is also unsaved. I was with my partner at the time for 3 years and had a son prior to our meeting i was unsaved before we had meet and come to faith during our relationship it was very very hard for him when i was saved i had such a huge transformation although i couldn’t see it but he said it was like being with a whole other person he would become so angry even when i hadnt said anything in his childhood he was what i believe to be really put off God like beaten for not praying the curtains were shut one day and the kids were told the devil was coming etc etc, we were engaged at the time and being a baby christian wasn’t really aware not to marry a unbeliever but looking back remember feeling in such termoil when we were going to get married and crying out for guidence i remember not wanting a unbelieving husband i prayed God would stop me being married to him if i was not to marry him, maybe i didn’t know how to reconize his voice i had people say they felt i was to marry him, i also had a lady that i cared for through work that found out i was to marry a unbeliever and was going to sit me down and tell me what the word of God said to my unknowing but that day for some reason i did not go to work, she said later on about it after we were married that she felt God had put on her heart for her to leave it and that me not turing up to work that day as a sign, what do you think of all this or more what does the word say, i think i realize now that i had sinned when i married my husband, but i so desperatly want to do gods will and have prayed for forgiveness and want to become the wife God would have me be, we now have 2 beautiful girls and God is so amazing with his forgiveness, patience Love and grace towards us all, Praise God. πŸ˜›

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