Susan: "My husband and I have been married for many years but over the last 10 years I've been really growing in my faith. My husband, on the other hand, seems no further along in his Christian walk than he was 10 years ago. He thinks and hopes there is a God, but doesn't desire a real relationship with Jesus. He considers himself to be a 'good person' (which he is) and hopes he'll get to heaven because of that. I've tried to sit down and explain salvation to him, but he just doesn't get it.

I've been praying for him for many years. When he does go to church with me, I get so upset by his whole attitude. I'm ready to tell him to just stay home if he doesn't really want to go. It's putting a wedge between us in what is otherwise a very good marriage. I'm always hoping and praying that one of these Sundays when he's at church, something will happen in his spirit. So I try 'dragging' him along once a month or so when I can get him there. But it’s so hard. Any advice you have would be appreciated."

Dear Susan, you need to stop trying so hard and release him to God. God can and will work in his life when your husband is ready. None of us can make somebody ready or make someone change. Your husband has to see the need and choose for himself to seek after God. Prayer is your most effective weapon. You are angry because he isn't living up to your expectations. You need to let go of the expectations and give him unconditional, forgiving love. It's not easy because you want him to be a fully share your faith. You want him to enjoy the depth of relationship with Christ that you do. But he isn't, and the more you try to push him to be that way, the more he may resist.

You are disappointed and sad, and that's understandable and OK. But, don't be angry. Be understanding. He is not a Christian if he believes that he will get to heaven by his good works. So, he is blind to spiritual things. He is lost. You can love him the way Christ loved you. The way Christ loved the prodigal son. He let him go his own way, suffer the consequences, and then, celebrated when he came home (repented).

Your husband needs Christ and you know that. But, he needs your unconditional love to draw him to Christ. Since he is an unbeliever, you need to view him with God's perspective. He does not understand nor identify with your experience. He is lost. Love the lost man in your house to Christ.

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Spend time with him enjoying the things he likes to do and enjoying your relationship. Weep when you pray for him. Continue to grow in Christ and realize that Christ loves him even more than you do and will answer your prayers in due time.

It is not a mistake that you married him and have such a heart to win him to Christ. The Apostle Peter admonished women to win their husbands over through submission, purity, reverence for God, and a gentle spirit (1 Peter 3:1-4). God loves to answer the fervent prayers of a righteous person (James 5:16-18). Don't give up! And keep asking for prayer from some of your Christian friends who really care.

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People don't come to Christ when "we" want them to. They come as they are drawn to Christ through the Holy Spirit and seek after God with all their heart. Dwell on 1 Corinthians 13. Your husband is your main ministry and needs your love and prayers even though he does not seem spiritually open right now.

God bless you in your journey! He has big plans for you and your family.

Photo Credit: Thomas Kelley