What does God want me to do with my Marriage? That is the question so many godly wives ask as they face circumstances and situations they never imagined. Are you such a wife? A godly wife trying to learn how to be a biblical wife to an ungodly husband.
You are not alone. Today Kira Bridges will share part of her story with us about how God gave her Hope for Marriage, re-directed her, and turned marital problems into a healthy successful marriage.
Stay to the end to see a video where I go more in-depth about becoming a godly wife!
Be sure to follow the Entire Series on the Hope For Marriage Event Page.
How To Be a Biblical Wife To an Ungodly Husband
In the course of one week, three different women sent me the same portion of scripture (about being a biblical wife):
“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:1-4
The first time I received these words, I thought my friend must have misunderstood my situation. “What does submitting to my husband have to do with him needing to shape up?” I wondered. I’d rather hear Bible verses about being hurt by my husband.
What I need to know is how to be a biblical wife to an ungodly husband!
I tried to ignore their advice, but God kept sending His messengers. By the third time these verses appeared on my screen, I was fed up. “God, why should I submit when he doesn’t have my best interests at heart? You told him to love me like Christ loved the church, and if he isn’t doing his part, then I can’t do mine.”God, why should I submit when he doesn’t have my best interests at heart? You told him to love me like Christ loved the church, and if he isn’t doing his part, then I can’t do mine. Click To Tweet
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a response.
I thought my argument was pretty sound. Submission needs trust, trust comes from love; no love = no trust = no submission required. (To be fair, my husband did love me, but things were rough and this is how I felt.)
But as I sat in the silence, a scene unfolded in my head. I stood before the throne of God and He asked me to give an account of my actions as a biblical wife. I started to explain about my husband when God interrupted me, “Your husband? He is not here. This is about you.” My heart became heavy and I hung my head; I had no account to give.
At that moment, I realized my behavior cannot be dependent on my husband. God expects me to be a biblical wife, even if my husband never embraces his godly role in our marriage. That is what 1 Peter 3:1-4 is all about; living a life that is pleasing to God—A life that reflects His nature to the world, and of course, to my husband. A life that asks what God expects from a wife, a godly wife.
With this new perspective, I surrendered; “okay God, just show me how to be a godly wife.” Over time, here is what He taught me about how to be a godly wife.God expects me to be a biblical wife, even if my husband never embraces his godly role in our marriage. Click To Tweet
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5 Steps to be a godly wife to an ungodly husband
This Post is not talking about a wife in an abusive relationship. Dear Wife, If you are being abused -physically or emotionally please seek help. This link may help. There is NEVER a justification for abuse. There are places that will help you and your children.
1. A Godly Wife Must Pray
Prayer invites God to work in our lives. Start by asking God to help change you into the biblical wife He desires you to be. Ask Him to reveal the areas you need to work on and to give you the discipline to achieve personal and spiritual growth.
Also, pray for your husband. Only God can convict our husbands of their sin and mold them into godly men. But we can be our husband’s prayer warriors. Plead with God to work in your husband’s life and pray against attacks from the enemy.
Do you need help with this? Are you asking things like, “How to pray for my husband who left me”, or “How to pray for a husband with a hard heart”?
Learn How to Create Prayers for Marriages in Trouble: War Room Prayer Strategy here and get a list of verses to pray.
Praying Scripture for your Marriage Starting a prayer journal provides you with a strategy for strengthening your marriage by praying God’s Word. In it, you can build a strong defense around your marriage to guard against Satan’s lies and temptations, by praying through four areas:
- Claiming victory over the enemy
- Surrendering to God’s will
- Becoming a godly woman
- Strengthening your relationship with your husband.
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4: 10-11NKJV, emphasis added)
God loved us without being loved in return. Our love for our husband should imitate God’s love for us. But the question is, “how to love your husband unconditionally?”.
Theologian Miroslav Volf explains unconditional love this way,
“You love God for nothing, or you don’t love God.”
He uses marriage as an example saying if he only loved his wife for everything she did for him, and how she made him feel, then he didn’t actually love her.
Biblical love cannot be conditional. It cannot depend on whether you feel loved, or whether you receive love in return. Even when it is hard and painful to do so, you must love your husband unconditionally.
“It [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a (NIV)
3. A Christian Wife Shows Compassion
Bitterness will thrive in the heart of a Christian wife who doesn’t show compassion to her husband. (Ask me how I know.) But bitterness is not an attribute of a biblical wife, so we must learn how to have compassion for our husband’s sin.Bitterness will thrive in the heart of a Christian wife who doesn’t show compassion to her husband. Click To Tweet
Being compassionate for your husband means acknowledging your own sinful nature and how hard it is to overcome sinful tendencies. It also requires setting aside anger for understanding and demonstrating grace and mercy because that is what Jesus does.
Having compassion for your spouse’s sin does not mean you ignore the sin. The Bible makes it clear we are to gently call out sin in the lives of others.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.”Galatians 6:1 (ESV)
But we can be hard on the sin while still loving the sinner.
Need help with this? Check out Boundaries in Marriage.
4. A Godly Wife will Lead From Behind
Remember my argument with God? How I essentially asked, why should I submit to an ungodly husband? I struggled to obey not because I was against submitting, but because it seemed foolish to submit to someone who wasn’t walking with God.
What helped me get over this mental block was an article by Rick Thomas called Nine Effective Ways to Disciple Your Husband While Submitting to Him. Rick makes it clear that wives are not supposed to passively accept their husband’s immature Christianity. He states:
“One of the wife’s primary responsibilities in her marriage is to counsel her husband. She is the number one sanctifying-agent in her husband’s life.”
He calls this our responsibility to disciple our husbands; to offer them biblical care and to point them to Jesus. But we in doing so, we must remain within our God-ordained role and therefore, lead our husbands from behind. This includes praying for your husband, demonstrating the behavior you desire to see from him, encouraging him, and giving him opportunities to learn from godly men.
It took me a while to completely wrap my head around this concept, so I highly recommend reading Rick’s full article here. (This article is addressed to women whose husbands claim to be Christians but who are not stepping up to be the godly leader in the family, which was my case. However, even if your husband isn’t a self-proclaimed Christian, I think you will find it helpful.)
5. A Godly Wife must also learn to Forgive
I’d love to share the Pathway I found to truly forgiving the Pain, Abuse, and Betrayal that stoke so many years of my life. I was stuck, unwilling to forgive. I had to learn to release people so I could walk in freedom! I’d love to share that story with you – It is a Free download below.
Being a Godly Wife to an Ungodly Husband is Hard Work
Let me repeat, being a godly wife to an ungodly husband is hard work. It doesn’t seem fair, and somedays, it might not even feel worth it. But I promise it is! Over time your behavior may win over your husband as 1 Peter 3:2 suggests. But even if it doesn’t, you can stand confidently in God’s presence and say, “I did my part. I followed your instruction and worked hard to be a biblical wife – to an ungodly husband – in whom you can delight.”
Do You Need To Go Deeper?
This is part of the 9-week Marriage Bible Study –Finding Hope & Joy in Marriage. Through this course, we will explore the 9 Biblical foundations of having a successful marriage in God’s way.
This class will include:
- 10 video lessons
- You can watch live or when you have time
- 9 weeks of personal study
- 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
- A private Facebook Group to discuss the homework and talk through the weekly challenges
- 45 Days of Prayer prompts
Kira Bridges is a writer and online mentor for Christian women. She is all about finding practical ways to honor God with your whole life. Kira provides Christian encouragement and resources for living a set apart life on her website, KiraBridges.com. You can connect with her on further on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you enjoyed this you would also like these Posts:
- 14 Characteristics of a Godly Wife that will Save Your Marriage
- 40-Days to Be Still and Know God More
- How to Fast and Pray in a Way that Pleases God
Some resources that can help you if you are struggling in a difficult marriage, an ungodly marriage are below