Unequally Yoked

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners

 

Dear Chuck
To put it in a nutshell, my husband and I were "secular" when we married. I went Pagan, then recently became a Christian. He tolerates me taking the kids to church and will succumb to participating in saying grace on occasion. I am home schooling our kindergartener and plan to with our other two little ones.

I am very distressed that my husband (among the good literature and movies) has books such as the "Godfather," the "Doors," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and on and on. These are considered R-rated books and movies. I did start getting rid of some of the Steven King & New Age books that I owned, but he stopped me from getting rid of a satanic book by Alastair Crowley. He thought it was an interesting book from a historical perspective. Our communication is poor, the marriage is on shaky ground. He has recently told me I am narrow minded and puritanical. I also am not an evolutionist any more and have not revealed that to him either. I am hiding these views from him. I worry about the kids...HELP. 

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the note concerning you becoming a Christian recently, but your husband is a non-Christian. I'm so glad you are a member of God's family, and grieve with the situation that you cannot share your Christian life with your husband. There is another perspective to this too, however, and that is YOU are not who HE married either. You were pagans together and all of a sudden you are a religious "fanatic." I don't blame him for wondering what hit him. The first thing is that you cannot be his Holy Spirit. If he has materials around that would hurt the kids, you make sure they are on shelves that they can't reach. It will be awhile before they would be interested in books with no pictures anyway, so you have some time to see what the Lord is going to do. In the meantime, YOU might be the only "Christ" your husband will probably ever see. It is not his fault that you are now a right wing wacko =) so don't expect instant acceptance from him or be too threatened by his non-Christian ways. He does not have the Holy Spirit in his life to help him do the right thing. I suggest you relax and simply keep your eyes out for things that he leaves lying around that you could put up out of the kids' reach. Then concentrate on being everything he needs in a wife. My wife Barb has come up with a list of suggestions for a wife from Titus 2:4 and Ephesians 5:33 in the Amplified Bible as to how she should treat her husband REGARDLESS of whether he is meeting HER needs.

A Godly wife is to: notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him, defer to him, appreciate him, venerate him, esteem him, praise him, prize him, adore him, enjoy him, love him, admire him, be fond of him, be attracted to him, make fun for him, flirt with him, laugh with him, enjoy him, value him, pay attention to him -- and this next item is not on Barb's list, but I add it from the context of other scripture -- take him to bed once in awhile when it is HER idea, and she shouldn't wear the flannel nightie with the feet in it.

"Impossible!" you say. Of course it is impossible -- but My God is the GOD of the impossible, and you can do these things with His strength. You cannot do them on your own. Sometimes this type of situation involves our concept of God. If God is an old Santa Claus sitting on a cloud somewhere watching the world go to Hell and not being able to do much about it, then we don't have any power to do the difficult thinglike loving a husband anyway. But the fact is, you are not doing this to please your husband. You are doing this because the God Who spoke the universe into existence and knows the future 20-20 asks you to.

As for grace at the table, YOU do that, or have the kids take turns. As for church, see if he will trade weeks. One Sunday you go with him to do what he wants to do, camping, watch the NFL game, walking in the park, whatever. The next week you take the kids and go to church. On the weeks you are with your husband, see if you can find someone at the church who will pick up your kids and take them to their Sunday Schools. If they question why you not going with them just say something like "Daddy and I are going to do something together this morning," or whatever. When he sees you begin to try hard to meet his needs, it usually is not very long before the non-Christian husband is URGING his wife to go to church, because that's the only place he can figure out that is teaching his wife how to be so wonderful. Don't get into discussions on evolution or anything else.

He will be amazed at your gracious spirit. He might even think you agree with him on something...big deal. I can't think of ONE issue that is more important than you living Christ in front of him on a consistent basis. I don't know how this sounds to your heart, but I wanted you to have some thoughts for your consideration.

Chuck Snyder

 

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Contact Chuck: chuck@chucksnyder.org
Updated 05/24/2005