I am pleased to introduce a new guest writer here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Kimberly Jones.
Kim is forty years old, happily married for eight years. Kim and her husband have two adopted boys, ages 11 and 7. She works part-time for Christ Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, MD. Her interests are her family, writing, reading, knitting and singing. She is also learning to enjoy cooking!
You can find Kimberly at Knitten' Kittens.
Part II: Kimberly Jones
In all my prayers to my heavenly Father, I never once had specified that my soul mate be a Christian. I had just taken it for granted that he would be.
I had come to a devastating crossroads as I struggled with what to do. Chris had already asked me to marry him and I had already accepted. We were even in the process of meeting with a pastor down on the Eastern Shore, as I had always thought of the ocean as God’s first church. Now, I was completely unsure of what the right thing was. I prayed, searching for an answer and the one that came to me surprised me. Placed upon my heart was, God had given me my heart and soul’s desire. The rest was up to me. I felt as if God were saying, “I gave you what you asked for. Now, help to bring him to Me.”
I married Chris on August 21st, 1998, on the beach in Delaware. We were pronounced husband and wife by a Lutheran pastor, blessed by a God in which my husband didn’t believe.
Chris and I settled into marriage with a combination of peace and harmony, sometimes interrupted by more times that were tumultuous. Often, our arguments were about religion. Chris was not only a non-believer, he was a defensive one at that and any attempts to “make” him believe were met with arguments and questions that I simply didn’t know how to answer. How can a person explain faith to a non-believer? Chris was a man who followed concrete evidence and scientific knowledge and I could offer neither when it came to God or Jesus.
I lost my father, who Chris was very close to, the summer of 1999. In our planning of dad’s memorial service, we opted to have a time during the service where anyone could share thoughts or memories of my father. I was amazed and very greatly blessed when my husband stood up during that time in the service to share his thoughts on my dad, making mention of heaven. Though I was certain that his mention of heaven had more to do with comforting me and my family, it still had to mean something, I was sure.
Nevertheless, we continued to argue about God. Chris hated that I was up and out of the house so early for church and going only added insult to injury for him. Though I found a niche at church, there was still something desperately missing. I hated sitting alone on Sunday mornings, watching as the other couples sat close together, listening to God’s word. Deep in my heart, I knew that there was nothing I needed other than the Word, yet I so wanted to be able to share my faith with my husband.
Our attempts to have children were futile and each failed attempt nearly knocked the emotional wind out of me. It was during this rocky time in our lives that I was asked to go on a retreat weekend and I jumped at the chance. Spiritually I was more than shaken, and I desired to feel grounded in my faith once more. The retreat weekend was highly emotional for me and at one point; I sat, crying, as I spilled out my story about my spiritually mismatched marriage to another woman. I told her about the arguments and about how defeated I felt. The words that God gave her to give to me began to change my entire life. She told me, “Always talk to God about the man, before you ever talk to the man about God.”
I had not been doing this. I had not been praying for my husband to accept Christ. I had been trying to cram my Lord and Savior down his throat instead. By the end of the weekend, my entire mindset had changed as I talked to God about Chris. I asked God’s forgiveness for thinking that I could ever be the one to deliver Chris, (“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent me draws him.” John 6:44). When I returned home, instead of talking to Chris about God or faith, I started simply living out my faith in front of him, praying every morning and night for God to touch my husband’s heart.
When I did this, several things happened. The arguing between us stopped. He stopped being angry about my attending church. Then we got a miracle. God led us to adopt two children through social services. As the boys fostered with us, I took them to church with me on Sundays and it only took a week or so for Chris to begin tagging along. His steps were small, but consistent as I watched as his heart was slowly opened to the possibility of a heavenly Father. There were moments during some particular praise songs where his eyes would well up with tears and he began to ask questions of me, of our pastor, of the other men in the congregation. A year later, Chris became a member of the church and for our fifth wedding anniversary; he surprised me with having our vows renewed in the church, surrounded by our friends.
Now, though far from perfect, my husband is a faithful follower of Christ and the spiritual leader of our family. The road was long and at times hard, but once I surrendered it all over to God, He made a way for Chris to accept him. So, take heart, all of you who are spiritually mismatched, for God always has a plan; not only for our lives but for the lives of our spouses. Because God is good…all the time.