Not the Answers I Expected
The Journey of a SUMite

Line by Line: Sanctification of the Unbelieving Spouse

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SUMites, we have arrived. This is a tad long but you MUST read the story at the end. 

We have arrived in our line by line study of one of the MOST powerful verses in the Bible. It’s profound and specific. Specific as it is filled with God’s power, promise and is written intentionally for us who are unequally yoked. 

Let’s read it together. 

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. —1 Corinthians 7:14


My friends…. WHAT????? Can we truly wrap our heads and hearts around the power and implication of the truths behind this verse?


I’ve read several commentaries on this verse and they agree that this verse is not a guarantee of our spouse’s salvation, as each person much choose Christ for his or herself. However, our faith brings God’s favor, power and holiness into our home. And our faith brings with it a covering or ability to “set-apart as holy” our spouse and children. 


Sometimes this verse is a mind –blow. The promise and truth brings me great comfort. As the believing spouse, I know that my faith and my prayers are affecting, changing and making holy our home. My faith and prayers can and DO change the environment. I literally have watched this happen in my home. 

I have watched God change my husband over time. Through my relentless prayers and petitions I know God is moved and He takes great interest in my husband’s life. I mean really, I pray all the time for this guy. I have brought this man, to whom I’m married, into the throne rooms so many times that the angels are sick of seeing him there. *grin* 

I literally envision standing before the great throne, my Papa, extending His scepter toward me as I stand there with my husband at my side, holding his hand. I ask the Lord to surround him with His love. I ask for God’s favor upon his professional life, upon him as a man, favor for him financially as he is the provider of our home. And as his wife, God’s favor comes to me through my husband’s employment. I ask relentlessly for his salvation and for God to reveal Himself in a way my husband can experience him. 

Now get this: My prayers change the atmosphere of our home. 

My husband was once utterly hostile about my faith. We fought often about faith, Jesus and God. My husband’s words hurt in the early years and I would seldom say anything about my faith for fear of another fight. But my friends, God has changed me and over the years, drastically changed my husband’s heart from hostility to acceptance and support of my faith. Through this verse God promises to make our home, my husband and my children holy, sanctified, set apart unto the Lord thereby including my children in God’s plans on earth. 

I want to share an astonishing story that is reflective of God’s sanctification. This is what happened in our home just last Thursday. 

Last week my husband, who works in the High-tech industry was reassigned to a new project. (It’s nice to know that my husband’s employer finds him a valuable asset to the company.) My husband started his new assignment right away. He returned home on Thursday from his first week on site and as I spoke with him that night I could tell he was a bit uptight about all the work that he faced. 

Friday morning, I went on my walk-n-pray and during my prayer time as I spoke to God about Mike, I could sense there was perhaps some fear in my husband about the new assignment. He was under pressure as the assignment was enormous and the problems vast and the work load, incredibly large. But this time during my prayer, I felt God was telling me to go home, place my hands on the man, and pray for him. 


Yep, I’m still not that outrageously brave to lay hands on my unbeliever, in my home, and pray for him. Out loud. I squeaked to God; Okay God, I will pray for him but you will need to make his heart open to this idea. 

Yikes. What did I just agree to? 

I went home. Still sweaty. Still hot. Walked into my husband’s home office where he was frantically working. I smiled tentatively. 

“Sweetie, I need to tell you that on my walk-n-pray, I sensed you have fear about this new project.” 

Mike looks right at me. Yep, I had his full attention now. He stared at me. 

I pushed forward quickly, “God said that I’m supposed to pray for you.” 

He responds, “Humph.” I hesitate… Because as you all know, these can be fighting words. Double yikes. 

“I just want to pray quickly and I will then get out of your office so you can get back to work.” 

“Okay, but I’m really busy so this can’t take long.” 

On that sentence of permission, I walked over to my husband, laid my hands on both of his shoulders, looked him in the eyes with love, and then …… 

Bam…. I let loose a prayer of power and the voice of the Holy Spirit upon my husband. I prayed to break fear and that this new assignment would prosper and more. In fact, the Holy Spirit was so strong upon me, that I can’t remember what else I said because the Holy Spirit inspired my words. 

“In Jesus name. Amen.” 

And the prayer was over. 

I went to the kitchen. He turned back to his computer. 

I leaned on the kitchen counter and nearly cried. You know why?????? For as long as I can remember, years and years, I’ve wanted to lay my hands on my husband and pray over him, face-to-face. 

And today it happened. It happened because I bring my man to the throne room every day. And it was today that heaven moved on earth, in my home, and I was given a gift to pray with this pre-believer in a way I’ve wanted to pray for most of our marriage. 

It was a profound and blessed moment in time. 

The cool thing is my husband can’t deny that my prayers make a difference in his work life. I’ve prayed over specifics regarding his assignments and they happen because I ask my Daddy for His favor. They happen because I am the believing spouse and my prayers move God’s heart. And I’m believing that over time, my husband’s salvation will happen. I simply believe. I trust. I pray. 

God loves us so much that He literally makes our family holy, sanctified. When you think this through it can change everything. I am so certain about this verse that I can’t help but ask myself;  What chance does a mere unbeliever stand in the light and truth of an all-powerful God??? 

SUMites, I’m not minimizing the unique challenges we face and the great difficulty in our marriages. Yet I think we underestimate God’s abilities and our faith. More than anything pray this week and ask God to make 1 Corinthians 7:14 real in your heart, life and home.

What are your thoughts on this passage? 

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