There are few things more painful than being unequally yoked. Perhaps this will encourage you to press on and endure with joy. Yes, joy.
1. Remember how patient God was with YOU!
Your days can be long, painful and so frustrating. Before you throw a pot or pan your spouse’s way, remember how long-suffering God was with you. How many years did He pursue you as you continued to blaspheme Him? Perhaps that thought will get you through one more day.
2. Your spouse has committed no sin against you that is worse than the sins you commit against Jesus.
His/her words and actions can be brutally painful. It is OK to feel pain. But remember, his/her sins against you are like a stroll in the country compared to your sins against Jesus. Never forget who the chief of sinners is: You!
3. When your spouse is annoying and sinful, remember, your sins put Jesus on the cross.
“It was my sin that held Him there, until it was accomplished.” Your sins were the cause of the death of your Savior, and yet, He demonstrated His love for you by dying while you were yet sinning (Romans 5:8). Is your suffering worse than the suffering you caused Jesus?
4. You cannot convert your spouse.
Nothing would bring you more joy than to see your spouse saved. Guess what? It would bring God great joy also (Luke 15:7). Go to sleep at night knowing that God cares and He is in control of salvation. Then you never have to worry if you did “everything right today.”
5. Figure out what God is trying to teach you in this.
God is in your situation (Romans 8:28). He has not abandoned you. More than that, He is trying to teach you, prepare you, equip you or grow you. Try to figure out what He is doing in your suffering.
6. Worry more about your faith than your spouse’s lack of faith.
Knowing that you cannot save your spouse, focus on your own spiritual health and growth. The more Godly you become, the more your life will support your testimony (I Peter 3:1,2). Besides, you must feed your own soul to endure the heartache of an unsaved spouse.
7. Forgive as fast as you can.
Remember how much you have been forgiven and forgive quickly (Matt.6:14,15). Forgive for his/her sake and yours. The longer you harbor pain and bitterness, the more difficult it will be to coexist (Eph.4:31,32).
8. Don’t forget the difference between sins and preferences.
It is easier to overlook annoyances when you remember that some things are just preferences. Flossing every other day is not a sin.
9. If your preaching causes fights, then back off.
This is a tricky one, but you do not have to preach the Gospel every day to your unsaved spouse, especially if he/she gets angry with you. If they have heard the Gospel, you do not need to feel guilty for not taking every opportunity to witness to him/her if it causes arguments (I Peter 3:1,2).
10. You are still playing a role in your marriage.
Even if your spouse is not playing his/her role, that does not mean you are to forget your responsibility and high calling. Wife, play the role of the church. Husband, play the role of Jesus. Do this, whether your spouse plays his/her part or not. The world will see the Gospel played out by you (Eph.5).
11. Play the man or woman.
Your situation is hard, excruciatingly hard. God would not have you in your situation if you were not the exact right person for job. He is sovereign and He knows best and He will equip you to endure.
12. Pray like mad that God would open his/her eyes.
God loves to save unsaved spouses and make homes a shining example of His goodness. Like the widow who was treated unjustly, beg God to save your spouse and children (Luke 18:1-8).
13. Know that God has saved many, many unequally yoked marriages.
God is the master author of writing many, many wonderful stories of redemption, reconciliation and restoration. He has done it countless times for others. He can do it for you. Your role is to be faithful while He does His work (I Cor.7:14).
14. Know that your kids see your faith in action.
It is easy to fret about your children because you are worried that they are not being taught enough. Do what you can and know that they are watching your faith as much as hearing about it (I Cor.7:14).
15. Cast all of your anxieties on Him because He cares for you (I Peter 5:7).
Jesus died for you. Jesus saved you. Jesus cares about you. He will never grow weary of hearing about your pain (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Don’t give up. Do not abandon ship. Know that God loves your heathen spouse more than you do. Know that He loves you too. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb.13:5). You have His word on it.