"A man's heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9


Sunday, January 31, 2010

The unbelieving husband...

or visa versa.
Thankfully and by the grace of God, I am married to a believer. However, I have been praying dear friends of our family as they struggle with their marriage and it has led me to many a scripture dealing with the issue of an unbelieving spouse. Our friends are both believers, but for some reason, God has led me here. One particular verse stuck out to me last night and I thought I would share it. It is in 1 Corinthians...a piece of the word I have read many many times, but for some reason, this verse never really spoke to me as it has this time.
1 Corinthians 7:12-14
"If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy."
The definition of sanctified taken from the Wikipedia is:
Sanctification is an ancient concept widespread among religions that refers to anything blessed or set apart for special purposes or to the change brought about in a human believer. The word sanctification (see -ification) refers to the act or process of making sacred or setting apart as special. To sanctify is literally “to set apart for special use or purpose,” figuratively “to make holy or sacred,” and etymologically from the Latin verb sanctificare which in turn is from sanctus “holy” and facere “to make.”
This is one of many "proofs" that in a marriage, God views us as a unity. Whether or not we are married to a believer, whether or not we "feel" unified in our marriage and whether or not we think we have made a mistake in choosing a spouse.
It is sacred (to the point of sanctification) in God's eyes!
I have heard the reference to 2 Cor. 614 that says,
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with the unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness"
when someone is trying to justify divorce of an unbeliever. I believe, yes, in choosing a spouse as a Christian, this verse is to be taken very seriously, however, when a union is already intact, I believe, this verse can be taken out of context.
My King James Bible says of 1 Peter 3:1
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
I will include a website I often use at the bottom of this post that lines up every imaginable translation of the bible. I use the King James Bible, but often times I like to be able to see it in other translations as well.
The Geniva Study Bible goes into this verse a bit more saying:
Likewise, {1} ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; {2} that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
(1) In the third place he sets forth the wives' duties to their husbands, commanding them to be obedient.
(2) He speaks namely of those who had husbands who were not Christians, who ought so much the more be subject to their husbands, that by their honest and chaste conversation, they may win them to the Lord.
Anyway, all this to say 2 things:
1: Wow, what an amazing thing God has given us in marriage. It is so beautiful and sacred.
2: If we as wives have an unbelieving husband, it will be painfully difficult at times, but the thought that God can use you to benefit the eternity of your husband is an AWSOME revelation!
One more thing...even being married to a believer, Phil and I have very different views on God, church, scripture, children, marriage and about every other issue you can imagine, I do not pretend to know what is is like to be married to an unbeliever, I just wanted to share this with all of you as a glimpse of hope and purpose in your marriage. God has given you a very special role in your union.
Here is that website I mentioned: http://bible.cc/1_peter/3-1.htm


Shannon said...

Wow! First of all, I don't think I have ever paid attention or maybe even read those verses in Corinthians. That is amazing that that is in there! This so makes a person realize that the Bible is truly were we need to be seeking our solutions to life's issues. I mean that, of course, we should anyway, buy it is so easy to overlook all the answers that lie within those pages. I have never had an answer for women that are married to unbelievers (and vice versa), but I always felt that they should stay married. I never knew these verses were there to back that up. Amazing... and now I will have an answer if anyone ever comes across my path that needs this information.

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