2000-08-08 - An Unsanctified Spouse
Summer Question Series, Part 6
I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for the questions you have submitted. I have received at least 100 of them and I have tried to respond personally to many and some I have used in the devotionals. Some I have just not been able to respond to. Others I have written nice long responses to and then found that I did not have your email address because the question was addressed to Jen and not to me, and, I, in the process lost the address (talk about frustration). If you have a burning question that I have yet to get to...feel free to send it again. My two main computers are down, and I am using my wife's at this point (an IBM, and I have been a Mac man for the last 8 years). I know nothing about it and I can't find files in it. After a month, AOL clears my current email list and so I have lost several questions. If I have yet to respond to you: 1. I am trying. 2. It is not personal. 3. Please feel free to send again. (A hint, the shorter the question, the better.) Thanks for your trust and willingness to work with this program.
1 Corinthians 7:13-14 A woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, let her not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.
I have a question...if one spouse tries to live a Christian life and struggles to teach the children about God while the other spouse yells, curses, etc. how are the children ever going to know which path to take as they get older?
From experience, from working in churches, I think this is a very common question. So first, I want you to give you an internet hug from all those who have had the same experience. I expect to get many notes of encouragement from those of you who have had the same experience, and I warn anyone who writes that I might pass your note on here, names ungiven, of course.
Your situation is so common today. So many women attend church without their husbands, kids in hand, husband absent. It is one of those unaddressed areas that must be addressed! The hope of all is that the husband will, one day, see the light and see the difference that Christ can make in a life, esp … the lives of his wife and children. But until then it seems that all the wife, children, and church can do is that common phrase, "Pray without ceasing," 1 Thessalonians 5:17
And I hope that you notice that I said, "it seems." Because the Bible gives much more hope than that. I will not try to give the right theological interpretation on these verses here, but often the simple reading is the key to understanding a passage. Often looking deeper, in this case much deeper, will give more light, but the simple reading of a passage is often the best clue to what it means. Often those who wish to lead us astray will come up with inventive, often convincing interpretations, of a passages of Scripture, or several passages, but the simple reading often sheds the true light.
There are a lot of issues at stake in this passage I have quoted above. And I hope that you will read it in the context of the entire passage. However, what I wish to say to you is that there is hope here for you. The Bible says clearly that your faithfulness to Christ results in positive things. It has an impact beyond you!!! That is to be a great encouragement to you.
I think that what this passage means is subject to debate and interpretation, but on this fact I am sure: Faithfulness on your part is in the favor of you, your husband, and your children. How much more encouragement do you need to seek Godliness? Look at the impact on those whom you love...May the Lord bless you for your strength and may He lead your entire family to Christ. Thank you for your hard and important question.
"What a mercy was it to us to have parents that prayed for us before they had us, as well as in our infancy when we could not pray for ourselves!" --John Flavel. (I thank the Lord for my folks based on this statement, and I bet many others do also)
Soli Deo Gloria,