He’s Husband Material but Doesn’t Share My Faith
- Thursday, October 13, 2011
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: How do you reject a guy who "has everything you want for a husband" but doesn't share your faith? I don't want to give him a message that says: "if you were a believer, I would say yes . . . but until then I'll have to say no." Of course I want him to be a believer, but I want him to be one for the right reasons and not only to patronize me.
HE SAID: A cord of three strands will not be easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Only a marriage where both individuals are believers with Jesus at the center of their relationship forms this strengthened cord in matrimony.
How imperative is it for you to marry a believer? If it is an important part, but just one of many qualities you are looking for, then I would say to respond in a way that causes the least amount of “rejection” for him.
However, if a relationship with Christ is a must-have, non-negotiable factor in order for a man to be your husband, like you seem to be indicating, you have to be completely honest and forthright. The manner in which you handle this may be the most impactful way to live your faith out in front of him.
Begin by praying for wisdom and for the right opportunity and situation to have this conversation. When the time comes, approach it from the point of what you are looking for and need in a relationship (like a husband who is the spiritual leader), not from the side of what he is lacking, even though they may seem to be one and the same.
Share your beliefs, convictions and passion for Christ with him. Don’t downplay the importance for his benefit; rather allow him to see how much Jesus has changed your life, what he means to you and how he guides you each day. The truth you share may be the only opportunity he has to hear about the love of Jesus.
Many of us go into a relationship hoping or trying to change someone into what we want them to be instead of allowing the person to be who they are. A decision to follow Christ is a personal and individual decision and one that must be made on their own, and in their own time.
Pray he will find Jesus for himself through this experience.
SHE SAID: Here’s the bottom line question to answer your question: Is it more important that you please man or that you please God?
Assuming your answer is to “please God,” then faith in Christ should be the most important prerequisite that you should have when determining your husband “must-haves” list. Which means you do have to say “no” to this man as a marriage prospect for you. Notice you are not saying no to friendship, but you cannot go further than that if you want to please God.
When you please God, you will not always please men. Hence, that’s where your struggle probably is with “rejecting” this man as marriage material. But it is scriptural. Read through 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. It’s the passage titled “Do Not Be Yoked with Unbelievers.” It doesn’t make excuses or apologies. It just tells us plain and simple to not go there . . . because when you do become yoked with a nonbeliever in an intimate relationship, your faith will be weakened and you will not be drawn closer to the Lord. You will always be pulled away. Always.
It’s true. Think about the friends you know who are married to or are dating non-Christians. And what do their spiritual lives look like now? Are they growing spiritually or have they regressed? Have they withdrawn from church fellowship? Has their speech changed? Do they not want to talk about spiritual matters any longer? Are they doing things now that they didn’t do before they were yoked with those who aren’t believers?
“For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?” Nothing. “Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” It can’t.
“We are the temple of the living God.” Remember that as you make decisions as they relate to dating and marriage. Our lives are not our own. We were bought and paid for, redeemed and given hope of eternal life. We are holy. We are set apart. God is living inside of us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
This will be hard, as you begin to detach emotionally and let go of any hopes and dreams you may have held in your heart regarding this man. So allow some healthy space between you. (Yes, God can still draw your friend to himself, but that is between your friend and the Lord.) Hopefully as you share with your friend why you cannot consider him for marriage, this will be a good opportunity for you to share more about your faith and why what you believe the Bible says is so crucial in decision making for your life.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
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