How to Thrive in an Unequally Yoked Marriage

Unequally Yoked | Biblical Marriage| Faith| Marriage| Christian Marraige| Proverbs Wife| Epehesian 5 Husband

Is your marriage unequally yoked? 

Mine has been for most of my walk with the Lord.  My husband and I were married as unbelievers and I came to know Jesus very radically. 

He, on the other hand, was still on the worldly side. 

He couldn’t understand why I had changed and why all of the sudden I was so different.  Even though I was quite clear in my decision to follow Jesus, he just wasn’t sure. 

My husband distanced himself from me because he grew tired of me preaching and exchanging sharp words over the issues he had firmly settled in his mind. It was here that I found myself unequally yoked. 

For years I struggled with survival in the life God has called me.

To be honest, during this season of life, I was so jealous of my friend’s husbands. They are all married to Christian men, and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why I was so alone in my marriage. 

My friends seemed to have it all.  All I wanted was to sit in church as a couple, do bible studies together and hold each other accountable. 

I imagined my husband would encourage me to give our money to local ministries and want to serve alongside me.  I had my own plan and God had His.

I somehow learned to thrive in my mismatched marriage.  I also learned that in that moment, God gave me a choice. 

He is such the gentleman

In this season I learned to let go of my anger and frustration and simply love my husband. 

Being in love with your husband is a choice. We need to make a choice each day to remain in the marriage we are in and pursue happiness through the transforming power of Jesus in our lives. 

If you’re in an unequally yoked marriage, I want to offer you hope and I want you to know that you’re not alone. 

I have shed many tears through this journey, yet the Lord has continually redeemed every lost moment and hurt. 

It was in this desperate place that He taught me to be an overcomer and how to be utterly dependent upon Him.  Here is the scripture I held on to for dear life:

“But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.”

1 Cor. 7:15-17

As believing wives, we are encouraged to live in peace and make our marriages work (but not to endure abuse or deny our faith).  God may have put you where you are to play a key factor in your husband’s salvation. 

You may be the tool that our eternal Daddy chooses to use.  In fact, I believe God may have called you to this exact place at this exact time.

Beloved, with God you can soar above the darkened waters of hopelessness.  With God you can have wild hope. 

How do I know? 

I know because God saved my husband.  Nothing about it was because of my will.  It didn’t happen when I wanted it to or in the moment I thought it would occur.  Our relationship is far from perfect, but we are living it out daily.  I am having to TRUST God moment by moment. 

In conclusion, the Lord stands ready to pour into us every single gift we need in order to walk on this rocky path of the unequally yoked.

I believe God is calling us to be intentional, working to keep communication open and to love our husband with purpose, without conditions or limitations.

Believe it or not, we are the aroma of Christ in our husband’s life.

Is your aroma stinky or sweet?

Unequally Yoked | Biblical Marriage| Faith| Marriage| Christian Marraige| Proverbs Wife| Epehesian 5 Husband

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Comments

  1. EdLencia says

    Wow what an uplifting and encouraging article, God bless you for sharing!
    Ecc 3:11 King James Bible, He hath made every thing beautiful in HIS timing…

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  2. Roxanne Mccullough says

    My husband has been gone for 33 days I don’t understand I’ve been praying for him for over 5 yrs he’s 1,800 miles away I don’t know what to do.

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  3. Shari says

    Thank you so much for this. I am struggling with this at the moment. My husband is Muslim, but he does go to Church with me. I felt very disappointed and defeated when we went to a Pastor at my Church for counseling and he said he couldn’t because of my husband’s faith. Our issues are issues any faith can have! But in the end I have learned to accept that I am where God wants me to be, and the ‘d’ word is not an option, so we will make the best of it!

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  4. Tina says

    My husband and I have been married for 24 years and we are now separated for the 3rd time. I was radically saved in the early years of our marriage. My husband is an alcoholic but refuses to admit it. I moved out of the house on 5/29/13 due to his drinking. We both attended church for most of the 24 years. I left this time because I just couldn’t take the drinking any longer as he would come home and terrorize me. I had to leave the house on foot twice since he wouldn’t allow me to take the car. He has threatened to drive my car into a brick wall and to mess it up so that I wouldn’t be able to drive it. Now that I have left he constantly texts me and drives by my home and work. He uses scripture in his texts. It seems odd to me that the only time he “finds God” is when we are separated. There is a lot of details I am leaving out due to space and time. I’m not interested in going back to the marriage. At this point I have difficulty even praying for my husband. Am I wrong to not want to go back?

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    The Proverbs Wife Reply:

    @Tina, I think you are hurt, angry and fed up. I think you should focus on cleaving to God through this situation. You can’t do anything to change your husband on God can do that. Work on what you can which is your relationship with Christ. Seek Godly counsel from local Bible believing married couples in your church. Ask them to come along side your marriage and pray for you and your husband. Ask that they would hold you accountable to honoring Gods word in your decisions regarding your marriage. There’s no quick fix and no promise of a happy ending for your marriage but there is a promise that God will work things out for your good when His children honor and obey Him. Lean on God and the counsel of other believers.

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  5. Becca says

    Wonderful message. I am in an unequally yoked marriage, although we are both Christians. His perspective is to be less direct\less involved, where i want to do everything and be involved and social. Its hard for me, because i want him to lead our family, And want to serve like i do. I feel like i am the spiritual leader for the family. I have changed through Christ and try to be as good a wife as i can, and try to turn challenges over to God asap. I pray that my husband will come to love church and faith as much as me and that we will become intimate christian partners.

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  6. says

    @Amber Shedd,
    Hi Amber,
    Thank you for reading and for your openness. I will be praying over you. Everyone’s walk with the Lord is different. Maybe you can encourage him on the things he’s doing right. Make it a point to affirm him and “catch” him making right decisions. You have to find some common ground that you both can settle on. I hope this helps (:
    Sending prayers and blessings your way! Please keep me updated on y’all progress!

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  7. says

    @Debi Drinkwater,
    Hi Debi,
    Thank you for your openness and for sharing with me (: I love hearing about other people and their walk with the Lord. My best friend’s mom & dad are pretty much the same way as yourself & hubby. My suggestion would be to attend church, even if it’s for yourself. My husband is kind of the same way regarding prayers. He thinks it’s between him & God, and after much fighting/bickering.. I’ve learned to respect that.

    I don’t think it’s confusing at all. We as women are much more emotional than men, therefore we all need people to pray with and for us. We need fellowship. I can tell you from personal experience that I was much happier attending church by myself & my children. There are still time when my husband refuses to go, so I carry on.. just me and the kids. It helps your spirit and makes you feel less alone. (At least it’s that way for me). I hoped this has helped you (:
    I will be praying for your health and recovery! Sending you blessings! Please reach out to me anytime you feel like talking, my email is Kimberly.villasenor@hotmail.com.

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  8. says

    @maria,
    Hi Maria,
    Thank you so much for reading and sharing with me. I believe God wants all marriages to thrive. You can’t change your husband, believe me I tried until I was so frustrated. If your husband chooses to follow God, you will be his primary example. I think it’s in 1st Peter where it says that wives with unbelieving spouses are to have a gentle and quiet spirit. I find it quite ironic that God changed me instead of my hubby. But in the end, His plan is far greater and better than we could ever imagine. Please keep me posted on everything & I will lift your husband up to the Lord.

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  9. says

    @Shauna,
    Hi Shauna,
    I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you. My advice would be to seek Godly counsel. I believe that your husband would need to earn your trust back. I believe in this situation, prayer and seeking a trusted Godly counselor or pastor would be your best bet. Both of you are hurting. I will be praying for restoration within your home and family. Praying for peace to invade this storm and for God to protect both parties hearts. Praying for a clear path to be laid before you and I pray for financial provision. Please keep me updated and if you need someone to talk to you can email me at Kimberly.villasenor@hotmail.com

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  10. Amber Shedd says

    Please pray for my marriage, my husband and I are not completely unequal, but for sure at different places on our walk with the Lord. He is still in the world doing worldly things, he does go to church and says he believes, he just lives different than me, years ago when we met he and I were both the same, I found a strong relationship with the Lord two years ago and since then we argue alot over things I believe go against what God would want. There is no physical abuse, emotional and mental alot. I just really need prayer for strength, guidance, and peace. thank u for this post. God Bless.

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  11. Debi Drinkwater says

    Thank you for this article. I honestly am not sure if my husband and I are unequally yoked.

    My husband (of nearly 20 years) does go to church, on occasion. He’s gotten involved with church related projects. But when someone crosses “that line” – he’s done. He may or may not return to that church. He won’t pray with me – says prayer is a personal thing between he and God. He says he’ll study the Bible with me – but then doesn’t.

    I love my husband with all my heart. We have been through a lot together. Health problems have plagued us all the years we’ve been together. This is such a long story and I will start crying if I go into all the details. Suffice it to say, I have had multiple health issues and he has always been there for me. Unfortunately, he usually has some provisos. It’s like he believes he knows more about anything than anybody else does.

    Recently, I took a fall that caused major muscle issues and a compression fracture in my back. My husband treated me and the fall like I did on purpose. I practically begged him to take me to the doctor. It took 4 days to get to a doctor – when we found out about the fracture. It seems like he takes every opportunity to ridicule and belittle me for making “a poor choice”. I don’t want to or even have any intention of ending this marriage – I love him so much and not after all we’ve been through.

    So my question is: even though he doesn’t seem to care about going to church, do I go without him? I love going to church – I love God. I miss being in church and the fellowship of other Christians. I truly believe he is a believer – just not interested (for lack of a better word) in changing his attitudes about specific things.

    I know this is convoluted and may be somewhat confusing. I guess what I need is to know that others will pray with me for God to change his heart and help him be less self-involved. I stopped going to church if he doesn’t want to. But that doesn’t feel right, either.

    Today our minister and his wife came to bring me communion. I was almost in tears and I know that I need to get myself back in church, which I will do just as soon as I can sit in a pew without too much pain in my back. The compression fracture has been relieved and filled with bone cement. Now the muscles need to stretch back out and heal. This is happening on a daily basis. God is good all the time.

    I’m sorry to take so much of your time. I just need a little human support. I know God loves me and will take care of me. I would like to be able to spend eternity with Him and with my husband and child. Thank you, again, for this article and your time. ~Debi

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  12. maria says

    WOW, i have been searching for answers on an unequally yoked marriage. I am a christian and my husband is a african muslim and its sooooo hard. he has once and twice told me he will never turn from a muslim because his family will disown him. he never goes to church with me, never prays with me. it hurts so bad. i didnt know before i married him it will affect me this bad but now it is killing me so bad. this has helped me alot to try and hold on and see what God has in store for us. thanks for the message

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  13. Shauna says

    I certainly am unequally yoked. I too was married before being saved. I am saved and my husband has been, but has backslid-en and is running from God and break-neck speed. We separated a week ago. I am the bread winner in the family and am barely surviving. I found out last night that he is cheating on me. What do I do if he decides he wants to come back home? Am I to just let him and forget about it. How do I reconcile this?

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  14. says

    @ALISON,
    Hi Alison, I wanted to thank you for reading and sharing your story with me. It makes my heart rejoice to know that you’re husband has indeed answered Jesus’ call on His life. Our stories are very alike. It’s so amazing to me that God continues to work everything for the good of those who love Him. I will be continually praying for you & your family! We are watching the Bible series as well, and it has helped my husband too. God is so good.

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  15. Chris C. says

    What a blessing it is to read about God’s provision to you and your husband. Most of my marriage story reads like yours. Thirty years, three children, a son-in-law, and now a grandson later (plus addiction recovery, now a chronic health problem and early disability) later and I can say that God used every difficulty for our good. My husband carried his own Bible to church last Sunday! He is saved and we pray together. We serve an amazing God, Kimberly!

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  16. ALISON says

    Kimberly, I wanted to share how much our stories are similar. I was raised in a Christian home where we went to church “every time the doors were open”. My husband on the other hand was not. After a 2 year relationship with him in high school, I found myself pregnant and in love with this man. I prayed about God’s will in my life on whether to marry him and become unequally yoked and he confirmed my desire to make this man my husband against what my pastor at the time advised. He was never saved and didn’t really want to talk about it. Many people prayed for him and prayed for our marriage for almost 12 years. Throughout our marriage, there has been some betrayal, addiction, financial woes, you name it! I have always forgiven, perservered and sought God’s guidance against my own desires to leave. I didn’t feel like God would want me to stay in this relationship so unhappy and I felt my husband was holding me back in my desire to draw closer to God and be a servant for him in our church and home. Just recently I found that my husband had become addicted to an internet game and was chatting with other women for over a year. It was not sexual but very emotional. We had distanced ourselves from each other and he had found these women to fill his time and missing relationship with me. God told me, “forgive him”. I just couldn’t believe He would tell me to continue to endure this!! But I did. And a week later, I found my husband had been back on the game and chatting with these women again. I told him to leave. He packed his bag and came to me to reaffirm this is what I wanted. After a long heart to heart, I found out that he always felt “inferior” in our home to become our spiritual leader because he felt he would never be “enough” of a Christian compared to me to overtake the leadership God requires of him as the man in our home. He had battled every Sunday the knock on his heart from God to come in. The devil won, Sunday after Sunday. Day after day. But that day WE DEFEATED SATAN TOGETHER. My husband prayed that day to accept Jesus as his saviour. It was not in my timing, it was not when I ever expected, but I listened. I obeyed. And in HIS timing, my husband was saved from the chains of bondage he had allowed Satan to put on him! I took faith in the verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 7. The message given hear, saved my marriage. God restored us. It will be a long road but we know that with God as the center of our marriage now, WE WILL NOT FAIL. Do NOT give up! The recent mini series “The Bible” has become a great tool for him to learn the bible stories throughout the bible “a man’s way”. He’s never been a reader so this show is perfect for his desire to learn the stories of the bible. Thank you for sharing Kimberly. I know that my story as well as yours will be a testiment for many marriages and relationships to perservere! May God continue to bless you and I through our obediance and faith in HIM!

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  17. says

    @Michelle,

    Thank you Michelle for your openness. I actually just partnered with A Proverbs Wife & wrote a 6 Day Devotional into the book of Ephesians. If you haven’t already, please go and sign up. If not, I think I can email it to you. I feel like it could help you. (:

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  18. says

    @Tarah,
    Thank you for reading Tarah. If it’s ok with you, I’d love to email you some books that helped me out. I don’t have much time to get the list together tonight, but I will do it tomorrow. It was rough a lot of time, but the Lord was faithful and showed up every single time I cried out for help.

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  19. Jenay says

    My husband is a semi believer. Not a very strong one. For years I went to church and tried to improve my faith. After a while I will admit I gave up hard. And it honestly almost cost my marriage. It was my husband with little faith that told me he wanted to start going to church. My love for him has been renewed! We still have a long way to go. But we have a new firm foundation forming

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  20. Michelle says

    Thank you for sharing I have been in an unequally yolks marriage for several years. I married my husband because I feel so deep in love with him. I found out he was this strong man with a very gentle spirit. I thought we would grow old together but issues came up. I found my husband had some very severe substance abuse issues. All I could do was ask him to leave. I had to do this to protect myself and my children. I would allow him to come around for how ever long he could come around and be sober. This made for some good times for the kids but left me feeling so alone. I prayed that God would get him off the streets. Well God answered my prayer and he ended up in prison. I feel so much better knowing he is safe and to know drugs are not do available. I now want a divorce but because I hear my family, friends, say run. I took my vows seriously and wanted my marriage to last forever. I tell my friends and family I not ready to let go. My heart and mind have to be in sync to make the choice to divorce. He been gone a year and I will not go see him. I waited 10 moths before I would speak to him. He calls and talks about the bible and wants me to read along with him and embeds in my head to read Ephesians. I resist because my fears. I know I have to forgive him some kind of way. My life feels upside down and my heart aches. Praying for Gods Grace!

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  21. jennifer horn says

    Thanks for sharing! It’s so nice to see things like this when you are going through it yourself. Several times throughout my 10 year relationship with my husband I’ve been in a position to leave, things were just that bad. We even had papers drawn up once. I just kept praying for God to guide me and lead me where I need to be. As it turned out, I was right where I needed to be. My husband is a work in progress, and every day I see him growing closer and closer to where he needs to be. I have no doubt that God put me here to help him. It’s not been easy but seeing the changes and being a part of that is amazing.

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    Kimberly Reply:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for reading. I think it’s a struggle every day to continually trust God with everything. There were many times where I prayed for God to release me from my marriage, because I thought it would be so much easier to be alone. There were a lot of days where the tears wouldn’t stop flowing. Each time I cried out, God answered. He was so faithful to me. My husband is still a work in progress as well. I think it’s a lie to think that our men will just change overnight. The truth however, is that the more they trust Jesus… the more they will want and choose to do the right thing via the Holy Spirit.

    Good luck & keep me posted (:

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  22. Tarah says

    Thank you for posting this. I, too, am unequally yoked and needed this right now. It is a constant battle but I want to be obedient to God in my marriage. One of the things I think of when things get hard or emotional is that Jesus endured so much pain for me. I would love to read more posts on marriage and being unequally yoked if you have them. Thanks again for sharing.

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  23. Donna says

    Thank you!!!!!

    almost 7 years ago I sat on my porch and prayer for the Lord to lead me where he wanted me to go. I was desperate our marriage was horrible, we were constantly arguing and fighting. I had just started back in church and then a couple weeks later I found out he cheated while he was away in California for work…I screamed, yelled, cried, and belittled him on the phone. When I hung up I happened to have my Bible right next to me and the Lord told me to open it..I did, to Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” I knew at that point that I was where I was suppose to be. It has been a hard long road, and even to the point where I almost left again middle of last year, but I was reminded that I’m suppose to be here. From time to time I know that the seed that was planted is slowly breaking through the soil, and I have complete faith that he will come to know and love the Lord and we will one day be evenly yoked.

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  24. says

    @Amy,
    Amy, what an example you are. God gives us a spirit of gentleness when it comes to dealing with unbelieving husbands. Praise the Lord for grace. It kept me going when nothing else worked. I’ll be praying for you. Please keep me updated!

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  25. Amy says

    Thank you! I am in an unequally yoked marriage. God gives me the grace to love my husband. I almost left because of abuse, but God had another plan and my husbnd is doing much better. It is still a struggle everyday because God is dealing with his heart and seems very angry most of the time. God gives me signs from time to time to tell me he is bringing us together as one, equally yoked. Love is a choice and I choose to show my husband love even when it is not returned.

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  26. says

    This is a GREAT post!! I felt like it was coming straight from my heart! Thanks for sharing and giving us hope and encouragement!

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    The Proverbs Wife Reply:

    Hi @Yasmin,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my site. I have yours bookmarked. I found you after you liked a picture I shared on Instagram. Welcome sweet friend.

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  27. Chanda says

    Wow… I needed to read this at this very moment thank you for sharing… please continue allowing God to use you to help others!
    Thank you,
    Chanda

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    The Proverbs Wife Reply:

    Your welecome @Chanda,

    Please let me know if you have a prayer need and I’ll add it to my prayer list. I am here for you sweet friend.

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  28. Ginny Merritt says

    Girl! You are very wise for your age! I still think of you as a child.;) Steph told me about this site so I had to check it out. Wow, that article was great! I am very proud of you and your faith. You are an inspiration to everyone no doubt about it. Pray for me and my husband we are in the mist of a storm! I trust God to lead the way! xoxo Ginny

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  29. says

    Very good article. I really hope to be equally yoked with my future husband. This article reminds me to be openminded and that the man God is preparing for me may be vastly different than what I am expecting.

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  30. Joyce says

    I would like to thank Mrs. Kim for her article. It was encouraging and heart warming for those of us who are unequally yoked. It is always comforting to hear stories of others who have made it through and are continuing to move forward in their purpose!

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  31. says

    I have always been equally yoked in my marriage, but I still really liked this article. I liked that the author did not call on a Christian wife to accept abuse and adultery like used to be advised. Thanks for sharing your story.

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