If a believing spouse is jealous of my time spent in prayer or study, or my commitment in serving God, how should I respond?
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Keep praying for your spouse - 1 Corinthians 7:13-14 says: "If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband..." Make sure your heart stands firm in Christ. We all have free will to do what we are led to do. Sometimes couples don't seem to be on the same page. Billy Davis of the singing group, The Fifth Dimension, once said in an interview that he was very jealous of his wife's (Marilyn) new found relationship with God. She continued to pray and worship. He said one night she took him to a club on Hollywood Boulevard that was having church services (which he was unaware) and GOD touched his heart that very night. God will always fight your battles and believe this: no one can stand against HIM. Remember the Israelites at the Red Sea and what God told them in Exodus 14:14: "...stand still and the LORD will fight for you"). Your quiet time with the LORD is meant for just that, quiet. If you were reading the paper, no one would say anything. But there's something about the Word of GOD that makes unbelievers very nervous. Remember also, Romans 8:37 tells us we are more than conquerors and Romans 8:31 says "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Again, keep praying that your husband would come to understand all this. God Bless.
It isn't that your spouse is jealous of your relationship with the Lord. It is actually the conviction of continuing in sin, whilst the Spirit of Truth is in you. Yes, you are sanctified, and you're being sanctified (set apart from the world) by God the Holy Spirit living in you. But, as Paul puts it in 1 Cor 7:14: For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Now, I want you to note here, that we believers are sanctified "by" the Holy Spirit, and I want to take this a step farther, not that it makes any difference, but Jesus said in John 14:23: If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word(commands). My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Note that the Trinity is in you. All three persons of the One true God. So again, we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. But, the unbelieving spouse is sanctified not by us, rather through us. It is still the Holy Spirit sanctifying them. This is kinda like the same concept in where we cannot know the invisible God except through His Son, because of course, we are carnal, and spiritually dead in Adam. So knowing God would be impossible, and there would be no desire in us to seek what we cannot see, while there is such a vast selection of sinful behavior, to feast upon. Although the pleasures are fleeting. They are tangible and excite the senses. But, through the God/man, Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, coming in the flesh. In the form of a man, we can now wrap our finite minds around it. We now have something tangible that we can ponder our thoughts on, and the more we ponder the more our faith increases. In Rom 10:17, Paul tells us that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". Your unbelieving spouse is probably not going to just have an epiphany, and all of a sudden pick up a bible to read the word of God. But, that is okay, because you just as in Heb. 1:3, it says that, He is the radiance of His glory, and the exact representation of His nature. This is the Father referring to Jesus, His Son. We believers ate also a beacon of light in the world, we are representatives of the the living word of God. We are the hands, feet and voice of the Spirit of God working through us, to touch hearts and put to task, the minds of our spouse that may be trailing behind. I have heard this many times said. So I will repeat it here: We may be the only bible an unbeliever ever gets to read in their lifetime. So, I will also add to that, in saying, "Be to them, who you have seen that Christ Jesus, is to His bride (church)". Last point here, I am not sure why God allows you and me the wonderfully glorious experience of sharing His good news to the lost, as a vessel in which He will use to turn the heart and mind of a spouse left trailing behind. But one assurance I will lend to you, along with any spouse struggling with this difficulty, is that God is a God of order, and not chaos, or confusion. It is He Himself, that instituted the sanctity of marriage. Hold tight onto these simple truths and cleave to one another, because as we all know God will take us through some pretty dark valleys and dry deserts, while all along He is leading us into the promised land. God Loves us with an immeasurable amount of love. He gave His precious Son for a ransom, so that we could be reconciled unto Him. How then could He withhold any good thing from those who love Him?
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