Differences can divide us, making our marriages messy and full of pain …
especially when those differences are spiritual or faith-based. God clearly reminds us that our faith can be a stumbling block to those who don’t believe (Rom. 9:31-33). And the Apostle Paul warns us against being “yoked together” with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14).
But sometimes a spiritual mismatch just happens or remains.
So what then? How can you come together with a spouse who does not value the relationship you hold so dear with God? In fact, many times in a spiritually mismatched marriage, the spouse comes to resent his or her spouse’s faith. It’s as if the unbelieving spouse feels he must compete with, of all persons, God! Talk about feeling intimidated!
Since I do not have, nor have I ever had, this problem in my marriage, I will not attempt to give answers from my own perspective. But I certainly can recommend a book, Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch, from two authors, Lee and Leslie Strobel, who have been through this difficult dynamic in their own marriage.
If you are in a relationship with someone who does not share your beliefs about God, even if you feel your spouse is a believer but isn’t pursuing God as he or she should, then this would be a great read for you.
Allow me to give you a little background on Lee and Leslie. At one time Lee was a staunch atheist who worked as an award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune. Early in Lee and Leslie’s marriage, they felt this difference dividing them when she became a Christian. As the book unfolds, both Lee and Leslie share from their own individual perspectives.
They go on to share the things that drew Lee closer to Leslie’s faith, as well as, the things that flat out turned him off. After much trial and turmoil in their marriage, Lee eventually willingly and joyfully surrendered his life to Christ. Fast forward to today and Lee is now a powerful minister to the skeptic, as well as, to those who struggle with a spouse who is a skeptic or antagonistic toward faith in God.
This book will open your eyes to the struggle that is behind a spiritual mismatch and will give you principles to follow that will give you the ability to persevere and potentially break-through the barriers that stand in your spouse’s way.
In the weeks and months ahead, I hope to have true-life testimonials about the difficulty of being in a spiritually mismatched marriage. So share with me exactly what types of problems you face in a marriage that is out of balance in this very important way. Thanks so much!