LOVING YOUR HUSBAND INTO THE FAITH
By: Charles E. Clanton
Since its inception in 1945, the United Pentecostal Church has consistently shown its concern for the unique needs of special groups within our fellowship by developing and implementing programs to meet the needs of these groups. Through the efforts of the Church Division, Sunday School Division, Youth Division, and Home Missions Division we
now offer programs for the children, youth, homeless, young families, elderly, singles, and new converts. Still, despite all our progressiveness, we have somehow overlooked a very real and most important element within our fellowship–those thousands of wives with unsaved companions.
You find them in every assembly. In the church I pastor, which currently numbers approximately 150, we have at least a dozen women with unsaved husbands. In these final days, as Satan viciously launches his no-holds-barred attack upon the Church, these precious women are shouldering some tremendously heavy burdens–loads too heavy
to be carried alone. We must quickly recognize the emotional and spiritual stress with which they are now living and come to their rescue with instruction and support. The days are short and they must receive help if they are to survive the onslaught of Satan, salvage their children, and reach their unsaved companion.
While this lesson is intended for wives with unsaved companions, those of you with friends or relatives who have unsaved companions, or those who minister to women with unsaved husbands can greatly benefit from what will be taught.
In this presentation we will be interested in basically three things:
1. You–your salvation and your sanity
2. Your marriage and its success
3. The salvation of your husband–the man you love more than anyone else in the world
And, I might add, if the salvation of your husband would cause you to love him more, or prompt you to be more willing to show that love– then you’ve got a serious problem that requires immediate attention.
Perhaps your initial thought was: “What’s a man doing teaching this course?” I’m here because I wish to instruct you in how to deal with a man. And, before you can successfully do this you must begin to better understand how a man thinks–what makes him tick. No matter how long you live with a man, there are some parts of him that you’ll never
understand as well as another man understands. You may know his habits and preferences like no one else, but I understand him in a way that you don’t. You may know his moods better than I do, but I understand what causes those moods, and often you don’t. We hope to begin opening up a world of understanding today.
During the course of this lesson I may make a statement or two that does not agree with what your pastor has taught you. Share this lesson with him. If we are still in disagreement, then follow his teaching, for as your pastor God has charged him with the oversight of your soul.
I’ll also, no doubt, make a number of statements which conflict with your previous practices and preconceived notions. When I do, please be open-minded and willing to admit and correct any mistakes. Remember, your salvation, your children’s salvation, your marriage, and the eternal destiny of your husband are at stake. And, of what
significance are personal pride and ego when compared to these?
Let us begin by reading two portions of Scripture:
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear (I Peter 3:1-2).
And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean: but now are they holy (I Corinthians 7:13-14).
Before going any further, I’d like to establish some basic truths:
1. It’s God’s desire for a Christian woman to live with her unsaved husband as long as he’s willing to faithfully fulfill his responsibility as husband.
2. You can live a victorious Christian life–no matter what.
3. You have made mistakes (Who hasn’t) but there is still time to correct them.
4. You have an excellent chance of winning your husband to the Lord if you’re obedient to the Word.
5. Finally, if for some reason your husband is never saved, you can still have a harmonious and love-filled relationship.
Let’s talk for a few moments about God’s design for marriage. In Genesis 2:21-24 we read:
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
In most circumstances it is the perfect plan of God for men and women to marry and to become one in every respect. In fact, Scripture often uses the marriage union to explain the Lord’s relationship to His Church.
In II Corinthians 6:14, we read: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Surely this stern warning includes the marriage relationship. Over and over Israel was warned against marrying into heathen nations. In fact, inter-tribal marriage was even forbidden. The same principle was carried over into the Church as we read in II
Corinthians 6:14. The term “Unequally yoked” was a farming term. Common sense dictated that similar animals be yoked together for an even pull.
But, what is the proper course of action when a believing wife is married to an unbelieving husband? According to I Corinthians 7:13, the wife is obligated to continue living with him (and joyfully fulfill her role as wife, I believe) as long as he “be pleased to dwell with her.”
There are several ways that an unequally-yoked marriage can come about:
1. Unbelievers marry, and the wife is then saved. This is perhaps the most common.
2. Believers marry, and the husband then backslides.
3. Wife hastily enters into marriage, thinking she has married a believer, only to discover later that she hasn’t.
4. Wife goes against the Word of God and knowingly marries an unbeliever.
Whatever the case, whatever the circumstances–if he be pleased to dwell with you–don’t leave him.
While I may be going against the teaching of some, as a pastor, I will seldom, if ever, feel the liberty to take the initiative in dissolving marriage bonds.
Wives with unsaved husbands tend to idolize Christian marriages. But saved husbands aren’t perfect. They still leave their dirty socks in the floor, drip toothpaste in the sink, and have even been known to snore on occasion. Salvation of a husband does not automatically solve all the problems and dissolve all the areas of disagreement and differences of opinion in a marriage. Non-spiritual differences of opinion need to be worked out now, for they could quite possibly be a stumbling block to the salvation of your husband.
One other item–don’t base your marital bliss on the salvation of your husband. Base it upon your own experience with God.
Over the years we Pentecostals have failed to win many souls due to a lack of wisdom and sound Bible principles. Surely we must include many unsaved husbands in this vast multitude. If we have made mistakes, and surely we have, let’s be willing to admit it and alter our course to that which will get the job done. If anyone is able to win your husband to the Lord, it should be you. After all, it’s your life that he’s watching from day to day, and you should tie the one he’ll trust when he doubts all others. But, on the other hand, if anyone can drive him away from the Lord it will be you.
Remember, according to I Peter 3:1-2, you are required by God to show your unsaved husband the beauty and the advantages of being a Christian. The word “Conversation” as used by Peter comes from a Greek word meaning “Behavior.” You are to win him by your actions, not your words. In this case, at least, actions really do speak louder than words–much louder!
Below I have listed Nine Definite Don’ts –things you must never do if you are to win your unsaved husband to the Lord.
1. Don’t blame family problems on his being unsaved! It may be his fault that he’s out of work or that the kids are rebelling, but nothing will be gained by blaming these conditions on his not being saved. Such action will only succeed in driving him farther away.
2. Don’t preach to him or repeat the sermons and Bible studies he missed by not being in church with you. (Unless he asks, of course). Remember, you’re instructed to win him with your behavior.
3. Don’t make it a point to pray in front of him or go around the house praising the Lord so that he’ll be sure to hear your piousness.
4. Unless you know that he wants you to, Don’t publicly request prayer for his salvation. Everyone, including God, will know what you’re referring to if you say you have a special unspoken request. There’s a very good reason for this. Let’s suppose that this Sunday night one of the unsaved husbands finally decides to accompany his wife to church. In the course of giving prayer requests, a dear sister across the building requests prayer for her “Sinner husband.”
Naturally, the husband in attendance will assume that when he’s not there his wife does likewise. This will cause him to feel uneasy around the church people and perhaps reluctant to come back.
5. Don’t make your unsaved husband feel that he in competition with God, the church, or your pastor. I once heard of a young wife whose unsaved husband asked her, “Honey, do you love me?” Her reply was, “Yes, I love you, but I love the Lord more.” Our love for God need not interfere with our love for our companion. To the ears of this unsaved
husband, this terribly unwise statement caused resentment to begin to build against God. You’ll never lead someone to God if they resent Him.
6. Don’t refuse your unsaved husband attention, affection, or sexual relations because he is not serving God. Never even so much as hint that “Things would be better” if he were filled with the Holy Ghost. I once heard of a woman who felt she was sinning to have a physical relationship with her unsaved husband. The truth of the matter is that
according to I Corinthians 7 she would be sinning to refuse to.
7. Don’t run your husband or his friends down–to him or in the presence of others. Remember, you’re to win him by your godly behavior.
8. Don’t coax the children into witnessing to their unsaved father. He’ll deeply resent it. The witness of a child will often break the hardest of hearts if the child is sincerely doing it on its own. Dad will know the difference.
9. Finally, Don’t feel sorry for yourself!
And now, I want to list Nine Definite Do’s –things you must make an effort to do if you are to lead that special man in your life to the Lord.
1. Do show him that you’re proud of him. Let him know that it would thrill you if he were saved, but until he is, you wouldn’t trade him for the best-looking, richest, most spiritual man in the world.
2. Do compliment him every chance you get. Create opportunities.
3. Do thank him every chance you get. Let him know you appreciate how hard he works, how he’s provided for the family, and how he makes it possible for you to attend church.
4. Do take time to be his best friend. As long as it’s a place which is proper for Christians, share special occasions with him and accompany him on vacations. I’ve even told our ladies with unsaved husbands that it’s permissible to skip a night or two of a lengthy revival–just to stay home with their husband. This is something you should discuss with your pastor. And, by all means, inform him if you’re going to miss.
5. Do show loyalty to your husband. Don’t reveal his weaknesses to even your closest friend.
6. Do pray for him when you’re alone. Ask God for wisdom in leading him to Christ (James 1:5).
7. Do assure him that if there’s ever a problem, you’re willing to listen. Never try to push prayer down his throat, but let him know you’ll always be willing to pray with him.
8. Do brag on him to others, and do your best to see that the word somehow gets back to him.
9. One other– Do your best to gently lead or allow him to assume even the smallest amount of spiritual leadership in the home. If you feel he would enjoy asking the blessing before meals, encourage him to do so.
Often the wife of an unsaved husband will ask the pastor, “What should I do when he asks me to go somewhere I shouldn’t go or to do something I shouldn’t do?” First of all, you must refuse. Submission to an unsaved husband does not require you to step outside the bounds of God’s Word. But, in your refusal, do not blame God, the local church, or your pastor. Once again, this will only cause resentment, and greatly diminish any likelihood that he will ever be saved. Instead, tell him that as a Christian you feel condemned doing what he is suggesting. Always be quick to recommend or be open to any alternatives that are wholesome and acceptable.
It’s almost certain that an unequally yoked home will have differences of opinion concerning the rearing and disciplining of the children. At times this disagreement may become sharp. What is a Christian wife and mother to do?
First of all, we must remember that he is the father, even though he’s unsaved. Seldom will anything be gained by openly rebelling or defying him. Continue to be that exemplary wife and mother and attempt to privately discuss these differences. Make certain that he is not reacting to some other area of the marriage relationship that could be
improved or worked on.
Use the time you have alone with the children to offset any negative image or instruction they may have received from their father. Explain to even the youngest child the differences of opinion you and their father have. They need to know that you disapprove of his ideas and behavior, but never attempt to destroy or discredit him as a person.
Lift him up and point out any admirable qualities he might possess.
Most importantly, of course, dedicate yourself to fasting, prayer, and the study of God’s Word. Remember–no matter how terrible and totally unbearable things may seem, God is still on the throne!
I have one final suggestion, from a man’s point of view, in your efforts to win that unsaved husband to the Lord. Take some time, make some effort, and if necessary, spend some money to make yourself attractive. There is nothing more beautiful than a Pentecostal lady who has taken some time with her dress and attractive long hair. It’ll make your husband proud of you and make you feel better about yourself.
What will be the outcome if you follow these principles? You can live a victorious Christian life. In most cases you will be able to enjoy a fulfilled marriage. And, you have an excellent chance of Loving Your Husband Into The Faith.
(The original publisher of the above material is unknown.)
Christian Information Network