Mixed marriage – from the other side

August 28, 2011

in Her Needs, Understanding Her

Dog and cat © Margarita Borodina | Dreamstime.com

How can you believe that?

This is for men not following Jesus married to a woman who is; and for men who are saved, but not as serious about religion or as involved in church as their bride. I’ve heard from some such men who read this blog, and I suspect there are a number in this category.

Yes, I know, she can be very annoying. She wants/expects you to do and not do things based on beliefs you do not share. She apologies for you to her friends – in front of you. She leaves books and Bibles in your path. If she’s charismatic you may have woken to her babbling over you, or found a handkerchief with oil on it under your pillow or in your underwear drawer. On behalf of Christians, I beg your forgiveness for her enthusiasm.

Realise that to her this is not just a difference of opinion – it’s life or death (or more accurately, life after death). She loves you, and fears for you: her actions are a natural result of her concern for you. As long as she cares for you, she will want you to “get saved”. If you can accept that and just live with it, it may make things easier.

Things that generally don’t help:

  • Trying to convince her she is wrong. She might stop discussing it with you, but at the price of pushing her away.
  • Telling her only stupid people believe in God. There are plenty of scientists and people with very high IQs who believe in God, or at least some intelligent power.
  • Doing things she considers wrong just to annoy her.

A few suggestions to try to make life easier:

  • Tell her you are and adult, and she is not responsible for your actions, or your choices.
  • Realise you can respect her beliefs without agreeing with her.
  • Don’t make fun of her – no matter how easy she makes it.
  • Try to not flaunt things she sees as wrong – especially in front of her church friends.
  • Understand that trying to keep your kids from going to church is, in her understanding, a form of child abuse. Yes, you have a right to share what you believe with your kids, and so does she.
  • Print out my post from last Sunday and leave it for her!

All this said, I do agree with your bride that you need Jesus. However, I see a lot of damage done to marriages by the well meaning actions of the believer trying to get their spouse saved, and the push back that comes from that. I don’t see any evidence that these things have the desired result, while I do see marriages destroyed, and children living with one parent at a time.

NOTE: Due to travel I have been unable to keep up with my blog reading.

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2 comments
Jeremy Lane
Jeremy Lane

Paul, This is by far one of the best posts I have read from you! Thank you for equipping these men with the tools they need to stand on where they are with the Lord but also to love and serve their bride. This reminds us that we can be an example to our brides by just being nice and loving, by following principles that work, not damage our relationships. This might even help some overly worried brides to let go and let God do a miraculous work in their lives. You rock Paul! Keep it up! This is from one of the guys where my bride was not totally given over and I was the nagging spouse. When the Lord told me to give her the same free will He gave her, I let go and she grew to love the Lord more than she loves me.... Now I'm totally blessed trying to outserve her! Jeremy

Dean
Dean

And of course, your wife may want to post in her blog for the believing wives of unbelieving husbands a comment around 1 Peter 3:1-6 (and referring to the example Peter cites of Jesus in the preceding chapter) that "they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives." Just sayin'...

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