For the past sixteen years I have lived unequally yoked. I see God working, but that total surrender has just not happened. I became a Christian when I was eight years old. I didn’t start walking in relationship until much later. In the mean time, I was lukewarm at my worst and a poor example at my best. Even when I got back in to church after four years of walking completely away, my lifestyle was anything but Christ-like.
I can’t really complain, I am the one who changed, not my husband. There is a song I sing “There All Along” by Michele Pillar, that I heard as a young child that stuck with me. Through everything God was always there, making Himself known but not forcing Himself. God did a work in me. Some suddenly, but mostly gradually. My life completely changed.
My husband has supported the change, even though at times it has pulled me farther away from him. He can see the positive difference that God has made in my life and rarely complains of the changes. He has never stood in the way of me attending church, even though all hell used to break out before I would go. He has never stood in the way of my serving, even when it was unbalanced and I was gone all the time. He has never stopped my from making sure my children were in church, and when available even attended special programs when they performed. He has only complained a few times about me paying tithes. Overall, I would say I’m lucky in that although my spouse hasn’t joined me in the journey for the Lord, he hasn’t opposed it. He also has at times acknowledged that he is blessed by God because of this.
I on the other hand, thought that as I grew closer to God it was my job to persuade him to the kingdom. Joyce Meyers calls this trying to be the Holy Ghost Jr. I would nag him to come, complain about his faults, and play the guilt card a lot. I focused on his negative side, ignoring my own. I forgot to see the work God was doing in his life, which is mighty.
I used to think that if my husband was serving the Lord things would be perfect in our marriage. However, the more that I spent time with women married to Christian husbands, I realized that was just a lie I believed.
I definately don’t know how long this divided walk will last. I have stopped trying to force my beliefs on my husband. I celebrate the times when he walks beside me, and he does when he knows it’s really important to me. He has been to Christian marriage counseling three times with me. He has attended Christian marriage seminars and classes. And those times where I want to give up the fight, I just turn to God. He has given me the grace to walk this far, I can’t give up if the blessing is just around the corner.
I rejoice when my husband acknowledges, even in a small way the work God is doing in our lives, His favor, and His protection. I remind myself frequently that my spouse is not my enemy when all hell comes against me. I have learned to retreat in prayer instead of engage the fight, most of the time.
It’s not easy, but I believe that the reward will be both here on earth and eternal.