Two types of Christians I really respect…part II

A couple weeks ago I posted a blog with this title and now answer the second half of it, another type of Christian I have immense respect for, and for whom we should all unite our prayers.

The unequally yoked after marriage

The Bible envisions the possibility of one person in a marriage becoming a believer, what then?

1 Cor 7:12–16 says (emphasis added):

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy[1] because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean,[2] but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved.[3] God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Jesus teaching had not handled the situation of one spouse becoming a believer but Paul here (with inspired authority) applies Jesus’ teaching to this new situation.

I know of a number of women who have come to faith later in life (or “returned to the Lord”) who now find themselves in this tricky situation and the tension that introducing heavenly values into what had been a marriage of worldly standards can produce in a marriage. In spite of these trials the spouse should seek to be gracious so they might be won by their conduct (1 Pet 3:1, though this is given to wives the principle would extend to a husband).

I am also aware of many women whose husbands left them after they became a Christian. One such woman was married for 11 years when she became a Christian and had 3 children. Two years later the husband had enough of her new found faith and gave the ultimatum that it was either himself or Jesus. She choose Jesus and he divorced her.

For women (and men) who find themselves in such situations, let us unite our prayers, asking that the Lord would sustain them in any trial related to their faith but ultimately that the unbelieving spouse might be won over by their good conduct.

The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,

Pastor Chris

[1] Open to Christian influence. This should not be read as “saved.”

[2] Similarly, this should be taken to mean under sound moral and spiritual influence from the believing parent and not “saved.”

[3] Not compelled to seek reconciliation.