How To Be a Biblical Wife To an Ungodly Husband ftImg (#ChristianMarriage #BiblicalWifehood Reclaiming Hope & Joy in your Marriage)

How To Be a Biblical Wife To an Ungodly Husband

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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.  Dear Friend of an Abused Wife.  Don’t send her back into the relationship to “Fix” him.  Help her get Help.  That is Friendship and love. For some real help to get out of an abusive Relationship Check out these 7 Steps to Make a Finacial Escape Plan.

In the course of one week, three different women sent me the same portion of scripture (about being a wife):

1 Peter 3:1-4 submission Biblical Wifehood Christian Marriage

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 tried to ignore the 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 Biblical Wife To an Ungodly Husband PinIt (#ChristianMarriage #BiblicalWifehood Reclaiming Hope & Joy in your Marriage)

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.


With this new perspective, I surrendered; “okay God, just show me how.” Over time, here is what He taught me.

Biblical wifehood. God Expects me to be a biblical wife even if my husband never embraces his godly role. Christian Marriage Quote

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

How to be a biblical wife to an ungodly husband

1. 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.

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.

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God took me through a journey of re-learning how to live as a wife with a Biblical Worldview.  It is a joy for me to teach and mentor locally and I am thrilled to launch this new Online Course.

In this 9 week Course, we will dig into the Bible and find out how to restore our Marriage – rebuilding it to Last a lifetime!

This Marriage Course will include:

  • 10 Self-paced video lessons
    • Love
    • Forgiveness
    • Desires Vs. Preferences
    • My Mouth
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  • 9 weeks of personal study
    • 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
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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.

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, we must love.

“It [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a (NIV)

3. Show Compassion

Bitterness will thrive in the heart of a 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.

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.

Do you need some encouragement to keep pressing into that Daily Commitment?  

We could all use a community to help us in Reclaiming Hope & Joy in our marriages!

We just finished a 31 day Series to help us Reclaim Hope & Joy in Marriage by Intentionally Investing in our Biblical Wifehood.

Get the articles Free in this downloadable e-Book.  We also have a Private Facebook group to let us connect – Wives only.

“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. 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 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.)

There is also a piece of this that requires Forgiveness.  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 biblical 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 in whom you can delight.”



Kira Bridges

Hi there! I am Kira. I am on a journey to discover how to live with joy and I hope you will join me! I believe true joy only comes from God and the best way to find joy is by seeking the life He intended us to have.

20 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.

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