4 Tips To Strengthen Your Marriage With A Non-Christian

4 Jan

marriage to a non christian unequally yoked

I can’t remember now how many Yahoo! and Google search results I dug into to find the answers I was looking for. No matter how I phrased the search terms “dating a non-Christian” or “marrying someone with different religious beliefs,” it only resulted in disastrous findings and this ubiquitous Scripture verse:

“Do not be unequally yoked with non-believers” (2 Cor 6:14 ESV) is the Scripture verse I grew up knowing.

The gist: It will never work romantically with someone who has different beliefs. One will compromise and not be true to him or herself. The other will never truly know their mate, because he or she doesn’t understand or relate to the other’s spiritual side. Oh, and my latest favorite, “How can he be your soulmate when he doesn’t care about your soul?”

It’s the question that nags me to this day, even though I have been married to my sweetheart for almost four months. I am a born-again Christian, and his viewpoints are more aligned with an Agnostic – he questions the deity of Jesus Christ. I searched for answers and realized that if I’m going through this myself, surely my own experience will benefit others.

First of all, I have yet to complete all of these steps. I am honestly worried I will never be able to find a church that won’t make me feel guilty for not having a Christian husband by my side. This post will serve as a reminder of the goals I need to reach to make my marriage work. I’m hoping as a result it will encourage someone else.

Secondly, this isn’t very simple. Marriage takes work, and if you are going to enter into a relationship where your spiritual beliefs do not align, there’s a heavy, additional layer of work involved. It will not be easy, and it will require a lot of faith and determination, as well as support from your spouse and family.

With that said, here are four ways to successfully manage a relationship with someone with different religious beliefs:

1) Lock in to a support system: Not just within your family or your spouse’s family, but get plugged in with like-minded Christians. Encourage group dates with your significant other. This will keep you grounded and show your loved one other examples of great Christians.

2) Bolster own spiritual walk: This step is most important. Continue to grow in your spiritual walk and be an example to your loved one. There’s no need to be a missionary to him or her. But it’s important to maintain your relationship with God even if your loved one disagrees. Have daily devotionals, attend church. Pray more. Worry less.

3) Communicate: Of course this is key to any good relationship, but especially so when you are with someone who doesn’t understand your spiritual needs. Don’t be afraid to communicate your spiritual ideas and dreams. Talk out problems, even if you cannot pray over them together.

4) Remember why you are together: A friend once told me that you can’t expect to find every perfect quality you ever wanted in a spouse. Why deny love when it is there and it is real? Of course, for most people like myself, not having the same spiritual beliefs are a non-negotiable.

I am very blessed, but I also have a long way to go. I think if my own relationship with God were stronger, I probably wouldn’t have begun a relationship with my fiancé. That’s a really tough thing to swallow, but it’s true.

Also, my fiancé is an incredibly open and loving human being. If those two elements are not a part of your marriage, these tips may not work.

This is the case whether or not your spouse is a Christian. Always take a step back and assess your own spiritual walk before entering a serious relationship.

The reason why I took a chance with my fiancé is that he is willing to overcome any obstacle to make our relationship work. Along every step I prayed for answers and sought spiritual guidance from my loved ones and realized this was the best (and most difficult) decision I have ever made.

Image credit: Superfem

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14 Responses to “4 Tips To Strengthen Your Marriage With A Non-Christian”

  1. Bridget January 6, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    Going through a similar situation. My boyfriend believes he just doesn’t serve God

    • Willi January 6, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      How much have you talked with him about this? Is he aware that generally Christians do not date/marry unbelievers? I will be praying for you and your relationship!

  2. Christy Joy April 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    We’re all on a journey. I look forward to following you on yours. God always finds a way to draw us closer to Him. I believe that the light inside of you will one day become so bright and infectious that your husband won’t be able to resist:-) Don’t lose faith.

    Thanks for your openness and for linking up with HWC!

    Christy Joy
    #happywivesclub

    • Willi April 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      That’s so sweet of you to stop by. Thanks for the encouragement and for hosting the link up. It has been a struggle, but our love for each other remains strong!

  3. Richard Scott Mills January 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    I just found this one! The biggest thing that stood out to me in this piece was this, ‘I am honestly worried I will never be able to find a church that won’t make me feel guilty for not having a Christian husband by my side.’ How terribly sad and against the professed spirit of your religious community’s teachings. 😦

    • Willi January 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      I know. At least if that happens, I’ll know that’s not the right church and move on!

  4. Shannon January 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    I’ve been married to an agnostic for almost 14 years. I was not saved until just shortly after we married. It’s been difficult many times with our differing beliefs, but I always consider myself a witness for Christ to my husband. Of course, I don’t always model Godly behavior, but as I grow in my spiritual walk, I do so more and more. I do believe it’s definitely harder to grow spiritually with an unbelieving spouse, as they tend to hold us down (not trying to place blame, but it does happen due to us (believers) not having the encouragement of a like-minded spouse), but we are always responsible to God to act like He expects us to, no matter what the circumstances.
    May I offer one more piece of advice, the one that really keeps me going? Pray for your spouse, that they come to know the Lord. Pray hard!
    Thank you for your article! It’s so nice to hear from other unequally yoked spouses:)

    • Willi January 29, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

      Thank you so much Shannon! That is excellent advice. Thanks for reading 🙂

  5. Catherine January 29, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    I grew up in the church and my family was hurt very badly. I tried to move on and find a different place, but everything connected to that church experience. I met my husband during my healing process and he isn’t a Christian, but at the time I didn’t feel like I was either. He is the most genuine person I’ve met. He loves my faults and my strengths. It’s so hard knowing how loving he is and not being able to share church together. Maybe I’m the one holding us back because I don’t want to be in that political environment, but I don’t know how else we can grow spiritual when I feel like a failure. I don’t want to just be another Hippocrate!

    • Willi January 29, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

      I definitely understand. Thankfully my family loves him dearly, but I’m still afraid of joining a new church here for this reason. 😦

  6. KK March 24, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    I am so happy to have found this. Everything written seems to be so negative about having a non-christian boyfriend/fiance/husband. I’m a very open-minded Christian. I was saved at like six… But, I refuse to be spoon fed my parents/grandparents beliefs. I have to discover the Bible for myself and my personal relationship with God. I have dated the “Christian” guys. And, honestly… my non-christian boyfriend has been a better example of Christ and his love than any of them. What’s a title? Maybe he’s not technically saved. But, most people in the world aren’t. He’s super encouraging about me going to Church and my relationship with Christ. I think it’s fine to marry a non-christian as long as your strong enough to keep at your relationship with Christ.

    • Willi March 25, 2014 at 12:05 am #

      I don’t recommend it, but if you are in the situation never give up.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. On Obsessive Worry In Your Marriage | Nerdy Thirty-Something Life - May 23, 2013

    […] may have read my blog about marrying a non-Christian. The idea of doing so was completely foreign to me until I actually started dating my non-husband. […]

  2. 3 Reasons Why Our Marriage Should Fail (And How We Make It Work) | Nerdy Thirty-Something Life - January 3, 2014

    […] By marrying a non-Christian, I disobeyed God. On top of this, his eternal life lingers in the back of my mind, all while I must let go of the shame I am bound to feel when I (finally) step into church alone. […]

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