This is hands down the number one question I get surrounding marriage. How does a God-fearing wife encourage her husband to be the spiritual leader and does she still need to submit to him? The good news is that God always provides a solid blueprint for marriage.
Many Christian wives have a problem with their non-Christian husbands. They want to do what is right, but they don’t know how to reach him. This can be discouraging and lead them into nagging or judging their spouse for not being as committed as they are. In this blog post, we will discuss three things that you can do to encourage your non-Christian husband through obedience to God and I promise it has nothing to do with what you say to him.
“Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1-2 NIV
1) Pray for him
The most important thing you can do for your non-Christian husband is to pray. Pray that he will come to know the Lord and be saved by Him. As a Christ-follower, it’s not your job to judge him or save him but God has given us the responsibility of praying without ceasing. (see 1 Thessalonians. 5:16-18) You can pray in the morning when you wake up, during your lunch break, and before you go to bed. Pray that God will open his heart to Him because He is faithful.
If he doesn’t believe in Jesus or Christianity then it’s not going to be easy for him but I have seen tremendous results from praying for my husband.
One thing I do is pray when I’m doing laundry (I do this for the kids too) or packing lunches. Whenever I am putting away his laundry or making him lunch to take to work, I pray for him the whole time. I pray about whatever I know is bothering him and also for his relationship with God. It has been a blessing for me to pray all the time and I can’t remember a day when I didn’t.
I do this by praying scripture over him, asking God what he wants to speak into his heart or even telling my husband that I am going to be praying for him throughout the day.
When was the last time you prayed for your husband’s heart? Make it a habit because I promise God moves when we pray. (see James 5:16)
2) Respect his independence
When you’re married to a non-Christian, it’s important to respect his independence. This means that if he asks for space or time alone then give it to him. Don’t push him into doing things with the family just because he doesn’t seem interested in going out on Sundays or attending church events.
Respect goes further than just keeping your mouth shut when he doesn’t want to attend church. It means respecting his opinion even if it is different from yours or allowing him the freedom of doing things on his own without you tagging along.
Respect also includes letting go of old hurts and not bringing up all the past mistakes that have been made in their relationship. Don’t bring up old arguments or things he has said that offended you in the past. It is very easy for us to remember all of our spouse’s mistakes and faults but we need to respect their independence and be quick to forgive (see Matthew 18:21-22).
He may not be where you are in his faith walk and while it is hard, we have to be respectful of where he is. If your husband is not living for the Lord then he will be held accountable for his sins. Do you want to help him or hurt him?
If we are quick to point out every mistake that our spouse has made, it may come across as nagging and judgmental which can drive a wedge between both of you. When I am trying hard not to judge him and point out every mistake he has made, I am able to talk with him about things more openly. When we are judgmental towards each other then it’s hard for the lines of communication to stay open because we don’t want “to hurt” our spouse or be told that we’re wrong (see Proverbs 18:19)
Trust me, I get it that you want him to be the spiritual leader God has called him to be. Jesus met you where you were at. We must be willing to do the same for our spouse.
- Marriage is the hardest ministry you will ever serve in
- Wives are made suitable for our Husband by God
- Am I living a God defined marriage?
- Wives: a blessing not a burden
3) Be an example
1 Peter 3:1-2 says that as wives if we have an unbelieving husband, the best thing we can do is be a godly example for him.
Being an example means being committed to God and making sure your actions speak louder than words. We cannot expect our spouses to grow in their faith when they don’t see us following Jesus.
I am not saying that we need to be perfect but our actions must show that God is number one in our life. Do you want your husband to read his bible more or spend time with the Lord? Then make sure you are doing these things yourself first.
If he sees you reading your Bible every morning then it will motivate him.Your words won't change your husband's heart, your example will. 1 Peter 3:1 Click To Tweet
One thing that encouraged my husband was not only seeing me walk the walk but our kids. They frequently want to talk to Dad about what they learned at church or how God is moving in their life.
Just like us, our spouse is looking at how we are living to see if Jesus really changes lives. Everyone goes through different seasons in their faith walk so don’t be discouraged by your husband’s current relationship with the Lord.
If you have been discouraged lately because your husband is not walking with God, ask yourself what behavior you have been modeling. Constantly nagging won’t change his heart. It will only drive him further away. Be the Christlike example.
Let me know in the comments how you’ll be modeling that Christian behavior and how we can be praying for your marriage.