Coming soon to TodaysChristianWoman.com—a beautiful new design. Get an early look

Jump directly to the content
Guest | Limited Access

Renewing My Marriage

Our relationship changed when God gave me a new attitude toward my unbelieving husband

No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 2Next PageLast Page

My husband and I married very young by today's standards. I was 21 and he was 22. We stood together in a church before a pastor who had counseled us weeks before and spoke our vows and bowed our heads for each prayer. Yet neither of us was really pursuing a relationship with God.

For years I've had a dream of one day renewing our wedding vows. In this dream I see us standing with a full understanding that we are both making a covenant before God. In other words, when my husband is a believer. The irony here is that this dream is the very thing that has limited God working in my marriage. And possibly my husband.

Renewing My Thinking

In the book Winning Him without Words, I share a story of sitting at a traffic light and talking to God about respecting my husband. That day God made it very clear that I should treat my husband no differently than if he were a believer. Respect him, pray for him, and love him as if he already were a believer.

This change in my thinking allowed God to move me to the next renewal in my thought process—to see my marriage in the same light as I see my husband and to shed the label "spiritually mismatched." This still describes our faith differences, but it doesn't define who we are as a married couple.

I admit it's a radical shift, but this shift in thinking falls right in line with Philippians 4:8: "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."

When I embraced this new way of thinking, it changed my viewpoint from a focus on what my marriage lacked to what my marriage was and who I could be within it.

The Renewed Mindset

1. My first shift in mindset came in realizing my husband's unbelief doesn't keep me from growing in my relationship with God. In fact, the more I pursue my faith and calling according to who I am in Jesus, the more I become the woman of influence that God desires me to be in my husband's life and in our marriage. And even better, when I am secure in this knowledge, I am no longer afraid to live my faith openly and authentically.

2. Instead of seeing my husband's unbelief as what has limited God working in my marriage, I now see the problems were my fear, doubts, pride, and unbelief. They fed into my decisions and choices in how I lived my faith in front of my husband and within my marriage. Fear and God's love cannot coexist. When I shed the fear that fed my doubts, pride, and unbelief, I experienced a freedom I'd never known before so I could really be a person of faith in my marriage.

No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 2Next PageLast Page

Sign up for TCW's free Marriage Partnership e-newsletter for weekly updates and encouragement through the joys, trials, and tribulations of marriage.

read these next

for further study

Downloadable resources to go deeper
Your Guide to Sexual Satisfaction

Your Guide to Sexual Satisfaction

God's plan for sex is multidimensional-here's how to move past making pleasure your goal to seek a more intimate connection with your spouse.
(TCWStore.com)
Living Water

Living Water

A three-session Bible study designed to quench your soul thirst and invite others in.
(TCWStore.com)
Practicing Contentment

Practicing Contentment

In our culture, we have more, but seem to enjoy life less. Here are tips on how to foster deep, counter-cultural contentment in your life.
(TCWStore.com)
Sexual Temptation

Sexual Temptation

Desire happens. Here's how to keep a misled God-given desire from ruining our lives.
(TCWStore.com)

Comments

Today's Christian Woman
Renewing My Marriage