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."1