I want to continue the series I began a few weeks ago, Get Real.
If you remember, I recently was a guest on a radio program where I shared about my life and marriage to an unbeliever. This interview stirred the thoughts of many readers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.
Below are the links to the first two posts.
Today I want to answer a few more of your questions. Here we go.
Q: Please, please dear Lynn don’t be hurt by what I am saying – but you said, “Our men can see by our life, not by our words, they will see the difference.”
Another great and very real question. And don’t worry, I don’t get hurt feelings easily and I always write from an honest and authentic heart.
A: If I recall, this question is referencing my discussion of the scripture, 1 Peter 3: 1-2 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
This passage can be frightening or liberating my friends. More on this later.
Q:My sister, went on to ask, “Well, how long have you waited? Is it really worth the wait? I don’t mean with divorce but, silently going your own way. I am so tired of accompanying other women while my husband enjoys staying at home and having his peace. I am trying to be strong in Christ but actually my heart is bleeding. I am wondering, what changes really?”
What a very honest question and I can bet most of you who live unequally yoked have asked this question too.
A: I have waited now going into our 19th year of marriage. And I will confess with honesty, there are moments when I think the pain is NOT worth the wait. Many of those moments I experience in the early years of our marriage. My faith was shallow and I struggled with a list of unmet expectations I placed upon my husband, that in truth, were never meant to be fulfilled by him. It took me a long time to realize I could only be filled up by Christ and Christ alone. I experience very few of the really hard moments today.
This is part of our LONG journey with God. When we allow His truths to penetrate our consciousness, our heart, our belief system, we allow Him to replace the lies we believed about marriage and the entitlements we are certain belong to us.
One area which is difficult for all of us is watching other believing couples enjoy life and marriage around us. Just as our reader stated: I am so tired of accompanying other women while my husband stays home.
Every one of us, men and women, feel deep pain in this area when unequally yoked. Somewhere deep inside we want our spouse to attend church and church functions with us. We want to sit together with our spouse and hold hands during services. Ugh. It still hurts me today to watch a cute couple step in a row in front of me, holding hands and then raise those hands together in worship. I grieve. I want that so badly.
This is true of most of us. Am I right?
It’s not wrong to desire this companionship of our spouse. However, what I had to do was ask God to take away my pain over this lack in my life. My continual grumbling and hurt over this was accomplishing nothing. In fact, because “I” wanted this so much, I applied pressure on my husband to attend church.
What a disaster.
He would stand in what I call his hostile stance. Arms on hips, scowl on brow and motionless through the entire worship portion of the service. Once we sat down, it didn’t get much better. I would sit next to him worried about what he was thinking, doing, how he was feeling. I would worry about the argument that would ultimately occur later and the hurt that followed. God said to me, “Enough.”
Forced church attendance was a “No win scenario” for all involved, including my daughter.
When I released my husband from attending church because I wanted him to do so, peace resulted. He attends how when he wants. I attend every Sunday. Sometimes he joins me, sometimes not. But I am honestly okay with it. Now when he joins me, the "hostile stance" is gone and he really listens. Go figure. Who knew. Sheesh, I wish I had released him to attend at his pace years ago.
Q: So what changes really?
A: I did.
I agree that for a period of years in our marriage I was angry that I was left to find my own way. i.e., I joined church activities alone or with my daughter. I went to church alone. I wasn’t free to share my authentic self with my husband. He didn’t want to hear about this Jesus of mine. It was hard. But the most amazing thing resulted. My husband’s unbelief just pushed me faster and harder toward the cross. I gave my husband to Him and I live for Christ. This surrender changed me. I can promise you that our circumstances in an unequally yoked marriage will always will grow our relationship with Jesus if we take our eyes off our spouse and our self and place them on Him.
A transformed life is undeniable.
That is what 1 Peter 3 is all about. You can yak your husband’s head off about the joys of Christ. The amazing eternity that awaits but they are words. Words are a dime a dozen, however, an authentically transformed wife, a man cannot deny.
Be blessed, Lynn
More questions and answers are in store for Monday’s post. And get ready for our new series, Friendship With God, starts May 3rd. Stay tuned!