“I try to read the Bible....but it doesn't sink in....I read it and I don't "get it".....I read it and I don't hear what other people hear....so I give up. I give up because I doubt....I give up because my husband is so stinkin mean about "religion".....”
Over the past few posts I have been sharing excerpts from a one of our new readers, Celia. Above she writes about her doubt and about lack of understanding the Bible. So many of you left comments filled with truth, prayers and encouragement. To read those posts, scroll down or start here with the first one.
Today I think it’s time we tackle her next statement: “I give up because my husband is so stinkin mean about "religion".....”.
What does this statement really mean? If I think a minute about this statement and my past experience with my unbelieving spouse, what I’m really hearing are these statements:
- My husband shames me with my faith.
- I’m unable to defend my faith.
- My husband belittles me because of my faith.
- My husband is defensive when it comes to my faith
- My husband is mean (is in general a mean person)
- My husband becomes hostile when confronted in any way about Christianity.
Well my friends, there is enough here to be addressed that I could write three books. But, for today’s purposes, let’s get to the crux of the issue.
There are two things happening here. Both the wife and husband are grappling with a commonly held conception of God. They are asking/or asserting: Is God real? Or God is NOT real.
The wife struggles to defend herself and her faith because in her mind she’s not entirely sure God is real nor is she certain that living as a believer is really doable. AND I get it. Celia, I lived for many, many years in this particular cul-de-sac, wondering around and around trying to figure out if I really believed in God or if it was all foolishness. And I bet if we are candid, there are many more of us who also walked around and around in that darn cul-de-sac with me.
What I want to confirm for you again is that it is okay to have doubts. But it is also so clearly evident that God wants you to seek Him and to let Him show you how to put your doubts to rest. And if you need some ideas on how to go about this just go back and read the inspired comments that were left last Monday.
When we are tossed and turned on the tide of public opinion of our society about the truth of God, we aren’t able to help ourselves with our beliefs let alone affirm truths to our spouse. When we aren’t convinced of what we believe, how can we expect our spouse to discover it? Now, as a woman I know what we would really like. We want our men to come to Christ, be the leader who helps us firm up our faith and pass along strong faith to our kids. But, in our unequally yoked marriages, that does not happen.
When a spouse abdicates or refuses to fulfill the role of spiritual leader of our home, God is …. Now get this….. God is URGING us, the believing spouse, to step into that position.
So what does that look like in this scenario? Let me share two truths with you.
1 Peter 3:1 NLT 1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over.
The longer I live in this unequally yoked marriage, the more I see the truth of this passage in my marriage. I needed to mature my faith and when I really began to know what I know that God is real and living the Christian life is not only doable but the best life ever, I was set free from trying to convince my husband of anything. Jesus could be Jesus. All I had to do was to love Jesus and you know what? The love of Jesus flowed out of me and into my husband. When that happens, things change. I don’t understand why or how but the mean words my husband would say about my faith, bounced off. His accusations and his attempts to shame me because I believed truly did not penetrate my heart.
Did that stop him from saying them? No. But words against my faith didn’t hurt as much and a funny thing about this change is that over time, my husband stopped saying them.
What I began to see was a man who was listening to the world. He was unable to perceive the things of the spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14) But I was assured through many promises in God’s Word that if I surrender to Jesus, He would take care of me. Things that once annoyed me, hurt me or even crushed, no longer held power over me. The lies of the enemy could not pierce the protecting love of Christ.
Shoot, another post that has already run way too long. Sheesh, get me going and I could talk about what Jesus has done in an ordinary 5’4” blonde girls life forever. So on Friday, come back as I give you the second truth that is very practical taken from our book, Winning Him Without Words. I’m going to teach you how to rise above the meanness and to thrive.
Okay my friends, what are your thoughts about 1 Peter 3:1 and how do you process the “Authority or submission” as it relates to living and thriving in a spiritually mismatched marriage.
Looking forward to your thoughts on this controversial passage. Be blessed, Lynn