Thriving in Unequally Yoked Marriages

unequally yoked marriage

SAVE THIS PIN FOR LATER! Refer back to these 10 tips, again!

The decision to write about navigating unequally yoked marriages came from a landslide of emails I received. The emails referenced an earlier article on marriage advice for wives. The article was about husbands taking the lead in marriage.

The emails I’ve received have been in 2 different camps. The first camp has been women telling me I’m nuts! The second camp has been women sharing their frustrations and fears in the leadership of an unbelieving (or not following Jesus) spouse. The heart of these women is to do marriage by God’s design, but navigating an unequally yoked marriage has its challenges.

God’s Word advises against unequally yoked marriages (2 Corinthians 6:14) because of the challenges it presents.

Whether you find yourself in an unequally yoked marriage because you came to Christ after the “I do’s” or were blazing your own trail like I was almost 18 years ago, you are right where God wants you.

What I mean is this… God does not intend for you to leave your marriage (1 Corinthians 7:13). He has bigger things in store for you and your spouse.

Before we dive in…

This guide on navigating an unequally yoked marriage is meant to provide Truth to stand on and encouragement in your marriage. It would be impossible to navigate specific scenarios. But please feel free to share in the comments to receive feedback from other readers and myself.

Let’s get started…

1. There is purpose in your unequally yoked marriage.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28

Nothing in God’s economy is wasted. He uses all things for our good and His glory. Our marriages and every other relationship we have, are opportunities to grow in grace and glorify God.

Whenever we live according to God’s Word, we are pointing to His glory through the love and grace we offer others. That love and grace becomes even more evident when you are in the throes of an unequally yoked marriage.

This means you have an incredible privilege. You are literally being given the opportunity to be the light of Christ to your spouse. This is no small task. And it requires you to deny yourself (John 16:24). This is part of God’s purpose in your marriage.

Whose purpose are you gonna live for? Your’s or God’s?

2. Unequally yoked marriages reap surprising blessing.

In all challenging relationships there is opportunity for growing in grace as we are stretched by uncomfortable situations.

In an unequally yoked marriage, we find ourselves in a position of greater dependence on God. As we are pressed to walk on water like Peter, our eyes become fixed on Christ and our faith is grown. We reach new levels of surrender, with nowhere to put our trust, but in God. In other words, your marriage can increase your trust. And trust increases peace and joy (Romans 15:13).

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:18

There is good in all circumstances. Spend time daily thanking God for the blessings of an unequally yoked marriage. We must be purposeful in finding the good.

3. Your unequally yoked spouse is not greater than God.

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” ~Job 42:2

Often times an unequally yoked marriage can bring about a great deal of fear. You may fear that your spouse will not come to salvation. Fear of the impact of an unbelieving spouse on the children is also common. These truly are the realities of an unequally yoked marriage.

Let’s evaluate truth for a moment.

We must be careful not to elevate the power a person has above the power of God. When we buy into the lie that our spouse is more powerful than God, we tend to react in a way that is not Christ like. For instance, when we live in fear and frustration we might try to control the people and circumstances around us to regain a sense of security. This sense of security is what I call a quick win. It will only last until the next thing comes up. In other words, God’s purposes will prevail despite your spouse’s unbelief.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” ~Proverbs 29:25

When we choose to believe the power of God and lay aside our fears of the potential impact an unbelieving spouse has on our family, we walk in peace.

Now back to the impact of an unbelieving spouse. I want you to look at the situation as a circle. The inside of the circle is what you have control over (your thoughts, words and actions). Anything outside of the circle of control, you entrust to God.

controlling behavior

Even though your unequally yoked spouse may not demonstrate or teach God’s Word, the way you’d like, it doesn’t mean you can’t demonstrate and teach your children. God will accomplish what He purposes through you.

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” ~Isaiah 55:11

4. You’re not sleeping with the enemy.

Your spouse is not the enemy. The more you and your spouse push and pull in opposite directions, the more likely you are to view each other like enemies rather than allies.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~Ephesians 6:12

It is imperative that you shift your focus to a biblical world view… know your enemy. Knowing your enemy will give you wisdom and direction in the battle.

Everything I’ve listed so far is more passive. Focused more on how to view your circumstances from a biblical perspective.

Now let’s talk action. I have to warn you that the action I’m talking about might not be what you had in mind, but hang in there! See this all the way through to the end.

5. Pray for your unequally yoked marriage.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” ~James 5:16b

This is one of the most powerful weapons in your spiritual arsenal. We can easily be tempted to wallow in discouragement when we don’t see results, but rest assured, God is working things out behind the scenes in ways we don’t realize. He’s working things out in ways that we may never know this side of heaven. Whatever you do, don’t stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Free Christian Marriage Toolkit

6. Be patient in your unequally yoked marriage.

Time flies, but the days can be long, especially if you’ve been resisting your circumstances. You are likely in a season of waiting. Stand firm in your faith, waiting on God’s timing. Keep busy with whatever is within your circle of control.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” ~1 Corinthians 15:58

If you’re married to someone whose faith is not as deep as yours, be patient with the differences (Romans 14:1).

7. Actions speak louder than words.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16

Jesus tells us to be the light and God receives the glory. Take note – you don’t hear light, you see it. Peter tells us in 1st Peter 3:1, to win our spouses over to Christ with our behavior rather than words.

Far too often we form a pattern of nagging and correcting. This pattern will leave both partners weary, robbed of energy, joy and peace. Stay in your own circle of control. Be silent and let God fight your battles (Exodus 14:14).

8. Choose your battles wisely.

It takes an incredible amount of wisdom to choose wisely between when to hold’em and when to fold’em. If I could have a marriage do over… this would be it. After months or even years of pulling in different directions we start to stand our ground, willing to die on every hill, for every cause. It becomes all out war in our marriage.

I’m often asked, “What if my spouse doesn’t follow Jesus?” “What if my spouse doesn’t go to church?” My answer is…your life and ministry might not be what you imagined. Your church involvement will probably not be what you hoped for. Consider that you made need to step away from extra church activities for a season while you wait on God to move in your heart and your spouse’s heart.

Entrust it all to God. Be prayerful and seek godly counsel before deciding when to speak the truth in love.

9. Stop trying to strong arm your spouse into salvation (or a deeper walk).

Christ does not intend to save your spouse by force! He also does not intend to force your spouse into a deeper relationship with Him. Follow Christ’s example…don’t be forceful.

If you’re strategically placing scripture cards, bibles and salvation tracks around the house – stop. Instead, start praying for your spouse’s heart. The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective (James 5:16b).

10. Strong resistance is a red flag.

Sometimes we get so deep in the trenches, our focus becomes our self and our own experiences. I encourage you to take a deeper look within.

I found myself deep in the trenches at one point in my marriage. My heart was hardened – my marriage had become all out war. It took a sincere friend to point out my lack of love as well as my lack of consideration for my spouse and his feelings.

It became clear that much of the resistance from my spouse had a lot to do with me and my actions. I had work to do within my circle of control. It’s not that my spouse didn’t have work to do too, but I had become distracted. Consequently, I was looking so closely at his flaws that I forgot to evaluate my own.

If you’re experiencing a lot of resistance from your spouse, I encourage you to evaluate your own thoughts, words and actions. Change has to start with someone. And your time is best spent taking a hard look at your own heart. That’s in your circle of control.

Let’s wrap it all up…

I would dare to say there are a lot of unequally yoked marriages out there. You’re not alone in this. God intends to use unequally yoked marriages for His purposes and unexpected blessing is found in those marriages.

In order to be effective for the kingdom of God, we must remember that our spouse is not more powerful than God and our spouse is also not the enemy.We are called to be patient with the differences and prayerful.

Souls are at stake here. Remember that you’re working for God’s kingdom (not yours). Choose your battles wisely and demonstrate Christ likeness instead of nagging and correcting.

If you’re experiencing significant resistance in your marriage – it’s time to evaluate changes to be made on your part.

Always remember that nothing is impossible for God, including your unequally yoked marriage (Luke 1.37)!

Leave a comment about a specific challenge you’re facing in your own unequally yoked marriage or encourage someone else who shares.

Are you faced with the challenges of an unequally yoked marriage? Would you like to learn some new strategies in the midst of differences between you and your spouse. Schedule a few Christian Counseling sessions here.

Free Christian Marriage Toolkit


  1. Iva on September 1, 2018 at 3:21 am

    I need more on topics like what does rejection mean to a wife, dealing with unsaved spouse etc to help wives who are committed to God.

    • Taylor on November 22, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      This was so helpful to read and restored my faith and amplified what God was already telling me. It’s so difficult but I was being totally counterproductive. Thank you and blessings 💜

      • Paula on October 8, 2023 at 11:44 pm

        Taylor, I am in 100% agreement with you comment, this article has been a confirmation of what God has been trying to tell me and show me. I will revaluate my inner circle and give the rest to God.
        God bless you ,your spouse and your marriage.

    • Mickey on June 4, 2021 at 10:09 pm

      Do you have any advice on how to thrive during a separation? Especially regarding a spiritually blind, selfish spouse who has something to prove?

    • Ruby on August 1, 2022 at 7:37 pm

      This is a very inspiring article reminding me that it is a privilege to be in this marriage not a curse. It has become more difficult as I feel I’m being stripped away of all things distracting and being caused to determine what I am really trusting in and relying on. I am 51 and have been married for 26 yrs truly only by the grace of God. My parents have passed. The last of my 5 children will be leaving home next year. My husband and I share nothing in common. I have no close friends, but not for lack of trying and my siblings are a mess and so unable to be a friend to me. The loneliness is especially starting to echo ever louder. I have been a devoted “helper” as a stay at home mother and wife and business partner for 26yrs. The distractions, the loved ones are leaving. I have everything material but there is still an emptiness which my head knows is not the responsibility of my husband to fill. The notion of “u complete me” is nonsense. The battle of discontent is daily which with the armour of God we must fight. I am exhausted and yet I must carry on. Thank you all for sharing and I’m grateful for a place to share. We are a secret society of struggling people as they don’t have church grps for people like us. At least not where I live. “ With God all things are possible “

      • lauren on October 21, 2022 at 8:13 pm

        Ruby is right – there are no church groups for people like us. At times I believe there are 2 social classes committed to church – the evenly yoked family & the Christ seeking spouse (wife) carrying the blame and shame of the broken family. A lonely church-goer suffering at the hand of the unbelieving spouse is not productive sermon material and is the object of judgment for the evenly yoked. You’ll meet unevenly yoked spouses in church parking lots donating to the charity events but in a post-pandemic world, entering the church is another matter. The online church service is a boon to the unevenly yoked. It doesn’t cure the loneliness, but it does offer light and a universal message that can be humanizing, and even lead to new ideas and plans. Thank you Ruby for the reminder that the lonely and forgotten unevenly yoked are everywhere.

        • Netsai on October 28, 2023 at 3:11 am

          Might be an idea to start a group. Seems like an excellent idea. Groups don’t start themselves, people start groups. If it’s not something you are good at, find someone who is. Ask your pastor, friends, post on Facebook.
          May not be easy but with God nothing is impossible!
          Be encouraged.

          • Valdi on November 2, 2023 at 5:23 am

            Thank you so much for this I have been struggling with a few things that you touched on and gave me so much clarity. My husband is Muslim and I’m devoted Christian but when we met I was backsliden and now he is struggle to accept the new me but I’m taking it everyday at a time please feel free to give me more advice thx

      • Teresa on November 14, 2022 at 9:08 am

        Do you have a godly community? Friends at church? Small group. I totally understand what you’re saying. I have friends but many of the relationships are one sided. So I’ve been focusing more on my relationship with God. He can truly satisfy all of your needs, including filling the loneliness. When you’re feeling that way, go to Him. He will help you.

      • Christine on October 23, 2023 at 10:15 pm

        Ruby, this resonates so much with me, but I’d like to give you a gift I was recently given. You are exhausted because this is. It your battle to fight—it is God’s and God’s alone. Our job is to surrender daily, entrusting Him and His will for our life. Truly, there is freedom (and, maybe more notably in this conversation, REST!) in surrender. I was only able to truly surrender when I came to trust that God sees me as worthy and that He loves me and He completes me! I am a work in progress, but at least I know the way back home now when I meander. God bless you!

      • Libbie on November 16, 2023 at 8:02 pm

        Wow you just read my book! I’m also 51 and have been married for 31 years. My husband became an unbeliever 6 years ago. He was once a strong spiritual leader and man of God. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, so bazaar. We also have nothing in common and have 2 teenagers that are taking advantage of the fact that we can’t agree. I’m worried that they will not have a strong foundation in the word, or a relationship with the Lord. I can’t even remember what normalcy is. In saying all of that,I must say I have never been closer or stronger in the Lord. So part of me is great full. My pastor advised me to run after God with all my heart. Best advice I’ve ever received,so I encouraged you to do the same.

    • Wendy on September 29, 2023 at 7:26 pm

      Ultimately they are rejecting God not you. The Bible says we are the stench of death to those who are perishing but sweet fragrance to those who are saved. If you understand that you can understand why the non-believer has such aversions to Christians. I just got out of nasty 20yr marriage to narcissist who lied about his faith to recent second marriage with another fellow narcissust who is a professing Christian who has no problem continuing cycle of family abuse and using me financially for my divorce settlement. He keeps threatening divorce for years and has no idea how good he has had it not working for several years and spending money like he won the lotto. He says God is gonna judge my ex, what about him? Im a good woman who is committed and not a cheater uet i cant seem to find a decent born again Christian man. I struggle to forgive him and his porn addiction, gas lighting, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse. God PLEASE return soon!!!!

  2. Iva on September 1, 2018 at 3:51 am

    I need more on topics like what does rejection mean to a wife, dealing with unsaved spouse etc to help wives who are committed yo God. I have been married for 26 years praying everyday for my spouse who only get worse everyday in sin and wickedness. He moved out tell lies that I threw him out, then crawled back, he’s unfaithful, right now he has women all over, I cant and will not trust him again. I got a job in another country he was unemployed so I gave him my opportunity to go make life for the family, after 2 years he tells me to go look man like other women, he files for other women and live with them and barely support the 3 kids. I worked and support him before I gave him my job overseas. I tell him to get rhe divorce done that he wants and ask the kids ti tell me. Its too much and I ask God not to let me hate him, but I cant take anymore.

    • Sunshyne on September 1, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Hi Iva, It takes a lot of courage to share your struggle. I want to recommend a book by Dr. Henry Cloud, called “Boundaries” to help you set limits with your ex-husband. I also have an article about forgiveness. It’s important to differentiate between trust and forgiveness. There are some very key differences that seem applicable to your situation. Thank you for sharing, I’m lifting you up in prayer.

    • Jordan on February 18, 2021 at 8:16 pm

      I felt that I would reach her this time. As the prophetic weather has amplified I found myself anxious to defend from the enemies persona of Christians that my wife takes. It’s what I get for being disobedient to God in a the first place. Both smart, successful, and fun but it’s not peaceful without Jesus at the center. This site helped me remember the truth. Mouth shut, ears open…coyote. Thanks

  3. […] 10 Tips for Unequally Yoked Marriages, Sunshyne Gray […]

    • Sunshyne on September 1, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Thank you for the link Chris!

  4. Lori Schumaker on September 6, 2018 at 12:05 am

    At one time, this was my story. It took me stepping away from the strong arming and instead committing to prayer and allowing the fruit of my faith to shine. When we get frustrated and argue with our spouse, it doesn’t reflect well upon our faith. But along the way, I met so many other Mama friends who faced the same pain. The longed to be equally yoked. I am so thankful you wrote this post. It is much needed ♥

    Blessings to you and thank you for coming alongside me to share hope through #MomentsofHope!

    • Sunshyne on September 6, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Much of this one was written out of my personal experience, too. God has used my marriage to build my faith and be testament to His faithfulness. So much joy and peace in my marriage as I live out my role as wife the way He designed. Thanks for stopping by, Lori!

      • Cherry Lazada Ishikawa on November 8, 2020 at 4:30 am

        I am in such a marriage, and yes, wanting his conversion for my own selfish purposes, and we have kids too who just turned into young adults.

        • Gei dea on July 5, 2021 at 4:17 pm

          I must confess, I want an easier, calmer, godly home, more than my husbands salvation. I want the cussing to stop, the talk about anyone who he thinks is ruining this country dead. The foul talk, the gossip, the lack of empathy for broken people. The new age religion thinkin, Godwants you to be happy, think it into existence, I’m exhausted.

          • Shiloh on November 6, 2021 at 6:49 pm

            Skimming through I saw your post…..I shut down, I wanted the cussing to stop. The foul talk, the lack of empathy….I felt a connection. I don’t know where my marriage is going, but I know I am drawing closer to the Lord….it is still so very lonely….

  5. Tasha on December 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    I am a mother of 10 children and I’m married, my husband and I are totally different, he drinks and stays out sometimes for days, I don’t like it, he deals with family that are no good for the family we created

    • Sunshyne on December 20, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Hi Tasha, What you are describing goes beyond living in an unequally yoked marriage. You are absolutely right, the behaviors your husband is not good for your family or your marriage. Here is a link to find a Christian counselor close to where you live…
      I’m praying for you to find wise counsel to help you going forward.

  6. Natalia on December 26, 2018 at 6:08 am

    I appreciate this article and the Insight it gives. My husband and I met in church and served together in ministry for our whole marriage and dating relationship (17years total). I felt our foundation was always strong and would never waiver. Throughout our experience he has been in abusive situations at the hands of the church and under people in church leadership. He has come to a place where he wants nothing to do with it and has become very wounded in spirit. I find myself praying everyday tirelessly and find myself reacting in ways that are not helping. I have realized I am trying to control everything and “fix it”. My heart is broken and it feels as though a part of me has died. We have 2 boys and I feel the spiritual burden to lead them. Although i am tired and very confused thinking,”how could he see all the goodness of God and turn away,” when I also realize that what he went through was not Godly and very confusing, and it was not good. This is the hardest situation that I have been through in knowing God only knows and is also in control of all things.

    • Erica on July 7, 2021 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you for sharing that Natalia, I hope it is better by now. If not keep praying. It is hard to hear that your husbands wounds have pushed him away from his faith, yet it is also helping me not feel alone.

      I feel like my husband deceived me when we met about his faith, disguised it, or allowed me to believe he was saved. He still goes to church, enjoys tithing and serving others yet it is out of a spirit of righteousness. He does everything in his own strength, He wont repent or feel remorseful about ANYTHING when he does wrong he is arrogant and justifies it with a lawyer like logic and fairness and it leaves me empty with having a “game of chess” conversations that go No-WHERE! There is no leadership from him. I have to make ALL of the decisions, and most of the time it is up against a million of his fears.

      The Lord has asked me to stay close to Him and I am leaning into him hard right now. I am spending time with him all day and all night and relearning my faith and after reading this blog I see I can do more to remove the log from my eye instead of attempting to remove the speck from my husbands eye.

      Anytime I bring out my Bible to read together, to pray together, or like I gave him a Bible for a gift for father’s day and he was offended. It finally dawned on me that he is not saved, our Christian counseler told me that her spirit decerned the same thing, and that God shared that with her to share with me, and in October the Lord shared it with me also. My husband does not actively seek God, doesn’t ask for God’s help, or do anything in the holy spirit. So now I am dealing with the more sudden realization that he is not saved and it is making each day longer and harder.

      We have 4 kids. My vision of my marraige and household was one that centered around God. In fact that was his first promise/commitment to me on our first official date. This feels so tragic right now, I do not yet know how to be okay in this. it has been hard all along, yet now more lonely and I have close to no-one I am close too besides some church friends, who are now mostly pushed pretty far out of our inner circle because 6 years of marraige, he has always strayed “us” away from deep fellowship. Now I see clearly and feel so lost and humanly lonely, especially in the post-pandemic world we are currently in.

      • Noelle on September 26, 2021 at 7:36 am

        Erica, I am living very much the same situation. I’ve been married for 40 yrs. Husband got saved 20 yrs ago, but there is NO growth. I spoke to him about it yesterday….he doesn’t want to grow/learn/ go deeper with God. I quoted the scripture about moving on from milk to solid food…..he asked “what happens if I don’t?”…….heavy sigh.

      • Aileene on November 27, 2021 at 7:23 am

        Hello Erica,
        Wow…as I read your story, it seemed that you were writing about my 6-year marriage. The likeness is uncanny. It is a disappointing and lonely road. I also feel that I can’t reach my full potential being connected to my husband because of his impulsive choices (too much to share here). I came across Sunshyne’s article today and it has truly helped me to reset my thinking, actions and expectations. I want to be God’s light to my husband and deal with him in a healthy way. It takes setting healthy boundaries too. I will pray for you to have peace, joy and strength as you go through your situation. If you need a friend, I’m here for you.

      • Danni on April 14, 2023 at 10:00 pm

        Sounds familiar

  7. yolinda on February 9, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    thank you so much. this is very very encouraging.

    • Sunshyne on February 12, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Yolinda! I’m so glad you found it encouraging. Unequally yoked marriages can be challenging, but can also be a front row seat to God doing BIG things in a heart! Blessings:)

  8. Jennifer on February 24, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    I would love to see how these articles are put into practice when you have an emotionally, verbally and spiritually abusive spouse. I have never been so beaten up by scripture as I have in our marriage. All scriptures used are wives are to submit, the husband leads the house, wives are to respect the husband. It’s like being on a constant merry go round.

    • Sunshyne on February 24, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Jennifer, you are raising an excellent point. This topic of emotional and spiritual abuse is not addressed in this article. When dealing with abuse, I recommend seeking marriage counseling. If your spouse is unwilling, I would consider individual counsel to help with how to address the topic of emotional/spiritual abuse and determine next steps. I’m sorry you are facing this in your marriage. Hope this gives some direction.

  9. Verónica on May 5, 2019 at 9:29 am

    What about when your spouse practices a pagan religion? What can I do?

    • Sunshyne on May 6, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Great question, Veronica…Fortunately, God’s Word stands firm whatever circumstances we face and God also remains steadfast with us in those circumstances. I have a book suggestion for you- “Winning Him Without Words” by Lynne Donovan offers encouragement and practical tips for shining the light of Christ to your unbelieving spouse. Praying for you!

      • Cherry on November 8, 2020 at 4:46 am

        Yeah, I’ve always heard that kind of encouragement from other Christians, that the faith and walk of a believer is enough to win an unbelieving husband. Whether we see the results or not on others, it is definitely essential not to loose your core faith of God’s Grace and not to go out of walking in love and forgiveness.

        • Cherry Ishikawa on November 8, 2020 at 5:04 am

          Lately, God has been showing me that hardening my heart towards my husband only gives the real enemy tools for my husband to run. So I’m trying to be more discerning of my husbands need for me as a friend, so instead of ignoring him and being innerly resentful, I realize I need to remember that he is important in God’s eyes and does not need my judge mental mind set but he does need a friendly communication and companionship. Being a believer can get into your head in a real self righteous way. Forgetting the source of faith as God’s grace and Mercy.

          • Laquita Minor on June 2, 2022 at 11:58 am

            This is very true and I struggle with self-righteousness in several friendships. I believe it is because I feel burdened by being a light to people and react out of frustration when a person cannot be a light to me. I am trying to learn how being a child of God is freeing and not shackled by frustration to live holy ina fallen world. I need help with this.

    • Christina Kinsey on June 22, 2022 at 3:29 am

      The man l really should have married was a pagan , he was a lovely person but l was too much of a Christian to accept him.lts something l regret now
      No , if l had the wisdom.of a 63 year old questioning Christian ( and Bastet worshipper).in my 20s l would have married him.and talked about my faith but it would have been what l feel to be true wether it was biblical or not
      Saving our planet and being kind matters far more than saving souls

  10. Ericka on May 12, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve been looking for a topic such as this. Married almost 20years next month in an unequally yoked marriage takes a tool. I thought I tried everything. I was just about to give up when I saw this article on pintris and read #10. I felt like wave hit me. Thanks 🙂

    • Sunshyne on May 15, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to reply, Ericka! I have to admit, that was the one I have first hand experience with:) Praying for you!

  11. […] How to thrive in an unequally yoked marriage […]

    • Sarah sinks on September 9, 2021 at 4:18 pm

      AHi i have a 5 year old daughter and an almost 4 year od son with my already considered to be husband, He fooks he cleans he pays all the bills and my phone hes a wonderful father and this whole time i was thinking Im an unequally yoked adulterous and Yeshua, Jesus Does not want me to legally get married yet i felt he did and got all kinds of Christians and pastors with different opinions saying marry him you have children with him hes a good Dad hes mostly good to me he just doesnt believe, Yes its a burden its painful, That he doesnt believe and i get scared for my chirldrens salvation because of him amd sometimes i panic and i need to pack and leave to a shelter right now! So i teied that and it didnt work, The door closed on me for some reason, I think im going to go ahead and marry him legally, also just had my 4th seizure in my life and hes had heart attack in front, It seems we need eachother bad and all these Christians are so quick to just tell you to leave if they dont believe and they use scriptures! Thier not here to see my relationship my family and thier not going to be there to take care of us if i split either and i dont feel its nessasary, Others have it way worse than me, I am greatful , I will not give up on us dang it, or our babies, Just because Other pastors that dont even know what Gos wil is for tell me too, Hes a good guy just pridful and extermly intelligent above average and runs a company and im on ssi below average like i got up to 8th grade and i was always in special ed, Reallly do need each other, were both young adult 35 with not alot of wisdom but ive gained alot, Hes education and computer and mind intelligent and im spiritually intelligent, I think after family counseling starts tomorrow things will get better plus im starting anger management and relationship counseling on my own as well.

  12. […] is an article I wrote to encourage believers in their marriage even when they aren’t equally yoked. When […]

  13. Kizzy on August 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    I want to thank u for your words of encouragement because I am going through this situation that have me feeling as if am going crazy at times. Dealing with someone who does believe in God as our Lord and Savior is very difficult but as u pointed out I have to put him before God and let him work it out. Thanks again

  14. David Henderson on January 22, 2020 at 6:14 am

    This may be the most succinct, on point, spiritually accurate description of my marital reality and responsibilities I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you so much for putting together such sensitive, helpful and wise suggestions I’ve seen. I’m crying because what you share is just, well, perfect: from prayer, to hope to my circle of control, it’s a constellation of wisdom that gives me a spiritual GPS of where to focus my energies instead of wishing/hoping and depression/despondency. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Sunshyne Gray on March 25, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      I’m so glad it was an encouragement to you, David!

  15. Ellen on August 3, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    I’ve been in my marriage for 23 years. Together we had 4 children. They are all grown and out of the house now. When they were small I was the one taking the children to church. My spouse rarely attended. At first I thought it was because he wasn’t comfortable with Non-Denominational church. He has always been Baptist. I left my church to go to the baptist church of his choosing.. We attended pretty regular for the first year and a half and we both enjoyed it But after a while attendance came to a slow halt. I’ve known that we were unequally yoked for years. My spouse believes in the Lord, but doesn’t get involved in any mission or cause to help the widowed, or the oppressed. He is a hear of the word but not so much a doer He reads the Bible but I’m really not sure if it’s often. We don’t have God conversations unless I bring it up, My spouse loves me to the fullest of his ability, but it’s not love in the way God describes. My heart has been guarded for so long, and I distance myself often because I don’t want to keep getting disappointed. I make very little eye contact because I don’t want him to see my disappointment. I bought us both a marriage counseling book but I feel like we are just going through the motions. It’s hard to stay encouraged.

  16. Maria J Allen on August 21, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I have been married for seven years and I happen to be the believing spouse. Our marriage is extremely stressful at times and there is no joy. We do not have children and have some issues that are really hard to tolerate. As I navigate through this unequal yoking, I realize that the warning in the Bible regarding such yokings is completely real. You simply can’t mess around with God’s word. But my question to anyone is this- the Bible says that you should stay together if the unbelieving spouse is willing to live with their believing spouse, as the children are then sanctified. What if you don’t have children and never will ? Is the marriage still o.k. with God if you are unequally yoked WITHOUT children? Also, what does santified really mean?

    • Jasmine on May 18, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Maria,

      The marriage is still okay as you’re the believer. God says he only needs one to save the household (Acts 16:31). If you do decide to have children, they will be saved as well because you’re sanctified (In other words the believer).

      • Dag on June 24, 2021 at 9:39 am

        That is not right. Everyone must take their own stand for Jesus. A household is not saved by one persons faith in Jesus… Hope I don’t offend anyone. Acts 16.31 must be read with vers 32-34 all together.

        • Cindy on September 6, 2021 at 12:28 pm

          I think you have taken this too literally. I understand your point but it is through that one person that God will continue to bless the household. Not that the husband is saved and going to heaven. My household has been blessed because I’m a follower of Jesus. And because my hubby is married to me he benefits from the blessings too. I hope one day he recognizes that.

  17. C.B. on March 9, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this article! My husband says he is a Christian and is addicted to TV and video games and won’t give them up. We both pray and claim to love Jesus, but my husband lets himself become constantly distracted by his addictions instead of focusing on what matters. While here I am, trying to focus on the Lord and become closer to Him. I am learning to be patient with him and give him time to decide when he is ready to be renewed and lay those things down. It is affecting our marriage intellectually, spiritually, and also sexually. I am at my wits end, honestly. Those Romans 14 verses really are helping me to surrender my marriage to God. Again, thank you so much for writing this article.

  18. judy thacker on March 24, 2021 at 1:49 am

    i have been crying out to God for my husband to stop drinking he is not drinking but still the behaviors are there

    • Rachel on April 27, 2021 at 2:35 am

      This article is so encouraging and so helpful. I married a non Christian man 10 years ago. I knew I was entering an unequally yoked marriage. When looking for encouragement I only come across resources that tell me I’ve sinned and gone against God’s will. I carry guilt on this. I love Jesus. My husband encourages me to go to church and is happy with me talking to our children about Jesus and praying with them. He doesn’t believe himself. I would like to thank you for writing this as it has helped me a great deal. The guilt can be crippling.

      • Linda on May 11, 2021 at 12:24 am

        Rachael. Give the guilt to Jesus and just leave it at the foot of the Cross. He loves you and doesn’t want you to carry this guilt. After being married for 44year I can honestly say it would be easier if I had married a Christian, but I didnt. Life would be easier, but I love my husband very much. I cant change him, only Jesus can and we cant give up hope and must continue praying for them. Love your husband as Jesus tells us to.

      • Cindy on September 6, 2021 at 12:29 pm

        Same here. I feel you.

  19. Linda on May 11, 2021 at 12:11 am

    My husband is a non Christian and we have been married for 44 years. He is a good man. Not very loving, but shows his love in many other ways. Now he is beginning on retirement and working from home things are changing. Because I am content and happy, with Jesus the love of my life it is causing issues which am finding hurtful. What I read even causes issues. If I was nagging him and not giving any consideration I could understand. We are even joining a bowling club together which not sure is my thing. I know things are changing for him and needs a purpose in life. I would love him to be a Christian and maybe one day. I don’t give up hope. Really upsetting when it holds me back and just feel I am being criticised for being me.

  20. Hilda on June 13, 2021 at 4:46 am

    God bless you for this am really grateful to have found this article.

  21. Jenny Bammel on June 25, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Thank you for this article! I am the believing spouse. My husband has always supported my faith in Jesus as my savior but does not want anything to do with it himself. Some of the activities we had enjoyed together before I came to the Lord (20 years into our marriage) don’t seem to be fitting in my walk. We would occasionally go to casinos to play the slots (3-4 times a year). Is this activity unpleasing to God? My husband views my reluctance now as a negative as if I don’t enjoy his company anymore. How does this fit into submitting to your husband? Do I go with him and just enjoy his company or should I say no?

    • Sunshyne Gray on June 29, 2021 at 11:36 am

      Hi Jenny! Great question…the answer is…everyone has different convictions. I would encourage you to seek Scripture to guide you, maybe seek counsel from leadership in your church to separate/ to help you determine if these are expectations you are placing on yourself or if they are coming from God’s prompting.

  22. Kira on July 14, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Seeing articles like this is extremely encouraging when you’re in this walk. My husband and I got married and I had no intentions at all whatsoever of living a life for Christ. Shortly after we got married the Holy Spirit began dealing with my heart and I surrendered to his Will. Although my husband is supportive, this is not a life that he wants to live. God has really opened my eyes to how destructive the drinking is and some of the spiritual things that my husband is dealing with that has been so destructive to our marriage, however he does not have ears to here, eyes to see, or a heart to accept when he is doing wrong. He does not see how defensive and argumentative that he gets all the time and will not listen to how heavy it is to carry all of the blame for everything being put on me. We have 2 separate ideas of what is/is not appropriate in a marriage or how a marriage should be. It has been nothing short of a journey and a rollercoaster that I have even begged God to let me out of at times. There are lessons in this and things that the Holy Spirit has been teaching me but it’s hard, to say the least. It is extremely helpful to know that there are others going through the same thing and that I am not alone.

  23. Cindy on July 15, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    I found this article while searching for advice for a Protestant wife after her husband converts to Catholicism. We married as believers and shared faith and church for 25 years. Now, that foundational connection is gone. It has left me adrift and struggling with how to honor him as the spriritual leader of our home when I can’t abide by his beliefs. I have found lots of advice for couples facing a Protestant/Catholic marriage and unequally yoked marriages, but there isn’t much out there for wives in my situation. I didn’t marry a Catholic and would not chose to do so today. So, advice to couples entering such a marriage doesn’t really help. Are there any resources you can suggest?

  24. Maria J Allen on February 13, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    My husband and I are separated at the moment. We are at a crossroads and it is uncertain if we will stay together. I have been working hard the last three days by taking care of myself and purposefully staying positive through God’s inspiration. I found myself about to do certain things throughout today that were off the track, but God stepped in in various ways. Although painful, this is the first day of my life where I put my faith into action. This article fills me with joy. I had no idea that my situation could be used in such a beautiful way. THANK YOU!

  25. Jean on March 11, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you for this article. I am currently engaged to an un-believer and we will be married in a few months. I am knowingly going into this marriage that he is not a believer. I am facing very strict church discipline right now. My soon to be husband was interested in attending church (not consistently) and expressed his desire of seeking truth. He believes Jesus existed but not necessarily that he is our lord and savior and died on the cross to cover our sins. Now that I am not allowed to take communion and my faith is being questioned, he is uncomfortable attending church with me. We will work through this and I will pray that it be laid on his heart to want to attend again. My church has also let me know that if I continue down this path the church will view it as I am no longer walking with Christ and therefore unsaved. Many difficulties right now. Thank you for a different perspective but with biblical doctrine.

  26. Drea on August 18, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    I appreciate this article. Yes, I agree the Lord is after confirming each woman to Christ, even if it is by the long and hard trials of an unequally yoked marriage. It has been a very long hard nine years with my spouse. Confessing to be saved when we married, to crazy abuse. I separated and went back thinking he was being saved, he was not. I am grateful for my pastors and elders journeying through the word and prayer with me. I have left again. Although I strongly support this article and intention, I think it can very easily lead women into dangerous situations to always blame yourselves for their behaviors, causing even some women to desire to confirm to their spouses image of what a good and godly wife is. I bring this up because so many loving and we’ll intentioned women from my church continually gave me lists of: be sure to pray enough for your husband, be sure that you are looking at yourself, don’t voice things, don’t do things to upset him, stay even if he’s throwing things around and apology quickly. Every situation is different, we all need direct help and instruction from the Lord. I am NOT saying we should be explosive, cruel, unsubmissive, angry, self righteous women or anything of the sort, I am saying there are very specific situations that you cannot fix and it is not wise to stay. This article I hope is an encouragement to a lot of people and I pray that none of you go through the things I have myself, but there is always need to seek biblical counsel and in some situations you can not do enough to ‘be the wife your husband needs’ I hope that this makes sense, not coming off heretical and pushy

  27. Mel on December 7, 2022 at 3:02 am

    Drea, your advice is wise and highlights the need to balance what is God’s desire for us versus what we impose on ourselves, or what is imposed on us by others as unrealistic burdens. I am trying to seek that balance as it can be toxic to not know what is your problem/burden versus what is purely your spouse’s. In our earnest effort to please God, we have to take a moment to really seek Him and ask Him if it is really His will for one to walk this journey with an Unequally yoked spouse who has hurt and caused damage to one’s life. may God give us all His peace and clarity of Will in all our situations.

  28. Dragonfly on January 7, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    I became a Christian 5 years ago, we have been together for 13. He was abstaining from drinking when we met, but took it up again 3 years in. We have an 8 year old and he has 2 adult children from a previous relationship. The eldest child and that child’s mother are very troublesome (after all these years!) and his other child is not exactly loyal, despite him being an attentive father to them both. Our child seems a bother to him, when in reality it’s his eldest taking all the time and attention. It’s come to a head in the last few years because our child and I are no longer able to put ourselves aside as the sloppy seconds family. Life is always about him and his needs his children and his crises. I have certainly prayed for him, for the immediate relief of having God’s guidance in his life, as well as his soul. I have had a hard 3 years and I’m getting very tired. There are things I’ve done wrong, but he won’t and probably can’t admit to any wrongdoing. I think about leaving frequently. For myself, I would just leave. He committed to living as if married but he refuses to legally marry, even though it would make things betterr for me. For our child, staying or leaving are equally as bad, I know that road. I have prayed for answers but God is silent. My faith is wavering. From the moment I became a Christian things got 10 times harder, as they do, and I have not had one moment of joy in it. It’s been nothing but guilt and grief and pain. If I had been a Christian before we met I would never have got with him. And our child would not exist. None of it makes sense. He allows his eldest to bully him and then he bullies us. And refuses to accept he’s doing us wrong.

  29. April on April 27, 2023 at 8:28 am

    Would appreciate any feedback, brothers and sisters!
    I went against the warnings of The Holy Spirit and married a younger man in December named Jacob. I was saved 4 years ago but when I met him, I was in a backslidden slate of drunkenness and fornication. That continued for a year and we had many drunken arguments full of hot tempers and raised voices and many awful curse words to one another. Very of the flesh and worldly behavior. I reaped nothing but destruction. Everything about our engagement and marriage is almost laughable. We got married before his family around Christmastime last year in illinois. His aunt was ordained and she agreed to read a few scruptures she had found but it seemed almost like a mockery. They were all raised catholic and not prscticing. Clearly none of them were truly born again. They were all drinking heavily before the vows, myself included. I shouldve cancelled and went back home single. His aunt who was ordained worked for an adult store i found out later. And fheir household, much like my now spouse sounds, was full of cursing and anger and exhibited no fruit of the spirit. I ended up ripping our marriage certificate days after the wedding after another drunken argument. I taped it back together and mailed it to the courthouse and suprisingly they accepted it. I now have a formal marriage certificate to this wicked and verbally abusive man. The Holy Spirit warned me so many times and I grieved Him by not heeding His warnings. We have been very toxic and continue to argue unhealthily and he has called Me every curse word from every letter of the alphabet it seems. I work in a bar and have abused alcohol for many years. I’m sober now and praying for God to get me out of this career but my mom is in poverty and can only afford her rent on disability, so I pay all of her utilities, groceries, phone bill and clothing necessities and anything else. It’s a tough life I’m living financially and being stuck in the bar scene but I’m scared to leave because financially I will suffer with no college degree and my mom will suffer also. So I feel very trapped and part of what comes with that is the binge drinking I did for so long. I would get mad at my unsaved spouse and drink and gossip about him and I’ve broken his trust many times with many coworkers and friends that we both know well. My drinking has only caused more attacks from the enemy and I’ve not been the best wife. I’ve come home drunk and argued and thrown things and I’ve even shoved him out of the kitchen aggressively once because he gets two inches from my face when he yells at me and calls me a pathetic drunk and a B word and he even called me a retard once. I chose to get off work at the bar i work at and get blackout drunk and hang out with my friends and coworkers because going home meant being neglected by my spouse all night because video games are his idol before God. He refuses to believe he has an issue and cusses me out everytime i try to reach out and ask him to spend time with me. I finally gave up asking him and now we are separating for a while. I was wrong all those times in sinning against God with drunkenness. I have prayed and repented. I laid it down at the cross and accept His grace and mercy. All these things play over and over in my head. There Is no way that God sent me this wicked man. My faith has struggled for the entirety of being with him and we are about to separate for a month as a trial but I look for him to divorce me. He refuses to make church a weekly thing. He has been about a handful of times in a year and a half. Never reads the Bible I bought him. I never see him pray. Never blesses our food. He put on a good front in the beginning that he had faith in Jesus but I saw literally no fruit of a redeemed life and I Still don’t. He plays video games all day and all night when he isn’t working. I’ve built resentment against him for not being a spiritual leader and head of the family for me. He never drives me anywhere hardly and I have no vehicle. I walk home and take buses often. We never go to the grocery store together and I stopped asking for him to do errands with me because its like pulling teeth to get him away from the computer screen for a short time. Everything ends up in an all out war. Always ends in slammed doors and him telling me to shut the () up and leave him alone and he does not forgive me in his heart for my trespasses even tho I forgive him regularly as a believer. We have no community at the church I attend. I’m kind of ashamed to go before a group and admit these sins to them and answer questions about my spouse who clearly is unsaved and abusive verbally. We are at a stalemate because he doesn’t want church enough, he doesn’t want to go to secular counseling and definitely has declined a pastoral counseling or Christian counseling. He has so much anger towards me and I feel like Satan is accusing me through him when we have a blow up argument. I’ve stopped drinking and hope to leave the bar industry. I fast and pray and am waiting on guidance on what to do next. I know God hates divorce but I believe it’s forgivable. My husband deals treacherously with me as in Malachi. Please respond!

    Thanks in advance,
    A confused and hurt April

  30. Chloe Rosa on June 1, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    Just want to say thank you. Sunshyne what a blessing and what I needed to hear. I love the quote ‘we are not the holy spirit ‘. I didn’t mean to but I feltbut was all on me. When a friend shared that God would do it (stating the obvious) but I needed to hear it , it sankninto my heart and I felt release from responsibility ????????????.

    I haven’t read all the comments but I am thinking of setting up a WhatsApp group for those in unyoked marriages because in church we are a minority group. I encourage others here to do this to or find a friend a church in same situation and take time together to ????????Actually we can grow together supporting each other in small groups. We can get to know who are the minority groups and pray for each other ‘s ????????????????

  31. Mandy on October 17, 2023 at 4:17 am

    I truly needed this today! I have been saved since I was 12. I chose to marry an unbeliever during college because like you said above I was also blazing my own path..I was living in disobedience to God even after I was saved and I surely reaped what I sowed! I fell pregnant swiftly after a few encounters with my now husband. I was young void of understanding and definitely easy prey for the Devil. It has been a hard 5 years for me. I only started to really become more deeply rooted in my relationship with Christ after getting married and becoming a young mom, despite being saved for over 9 years already! This journey has taught me so much! I have seen God’s grace and mercy???? more times than I deserve and it brings me to my knees every night. I have repented of my disobedience to God’s warning to not be unequally yoked— and reading this article re assures me that He forgives me and that He truly has a plan for this marriage. I do not want to even think my husband could die any day now and go to Hell it scares the life out of me because I love him a lot— but it is really the thing that keeps me strong in the LORD. Because I believe that God loves him just as much as He loves me and wants to see my husband saved even more than I do. I am encouraged today to pray for him more consistently, to practice showing him God’s love unconditionally and without words more often and to examine myself more closely each day ????. Thank you and may more and more women like me be blessed with this reading.

  32. kellie on November 1, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    I really needed to remember that I’m working for God’s kingdom and not mine. I got married at a point in life where I thought my now husband saying he believed in God was good enough for me! I recently joined a church and am heavily involved in the community and my desire to know Jesus more has sky rocketed while my husband has actually sunken more into the world. I always heard the term unequally yoked, but never felt it more than I do now. THANK you for reminding me that my husband is not more powerful than God. Sometimes i look at him and really think he will absolutely never change.. but isn’t that me doubting God’s ability?? I’m listening to a song as I was reading this article and it says “who am I to deny what the Lord can do”. How on time is that?!? I’m hurting and closer to giving up than i’ve ever been… but I’m going to focus on what’s in my circle of control, pray for my husbands heart, and get out of God’s way.

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  34. Dave on February 11, 2024 at 10:38 am

    As a man married to an unbelieving wife, I only ever see websites and articles about unequally yoked marriages geared to women. And yes, while the advice in these articles is valuable and appropriate to anyone in this situation, I would like to see more information specifically meant for the husbands. Are there any?

  35. Leah on February 16, 2024 at 12:17 am

    I really needed this right now. 2 years in, to my husband becoming atheist (together 18yrs and married almost 13) and I’m struggling so bad still. I feel hopeless and depressed over this situation.

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