Worksheet at bottom of article
Don’t Think You Can Change Your Spouse
A popular misnomer in society is people think that after they’re married they can change the things they don’t like about their spouse. But this is incorrect thinking to begin with. We cannot change anyone other than ourselves, and to try causes numerous problems within the marriage. If you cannot accept who you are going to marry, don’t get married!
It is possible though, to influence an unbelieving spouse through your virtuous actions and then they may change on their own free will. But a person needs to accept God on their own time frame.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Never give up hope that one day your spouse will find wisdom, knowledge and truth for his life like you have. Your good attitude is what brings the light in front of your unbelieving spouse, and helps them to understand the great mysteries of the unseen and spiritual world. Be their light and let it shine bright always. Your light is the greatest influence of them all.
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:16
Don’t Be Critical or Self Righteous
Try not to become critical of your spouse. When you play the self righteous martyr act you will actually pull them further away from God. Be perceptive and understanding as much as you possibly can, even if they don’t or won’t accept your faith. Your spouse knows they have faults and they need to be ready to give those faults up, not you.
Patience is a virtue. I know this can be difficult to do at times, but you have to let them be their own judge, which brings them aware of their sin, and hopefully closer to God. You are not your spouse’s judge and executioner, on the contrary, you are a part of the person you married, and therefore you ought to make every effort to help them become free of their life of sinful bondage through your support of them.
How do you know wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Corinthians 7:16
How can we encourage those we love to come into the light with us? Understand that you cannot make anyone do anything that they don’t want to do. All you can do is be true to yourself at all times and in all situations. Continue to walk your talk in life; be a righteous example, not a self righteous example. This in itself gets others to see what a good life you have and from there, it is their turn to accept it or not.
Build up your spouse with encouraging words. Find a quality you appreciate about your spouse and tell them about it.
Be patient with your spouse. This by far is probably one of the hardest things to do because they may be sinning in some way against the marriage and that can hurt. But remember we are not looking to pull our spouse further away from the light but to bring them into the light by our acts of kindness and consideration. Shine your light.
Continue to stay faithful to God no matter what. Don’t become tempted with your spouse. The good life is not lived on our own terms but is lived through the power of God and on His standards.
Be joyful and happy knowing that God is with you and He is in control. Never give up.
If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. 1 Corinthians 7:12-14
Questions For Couples
1. Name four ways a believing spouse can help the unbeliever accept Christ too?
2. Should a believing spouse get a divorce from the unbeliever? Why or why not?
3. How can the believer take care of themselves and not allow the sinful acts of the unbeliever control their actions? How can the believer detach with love?
Pray for the unbeliever every day.
Never give up hope that they will accept Christ one day.
Always keep God at the forefront of your marriage.
Be the LIGHT for those who are in the DARK.