Friday, October 19, 2012

When Husbands Go Wrong: Unequally Yoked

Have you ever known a couple that was "unequally yoked?"  I mean, a couple where one is a Christian and the other is not?  I'm sure you have.  It can be a really hard way to live.  I watched both of my faithful grandmothers come to church alone every week.  Both were married fairly young and became Christians after marriage.  They loved their husbands, and the fact that they were not Christians didn't take away from their love for them.  They both would have loved for their husbands to be saved. 

How is a Christian wife supposed to bring that about?  The answer: she can't.  Only Jesus can save someone, and God has never been in the habit of forcing himself on someone unwilling to come to him.  But we surely we can't give up?  Aren't we supposed to be evangelizing, making sure the people we love know about Jesus and are able to make the right choice to follow him?  Of course we are!  But Peter gives wives a very specific way to win their husbands, and it seems counter-intuitive.  It's definitely counter-cultural.

"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior" (1 Peter 3:1-2, emphasis mine).  How should women evangelize to their non-believing husbands?  The answer is not by hammering him with scripture every day or arguing evidences until he can't stand it anymore.  The answer is to behave as a Christian wife should be behave.  Be submissive; be chaste; be respectful.  If your husband asks a question about the Bible, by all means, answer him!  But don't hound him.  Pray for him, but don't pray at him.  Peter doesn't promise that doing so will bring your husband to Christ.  He says they may be won.  My grandma prayed for years for my grandpa.  He was baptized into Christ at eighty years old, just a few months before he died of cancer.  I'm still praying for my other grandfather.

Ladies, I know you are praying for the unsaved men in your lives too.  I know you have shed tears for their souls.  Keep up the good work!  We have seen over the last few weeks that we are responsible for our own actions and that we have the obligation to do right no matter what our husbands do. If you do, there is a chance you can win him over so Christ can save him.  I wish I could say it will happen every time.  We don't have that promise.  I can say that the only way to bring your husband to Christ is to do the right thing.  No matter what.  

This is my Grandpa being baptized.  He was in his wheelchair, and you can see the oxygen tank in the corner.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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