What happens when the believing husband no longer wants to live with his non-believing wife?

15 oct 2010 | ora 09.51 Family | Vasile Filat

I was recently asked about the possibility of coexistence between a believing husband who does not want to live with his wife, who is not a believer:

What happens if the believing husband does not want to live with his non-believing wife and vice versa? In the article you explain only the situation where an unbeliever wants to or not to continue the relationship.

The husband no longer wants to live with his wife

To men who have non-believing wives or to women who have non-believing spouses, the Holy Scripture says:

But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. (1 Corinthians 7:12-14)(NASB)

And God’s Word also says:

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. (1 Corinthians 7:27 a)(NASB)

It is unacceptable for a Christian to divorce his non-believing wife who wants to live on with him, even if he does not want to live with his wife anymore. The same truth applies to women who are married to non-believing men who want to continue living with them. To these women the Word of God says the following:

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. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. (1 Peter 3:1-6)(NASB)

Even if he does not want to live with his non-believing, the believing husband must save his family. Similarly, the believing wife must remain in the family with her non-believing husband, so that he may be won for God.

God bless all those who are married to non-believing partners with wisdom, patience and power to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in word and deed, so that the non-believing partners might be sanctified through them.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru

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I am the pastor of the ”Good News” Church in Chisinau, Moldova, I teach God's Word at the Inductive Bible Study Institute of Eurasia, and I also lead the "Precept Ministries in Moldova” Association. With God's help I founded the Taekwon-Do club " Stolas Leukas ""English for a New Life" School, the Computer School "ScripTehInfo", the International Sports Coaching School and the International Media School. I am married to Anastasia, and we have three children. Since April 2007 we have provided answers from the Bible on this website to 1189 questions submitted by readers. To learn more about me, please read here.
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