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How To Be a Biblical Wife To an Ungodly Husband

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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.

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):

1 Peter 3:1-4 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.

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.”

How to Be a Godly Wife to an Ungodly Husband How to be a biblical wife to an ungodly husband. Godly wife quotes, godly wife proverbs 31, being a godly wife. characteristics of a godly wife, godly wife virtuous woman, becoming a godly wife, bible verses about a biblical wife, biblical wife quotes, role of a biblical wife #godlywife #ChristianMarriage #HopeJoyInChrist

“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

God answered this godly wife’s prayer

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

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for full disclosure.)

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 warrior. 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”?

If you need help with this, check out my 7-Step Way Strategy for Marriage and click here to receive my Build Your Defenses Blueprint, which includes over 20 verses for a biblical wife to pray.

Enter To Win!! Kira Bridges' new Prayer Journal: Praying Scripture for your Marriage. Click To Tweet
I am giving away one copy of my new Prayer Journal

Praying Scripture for your Marriage prayer journal provides you with a strategy for strengthening your marriage by praying God’s Word. You’ll learn how to build a strong defense around your marriage to guard against Satan’s lies and temptations, by praying through four areas:

  1. Claiming victory over the enemy
  2. Surrendering to God’s will
  3. Becoming a godly woman
  4. Strengthening your relationship with your husband.

Here’s what you get with the Praying Scripture for your Marriage journal:

  • A simple formula for praying Scripture so you can use this journal with confidence even if you’ve never prayed Scripture before.

  • 25 Days worth of Bible verses to pray so you can strengthen your marriage with God’s Word.

  • Daily pages with space to write down the truth for your marriage and a prayer so you can fight back the enemy’s lies and invite God to work in your marriage.

Enter To Win Below!

Marriage Journal - Praying Scripture for your marriage prayer journal. Christian Wife, Godly Wife, Biblical Wife, #ChristianMarriage Godly Marriage, Biblical Marriage #Giveaways #HopeJoyInChrist


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2. Biblical Wife, Love Your Husband Unconditionally

1 John 4: 10-11 tells us: 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.” (NKJV, 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 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.”


If you enjoyed this you would also like these Posts:


Some resources that can help you if you are struggling in a difficult marriage, an ungodly marriage are below:



Finding Hope and Joy in My Marriage Online Marriage Course for Wives Only PinIt ( #findinghopeandjoyinmymarriage #ChristianMarriage #ChristianMarriageadvice #BiblicalMarriage #Relationshipadvice #ChristianLiving #HopeinMarriage )


Kira Bridges

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, You can connect with her on further on Facebook, and Instagram.

26 thoughts to “How To Be a Biblical Wife To an Ungodly Husband”

  1. Thank you! This article really helped me!! I took a lot of notes. I was really struggling with this….I felt like…. why isn’t my husband stepping up spiritually in our family and leading us in prayer, bible reading and attending church….I felt like I some how left that box unchecked before I married him but he went to church with me….with me…..we are now married 15 years and looking back through out the years I have always been the one to find a church, lead the prayers and bible reading… I am feeling frustrated because I feel like…. it is only me that wants a closer relationship with GOD and only me that feels like if our family is close to GOD we wouldn’t be experiencing some of the problems we are having. Thank you again for this article.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I am so glad you found this helpful. What you are experiencing is so common, yet not often addressed. Definitely check out the Rick Thomas article I linked to about disciplining your husband if you haven’t already.

  2. Wow, this article really hit home with me I thought I was one in a million going through this. MY husband is a Wonderful man by any means does anything to help anyone in n need, but when it comes to following me in going to church or simply praying he will not do it. I have tried to express what it would mean to me and to us but he can’t.

    1. You are definitely not alone Debbie! I can’t stress how important it is to pray for your husband’s heart because even if he did go to church or pray just because you asked, it wouldn’t be sincere. Only true heart change will make a difference, and no one but God can make that happen.

  3. What if he is a gambler and dispite disapproval he continues? His grown sons are following him. He is also going to a pagan church. I left the pagan church and got saved 20 years ago. We have been married over 30 years. Now all our sons are grown up. I am retired and babysitting our grandkids.
    I still go to church and pray.

    1. Hi Barbara, so sorry to hear about situation. I believe the tips in this article are still applicable for you. But please understand that having unconditional love and compassion for your spouse does not mean he can do whatever he wants without consequence. I highly recommend reading Boundsaries in Marriage. They talk about dealing with spouses with addition and other distructive behaviors in a biblical way.

  4. My husband told me that even though he vowed to be faithful to me on our wedding day, that he cannot promise to be, nor can he promise not to ogle women and fall back into pornography. I told him before we ever got together that porn, cheating and lying were not going to be accepted and that if he cannot be faithful, he should not pursue me. He promised me that his former addiction to porn was well behind him, that he was never turning back, and that he only ever wanted God and me. Well, 10 months into our marriage, I discovered that he was stalking my friends on Facebook, lusting after them, and that every single device he owned had porn stashed on it somewhere. He was doing this even during our engagement, so he knew that he was deceiving me when he told me that he was faithful. My heart and trust are shattered. He married me under false pretenses. I am warring between what this article says and the sick feeling within me that tells me he is into a lot worse than I realize. Please pray for me and share anything that the Lord asks you to share with me.

    1. I am praying for you friend. It can be so hard… There aren’t words that will help here. Only prayer and trusting God to guide your steps. He has this… even though He allows us to feel the consequences of others sin. We’ll talk about this in the class. Keep an eye out for week 5 and 6.

  5. It’s not often that I leave comments anywhere but I felt the need to after reading your post. We can only hope and pray that the Lord sees our hearts and protects our men. I can’t help but to think of the beginning when Adam and Eve were created. Man being first, but it was Eve who was tempted by the devil. We women need to be protectors of our husbands. Just doing what the Lord asks of us may save the life of them. Peace and blessings to you!

  6. 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.”

    I struggled with this too. Waiting waiting until someone else took care of their business before I took care of mine. That can be a long wait. Then I turned to Jesus as my husband while mine earthy husband struggled. That made all the difference. I trust Jesus. I can move forward with his love for my husband and my family and me!

    1. That is it exactly Tanya! Thank you for sharing your heart. I too struggled, waiting for him to get his part right… but as I’ve surrendered to God about this He has been working wonders in my husband as well!

  7. Wow, I was really feeling alone. And foolish. I know what the Bible says. We were awesomely compatible for probably 7 of our 17 years. Been through more than our share of trouble but we were fine. I don’t know what hurricane came through but it did and my husband’s heart changed. He did a 360, he cheated. I decided to stay. He never asked for forgiveness I found out. Then he acts like he hates me. He is resentful of me I have no clue why. But I pray for him still. And something biblical tells me to stay. I deserve better behavior but God has me planted. He stopped going to church when his mom died 3 years ago. This was just so timely for me. Thank you.

  8. I just found this and it really spoke to me. I have struggled over the last 5 years (we have been married for 6) to be a godly wife to my husband who claims that he has accepted the Lord but refuses to live like it. It is reassuring to know there are other women who face the same thing. I always feel so alone! I know the Lord is with me but there have been some dark, dark times.

  9. What a beautiful post Kira. So transparent. I watched my grandmother do this very thing, and she did it beautifully, faithfully, and with the right spirit. Lots of prayer and eventually my grandfather came to know the Lord as his savior. It was a special day I will never forget! Her years of being obedient to God paid off in a very big way! No doubt, had she not played her roll right, things may have turned out differently for my grandfather, but God used my grandmother to bring him to His Savior! Thanks for these lovely reminders!

    Pinned & Tweeted.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    1. I love hearing stories like this… they are rare in our day but I pray they begin to be more common. God really can use marriage to bring our spouse around if we stick with it (outside of abuse of course)

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