One of the heaviest burdens for any Christian is being unequally yoked, or having an unsaved spouse. Yet this is a common occurrence, and even though the issues are not entirely the same as those involved when standing for marriage restoration, they involve many of the same challenges and create the same need for support and encouragement. In fact, it is very likely that many men and women now standing for marriage restoration will experience marriage restoration before their spouses are saved, in which case they will be dealing with the same issues and challenges, so providing support and encouragement for the unequally yoked is a very important area of ministry
Many churches provide programs for divorce recovery and singles, but few provide programs or support for marriage healing or for men and women with unsaved spouses and unequally yoked. Since so many of the same issues and principles involved when standing for marriage restoration also apply to men and women standing for their spouses’ salvation, literally restoration of another kind
As challenging as it is to walk out restoration principles, it’s even more difficult to walk them out with an unsaved spouse living at home, and when we have to more consistently guard against the temptation to give in to our flesh. The good news is that with Christ, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, and through His love, power and grace we CAN do it.
So the following Bible verses are very encouraging, because they assure us that we can be (and are) instrumental in winning our unsaved husband’s or wives to the Lord, and they even tell us how to do it!
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. **A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:12-16)
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. (1 Peter 3:1-6)
However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. (Ephesians 5:33 AMP)
**I believe many Christian leaders erroneously find release to divorce and remarry in this verse, because a meaning more consistent with the rest of the Bible is found in Jesus’ portrayal of the father of the prodigal son, especially since the next verse asks how we know we won’t lead our husbands to salvation. Many of the restored marriage testimonies of returning spouses mention being drawn to the peace they observed in their husband or wife, and I believe these verses mean we should do EXACTLY what the father of that prodigal son did. Then the Lord will SUPERNATURALLY create the circumstances leading our spouses to come home after they realize that they are better off with us, just as the prodigal son realized, and as we’re shown in Hosea 2:7, which says She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’
But the MOST important instruction for all of us whether unequally yoked or standing for marriage restoration, is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which says Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. So it’s VERY important to use these verses to examine and evaluate how well we’re demonstrating the love we profess for our spouses, because they literally hold the key to everything we want and desire. And we must remember that it’s NOT ALL ABOUT US and that we have to learn to see our spouses through the eyes and love of Christ and not the filter of past experience as we learn to stand on the power and promise of His Word for their salvation.
Inspired by The FAMM Family
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