By Desiree S. Coleman
In all marriages, unity is the ultimate goal. And being on one accord is fundamental for strong relationships. For people who are deeply committed to their faith, having spiritual connectedness is also an important part of marital unity. So, what happens when one party does not share the same commitment level as their spouse when it comes to faith? Here are five tips for those wondering what to do when their spouse doesn’t share in their faith:
Actions speak louder than words. So, getting indignant and acting unbecomingly, definitely won’t draw your spouse closer to your faith doctrine. In fact, it could push them away. Instead, allow the fruit of your faith in God to shine through.
1 Peter 3 describes how a wife’s character and peaceful disposition can encourage her husband to believe. And this principle is universal because seeing how your faith has positively impacted your life can speak volumes to your spouse.
When discussing the topic of faith, remember that it’s a personal journey, and you cannot make someone believe what you believe. You can be an example, show love and pray for them, but you can’t force them to accept your beliefs. Don’t badger, pressure, or try to guilt your spouse into believing. That could create resentment and also undermine the genuine faith that you hope they develop on their own.
This seems obvious, but prayer is one of the best gifts. Prayer not only creates a space of peaceful meditation, but also offers solace as you cast your cares on God. It calms your mind about your concerns and your faith is strengthened as you make petitions for your spouse.
You should invite your spouse to come along with you to your place of worship, but it should not be a constant nagging. Be sensitive to the timing and frequency with which you request their presence. And if they decline your invitation, respectfully accept it. This will diffuse conflict.
In being true to yourself, explain to your spouse why your faith is important to you. Likewise, express your desire for a united family. And communicate how you would love to have a shared commitment to faith. And then, as clichÃ© as it sounds, you will have to let go and let God do the work. Realize that the spiritual walk involves spiritual things. In other words, at a certain point, there is only so much that you can do and say. At that point, you will have to activate your faith and believe God to draw your spouse unto Him. And don’t lose hope when it seems like nothing is happening. Because when you’ve exhausted all your options and handed it to God, that’s when you realize He has been at work all along.
BMWK – How have you handled this situation in your marriage? Do you and your spouse attend different churches? Have you been able to make that work in your marriage?
Desiree S. Coleman is a blogger, motivational speaker and freelance writer who inspires healthy relationships. Her blog, The Love Journey, offers inspiration for singles and practical insights for thriving marriages. She is author of Why Dating Sucks & How Courtship is Better .