When Dean and I married, Dean was a more committed believer than I was. My plan was to change one day but each day was never the day. In the early years my lack of enthusiasm for God created tension in our marriage.
Eventually I woke up. It took nearly losing my marriage. However my waking up brought reconciliation for our marriage and an opportunity to see life in a different way. Today I look at God as the sustainer of my life. He hasn’t just saved me from death but He continues to change me.
So how do you cope when the other is not interested in spiritual matters.
1. You’re not alone. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Solomon would know as he had about 1000 wives and concubines. And so avoid self pity and stay in touch with good believing friends. Admire marriages where two are together in God but avoid comparisons to your own situation.
2. What is your focus? Dwell on the positives as some thing attracted you to this person initially. Remember that they too were created by God. Previously in other blogs I’ve written that what we focus upon is what we worship. Are we surrendering to critical thoughts concerning our non interested partner or do we keep our words and thoughts honoring and loving?
3. This leads me to ask, are we righteous or self righteous? Righteousness means that we will live by our marriage vows. We keep them whether our partner does or not, because our promises were to God.
Jesus hung out with social misfits, the lost and sinners and they enjoyed His company. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13,”If a Christian man has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer, and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave him.”
Our marriages are opportunities to be Christian. Many of us tend to be less ‘Christian’ at home than at church. However ask yourself, ‘Are we nice and loving to our partners or patronizing and selfish? Do we read Scripture and apply it to our own lives or see it as something in which our partner fails?’ Righteousness means that we will regard the other with love and patience just as God does us.
4. Create situations that bring you together. Join or find out about their interests and enjoy their company. In the long run, winning the other may mean also winning their friends. After all our greatest purpose on this earth is to grow the kingdom of God.
5. If your partner joins you at church or a church event, make it easy for them. Many don’t want to be a part of church because we have a churchy language and discuss topics that cause awkwardness. We become some one that we’re not at home. Scary but true. No person needs to feel second rate but rather that their company is desired. We want people to want to come back to church rather than them thinking, “Thank God that’s over!”
6. Regarding church meetings, be sensitive. If your partner is missing you by your absence each Sunday, let him or her know that they are welcome to come or surprise him or her by staying home with them. You can create other great situations for teaching and fellowship apart from Sunday meetings. Eg – midweek bible studies, meetings, coffee with friends, personal studies.
7. Moses writes in Genesis 2:24, “two become one.” This is never instantaneous and is a long term commitment. Where your marriage is at this point in time is just that. It’s one point in time. Today is not the end but just a part of your journey.
In marriage it is never our place to fix the other person. That’s God’s place. Therefore do all that the Scriptures say and focus on growing the Kingdom rather than focussing on your problem. No matter what enjoy each day that God has given to you. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!”