When Your Significant Other Doesn’t Love God

I realized that God was the most important thing- ever. And if that were true, if I really believed that, I wouldn’t be dating someone who didn’t feel the same way.
Hey mamas and lovely ladies out there!

I’m going to be honest with you guys. Even though the readership for Living the Sweet Wife has grown tremendously since starting the blog only 8 months ago (and that’s totally because of you guys being awesome and sharing the posts!), it still makes my day to get comments and emails from you all. Seeing comments come in makes me do little happy dances on this side of the internet. Yeah, I’m not cool enough to not care that you find the posts helpful, or that you guys try to help other commenters. I seriously think it’s the best. Starting today I’m creating a new Q&A segment for Living the Sweet Wife! So don’t hold back you guys, let me know what you’ve been feeling lately!

Along with the good comments that come in to LTSW, so do the sad ones. There are a lot of women struggling out there in their relationships; maybe you’re one of them! Well, the other day, Alexis* came to me with a question that was laying heavy on her heart for a while.

*Names are changed because it’s a small world out there. Posted with “Alexis’” permission.

Question from Alexis:

Quotation-Marks

So, here goes….

About two years ago, I met John. We were sleeping together and I did not know Christ. He did but he had strayed sometime before meeting me and was a “sleeping” Christian (no pun intended). Somewhere along the line, our relationship got serious and he ended up telling me his testimony and I had a fire set in me for Jesus. About a year into the relationship, I realized the full extent of how wrong it was that we were sleeping and living together. I had to decide whether or not I wanted to marry him or move out. We decided to get married and set the wedding for 6 months out. I woke up one day and had fallen out of love with him. It’s almost like the euphoria had worn off I realized that I never really had much respect for him and I felt like I was settling for someone that was not a real leader in Christ and someone I could not picture having kids with. From the time I had met him, he owned his own business and he had never really fallen in love with Christ again. All of the attempts to honor God (or at least what I thought was honoring God) in our relationship had been initiated by me and he simply went along with them. Keep in mind that I was and still am maturing in Christ and I have obviously made a few big blunders along the way. Fast forward to right now. I have moved out and am living in house with Christian room mates. I felt fine and dandy about my decision to move out and not marry him because I felt like John was holding me back from God and this had been confirmed by my non-Christian mother and one of my very close Christian friends. I don’t feel like I ever asked the question, “what does God think about my decision to move out and not marry him?” Now, here’s my dilemma: were we married in God’s eyes because we had slept together even though I met him when I did not know Jesus? Am I choosing to look at the bad in John instead of loving him with God’s grace and forgiveness. I am starting to realize how ungraceful and unforgiving I really was. It’s almost like the Holy Spirit is convicting me. I don’t really miss John so I know that is not clouding my judgement. Any clarity and advice would be appreciated. I am really wrestling with this one.

Alexis

Response:

Hi Alexis!

I’m so glad you reached out! It sounds like you’re wrestling with a lot.

First of all, I want to tell you that I am so excited that you have found Christ! Not only that but you are trying to honor Him with your life and surrounding yourself with Christian friends. That’s wonderful!

I can relate to your situation a little bit, although it is different because I was a teenager. I grew up in a Christian home and dated a bunch of boys who also grew up in Christian homes. With every single relationship I had before meeting Josh (my husband) we would struggle with being too intimate with each other. And every time I felt God convicting me of our sin and calling me to repent of it and live a life that honored Him again, I would be the one to initiate it, and my boyfriend would drag his feet behind me. And I thought that was ok when I was young.

When I met my husband, I knew he was different. It’s not that he had never struggled with sexual sin before, but what set him apart was his genuine love and passion for Jesus that I had never seen in anyone else I dated. And I knew it had nothing to do with just wanting to keep me around. It was real and it was about God, not anyone else. I am so glad I married a man who genuinely loved Jesus and passionately sought Him on his own without me. And now that we’re married, he seeks Jesus with me.

I want to let you know that I think you made the right decision in your relationship with John. It was clear that, although he may have grown up in a Christian home, that his relationship with Jesus was not something he really cared about. Loving Jesus is not something that you do half way. It either defines your life or it’s nothing.

If you are passionate about living a life that is all about Christ and the gospel, then you’re probably naturally not going to be attracted to people without that passion. You waking up and not being attracted to John anymore is probably the Holy Spirit working to mature you in your faith.

About being married to him in God’s eyes: I think of the passage in John 4 where Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. I encourage you to read the whole chapter because it will make more sense in context but here’s a couple verses I want to point out:

“Go call your husband,” He told her, “and come back here.”

“I don’t have a husband,” she answered.

“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus said.  “For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

“Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain,yet you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

In verse 18 Jesus tells her that the man she is currently living with is not her husband. This is actually such a great story because in verse 39 we’re told:

“Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said…”

So even though the woman had been living in sin, and Jesus called her out on it, he used her and her faith to reach so many people for God!

So no, I don’t believe that God sees you and John as married. Also, it’s very wise to use discernment when choosing a person to marry. Yes, be loving and kind and forgiving to everyone, but that doesn’t mean you need to marry them. After you’re already married, that’s when things change (I cannot stress that enough). That’s when your relationship becomes a picture to the world of Christ’s sacrificial and loving relationship with His Church. I actually just wrote a post on what to do when your Christian husband isn’t honoring Christ not long ago.

I’d be very wary of feelings. God never intended for us to be confused about what His will is. His will for your life is to love Him and run after Him with your whole heart! And when you’re doing that, other decisions won’t be as complicated as they once seemed.

I hope this helps, Alexis. Keep seeking Christ and surrounding yourself with people who also love Him. Have you found a church yet? That’s another great way to get to know other Christians.

All my love!

Chelseaimageedit_1_6603710841

Have any of you guys been in similar situations? When I was in high school, I was so lucky to have my youth pastor’s wife love me and pray for me the entire time I was in a relationship that didn’t honor God. Although I didn’t agree with her back then, I’m so thankful she didn’t ever give up on me and showed me love despite my apathetic attitude towards God. Kimberly prayed for me for months and after ignoring her for months, God spoke to me- through her- during a conversation we had late into the night. I realized that God was the most important thing- ever. And if that were true, if I really believed that, I wouldn’t be dating someone who didn’t feel the same way. It would just be impossible to have the same intimacy that I wanted in a relationship that had such an extremely different worldview and goal for their life.

But as I said before, this is intended for pre-married couples (!!!!!!!). 1 Corinthians 7 says this:

“If any brother has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not leave her. Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave her husband. […] But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace. For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him. This is what I command in all the churches.”

As we see here, if Alexis had be married to John, my advice would have been a bit different.

As always ladies, I’d love to hear your own stories in the comments below! Let me know if you’ve found yourself in a similar situation as Alexis, or if you have a friend going through something similar, share the love with them!

Love you all!

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    Comments

    Tammy

    Dear Alexis, I just ran across your blog today and I am so thankful. It’s as if when the student is ready, the teacher appears!

    I have been married 4 times and single longer than any of them, I am ashamed to say. Since 2011, single and loving Jeses, moving forward and happy with my life. I didn’t think I would meet anyone that I’d hoped for, strong Christian man that we could grow and lift each other up through Christ. I started a new job and I saw his face and knew it was God sent but had b
    No idea why or what for. As we got to know each other we both had the strongest connection, through Christ, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically. I found out he was living with a non Christian woman for 2 years. He was very truthful about that with me. Our friendship grew stronger everyday and we both did not know what to do. She now was close with his family, he with hers etc. Didn’t want to hurt anyone. He did not like that she was not a Christian and said several times that there is a lot missing in this relationship and it’s always been this way. His words were what have I done? I asked if he loved her and he said sorta. I asked why he was there and he was not in love with her? I felt he was falling in love with me and I with him. I told him to pray and give it to God. He did and he told me 3 wks ago that he felt God told him to stay where he was for now. I am devastated and I don’t understand. We talk on the phone everyday on weekdays and I am trying to be a good friend but I am so hurt. I really feel God brought him to me as after 57 yrs of age, I have never known anyone that possesses all of the traits that I have only dreamt of finding. Why am I wrestling with this so? I pray constantly and in the end I want him to be very happy but I know he is not.

    Mandy

    Dear Chelsea,

    My husband and I have been married 8 years and have 3 children together ages 3-6. We grew up together, lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same church, and our mothers were great friends. We both served voluntary missions for our church during college before marrying in the church/temple making convenants before God. About 3 or 4 years ago I noticed a change. He stopped attending church and overall seemed distant on our spiritual level. About a year or so later he confessed to me that he drinks alcohol when he’s not around me – something our church teaches against. Flash forward to today, I find out that he had fallen away because he read anti-literature that persuaded him that scriptures are impossibly factual in literal sense. He says he hopes there is a higher being but he doesn’t feel like religion or spirituality is for him anymore. He says once he read a certain article against our church, he felt he had been playing a role his whole life rather than allowing himself to be himself.
    I’m having a hard time with this. The church is what brought us together. It was a major foundation of our love. But love is not based on religion, right? Taking religion out of the factor, I still love this man. But to be real to MYSELF I would have to admit I never saw myself in a home without the center being Christ. I never saw myself attending church with just my children. Not only had I never seen the future me like that but now that it’s reality I don’t know if I want it to continue. How do I be true to myself and my spiritual needs while loving a man who has changed his lifestyle?

    Mandy

    Dear Chelsea,
    My husband and I have been married 8 years; we have 3 children together ages 3-6. He and I grew up together, same schools, same neighborhood, same church, our moms were great friends. During college we both took a break from studies to serve voluntary missions for our church; he went to Taiwan for 2 years and I went to Atlanta Georgia for 4 months. After our return, we fell in love and were married in the church’s temple. About 3 years ago I noticed a change in Jonathan. Less happy, less glow, less activity in the church. A year later he confessed to me he he begun drinking alcohol but had been hiding it from me; something our church teaches against. Flash forward to today when I find out he fell away from religion because he had been reading anti-literature that persuaded him scripture was factually impossible. It’s been an emotional day. During our discussions today (sometimes heated debate), he confessed he felt inside all his life that he never believed and once he read these articles it finally made sense to him; and that he’s never felt more free or like himself- the “real” him. The church was a major part of our lives together; a huge part of the foundation of our love. At one point today, I told him I felt I had been played for 10 years and am supposed to be okay with it. He countered with he had been playing himself too. I just don’t know what to think or do. If he isn’t going to fulfill my needs spiritually, how do I continue our love without resentment? The easy answer is forgiveness, but how do you forgive something that affects your everyday life as well as eternity?

      Chelsea

      Hi Mandy,

      I’m really sorry to hear what you’re going through with your husband. It sounds like he’s searching and hurting for some reason, I don’t know why. My guess is that your husband had been doubting his faith for a while if it just took reading couple articles one day for him to completely change his worldview. I want you to know how sorry I am for the situation you find yourself in.

      If your husband is still searching for a logical reason for Christianity, I would suggest he read The Reason for God by Timothy Keller and/or Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. Even though I grew up in a Christian home as well, reading Mere Christianity completely changed how I viewed my faith. It became way less “blind”- if you will, and made a lot more sense to believe afterwards. My husband and I are listening to the Reason for God on audible now.

      I think the thing for you to do right now as far as your relationship goes is to spend a lot, a lot of time in prayer. Possibly seek out Christian counseling and friendships for extra prayer, guidance, and support. As far as what the bible says to do, aside from praying for truth and clarity for your husband, this passage from 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 talks about what a Christian spouse should do if their spouse is unsaved:

      “12 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. 13 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. 14 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.

      15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”

      So for now, the short answer is: stay and pray and lead by example. Give your husband The Reason for God if he’ll read it. I’ll be praying for you and for family tonight, Mandy. Thanks for sharing your story and opening up on here.

      Love,
      Chelsea

    Emily

    What about a man who says he will lead and help build a relationship with Christ and showed it before the marriage, but completely turned 180° after saying “I do?” Learning to love a man who lied and won’t encourage and disciple me and my walk with the Lord is not easy.

    @chelsealeighdamon