I became a Christian at age 19 (felt the Holy Spirit, baptized) but soon after, about a couple of years later, I fell back into a sinful lifestyle (shamefully). God has brought me back slowly and now I’m truly committed again and I have repented. I understand God’s grace now on so many levels. I can’t believe he still would want me.
During that time I met my husband. He is not a Christian and is very hostile toward God. I’m realizing that God has to be number one and I feel my husband holds me back. I understand what Jesus said about divorce, so I will stay, but he is so aggressive about my faith and threatens to leave me to find a woman who would actually appreciate him, etc. He has even torn up my Bible.
I need to also mention that in the past he has been physical with me, but we’ve had counseling, so this no longer occurs, but the verbal and emotional strain is wearing me down. We have two children (three and a half and five and a half) and I couldn’t bear them losing their father. Since then he is much better, but is still struggling with his own baggage.
He is now very rude to me at times and emotionally void. There are some good days. The kids were too young to know what was happening back then when the physical abuse was going on. If he hadn’t changed, I definitely would have had to leave for our safety.
There are moments of clarity and he sincerely apologizes and has really made great changes in himself. If he hadn’t, I would have left him by now. It’s the love that my husband and I have for our children that kept us together. Because we are fundamentally so different, it’s a struggle.
I guess I would like to hear your feelings about this and any words of encouragement and direction would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you, Esther!
Dear Needing Support,
After reading your letter, the first thought that comes to mind is perhaps I should start a sorority for Christian women married to non-Christian men whom they became involved with when they were at a weak point in their faith.
The situation you describe is so prevalent, giving way to a new subculture of Christian women who are living in the midst of serious spiritual battles without a spiritual leader in the home. They find themselves living with a man who should be the spiritual leader, but instead is used by the enemy to wreak havoc and disharmony—especially in matters of faith.
We cannot undo the past so we must make the best of our circumstances and it sounds like you are doing just that. We know that the best remedy against the enemy is the Word of God. Your spouse does not even know that he is being used as one of the devil’s pawns — wearing away at you and the wonderful family God has blessed him with.
Sadly, instead, the “poor me” thoughts rule his mind. This is so common these days and it is hard to take. The immature selfishness and the self-pity by unredeemed men (and women), is startlingly common.
This is because these people are so entrapped in the ways of this world and are sorely deceived into believing that God, the Bible and Christian principles are not for them and are nothing more than outdated babblings, tall tales and crutches.
They are blinded to the truth. Their thinking is so flawed and the very God they reject is the only One who can help them. It’s the same old problem that Lucifer had when he rebelled and set out to try to take God’s throne: Pride and self-centered arrogance. The moral decline of society, the breakdown of family unity is astounding. We truly are living in the last days when the words in 2 Timothy 1-4 are headlining.
You are wise to realize that it is best to stay together, especially for the sake of the children. If you read through some of my older letters in my column you will find some similar situations and I urge you to read them. Prayer truly can change things.
The fact that your husband loves and cares for his children gives me much hope that in time it is very possible that he will come to know the Lord and begin to truly appreciate you and the many blessings he has.
Right now that seems impossible but it does happen. In the meantime, armor yourself with the Word of God every day. Try not to respond if he gets belligerent and don’t get caught-up in any toxic verbal exchanges. Quietly pray for him instead. It seems very unfair, but try to be as kind as you can to him despite his self-righteousness.
Focus on your husband’s better qualities and realize that each day we are closer to our redemption. Look around and count all the blessings you do have, often. The devil has a strangle hold on your husband. You cannot find this fight. It is God’s fight.
Keep praying for peace in your home and when you have those overwhelming moments of hopelessness, go right to the Word of God and read. Read, study and pray.
You can carry on your personal relationship with the Lord in privacy for now, so your husband doesn’t blast you with some sort of verbal tirade. You will be strengthened, the more you study His promises. Quietly, live your spiritual life, especially when your husband is around. Keep praying for his salvation and know that God really does have your best interests at heart and that of your entire family. He is the ultimate restorer of relationships.
Outwardly things are not the way you want right now, but please take great comfort in knowing that you are completely safe in Jesus’ arms. Your future is so amazingly awesome and all this misery will not even be a memory one day very soon.
These years here on earth are very disappointing for so many believers, but you have an indescribably fantastic future in the Lord to look forward to. God will bless you for your faithfulness and for being a devoted wife and mother. Be of good cheer. Jesus has overcome the world. And you are one of His beloved children. Even so come Lord Jesus.
In God’ love,
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”(Romans 8:18).