Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
Manage Your Subscription -- Subscribe/Unsubscribe Contact Us About Your Subscription

“When Unchurched Harry Met Sally”
by Tom Goodman
April 27, 2005

Are you in a spiritual mismatch?  If you’re growing in Christ but your partner isn’t, you’re probably wondering, “What do I do?  How can I get the most important person in my life to understand the most important part of my life?  Will my unbelieving partner stifle my spiritual growth?  Am I missing out on all that God wants for me because I’m united with someone who isn’t interested in God?”

God’s Word offers practical H-E-L-P on coping with a spiritual mismatch.

1.  Honor your marriage.  The Bible says, “If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her.  If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him” (1 Cor. 7:13, Msg).  The Greek word translated “hold on” means “don’t give up.”  Stay affectionate, attentive, and appreciative.  You may be frustrated that your partner doesn’t share your enthusiasm for Bible study and worship, but don’t let that frustration make you fail as a good partner.
2.  Exercise restraint.  The Bible says, “If you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it . . . in a gentle and respectful way” (1 Peter 3:15-16, NLT).  Understand that you are not responsible for your mate’s eternity; you are one of several tools God is using to influence your partner, but you are not single-handedly responsible for his or her conversion.  So, speak of your faith but don’t push.
3.  Live your faith. The Bible says, “In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News.  Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words.” (1 Peter 3:1-2, NLT).  A transformed life is what will make your partner sit up and take notice, so pay attention to your spiritual growth.
4.  Pray!  Lee Strobel has persuaded thousands to consider Christ with books like The Case for Christ, but he was an atheist in his younger years.  When his wife became a believer, the spiritual mismatch created stress.  Privately, though, his wife was praying for him.  She prayed that God would do for Lee what God promised in Ezekiel:  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27, NIV).
If you’re frustrated in a spiritual mismatch, join us this Sunday, May 1, at 10:45 a.m.  We’ll look a little deeper at the Bible’s H-E-L-P for believers whose partners aren’t interested in spiritual growth.

If you know someone who is frustrated with their spiritual mismatch, forward this e-newsletter to them with a promise of your prayers.


Want a good book on this subject?  Check out Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage by Lee and Leslie Strobel.

Important Notes:

Children’s Musical.  This Sunday, May 1, 6:30 p.m.  The kids have been working hard on “We Are United.”  Lots of moms and dads with camcorders will be attending!  They’ll appreciate your support and you’ll appreciate the great message the kids will share in song!
Men’s Fraternity.  Keep spreading the word about our Men’s Fraternity.  We only have a few more weeks left in our study on “Authentic Manhood.”  Tuesdays at 6:00 a.m.  Coffee and juice complimentary; breakfast tacos for $3.
05-05-05-05-05?  Take a moment to pray at 5:05 next Thursday,  May 5, 2005—morning or evening.  It’s the last time in your life that you’ll be able to pray at 05-05-05-05-05!
Mother’s Day in G-Force!  We’re encouraging all kids in Grades 1-4 to bring their moms to G-Force on Mother’s Day, May 8.  Special activities will honor Mom on her special day, and Mom will be able to find out what our new G-Force Kids Ministry is all about!  Remember, G-Force starts at 9:30 sharp every Sunday morning.  There are too many exciting things to accomplish in an hour and the leaders aren’t waiting for late arrivals.  Don’t let your kids miss out!  Every Sunday morning, 9:30 sharp!

Do you know friends who would appreciate Winning Ways?  Just forward this e-mail to them!

Have you subscribed to Winning Ways?  You can subscribe by clicking here and following the instructions.  Your e-mail address will not be sold or given away to anyone, and you can automatically change your subscription or drop it by following the easy steps provided with each e-mail.



MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:  Click here.  If you do not have access to the web, please send a note to to tell us of any changes you would like to make.