Is it possible to elect to the church council a Christian whose wife is unbelieving?

In this article I will answer if can a christian man whose wife is an unbelieving be a church council member.


We need an advice. In your opinion, can a Christian whose wife is an unbeliever be a church council member?

wife is unbelievingThe Bible doesn’t teach this, because Christians are chosen to the church leadership according to the qualities of their character. Regarding the relationship with his wife, it is required from the one who is elected to the church leadership to be ”the husband of one wife”, i.e., be a faithful man in his relations with his wife and not fall into temptation or be emotionally or sexually attracted by other women, but he should know to keep his “vessel in holiness” and love his wife as Christ loves His Church.

But, I suppose someone will mention the verse that says that those who are placed in leadership are required to keep their children under control.So, if this is the requirement on children, why isn’t it also required for his wife?Let us look at this text in its context:

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7)(NASB)

From a man who is involved in church leadership it is required to manage well his household and he who does not watch over his children’s behavior and does not keep them under control with all dignity does not qualify for this position. But the husband can not decide for his wife to believe or not believe in Jesus Christ.This is her personal choice and in this sense, God’s Word 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. Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:12-16)(NASB)

Do you see the last verse? For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? The Christian can share the Gospel with his non-Christian’s wife, but it is her personal choice to believe or not in Jesus Christ.

Returning to the question, I have not seen any Bible verses that would stop a man from the ministry of the Gospel or not be elected to leadership position in the Church because his wife is non-Christian. But it is important both for the man who has an unbelieving wife and for the other members of the Church to understand well and to be sure that they take a wise decision when it comes to his involvement in a ministry and leadership position.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru