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|Tip#1 – Find your PLACE
||Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes
- Psalm 145:18 (the Lord is near)
- 2 Peter 1:3-9 (you have all you need for godliness)
- Lamentations 3:21-23 (Great is Your faithfulness; I call this to mind and have hope)
- Romans 5:3-5 (hope through suffering)
- 1 Kings 5:4 (He has given rest on every side, neither adversary nor misfortune)
- Psalm 146:5-7 (blessed is he whose help and hope are in the Lord)
- Exodus 14:14 (the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent)
- Philippians 4:6-8 (don’t be anxious, let your requests be made known, focus your mind on better things)
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (My grace is sufficient for you)
- 2 Chronicles 16:9 (eyes of the Lord roam the earth to strengthen)
- 2 Corinthians 5:18‐19 (God gives us the ministry of reconciliation)
- 1 Timothy 1:15 (Jesus saves sinners, among whom I am foremost)
- Matthew 11:28-31 (yoked with Christ, burdens light)
- Mark 12:41‐44 (the widow’s mite)
- Isaiah 26:3-4 (peace for those who fix their thoughts on God, trust in the Lord forever)
- Proverbs 25:15 (with patience a ruler is persuaded; a soft tongue)
- 1 Peter 5:7 (cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you)
- Ephesians 3:20-21 (God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine)
- 1 Peter 3:12 (God is attentive to the prayers of the righteous)
- James 5:16 (prayer of the righteous accomplishes much)
- Proverbs 15:29 (the Lord hears the prayer of the righteous)
- Romans 5:3-5 (hope through suffering)
- 1 Peter 2:13-20 (be subject to authority, give honor even when wronged)
- 1 Peter 3:1-6 (wives be subject to husbands... win without a word)
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (love is patient, kind, does not envy... love bears, believes, hopes, and endures)
- Romans 12:17‐21 (Never pay back evil for evil or take revenge, if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace and overcome evil with good)
- Colossians 3:8‐14 (put off anger and put on love)
- 1 Corinthians 7:10‐15 (to the married I give this charge)
- Matthew 19:3‐9 (remarriage can be adultery)
- Colossians 4:6 (speech with grace, seasoned with salt)
- Proverbs 3:5‐6 (trust in the Lord with all your heart)
- Job 1:22 (through all this, Job did not blame God)
- 2 Corinthians 6:14‐15 (do not be yoked with unbelievers)
- Deuteronomy 7:3‐4 (intermarriage pulls you away from God)
- Romans 2:4 (kindness can lead to repentance)
- Philippians 4:11‐13 (content in all circumstances; I can do all things through Christ)
- Matthew 18:21-35 (forgive 70 times seven times)
- Luke 18:1‐8 (parable of the widow... keep praying in faith)
- Matthew 7:1-5 (first take the log out of your own eye)
- Proverbs 15:1 (a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger)
- Colossians 3:18 (wives be subject to husbands, as is fitting in the Lord)
- Titus 2:3‐5 (love husbands; be sensible, pure, submissive, workers at home)
- 1 Peter 3:8‐9 (not returning evil for evil but giving a blessing)
- Colossians 3:19 (love your wives, do not be bitter toward them)
- 1 Peter 3:7 (live with your wives in an understanding way)
- Were you a believer before you married?
- What was your courtship like? How did you come to marry?
- When did you first become aware of a lack of spiritual unity?
- How do the spiritual differences in your marriage make you feel?
- How do you think your spouse sees themselves – as a believer in Christ, an agnostic, an atheist, or some other philosophy?
- How has the spiritual mismatch affected your marriage in practical ways that make daily life difficult?
- How does your difference in beliefs affect your parenting?
- Is your spouse open to discussing areas of faith?
- Does your spouse ridicule you or try to pressure you not to actively practice your faith? If so, what does that look like?
- What do you believe are the most important things God has shown you in this process?
- Have you become disheartened or do you still have hope?
- What adjustments have you made in your marriage to accommodate the spiritual differences you and your spouse have?
- How do you respond when there are struggles or arguments over spiritual issues? How does your spouse respond?
- In what way do you think you are representing Christ to your spouse? In what ways could you improve in this area?
- Why do you think God allowed you to marry your spouse? How do you think God can use your marriage to glorify Himself?
- What specific actions or attitudes in your home do not express loving leadership (husband) or godly submission (wife)?
- What changes do you believe God would have you make to more closely represent Christ in your marriage? Was there specific truth from God’s word that led you to seeing a need for change in this area?
- Are you actively involved in a local church and what impact has that had on your marriage? Does your spouse support your involvement or has it been a source of tension? What are your spouse’s expectations and how have you responded?
- Have you been able to find a healthy balance between your love for serving God and your responsibilities to your spouse? What has that looked like specifically in your situation? What would your spouse say about you in this area?
- Are there specific questions or concerns that you’d like to discuss with me?
- How can I pray for you?
- What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
- 30 Ways to Start a Conversation With Your Spouse by Tracey Eyster
- The Power of Words by Dave Boehi
- Does a Good God Want Me in a Bad Marriage? by Sabrina Beasley
- Living With an Angry, Abusive or Violent Spouse by Edward T. Welch
- The Gospel of Change by Paul David Tripp and Tim Lane
- Can People Really Change? by Paul David Tripp and Tim Lane
- A “Miracle” Across the Street by Dave Boehi
- 10 Ideas: Prayers for an Unbelieving Spouse by June Sims
- Q&A: When Your Husband Loses Interest in God by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
- When Dad Doesn’t Believe by Nancy Sebastian Meyer
- A Spiritual Mismatch—and the God Who Sees by Janel Breitenstein
- Do You Have a One-Way Marriage? by Anonymous
- How can I motivate my husband to get right with God and become the spiritual leader of our family? by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
Other Ministry Links
- Men’s Fraternity Living a life of authentic manhood
- Click the title For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn to find book in FamilyLife's online store.
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
- Click the title For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti Feldhahn to find book in FamilyLife's online store.
- The Love Dare: Movie Edition by Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick
- Click the title War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon by Chris Fabry to find the resources on Amazon.com.
- - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 86
“There is no man on the face of this earth who can satisfy the deepest longings of a woman’s heart‐‐God has made us in such a way that we can never be truly satisfied with anything or anyone less than Himself (Psalm 16:11; 34:8‐10).”
- - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 140
“When a wife is preoccupied with trying to correct her husband’s faults and flaws, she is taking responsibility God never intended her to have, and she will likely end up frustrated and resentful toward her husband and perhaps even toward God. She may also limit God from doing what He wants to do in changing her husband.”
- - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free, p. 141
“Many Christian wives do not realize that they have two powerful ‘weapons’ available to them that are far more effective than nagging, whining, or preaching. The first weapon is a godly life, which God often uses in a man’s life to create conviction and spiritual hunger (1 Peter 3:1‐4) … and the second is prayer.”
- - Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only, p. 35
“Women hold an incredible power in the way we communicate with our men (both husbands and sons) to build them up or to tear them down, to encourage or to exasperate.”
- - Nancy Kennedy, When He Doesn’t Believe, p. 82
“Our thoughts determine our attitudes, which determine our actions. If I think my husband is a jerk, I’ll treat him like a jerk. But if I think about how he’s made in God’s image, then I’ll treat him differently.”
- - Lee and Leslie Strobel, Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage, p. 97
“If your partner wants you to participate in something unethical or illegal, or wants you to do something that violates your conscience or Christian commitment, then it’s appropriate to explain why you can’t participate. When this happens, don’t use an accusatory tone that demeans your spouse. Instead, talk about your own feelings and why participation would make you feel uncomfortable, scared, or violated.”
- - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 41
“Let go of as many expectations as possible. The changes you try to make happen in your husband, or that your husband tries to make in himself to please you, are doomed to failure and will bring disappointment for you both. Instead, ask God to make any necessary changes … Accept your husband the way he is and pray for him to grow … Your greatest expectations must be from God, not from your husband.”
- - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 91
“Because we do what we don’t feel like doing, does that make us hypocrites? No, it is a sign we are responsible people. Showing respectful behavior when we don’t ‘feel respectful’ is evidence of maturity, not hypocrisy.”
- - Emerson Eggerichs, Motivating Your Man God’s Way, p. 58
“The call is for a wife to carry herself with dignity, showing honor to her husband because she is an honorable woman. Though her husband may not be respectable, God is calling her to show unconditional respect in her pursuit to obey God. She does this in obedience to the command of God in Ephesians 5:33, not because her husband deserves it.”
- - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Two Hearts Praying As One, p. 85
“If you are married to a spouse who does not share your spiritual values and commitment to Christ, we recommend that you ask if he or she would mind if you led in prayer together each day—even if your spouse does not pray … If your spouse allows you to pray out loud, use this time as an opportunity to bless, encourage, and lift up his or her needs. Do not use this prayer time to preach, instruct, or correct your spouse. If your spouse will not allow you to pray out loud, then find a time each day when you can pray silently.”
- - Nancy Kennedy, When He Doesn’t Believe, p. 37
“More than any other emotion, loneliness tops the lists of most women in spiritually unequal marriages.”
- - Nancy Kennedy, When He Doesn’t Believe, p. 6
“Plain and simple, your husband’s relationship with the Lord isn’t dependent on you. While God may use you in great ways as an influence, ultimately it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to change hearts.”
- - Nancy Kennedy, When He Doesn’t Believe, p. 51
“After reading a few eye‐opening books on the subject of gender differences and conducting my own casual research, I discovered many of the conflicts in marriages aren’t necessarily caused by spiritual differences. Rather, they’re caused by simple gender differences. And if you’re unaware of those differences, you may inadvertently cause, or at least aggravate, your spiritual differences.”
- - Emerson Eggerichs, Motivating Your Man God’s Way, p. 35
“Peter indicated that a wife’s respectful behavior can win a disobedient man to God! He said it quite explicitly in I Peter 3:1‐2. And of course, if respectful behavior can win a disobedient husband to God, then it can also win that same husband back to his wife. That’s because unconditional respect ignites something deep within the spirit of a husband … As a woman, you know how hard it is for a wife to resist the unconditional love of a man. Her nature is designed to respond. What is left untaught today is that this is how husbands respond to unconditional respect.”
- You are not alone, many people are able to glorify God while married to an unbeliever.
- Consider inviting your spouse to attend a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway. The principles presented are helpful for any marriage since they are practical as well as biblical.
- Pray daily for your spouse’s salvation and for your marriage. Do not give up or lose heart in doing good.
- You cannot control or change your spouse; only God can change a person’s heart. Pray for the kindness of God to lead your spouse to repentance.
- Read this online article 10 Ideas: Prayers for an Unbelieving Spouse and begin implementing some of these prayers.
- Living your life for God will bring the greatest fulfillment in your marriage regardless of the position of your spouse. Pray every day to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit.
- Ask God to reveal any areas of sinful behavior or attitude where you need to repent and seek forgiveness.
- Rather than nagging, whining or preaching, try praying for God to create conviction and spiritual hunger in your spouse. There is a God-shaped hole in all of us.
- Be forgiving and gracious (unmerited favor) toward your spouse.
- Be assured that God will use the challenges you are facing in marriage as part of His process of conforming you and your spouse to the image of Christ.
- Be sure you are not blaming every issue on spiritual mismatch… some conflicts are normal in any marriage. And many differences can be attributed to gender differences, not necessarily spiritual differences. (Link coming soon)
- Always base your decisions on Scripture, but never “browbeat” your spouse with the Bible. Implement spiritual principles into your life in a respectful and quiet manner.
- Guard your heart from emotional connections with the opposite sex. Be especially careful around someone you admire for their spiritual leadership or maturity.
- Think kind thoughts about your spouse.
- Use opportunities to build up your spouse rather than tear them own. Encourage rather than exasperate.
- Be sure you are involved in a local, bible‐believing church for spiritual growth and accountability. A Bible study with others of the same sex may be very helpful.