My husband is not saved. How should I treat him?

How should a new believer deal with an unbelieving marriage partner?

Compromising the Lord’s claims helps neither partner. Obedience to the Lord is for our good always (Deuteronomy 6:24). Obedience and preference, however, are not the same. Attending the assembly’s meetings involves obedience (Hebrews 10:25), even if the believer is not yet in its fellowship . Attending a conference 200 miles away is preferable, but, if it causes marital conflict, it is optional. Not socializing with former friends in activities that are compromising to the Christian is obedience (1 Peter 4:4). Socializing with believers is preferable, but may be disobedience, not expressing becoming consideration.

Witnessing to the unbelieving partner is crucial (1 Corinthians 7:16). When the unbelieving partner understands the facts and implications of the gospel, the most effective witness may be living (and praying) without preaching (1 Peter 3:1).

A Christian should be an improved marriage partner in words and actions and, more importantly, in the relationship itself -the emotional "connection." The believer’s salvation means the couple cannot enjoy sharing spiritual fellowship, a most precious closeness; however, the believer’s new relationship with Christ teaches, models, and enables a closer marital relationship than was previously possible. The greatest challenge to a believer with an unbelieving partner is to learn, as a disciple of Christ, how to develop a more loving, self-sacrificing, considerate, secure, committed, transparent, and trusting relationship. This is what bonds a marriage and is truly satisfying to both marriage partners, whether believing or unbelieving. A believer may have to sadly accept the unbeliever’s choice to depart from the marriage (1 Corinthians 7:15), but applying Biblical principles makes this much less likely.

D. Oliver