When a married couple consists of only one believer, it can put a lot of strain on the marriage. It is easy for the believing spouse to mount pressure on the other in a bid to “make” them give their lives to God. Unfortunately however, in many cases the more pressure is mounted, the angrier the unsaved spouses can get and the further it can drive them from God or wanting to have anything to do with Him.
I want to share some ways the believing spouse can partner with God to work His work in the heart of their spouse and bring them to the foot of the cross.
1. Nagging Cannot Cut It– You cannot nag anyone into falling in love with Christ. It has to come of their own volition, other wise they might end up doing an outward show of religion without an inward repentance. They might go through the motions with you to either make you happy or make you stop bothering them or both. You can repel your spouse when you go on and on…
In a multitude of words transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19 (AMP)
2. Show Them Christ– Show them what Christ looked like when He walked the earth. Show them by your lifestyle what it means to be a follower of Christ. Show them what it means to be light in a dark and gloomy world. No matter how much you preach at to them, your words won’t hit home for them if they do not see you any different than them. If you talk and act like them, if you curse and get angry like them, listen to the same kinds of ungodly music and dance the same kind of sensual dances, go to the same places… Need I say more?
When you live the exemplary life of Christ, you send them stronger and more soul penetrating messages than when you keep nagging them about how lost they are. So focus on working on yourself to be more Christ-like.
Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah). 1 Corinthians 11:1(AMP)
3. Love Them – Love is the foundational mark of a believer, a follower of Christ. John 13: 35When you show genuine love, care, concern and affection for a spouse who does not know Christ, you have already given God the partnership He needs to change the heart of your spouse. God cannot do anything outside an environment of love, so when you love your spouse like the Bible commands; you give God the right atmosphere to perform a miracle. Remember that God’s commandment of love is not predicated on whether your spouse is a believer or not. So love your spouse unconditionally and make your home easy for God to work in. I remember the story of how a spouse was loved out of adultery, no confrontations, no denials, no nags, and no shows of suspicions. Just love and prayers caused a change of heart. It is difficult I must say, but when you know the solution to a problem and you really want that problem solved, you will work the solution irrespective of how difficult it is.
4. Don’t Put Up A “Holier Than Thou” Attitude– No body will respond to anybody who puts up the holier-than-thou attitude (That is PRIDE). You do not have to always sniff at your spouse when they are doing something wrong. You do not have to remind them how they will burn in hell while you are in heaven. Truth is, most people already know they are sinners, but when you go through the “condemnation” approach, you make them loathe you and many times, they rebel.
Agreed, they are responsible for there choices, but you must make your self a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block to their salvation. And you this by humbling yourself in your eyes and before God instead of “showing off” your “righteous” self. Always remember that you were once like them and with the right approach share your testimony with them in humility and with the right tone of voice, let them know you were once like them if not worse, but how receiving God’s love and mercy made the difference. When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness. Proverbs 11:2
5. Do Not Lose Faith– You must keep believing God for their salvation, I have heard of people who believed for decades before their spouses came to accept the salvation Jesus offers, I am not saying you have to wait that long but however long it does take, keep your faith alive. At this time, your faith in God is very key to the salvation of your spouse since you are the one who has a right standing with God.
…For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, James 1:6-7
6. Pray Earnestly– Let your love and compassion for your spouse be your motive for praying for their salvation rather than your desire to have them sit by you in Church and give you peace at home. Pray for them because of them not just because of you, making your motive selfishness rather than compassion. Let your motive for prayer be the desire for your spouse to escape eternal condemnation, pray for them knowing that if they do not get saved, they would burn and let your love for them and your desire for them to escape hell propel you to pray that fervent prayer that will touch the very heart of God.
Keep destroying every seed of sin operating in their lives and keep prophesying over their lives, calling them saved and sanctified of The Lord.
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16
7. Sow Covenant Seeds– Enter into covenant with God for your spouse. Take up a particular service in God’s kingdom that you would tie to the salvation of your spouse, or a certain amount of money or gift as a covenant seed of faith, thanking God for the salvation of your spouse. Seeds of faith do move God’s heart when they are actually seeds of faith. You are saying, “Lord I thank you because you have done it” not just because you heard someone say it, but also because you trust God enough to thank Him ahead of the fulfilment of His promise. It is just one way to put actions to your faith.
So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead). James 2:17
I have an idea of how difficult it can be to be married to an unbelieving spouse, and I know all I have written above is very difficult to pursue but I know above all these that God needs you to agree with Him not by mere profession but by aligning yourself to His word in order for Him to be able to come into your home and visit your spouse.
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Copyright© Teshuva 2014
(Update from 2013)
Photo Credit: WallpapersHD
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