when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to
the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit
thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Genesis 3:6. Since the beginning of our human existence the influence of
one spouse over another has been, in many cases, disastrous. Eve was deceived by
the serpent, not Adam. But through Eve’s influential prodding Adam made a
decision that led to his death. It was Eve’s will that Adam should eat of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From the very beginning we see that one
spouse can have a strong influence over the other.
blocks and strongholds of the enemy are continually placed in all our lives. We
must learn to fight to withstand the enemy forces. The lost people of this world
will find this increasingly difficult. One such stumbling block is known as
conformity. A somewhat touchy subject for any writer is to address the
conforming influence a husband has over his wife, or vice versa. A man and woman
will have various conflicting convictions prior to marriage, but soon after the
consummation of that marriage a change begins to occur. Many times that change
results in one or the other being conformed into accepting what the other
believes. In most cases the wife’s beliefs change to mirror the beliefs of her
husband. In some cases it’s not a bad thing; sometimes a spouse, being at one
time lost and worldly, begins to see God’s truth. Thus the positive influence of
this spouse is a good thing. On the other hand, when a husband or wife holds to
a false belief system and influences their spouse against believing the truth of
the Gospel of Christ, this conformity will only lead to destruction. Satan knows
the truth, that Jesus the Christ is alive. But to fight that truth, a weapon in
his vast arsenal is the influence of one spouse over the other.
individual on this planet must make a choice concerning the eternal. This choice
is a personal decision affecting only the person making the choice. For example,
I can’t make the choice for my wife nor can she make it for me. The same goes
for our children, we can teach our children right from wrong, we can teach them
about faith and love – all about Jesus – but we can’t make the most important
decision of their lives for them. I’m sure some of us would like it if we could
make that decision for a loved one, but it just doesn’t work that way. Even
though salvation is a free gift of God, He’s made it abundantly clear it’s
personal not corporate. Everyone must face the reality that Satan wields his
influence over the lost like a king over his kingdom. An unbelieving spouse is a
subject of that king, thus he/she must do his bidding.
wife and I were married in June of 1988. I was 36 years old. I was pretty well
set in my ways. I was already an alcoholic, my vocabulary was more than just
laced with profanity, and I had a mean disposition. My new bride, a godly shy
woman, a born again Christian with a heart that could only have come from God,
knew that she was not following the word of God by becoming yoked with a
non-believing and very ungodly, worldly man. I was for all intents and purposes
a follower of the enemy of God; this is something my wife should have been
repulsed with. Instead she fell in love me and I with her. We were married
shortly thereafter. Can you see how horrible my influence over her life could
have been? But instead she influenced my life. Please understand, it seldom
works out that way.
wife, whichever one follows Satan normally will have the stronger influence. In
most marriages the husband is the dominant force. They exercise an incredible
amount of influence over their wife’s life. A wife, who obeys her unbelieving
and many times manipulative husband, when it comes to a decision for Christ may
just obey him right into Hell. In many marriages this tragedy is very real.
Similarly, a wife can have the same detrimental effect on her husband if she
remains in her satanic induced blindness toward the truth.
men or women ignore the truth of God just to appease their spouse they are only
foolishly falling into a trap laid down by the father of all lies (Satan). This
personification of evil keeps a tight rein on those who belong to him. Satan
will work one spouse against the other convincing them to remain
in his camp. I’ve seen this type of situation time and time again, where
a spouse begins to climb out of the muck and mire of the filthy camp of the
enemy only to be waylaid by their other half who unabashedly steps in to do
Satan’s bidding. I’ve also witnessed that at this point both of their hearts
become incredibly hardened against their Creator, and when they remain in that
steadfast position they all but cement their decision to spend an eternity in
will follow their spouses into the abyss instead of using their own intellect to
come to a decision for Christ. Ignoring the power of the enemy is a common
mistake these days as so many relegate Satan to nothing more than a mythological
existence at best. Thus, he’s able to keep his hold on people through their own
ignorant and erroneous beliefs.
and conformity can be powerful stumbling blocks that, when coupled with decision
making, can and do lead people astray. Certainly there are everyday decisions
that affect the marriage and those decisions must be made together. Both spouses
must participate in the decision making process to really enjoy a good and
loving marriage. But the decision to turn one’s life over to Christ is the most
important decision in this life, and it is personal not corporate.
the years I’ve learned, as many of you have, that marriage is a great
institution. I can’t, or won’t, even contemplate living alone without my wife.
My wife is not just a woman I met fell in love with and then married, she is
more, much more. She is a major part of my life, she has become a part of me –
bodily she and I are one. I can’t be separated from her for any length of time
at all without missing her in a way that is almost impossible to describe. The
love we have for one another is that same love that Jesus has for His Church.
When she is away from me it’s the same as though a part of my body has been
ripped away. God meant for us to view marriage just as He described it in the
book of Genesis “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and
shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.
God meant it. When a man takes a woman to be his wife there’s a lifelong bond
established. This bond is never to be broken. This is exactly why the influence
of one spouse over the other can be so great. If one spouse is a non-believer,
the adverse affect that that one person can have on the other can truly mean
Hell for all eternity.
is precisely the reason why we (believers in Christ) aren’t to be unequally
yoked with non-believing people “Be ye not unequally yoked together with
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and
what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14. Why is
the Apostle Paul giving us this admonition? Because time and time again unequal
unions result in a most devastating end for one or both participants.
of course, we have marriages with both husband and wife being non-believers.
These two unbelievers aren’t really going to know love, the love of Christ that
transcends all barriers, since their union was not built on a godly foundation.
This ungodly union can place an incredible strain on a marriage, especially if
one spouse begins to learn the truth about God. There’s a span of time where one
spouse might begin to see God in ways they’ve never perceived before. This can
cause friction in a marriage and even result in divorce. Even though one spouse
emerges victorious in Christ they may have just destroyed their marriage. The
Bible tells us that God hates divorce – and please don’t misunderstand, I’m not
advocating divorce – but God in His word tells us that the believing spouse is
under no obligation to remain in a marriage with an unbeliever. “But if the
unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage
in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15.
Because of the incredibly powerful influence of their spouse, many who might be
on the verge of making a decision for Christ will be convinced to stay in
unbelief. As such they continue to drink from Satan’s pool of damnation. This is
just another of Satan’s tools of deception. It’s a horrible sight to be witness
to, especially when it occurs within your own family. In the big scheme of life,
a personal decision for Christ is the most important of all decisions; all other
decisions are comparatively immaterial. If we understand nothing else in this
life, we must come to grips with the fact that a decision for Christ is personal
your husband has no say in the matter concerning your eternal destination –
husband, your wife has no say in the matter concerning your eternal destination.
Here’s something to consider, when you stand before the God of all creation, at
His Throne of Judgment with the rest of those who rejected Christ as their
Savior, you will not be able to use the excuse that it was your spouse that kept
you from making the decision to avoid Hell. It will be too late at that point to
make excuses and there will be no chance for you to change your mind concerning
your eternal destination.
are your choices: follow my unbelieving spouse into Hell or follow Jesus Christ
into Heaven. Remember influence works both ways – your decision for Christ could
be just what your spouse has been waiting for – to see the love of Christ in
you. That Christ centered love might be the catalysts that turns another
hardened hear toward Christ. Hear Jesus promise to you: “My sheep hear my
voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal
life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out
of my hand.” John 10:27-28.