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H-E-L-P for a Spiritual Mismatch
by Tom Goodman
November 5, 2008

This Wednesday morning, I posted some comments about
the end of this historic presidential election.
Read "President-elect Obama" here.


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.

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 Corinthians 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.

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.

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.

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, November 9, at 10am.  We'll look a little deeper at the Bible's H-E-L-P for believers whose partners aren't interested in spiritual growth.

Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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