It’s the question we all dance around. The one we sometimes want to ask but don’t. The one we dread being asked. The one we know the person’s dying to ask us when we tell them why our spouse doesn’t share our faith.
“Did you know he wasn’t a Christian when you married him?” (I can hear the universal cringe.)
Believe me, I know. Been there, done it a hundred times at least. I don’t mind the question when it comes out of genuine searching—someone in need of understanding for his or her own situation or a friend or loves one’s. (We call that ministry.) It’s the judgment playing peek-a-boo as a question that takes me right back to the guilt.
Ah, she finally gets the point. Yes, yes, here I am. Guilt queen of the Western Hemisphere. For years I had good answers for that question. All kinds of ways to say, “I have no idea what he was” without making myself look bad.
But does it really matter?
God tells us in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow. He’s got our future covered if we just trust in him. Now why would this great big God of grace want us to dwell on the past when he sent his Son to take care of it?
Let me tell you something, ladies and gents. Do not let the enemy weigh you down with guilt over a decision OF THE PAST to marry your unbelieving spouse. Confession frees the spirit, literally. Confess your err (even if you didn’t realize it at the time), accept God’s forgiveness, and move on. God will bless your marriage still (see THIS ARTICLE). My marriage is a walking, talking testimony to that.
We don’t have to live in the shadows, lurking behind our shields of shame. This is not what God has called us to do. He’s calling us, no matter how we got there, to be the presence of Christ in our spouses’ lives. And I don’t mean browbeating our loved one with the Bible or with our “Chistianese.” It means living our lives in obedience to Christ. Obeying his call to act or not act. To speak or not to speak. Sometimes Jesus spoke the loudest through the words he didn’t speak or even in his silence.
Shame and guilt are tools the enemy will use to great advantage to diminish or even prevent our witness. And that shield of shame can’t exist while we are sporting our shields of faith (part of that armor of God, remember?)
I’m ready to relinquish my title as the Queen of Guilt. Anybody with me?
Praying and believing,