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Unsure what to do about marraige, husband has turned out not to be the leader I thought he could be.

Unsure what to do about marraige, husband has turned out not to be the leader I thought he could be.
Name: Unsure In Nc
Add a little more detail (optional): I have been married to my current husband for 6 and a half years. This is my third marriage, I had no control over the ending of the other marraiges. I had several concerns prior to getting married but he promised me that God would be the center of our marriage. We went to church every Sunday until we got married. Then we haven't been back since. I have backslid and I know that I haven't done what God has wanted me to do and I want to get back in His good graces. However, my husband says that he is saved but conveniently plans family activities on Sundays. I am finding it very difficult to get back into church. There are many other issues but this one seems to be at the top of the list. Please, I could use some good advise.


This appears to be a rather tricky problem, as you're being torn between obeying/honoring God and obeying/honoring your husband.  My first advice is to devote daily prayer to it (if you're not already).  Second, I think you have to somewhat act as if your husband is unsaved if he is not displaying the charactistics of a regenerate Christian and apply 1 Cor 7:13-16:


13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 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.

15 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.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?


Your husband may or may not be saved, that's not for me to judge, but perhaps is clearly living as if he is not.  Therefore, your responsibility is to be a godly wife and lead him to/back to truth through your example and witness.  I recommend the following:


- Pray consistently and openly.  Don't be afraid for him or your children (if you have any) to see you pray.

- Read and study your Bible consistently and openly.  Don't be afraid for him or your children to see you.

- Go to church anyway, by yourself if necessary.  Perhaps not all-in immediately, but what's to stop you from going Sunday night and/or Wednesday night?  You be consistent in going and he may eventually follow.  I know several women who have done just that.  Some took a few months to come around; some took several years; and some are still waiting; but they're all closer to the Lord than they would have been otherwise.

- Find a godly woman to disciple you (see Titus 2:3-5) and help you consistently grow in faith and Christ-likeness


You'll notice one common theme above: consistently.  Following Christ is not a hobby or an additionaly duty.  It is a lifestyle.  You have to truly commit yourself to God before you can have any kind of impact on your husband.  In the end, what you have to realize is that in then end, you are responsible for only your own actions and your husband is responsible for his.  You must also realize is that you cannot change anyone but you.  Your husband won't change unless he wants to, but your example may give him that motivation. You consistently do what's right and let God handle the rest. 

I would add that you, as the wife, must look into yourself, asking God to shine the light on areas you need to have God work on.  Some questions (getting into specifics of what Sword touched on in his last paragraph):


Are you a submissive wife?  The word submission does not mean doormat or rug, even though some husbands treat their wives in that manner as they insist on obedience.  No, submission is a matter of the heart.  


What is your heart's attitude toward your husband?  Are you willing to follow him as the leader in your home, or are you wanting him to do as you want him to do, calling it following God?  There is a very fine line of distinction between the two, and it is a serious thing to consider.


Remember the story of David dancing when the ark was brought back to Israel?  His wife, Michal, saw him and the Bible says she despised him in her heart.  You know, it is sometimes awful easy for wives to despise their husbands in their hearts - especially if the hubby isn't doing what the wife wants him to do... - but it is a sin against God. Michal found out how serious it was because God made her barren for it.


Rather than focus on your husband, focus on your spiritual life.  As Sword said, spend time consistently in prayer (and if you pray so others can hear you, don't use it as a time to browbeat your husband for not being what you think he should be....that is not a meek spirit nor a loving wife!).  And in Bible reading and study - again make sure you don't do it to come across as the pious one - you'll be defeating any good God can do.


Ask God to show you where you need to change.  And as God points things out to you: obey Him.  Keep a sweet and loving spirit with your husband - as he sees you becoming more involved in obeying God, he will likely become a bit critical because he'll want to see if it's genuine.  Be loving, be respectful, and remember we are told to reverence our husbands.  That doesn't mean worship, but it does mean to hold them in high esteem.  


Do you hold your husband in high esteem?  He may not be the spiritual leader you want(ed), but there are good things about him, or you wouldn't have married him (I hope).  Think on those things - bring them up to God and thank God for them as you pray for God to work on both of you.


As you do this, your new-found respect for him will show through...and so when you (after much prayer that God will work in his heart) sit down with him and calmly express your deep desire to go to church as a family, he will see that you aren't trying to manipulate him (oh, yes, it is so very easy for a wife to do if she isn't careful...).  He might refuse.  But the Holy Spirit can work, and if you continue to honor, love, and respect him, I believe God will do a mighty work in your hubby's life.


Am I saying that it's your fault your hubby won't go to church? Not at all.  But so many times we wives don't realize that our attitudes towards our hubbies stink and, while they love us and would do just about anything for us - they won't while we have a rotten attitude.  Check yours, bathe the situation in prayer, refresh your relationship with the Lord, love your hubby...and God will work....

For 25 years I have seen this occur over and over again. The real issues are: #1) He is your husband and it would be a gross sin to divorce over this matter; #2) Have you asked God for forgiveness? Frankly, it seems you have very poor decision making abilities re. this matter. Did you seek wise counsel from your pastor or godly Christians in your church? Most likely not. ;#3)Your duties and obligations to God now are primarily toward your husband, wether you like it or not. If you remain focused on this matter you will remain unsatisfied both spiritually and emotionally. But if you ask God to help you be the best wife mankind has ever seen, ask Him to help you love your husband and make a decision that you are going to do so, and become a help suitable (meet) for your husband then you will be satisfied. Your #1 ministry is your husband, more so than any ministry you may have at church. If I sound harsh, it is not intentional but the bible does say "..iron sharpeneth iron.."

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