An Unbelieving Spouse
I have been with my spouse for nearly a decade. For most of that time, I hadn't directly asked him about his belief in God. It was probably because I got the notion that I didn't want to know. On the other hand, I have always believed in God and Jesus Christ as my savior, I just didn't know Him personally yet.
A few years ago, I began to build that relationship and understanding of Him, and that's when the idea of my spouse being an unbeliever began to bother me. As my relationship grew with God, Kevin's anti-belief became evident. He found humor in the fact that I thought prayer actually worked and would make blasphemous comments at will. It finally got to the point that I felt the need to draw a line, if he was going to be with me then he was going to have to respect my belief and stop offending it.
After that, things were pleasant for a long while. I'd hold a grudge some Sunday mornings while he stayed home and I went to church with the kids but it didn't linger too long. I started living a more spiritual life and I blossomed in many aspects. I became a better parent, better spouse and better person in general. I was finally finding joy in my life that I hadn't noticed before, and I could clearly see the many blessings surrounding me and my family. As I changed, it seemed as Kevin did too. He also became a better parent, better spouse and better person. It was an amazing time for us, but I would soon learn that trials would eventually arise again.
Kevin and I shared a love unlike anything that I had witnessed before. It was a very generous love and God deserves all the glory for that. As I lived in His word, He blessed our relationship in ways I never could have imagined. It came naturally for me to serve Kevin and give him my all. I'd prayed for him regularly and trusted God's word that He would answer my prayers. One day, I text him to asked if he thought that he could ever believe in God. He told me 'maybe' and that lifted my heart because he didn't instantly shut me down like he used to.
As time went on, the fact that Kevin still didn't share my belief began to eat at me. I started getting bitter. I made great effort to try and spark belief in him, but nothing seemed to work. As a matter of fact, it actually made things worse between us. Because of this, my bitterness started growing more and more and I wasn't the happy spouse anymore. Sadly, I slacked on reading scripture because I was no longer pulling anything from it. My blessings seemed severely far away. I blamed Kevin for my hurt and pain. I thought that if he would just believe, then we would have joy in our lives again.
One night, I sat beside him broken and tired. I asked him once more if he could ever believe in God and I didn't like his answer. I started crying and told him that I didn't think I could be with somebody who doesn't share my love for Christ. He asked why being with him couldn't be sufficient enough but I was sure that it just wasn't enough anymore. We went to bed that night with awkwardness and hostility filling the space between us.
The next day, I cried to God and pleaded with Him for answers. I was so worn out from trying to change Kevin and figure out my purpose in life. I had become so familiar with my bitterness that I couldn't even remember the feeling of joy in my life. I had been on edge for such a long time that I no longer loved like I use to and I definitely was not living the same spiritual life that I once was.
As I sat in my bed alone and heartbroken, I laid everything into His hands and told Him that I couldn't fight this fight anymore. I begged Him to take charge in my life because I was incapable. The very moment the words fell from me God answered my prayers and opened my eyes. It was all my doing. 'I' was trying to be in control, 'I' was trying to change Kevin and 'I' was trying to decide God's will. It was all my work. I had quit relying on God and started trying to fix things myself.
I began seeking spiritual answers to my problems. It was revealed to me that I should live in Christ by example. I am incapable of changing Kevin myself, that is solely within God's ability. But I am able to live a Godly life and reflect God's love in such a way that it brings Kevin to Christ. God clearly has a purpose for me in Kevin's life or I simply wouldn't be in it. I find it more than a coincidence that God placed somebody with such love for Christ in the life of somebody who doesn't even believe in Him.
I tried to focus on the things that I loved about Kevin. He works hard for our family, his love for me and our daughters is incredibly selfless, and something has always told me that Kevin has a great purpose in my life.
I went downstairs and apologized to Kevin. I promised him that I would quit trying to force my beliefs onto him and that I knew now that he was a gift to me. I made sure to let him know that I would devote my love to him again without putting limits on it as long as he didn't verbally offend my faith. And suddenly, this massive burden was lifted. I felt that abundant joy again and noticed my many, many blessings that had been there all along.
Our love grew all over again in all aspects of our lives and Kevin doesn't say the awful things about God that he used to. He doesn't even get uncomfortable anymore when I make religious comments. Once, he even defended my belief against some friends who were trying to tear it apart. I can see God moving in Kevin's life every day. It brings tears to my eyes all the time. I can see the answers to my prayers happening, and I'm suddenly realizing that it's not an instant thing. My God is faithful in all that He does, I just have to let 'Him' do it. I can't try to change things myself, and it's much more rewarding His way anyhow.
I am certainly no expert on scripture but I do know that God has gifted me in an understanding of what loving and serving a husband is supposed to look like. If it be His will, I would love to start a ministry one day in helping women serve their husbands in His love (ex: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Many blessings to you and yours!
© 2016 Brianna