3 secrets to changing your spouse
Have you ever strategically planted a Bible in your husband’s car or on his nightstand? Given your agnostic wife a scripture covered T-shirt or Christian coffee mug for her birthday? Hyperventilated with worry, believing your spouse will never come to faith?
When you love Jesus but the person you’re married to does not, marriage can be complicated. The idea of unity might seem unimaginable right now. Is it possible to keep your marriage alive when you’re on different tracks spiritually?
Three Secrets to Changing Your Spouse
1. Chill out.
It’s the end of a long day and you finally sit down to dinner. The phone rings, and it an annoying telemarketer trying to coerce you buy something. How do they make you feel? Violated maybe? Manipulated perhaps?
When people try to push things on us, we resent their message and can ultimately resent them. So what can you do when you desperately want your spouse to know and love Jesus? Pray.
Pray for salvation. Pray for wisdom. Even when you feel as though your prayers have slipped under God’s radar, never stop praying. His timing is often drastically different from ours.
Peter, one of Jesus’s first followers, reminds us of this writing,“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9).
So before you download another Bible app or worship song on your spouse’s iPhone, stop. Ask the Lord to do what only He can do.
2. Love your spouse.
Your love and respect for your unbelieving spouse might be what gets their attention and draw them into a relationship with Jesus. Peter tells wives, “submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,” (1 Peter 3:1-2).
Men aren’t off the hook, either. “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect … so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).
Consider some of these practical steps to rekindle the fire.
- Say kind things to and about your wife. Tell her you love her, even if it’s not your anniversary.
- Wash the dishes. Give the kids a bath.
- Have some fun. Remember the cool things you did when you were dating? Do them again.
- Give her a back rub or a foot massage.
- Never lose an opportunity to build your man up, at home and around others.
- Remember seven letters from the great theologian, Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
- Ask your husband what he would love to do and do it with him.
- Lighten up. Laugh more. Give him hugs and (appropriate) kisses in front of the kids.
Remember, God is for you. His plans are for your marriage not only to survive, but to be amazing.
3. Never give up.
That’s what love does. It “always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7). God has called us to live in peace, and He is able to restore broken people and shattered relationships.
Whether you’ve been waiting for your spouse to meet Jesus or you’re the one still running, God has never given up on you or your marriage.