I don’t know this for a fact but I am fairly certain that at some point all Christians find themselves in a place of doubt or struggling in our faith. To me those two words go together; doubt and struggle. They can be used in either sequence too. Doubt leads to struggle or a struggle in life leads us to our doubt in Christ. Faith struggles. When you are sitting in this place what do you do? I know for me, I look for all the biblical truths that I know. This helps to calm me down and then I think about what is causing my doubt. Usually, it is that I feel alone and I can’t seem to find God where I think he should be.
I have to evaluate what is going on in my life. What my free will choices had to do with where I have ended up and what I am not pleased about. We have to take a step back, remind ourselves of Gods truths and then self-evaluate, but what if we aren’t the one struggling? What if the one struggling with their faith is our spouse? How do we help and what role does God want us to play in that?
What is our role to play?
I have not had to deal with this exact issue with my husband but working with teen students through our church it is a conversation that I am all too familiar with. I learned the hard way not to react out of hurt or confusion. This is the quickest way to push someone away. We may not fully understand why our spouse is doubting or struggling and we don’t have to. The best thing that we can do is to pray. Pray for them, pray with them and ask others to pray for them as well (details don’t have to be shared). When we come to the Lord, he hears our prayers. It is the longing of his heart to have his sons and daughter joined together in unity together but with him also. He knows that an evenly yoked marriage is best. Invite him in to intercede. Pray together.
This is still hard for me
This is something that is still really hard for me even though I have been married to my husband for years. I don’t know why but I always get sweaty and nervous. It is well worth it anyway. I always feel completely blessed afterward. If you can pray out loud with your spouse it will allow them to hear your heart. When you pray for them, with them, you are entering into a love triangle with Christ. What could be more powerful for a marriage or a Christ-filled relationship than this?
The only thing I warn is be careful that you are praying encouragement. It is helpful to also let them hear your pray your own concerns or struggles. It is so much easier to communicate when you don’t feel alone. Let them know that we all have times of doubt. Don’t make the whole prayer about your spouse’s struggles. This will make them feel weak and judged. You don’t even have to pray for their struggle at all, but maybe pray that God would penetrate your marriage, family, and home. This way you are praying for your spouse without calling them out. You don’t want to discourage or make them feel like less, you want to lift them up!
Do you know what may be causing their faith struggle? Try and talk about that with them. Usually, there is hurt, confusions, sadness. Many times people feel like God has let them down. He wasn’t there, he didn’t care, these types of feelings. If they don’t want to talk that’s ok. It’s really important to remember that God may choose to use you as a tool in connecting with your spouse, but he doesn’t “need” you. He can do it all on his own. We are talking about a child of God. He isn’t going to just let them walk away, he will help them find their way back.
words may not be needed
Listen closely to what the Lord is asking you to do in the situation. Words may not even be what is needed. Your actions and how you live can attract or repel someone when talking about spiritual growth. Are you living out what you believe? Are you enjoying life, being joyful, encouraging, loving, forgiving? Do you live out all that God calls us to or are you simply making life religious? There is a difference. Living for Christ and all that he has to offer us produces fruits of the spirit and others can see the light in our lives, but being religious can look like many things.
The Pharisees were very religious, but also hypocrites, judgemental, they viewed themselves as better than others. They were not living for Jesus but rather living to prove that they could follow rules and commands. They were trying to follow Christ without involving their hearts. Step back and look at the life you are leading. Is it a life that is going to help attract your spouse to Christ or is your life helping him view Christ as just a religion and not a loving God?
patience is a virtue
The last thing that I really want to hit on is patience. Your spouse is a believer and has been accepted into the arms of Christ and a future in Heaven. Doubt doesn’t erase that. Be patient. Don’t nag, don’t force, don’t get angry. Love your spouse with a love that is so fierce that it has to be coming from Christ. Continue to pray, talk to one another, have fun, be intimate. Be everything that you are called to be as a biblical spouse. Show your spouse what they are missing in this time of struggle. Help them to physically see that Christ is still there loving them. He is loving them through you and through your marriage.
Don’t give up! God has got your spouse in his hands. He knows everything there is and ever was to know about them. He knows how to reach them and how to gain them back to his glory. Your spouse isn’t the first to doubt or to struggle. God has dealt with this his entire existence. He even had prophets who were doubting, but he never left them. He always knew what they needed to believe and came to them when the time was right. Your spouse is loved by the King most high, and nothing can change that!