What if My Spouse Doesn’t Share My Christian Faith?

What if My Spouse Doesn’t Share My Christian Faith?

      Marriage can often be difficult. When your partner does not share the same religious beliefs as you, it can lead to further disconnect in your marriage and in your family. If this situation applies to you, we are here to help. You can start by reading through our list below of simple, yet proactive steps you can take to begin to cope with this issue.

Pray for Your Spouse Daily

    Believing what the Bible says can be a difficult reality to face when your spouse is not a believer. It can be easy to forget that their eternity is at stake. One of the most powerful things you can do for your unbelieving spouse, and your marriage, is to pray for them daily. Romans 12:12 calls us to “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

    It can be easy to feel powerless in a relationship where your partner does not believe or participate in the church community. However, prayer can be a powerful tool in your relationship to fight against that feeling. It not only will work to strengthen your own faith, but it will help fight against negative sentiment in your marriage. No matter where your spouse stands on the topic of religion, you can pray for them, their heart, and your hope for their salvation.

“Our prayers go where we cannot. There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors closed to us when we pray.” –Brother Andrew

Fight Against Contempt

      For many individuals in a marriage that does not feel balanced, it can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling contemptuous toward an unbelieving spouse. What is contempt? To put it simply, it is when one partner views themselves as above the other. According to one of the most popular forms of couples therapy, contempt plays a very dangerous role in an intimate relationship. 

     How can you fight against contempt toward an unbelieving spouse? You must remind yourself of the reality that no individual is above another, no matter what they believe. God’s grace is a gift given to everyone, not something that elevates believers above others who have not yet accepted that gift. Make it a focus to change the culture of your relationship and the way you view your spouse. Take time each day to journal about something you are grateful for, or a part of their personality you adore. As mentioned above- pray for them daily. Pray that the Lord uses you and others to show His grace to them as it has been shown to you. 

“God demonstrated his own love for us in this” While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 

Remember to Forgive

     One of the most powerful witnesses for an unbelieving spouse can be their believing partner. As Christians, we are called to forgive those who sin against us, just as God offers it to us. Forgiving in your marriage can be difficult and frustrating. However, it is important to work through this issue to improve your relationship and also to work as a witness to your spouse who does not believe in the forgiveness that God has to offer them yet. If this is an area that you need support in, it may be helpful to utilize the support of a trained couples therapist to assist you and your spouse in developing these skills and navigating difficult conversations.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Get Plugged In

     Many times when spouses do not share faith with their partner, there is a decrease in shared experiences, which can impact the relationship over time. When one spouse is religious, and the other isn’t, they often do not attend church together and may not have the same values when it comes to daily life. If your spouse does not share your faith, it is important to find a church community to get plugged into for yourself. If you have children, be sure to get them plugged into their age appropriate community as well. Surround yourself with friends who can help you grow and offer support when needed. Most importantly, encourage your spouse to attend if they are open to it and celebrate with praise when they do. 

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” –Proverbs 27:17

Develop a Strong Identity in Christ

    Stay intentional about developing and maintaining your relationship with Christ. Take time each day for your quiet time, and spend time in prayer. Relationships get stronger only when you invest in them, and your relationship with Christ is no different. It can feel lonely when your spouse does not share your faith. Do not forget that as soon as you stepped into faith in Christ, you never have to face anything alone again. Lean into that, especially in the difficult and lonely times of your marriage.

“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” –Proverbs 18:24

      What if My Spouse Doesn’t Share My Christian Faith? Learning how to cope with an unbelieving spouse can be difficult, lonely, and painful. If you are interested in receiving additional support from a trained professional, reach out to schedule your first counseling session today. Don’t wait, the counselors at LBCC are here to help.