109: What to Do When Your Spouse Won’t Come to Church

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By Brian Mayer, The Remarried Life with Brian Mayer. Remarriage, and Blended Families. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Brian Mayer talks about what to do when you and your spouse are not on the same page when it comes to spirituality and attending church. It can be a difficult situation for sure, one that can cause a divide in your relationship. We will talk about this today including some ways to cope and a few things to try to help you connect better in this area. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • When we talk about connection in a marriage relationship especially in a subsequent marriage after divorce, there is no better way to connect than through a spiritual bond. The title of today’s episode is more about what to do when not attending church together, which we will talk about. However, often this is a sign that one of you may be a believer in a higher power and one of you might not.
  • A study at Harvard University suggested that couples that attend church together have a reduced risk of divorce and still another study at Brigham Young said that how often a couple attends together also has an impact on divorce.
  • However I have still seen studies that suggest the divorce rate among professing Christians is the same as the population at large. Nevertheless if we look at each way a couple connects this should be looked as another important way a couple can choose to connect.
  • My narrative is a tale of two stories. In my first marriage, this was not something either of us entertained. I walked away from the Christian church when I was 16, only to return as my first marriage was crumbling at around the age of 28. I remember asking my wife to attend church because I felt it was necessary to help repair the damage in our marriage. She came a few times, but I suppose for her it was too late. So as I look at this it was not so much that I don’t think she wanted church and God a part of her life, but just that she didn’t want it with me.
  • Fast forward to my second and current marriage, and attendance at church and staying close to God and Jesus is extremely important. Are we perfect of course not, but know there is only one that is perfect and that is God the one in whom we put our trust.
  • All that being said you may find yourself in a marriage in which the two of you are what the bible calls being unequally yoked. Now let’s talk about this for a moment in terms of dating versus being married.
    • What the Bible Says When Dating: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness.” 2 Corinthians 6:14
    • What Does the Bible Say About Marriage: “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy” 1 Corinthians 7:12-15
  • So according to the Bible if you are dating an unbeliever then you should really not stay together especially if the unbeliever will not change. However, if you are married, the bible encourages you to stay together
  • So that being said, let’s talk about when you are married again and your spouse is not a believer. What should you do?
    • Pray first. I would encourage you to always do this first
    • Have a conversation about your partner’s history of belief and or church attendance. You may learn of a hurt or something else traumatic that may have happened.
    • Ask if you spouse will go at least 3 times and to not make a decision about continuing until that time.
    • At the second or third visit, notice if something simple is needed at the church. For example maybe the trash is full or seats need to be put up at the end of the service. Ask your spouse if it would be okay to stick around just a few minutes to help with this.
    • Have a discussion non-defensively after each service about what your spouse was experiencing. There may be things your spouse doesn’t like and so maybe another church might be appropriate or it could be the entire experience is not your spouse’s liking.
    • If you spouse makes the decision to not go, then it is best that you keep going. Keep living out what God has for you and quite possibly over time you might possibly be able to pull them toward you.
    • What if your spouse says I am not going because church is full of a bunch of hypocrites. Maybe delicately say, well they always have room for one more! We are all hypocrites about many things in our lives.
  • Ultimately, research on church attendance shows that people feel more connected, experience less depression, have healthier habits and less unhealthy habits. Of course we are not promised by God that following Him will be easy and free of trials, but knowing that He is with us and others who have the same values are with us can make all the difference.
  • Ultimately stay patient and lean on loving your spouse when they still have a hard time wanting anything to do with church and God.

Resources:

  • None Today.

Thanks For Listening!

  • With so many things that take time in our lives, I am more grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast episode.
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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do. Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute! Take care.

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