Some things in life are harder than others. Living with an unholy husband goes in the “really hard things” category. While I’m blessed to share my life with a godly man, I’ve sat with countless women through the years who struggle with marriage to an ungodly guy. But God doesn’t want you to stay in a bad marriage; He wants to change your marriage.
Because we all wrestle with our old selves and our old habits, any time marriage is happy, healthy, or enduring, it’s a miracle. Today I’m not talking about wives who are physically or emotionally battered, though that’s clearly unholy. But when a woman tries to be one with an anti-God man or a man who just has no use for holy ways, she needs daily divine intervention. She may feel emotionally anorexic, starved for affection, longing to be led, hoping to be cared for, or shut down in defeat. Survival may become all she lives for, but it’s not all she can hope for.
How can a woman stay married to an unholy man?
How to stay married to an unholy man
The book of 1 Peter tells us where to start. We can’t change our husbands; that’s a work only God can do. We can PRAY! But holiness must find a home in our marriages. A hard marriage is no excuse for no holiness.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. (1 Peter 1:13-15 – NIV)
Holiness starts in our minds. We decide to strive for a holy life. Instead of comparing ourselves to relationships around us, with an alert, serious mind we choose God’s standards. We aim our hope in the direction of God’s blessings, even if the man in bed beside us doesn’t honor God’s ways.
Holiness starts in our hearts. We commit to being obedient, because we are the daughters of God. We want to shape our plans and daily behaviors to fit the mold of His desires for us. Instead of being the wife we would’ve been before we walked with God, we yield to our heavenly Father out of a heart that wants to obey. Obedience begins in our hearts.
Holiness starts with God. The standard of holiness isn’t our husband. The reason for holiness isn’t our husband. The reward for holiness isn’t our husband. Holiness is all about the nature of God. The holy character of God should produce a holy character in us. He is the source and standard of holiness.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22)
Holiness starts with love. Once we experience initial forgiveness of our sinfulness, God begins the work of life change to be more like Him. Once clean, we start to live a more holy life by loving each other with deep, genuine love.
How to pray about an unholy husband
- Ask God to make you alert to your need to live holy, no matter what your husband does.
- Ask God to protect your heart and to give you a greater appetite for obedience.
- Ask God to free you from comparison and worldly standards; look only to Him.
- Ask God to give you a genuine love for your husband and to teach you how to show him, especially when he’s unholy and it’s hard.
God doesn’t want you in a bad marriage; He wants to change your marriage. He can begin today as you choose to live a holy life as a wife.
Would you pray with me?
Lord, It’s no surprise to You that I’m not holy and neither is my husband. You know I’m tired and rather defeated. I’m not sure what to do to make him holy. I know that’s Your work, but I’m disappointed and discouraged. I’m worried about my kids and concerned about our future. Would You work in my husband? And would You work in ME? Help me grow in holiness as a woman and a wife. I want to walk closer to You; I NEED to walk closer to You. Would You change my marriage and start with me? Amen.
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