Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Marry Him, Girl

By Pastor Alan Harstone

I can't tell you how many Christian women I have met with and/or counseled over the years who are living lives of great regret, difficulty, and despair because they married a man who was not a believer, or was nominal in his faith at best. 

Almost to a person their stories are the same: they grew up in Christian homes; had a few wild years in their teens or early 20s; married a guy who was "dangerous" and "exciting"...who lived outside of the rules; ignored the advice of their parents/pastors/friends and married the guy; began to experience conflict; returned to their faith, especially when the kids arrived; and their husbands are still not living for Christ. Then they sit in their pastor's office, tears streaming down their faces, often mad at God (but really mad at themselves), frustrated beyond measure and thinking about "moving on". 

When they are with me I want so much to be compassionate and understanding, but there is still a part of me that wants to ask them "Why on earth did you ignore God's advice? Why didn't you respond to all the red flags He threw your way? Why didn't you listen to the heart of God about choosing your lifetime partner?" 

Sometimes I do ask, and the answer is almost always the same: "I thought that I could change him." But, God is crystal clear about who we should marry:

2 Cor 6:14-16

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

1 Cor 7:39-40

"The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."

The New Testament makes it clear that God's heart is for you to marry a man who knows and worships the Lord! This makes the whole "one flesh" thing so much easier, since both of you will be more likely influenced and controlled by the Holy Spirit. But to be married to someone who doesn't share your love and passion for God is like trying to ride a bicycle with a mangled rim for a back wheel. It can work, but it's not very smooth or enjoyable.

So, if you're reading this today and you're considering marrying someone who is not a strong believer -- don't marry him, girl! The pain of leaving him now will be much briefer than the pain that lies ahead in your marriage.

And if you've already made this mistake, and you feel trapped in a difficult marriage -- don't leave him, girl! That, too, is the heart of God for you:

1 Cor 7:10-11

"And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife."

1 Cor 7:13-16 

"And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" (Did those of you who want to marry them and change them hear that?)

Insert from The Princess Warrior: The meaning of these scripture -- If you are a Christian man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, then let her stay. Likewise, if you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, let him stay. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God. On the other hand, if the unbelieving spouse walks out, you've got to let him or her go. You don't have to hold on desperately. God has called us to make the best of it, as peacefully as we can. You never know, wife: The way you handle this might bring your husband not only back to you but to God. You never know, husband: The way you handle this might bring your wife not only back to you but to God.

This is where the grace and strength of God come in. First, He can give you the power and wisdom not to marry an unbeliever in the first place, if you ask Him (James 1). But if you've already made the mistake, there is grace and strength for you in that as well.

God has often called people to live in difficult situations for Him (but, never to be beaten to a pulp or have your life threatened or the lives of your children. You can get to safety, then pray for your husband. You cannot intercede on his behalf if you have been taken out of the picture. If you believe, God can do the impossible.) For some, like myself, it's the heartache of living with a chronically ill spouse or child. For others it's the loneliness of a painful marriage. But in each case God gives strength and grace to be His blessing there. We are not to leave just because it's been a hard ride. Would you abandon your child because they have MS or some other disability? Then why are you thinking of leaving your spouse? (This is a hard one, but you are not one with your child...your child will one day leave you and join together with a spouse of their own and you are their protector and guide up to that point. However, when husband and wife join together they become one in the eyes of God. We must pray for our spouses, be there to support them, show them the love of Christ through our actions, make them our first priority, and submit to their leadership so that the Word of God will not be blasphemed. Titus 2:5 This is very hard for a woman who has been abused in a previous marriage, but again, is not impossible with God's help. The man you are now married to should not have to pay for the sins of the abuser.)

Three times the Apostle Paul pleaded with God to remove his hardship (thorn in the flesh) from him.

2 Cor 12:9-10 

And he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 

If you married the wrong man (or woman), God invites you to stay strong in Him. His grace is sufficient. I've learned that for myself as I've lived with a very ill woman for many years. Have I been tempted to say "I've had enough"? You bet I have; there's been lots of times I've felt very cheated. 

But it is what it is, and God can use me and bless me, and help me to be a blessing in the midst of it. And He can do that with you, too. 

So, if you're ready to marry an unbeliever -- girl, don't do it. Just let him go. And if you're already married to an unbeliever -- girl, don't do it. You must let him stay. 

And may God strengthen you to follow His heart with this all along the way.

An appeal from The Princess Warrior: I only wish that someone would have warned me about marrying an unbeliever. At the time, I did not know to pray about such a life-changing decision and I did not know what God had to say about marriage. I can only hope that I would have heeded that warning, but I cannot go back and change a thing. I can only appeal to you to STOP & THINK about the biggest decision you will ever make aside from where you will spend eternity. 

Because of my ignorance I suffered dearly -- from verbal abuse for years, the betrayal of infidelity, days of depression and anxiety, the pain that my children experienced (this is the worst), and other losses not mentioned and even though I have been divorced from this man for over 20 years I am still paying through certain circumstances that I will not go into here, but I can tell you, they tear at my heart daily. GIRL, IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK! I promise you, that even though breaking up with the wrong person now will be painful for you, it will in no way compare to the pain you may suffer later...suffering that sometimes never ends...because of a wrong choice. And, not to mention the pain your future children will suffer and the agony you will feel in your soul because of your children's pain!

And just because someone claims to be a Christian, you better watch their life and their talk better line up with their walk because once you are married it is too late to turn back. The world says we can try it and if it doesn't work we can get out of it, but when we make a vow before God, He considers it for life.

People put on their best behavior when they are dating because this person may be a potential spouse, but after marriage, and after the honey moon is over, people start to relax and fall into the routine of being who they really are. They take their mask off. Make sure that you know, that you know, that you know that the person you are marrying is God's choice. If it is God's choice you can trust that he is God's very best for you AND your future children.

May God be with you and guide you in this most serious decision.

With Love & Concern,

The Princess Warrior

Copyright Information 
Copyright © 2009 The Princess Warrior Ministries. All articles are copyrighted on the date they are posted, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Permission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright and web address. Other uses require written permission. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Bible.


  1. My ministry has seen way too many women and men who fell for the hunky dude or hot babe that was wonderful, but unsaved and then live a life of misery or at best a carnal one not serving God. Better to marry an ugly eighth-grade drop out that is a believer than an unbelieving hunk with a PhD.

  2. Thank you for sharing this message. God bless.

  3. Thank you, Nina, for stopping by. Hope you'll visit again. Btw, I haven't been able to update much lately due to health reasons. I hope to be back at it soon. God bless you!
    ~TPW ♔

  4. Dr. Shultz, you are so right. Young women have no idea the misery they could be spared by praying for and waiting on God's best.


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