5 Things to Do If Your Spouse Won’t Come to Church

BY: - 29 Aug '12 | Home

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Credit: Cross by geludead

Credit: Cross by geludead

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:

1)        Be An Example  :

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.

2)        Don’t Pressure or Badger Them

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.

3)        Pray for Them

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.

4)        Occasionally Invite Them

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.

5)        Let Go and Let God

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 cliché 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  .

About the author

BMWK Staff wrote 1236 articles on this blog.

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26 WordPress comments on “5 Things to Do If Your Spouse Won’t Come to Church

  1. marcell

    Just so I am clear, are you saying you should try and make your Athiest husband a believer? Or are you saying if you pray for him he may change?
    And if you can answer this honestly, can you give me proof of one prayer that was specifically answered for you by this GOD you speak of? And don’t give me no roundabout answer. Example: I prayed that my rent got paid when I lost my job and lo and behold it got paid. Thanks, Your Friend The Athiest

    1. Ashley

      Example 1. Last week I prayed for financial increase, as I am unemployed, and days later I got a deposit straight to my account, from an unlikely source in an abundant amount. Something I never receive before. Something I did NOT ask ane for. Nor had i told anyone i w as anyo :Dne of my prayer. God is present. Just believe and accept and He will show up. I have no reason to lie to a stranger. Nor lie on my countless blessings that could have NEVER obtained.on my own, without His help. 😀 Thank you for asking this question. It’s actually made my day better

      1. Hopi

        It doesn’t cost any thing to believe. What have you got to lose. I know God is real . I have seen the desired of my heart granted over the years. I am not talking about material things. I know I am the wife and mother I am today, because of my spiritual maturity.

        1. Derene

          Amen Hopi. It’s NOT about material things. I’ve seen God’s hand in so many areas of my life. God bless you. Your small statement blessed me on today. Stay encouraged.

    2. Desiree Coleman

      Hey Marcell – Thanks so much for the honesty in your question. I wrote this with the idea that everyone desires unity in marriage. And if one spouse believes and another does not, that dynamic could impact the unity. So, I guess my advice was that you can’t make anyone believe. And you can share your feelings, invite them occasionally and show how faith has impacted your life, but ultimately its a personal decision. However, YES, I wholeheartedly believe prayer changes things. I’ve seen it countless times in my life. Example 1- When I was in hospital giving birth to my daughter, I watched her heartrate drop to half of what it was supposed to be. And doctors rushed in and said, “Doctor, we can’t find the heart rate.” And the tears started to flow but I also said a small prayer, “God, please save my baby!” And He did. She’s healthy and 2 years old. Example 2- to your point, hubby & I went through a transition and he was without work for 8 months. I prayed, “God keep us during this time” and during that period, we never missed a single bill. People sent us money, we put stuff in deference, family helped and we made it. (sorry for long response!) -@thelovejourney7

    3. Derene

      I can give you a testimony: Me and my husband were going through such a hard financial time earlier this year. I prayed that God would make a way out of no way so that he would get the glory out of it. WELL, a few weeks later we get a phone call. My husband was in a car accident YEARS ago and got a small settlement in 2010. Do you know the law firm randomly picked his case to review with potential future lawyers and while reviewing they decided they could possible get a few more thousand from the insurance company??!!
      Well, a few weeks later we got a check for $5000. That’s GOD. The case was closed for years! All the glory belongs to him!
      I have several more stories, but that’s just one of them. Have a fantastic day today!!

    4. Marcus

      Organized religion doesn’t have an answer for this brotha. Religion has brainwashed humans to see you and I as “Un-godly” people when many of us who are just spiritual people are more “Christ-like” than most Christians. We just don’t believe or proclaim belief in a mystical being. Keep putting out your positive energy brotha and the universe will see to it that that energy will come back to you in the form of a mate.

  2. Krys Talley

    This article was really helpful. Many marriages face this issue so I’m glad that someone thought it important enough to bring it to the forefront!!! This is why I love Black and Married with Kids!!!

  3. Marcus

    #2 and #4 are great suggestions. I left organized religion alone several years ago and still meet “Christian” women who I do not share the same faith with. Enhancing my spirutuality by embracing Ma’at allows me to be at peace with someone who doesn’t share my beliefs. Sadly, most “Christian” women would rather stay single than deal with a brotha like me.

  4. Lorri

    Sharing messages or things you learn in worship without “preaching” is a great tool for communication. And always praying for your spouse but remembering that there’s still a purpose in you going and you too can be blessed with your own lessons and teachings.

  5. Lisa

    My view is probably an unpopular one here, but I’ll share it anyway.

    This isn’t necessarily a problem or a flaw within the marriage unless one partner decides to make it so. Yes, it’s great when both partners present a united front when it comes to attending church, however, I haven’t seen much evidence to show that a man (because it’s usually a man) is a worse husband or father simply because he chooses not to attend church. If he’s handling his business and taking care of his family in every other way, is it really a problem that he doesn’t go to church with his wife? (Or doesn’t go often.) Or is it only a problem because the wife wants him to go and she’s made it a problem?

    My parents were both Christian, but had different denominational beliefs. At a certain point, they decided to start attending separate churches. This changed nothing in our household and had no affect on how the children were treated… but that’s because both of my parents had no issue with the other person deciding to attend a different church. We didn’t have the standard that everyone must attend church together, or else. My husband grew up the same way (dad stopped attending church) and he is the best provider, father, etc., that one could find. But I’m sure he wouldn’t pass muster with a lot of Christian women because church attendance is not a high priority to him.

    So… I’m just saying… what is the real issue here? Is the spouse’s lack of church attendance really that much of a divisive issue, or are you making it one and harming a good marriage in the process?

    1. Anonymous

      Actually it does make a difference if your spouse don’t attend church with you. #1 you run into the problem of them saying you spend to much time at church and not enough time at home. If you both don’t hold that same commitment to the ministry you run into problems in your marriage. The other party will never understand your duties at the ministry until God intervene in their life and let them know that our lives don’t belong to us but to the work of Christ, and that’s reaching out to others. It will also bring a division in your household with your children, they will be very confused no stability.

  6. Anissa

    I left my church and joined my husbands after we married. It was the biggest mistake I could have ever made. I honestly was going to church just to go and show my face. I wasn’t being fed spiritually there at all. I pray, I fast, I study on my own. Thank God. So I took it upon myself to start revisiting my old church. My husband and his family resent me for this. And he won’t even visit with me to MY church of choice. If your spouse is attending church, or not even attending a “building” but a true believer who wholeheartedly puts her/his faith in God, what does it matter where you go? That’s what is wrong with Christians today…too much judgement. Your prayers don’t get answered faster just because you are at the same church, there is no special favor just because you are in a “building” called church, I carry “church” with me everyday…

  7. Pingback: 13 Ways I Promise to Love My Husband in 2013 | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

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  9. red

    This is something I actually experienced today. Hence my browsing the web for answers. My husband’s reaction was a sturn NO and he seemed very annoyed when I asked. Understand I was raised in church however stopped going so he really doesn’t know that side of me. But as Christians know if you have been blessed to get to knowledge the Lord if you stray away you will return. So that’s where you am now. My husband was never taught about our Lord and how wonderful and forgiving He is and it’s not his fault at all. He went with me one Sunday and said he felt joy and would be going back even told the pastor the same. I believed him so that’s why I asked if he was going. I don’t understand why that made him so angry and uncomfortable. I’m worried about our future because I need to feel we are connected on a spiritual level. This has given me some good advice and I definitely will be following the tips.

  10. Carl

    My wife had a hugely significant role in leading me to faith, and we got confirmed together in 2009.
    However during the last 2 years (since she went into rehab for alcohol) she seems to have lost faith in God completely. Since a second spell of being treated for alcohol related issues, she now actively criticizes my faith, my church attendance, and the works I do within church (which were all originally encouraged)
    She says God has come between us, how can I love both God and her, I am being selfish by attending church, and much other abuse. Our kids 14 & 11 are being impacted by this, and divisions are appearing. My wife is completely resistant to any sort of discussion
    I have tried all the steps above, and I believe God will find an answer. Though waiting is painful and our relationship is really on the edge. Apart from prayer any one gave any other thoughts?

  11. Jason

    A dirty trick I’ve seen used on TV show (Preacher’s Daughters, I think it was called) to get non-church goers to come to church is using children to manipulate parent(s) to start going to church.

    The show is about preacher’s daughters and how their parent’s occupation affects their adult lives. In this instance, one sister attends church every Sunday and one sister believes in God but doesn’t like going to church every week.

    Sister who doesn’t go to church every week has a kid, and dropped off little girl to Mom and other sister for babysitting when both she and husband had to work. Mom and church-going sister don’t approve of her non-church going ways, and made it extremely clear that they were disappointed that couple didn’t go to church every week.

    Mom and sister took little girl to church one day, and “suggested” that it would be nice if she invited her parents to attend the Mom’s church every week. Little girl went along with the “suggestion”. Parents of little girl were angry that Mom’s family was using grandchild/niece to manipulate them into going to church.

    That’s just mean, manipulative, and undermines the parent’s authority to raise kids how they see fit IMHO. If child wants to attend church with their aunts/uncles/grandparents at an older age, they can make that decision on their own.

  12. Manacle

    I am an atheist and my wife has a vaguely Christian upbringing and faith.
    We went a Church a few times before we were married – she seemed to enjoy it, I thought it was creepy – people spoke strangely, were self-aggrandizing and the music was dreadful. No one was very friendly.
    I felt uncomfortable with the overall concept that the creator of the Universe and everything in it cast himself into history as a character who suffered and died (but not in the familiar human sense), and that in order for everyone else to avoid an eternity of agony they must – and I never understood this part – ‘accept’ him into their ‘hearts’, by asking out loud in the (apparently monitored) privacy of their own minds.
    It seems entirely a bogus and wildly unlikely thing to be true – worse, it seems a very unethical way to behave, the God character and those people who wish to save themselves by mentally prostrating themselves to assuage the death of the God itself. Or else eternal punishment.
    I wouldn’t do that to people whom I had lovingly created, and neither would you unless you’re a weird, egotistical psychopath.

    And so this principle is hammered on and on, in awkward arcane prose and dreadful 3rd rate music. Then bowly silently, urged to mirror the words of another, trying to psychically send these thoughts towards the great creator – who could surely hear it whatever method was used ?
    Trying to influence this ruler and knower of all to do what we think is best. How foolhardy and arrogant is that ?

    I find the whole procedure to be a monumental folly, that exists only to provide comfort to people who struggle with the ultmately unknowable and worrying aspects of existence and their place in it.

    Now, several years later, my wife wants to go again, and after some few arguments, with me pointing out precisely my opposition to the place, I’ve agreed to attend with her a few times a year, because I know how happy it will make her.

  13. Brent

    Since many seem to believe that going to church is necessary to hear what thus said The Lord. But can somebody explain why in the world would God assign every pastor a different message to preach each Sunday? With no way to validate their claims, no wonder there so much confusion. I attended church since childhood and now that I’m well into adulthood I wonder what happened to all the promises, prophesies and extraordinary claims that never manifested given that most of the members are in the same position, if not worse off? Many are on anti depressants, blood pressure meds or take insulin mainly from poor eating habits, still broke with mounts of debt, pastor now takes up two offerings and most of the youth I grew up with are either in jail or just released, divorced multiple times, unemployed, still smoking heavily, on fixed income, still renting, still calling on Jesus yet depending on government assistance. The list goes on and on. When I discusses this concern with people in and outside my network they ended up sharing similar experiences they observed. One even said it reminded her of the mindset Florida Evans had on the show Good Times….praising God from the ghetto. It’s sad yet still leaves me wondering why God allowed one race of people to oppress another knowing the ramifications would affect future generations. Ask an indoctrinated negro this same question and bet that his/her answer most likely will be “faith”.

  14. bob

    The ten commandments are the basics .everyone breaks them some time in there life .confession then one will see all the damage we are doing with our modern lives .binge drinking disrespecting our wives adultery theft ect…
    We are all guilty but believe God forgives you and I because he loves.this is not creepy it is love from our creator.

  15. Andrew Mwaba

    Hi Guys, I recently engaged my beautiful lady not so long ago,All is set and we are getting married in September. but we have an issue, Am catholic and she is pentecostal at first she agreed that she will cross over to my church and I informed my family and the church on the same, but she has U turned her decision and now says that the issue of her joining my church remains a question mark. Please advise me team, which approach should I take, I feel heartbroken….


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Do You Believe that Marriage’s Biggest Challenges Can Be Good For You

BY: - 29 Aug '12 | Home

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photo credit: John Keith

photo credit: John Keith

Money problems are the number one reason marriages end in divorce.  Everyone knows this, and many have witnessed it.  The finances in your marriage have the potential to be your biggest obstacle to having an awesome marriage.  I’m convinced every marriage has dealt with this obstacle regardless how much money they have.

My marriage is no different.  I can truly say money has been our biggest obstacle to date.  However, it has not been an obstacle we have let come between us.

Money Problems Can Bring You Closer

True story.  2004 was one of the most challenging years for our family.  At the time our family was made up my wife, me,  and our three year-old daughter (she turned four in August that year).  In that year alone, we moved 6 times in a period of 7 months.  We were basically homeless, and living in the homes of family and friends.  In most of those places, our family shared one bedroom.

We went from two regular incomes with some pretty good benefits and financial perks to two very inconsistent incomes with no benefits and zero financial perks.  And we had no idea when it would end. Yes, it was a huge obstacle and one that has destroyed many marriages.  But we came out stronger.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

It could have been easy for either of us to point fingers and lay blame (probably easier for my wife).  I don’t remember that happening one time.  I also do not remember ever discussing divorce.  We rallied around some of the very principles we established early in our marriage and stood by them.  Together, we fought poverty, homelessness, depression and any and everything that came against our marriage!

How We Did It

When your entire family shares one room, you have no choice other than spending time together.  Not only that, the places we lived were far from our normal work, church, and social activities.  Most trips were a 50-60 minute drive in one direction.  Gas money, or lack of, was a major issue, so we typically drove one car. Every day was like a road trip.  Some days we spent well more than half our day together, in a car.

We came together in a car.  We came together each day and night in our one bedroom.  We typically came together each evening at the dinner table.  Most importantly, we came together in prayer, and we trusted God.

Obstacles Aren’t Meant to Break Your Marriage…but to Build Your Marriage.

What we went through in 2004 has shaped our family today.  We typically eat dinner each night together. Perhaps that developed from our previous situations.  We’ve chosen to homeschool our children which means spending practically all day together, while many parents cannot imagine the thought of not getting a “break” from their kids.  We’ve done it by necessity in the past, and now the choice is easy.

Ironically, as I write this we are in a very difficult time financially.  Our income has drastically dropped.  The home we are renting will soon not be available for us, as it is being sold.  And if it wasn’t, I’m not sure we could afford to stay anyway.  Many areas of our future are uncertain.  We have been here before, and we know we can make it through  together.  Our past experiences, although tough at the time, have been a good thing.

Your Marriage Challenges Can Be Good!

I don’t know what obstacles your marriage is facing today, but I do know you can overcome them together. Remember what you are facing is intended to strengthen you and your marriage, not destroy it.  If you have never been there before, be encouraged by our story, and get ready to tell your story of overcoming marriage obstacles.  It may be the story that saves another marriage similar to ours and yours.

BMWK –   What is the biggest obstacle you have faced in your marriage?  Please share in the comment section below.  

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About the author

Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. wrote 62 articles on this blog.

Jackie is an author, blogger, and speaker who helps men better love their wives and lead their families. He is the creator of The 7 Rings of Marriage™. You can receive his latest BMWK posts in your inbox, plus his latest marriage and parenting posts from around the web by subscribing to his weekly newsletter!


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