Winning Your Husband to Christ

Many of us will remember Candace Cameron Bure from ABC’s Full House, where we affectionately knew her as “DJ Tanner.” Today Candace is a role model to young women everywhere, with a testimony of growing up in Hollywood, while growing in faith with God.

This month, Candace gets candid with a reader who hopes to win her husband to Christ.

I am married to an unbeliever. He and I got together real young, had a kid, and for the most part are very compatible with each other . The only problem is that I’m a new Christian trying to strengthen my faith, and he’d rather not discuss the topic of God, as he has had it rough growing up, and tends to use that as an excuse.

My question is, where do I go from here? I want my son in a strong Christian environment. For the most part, my husband is okay with me teaching him about God, taking him to church and praying.  He just doesn’t cooperate.

As his wife, I don’t want to force anything on him at all. And I know I have to deal with the natural consequences of marrying a non believer, but my house WILL serve the Lord!

We watched Fireproof last night, and I got the message. Maybe I should just worry about myself, and my faith in God, and hope that he sees Christ through me.

But I’m scared we will grow apart even more. We have free will; God wants us to willingly love Him. I just don’t want to be overbearing. He has major anxiety, and I seriously feel like we’re living in two different worlds lately. I hate watching him suffer with anxiety and not being able to do anything about it.

Yes, you can ask questions like this. 🙂 I’m happy to recommend some things I think will help.

Neither my husband nor I cared much about God when we got married. Although we both had a basic belief in God, I became a true Christian before my husband. I prayed for his salvation for 2 years until I saw the fruit of those answered prayers when he gave his life to the Lord.

I’m glad you are asking these questions because that means you’re willing to seek answers and make some changes to your family life.  Could you and your husband grow apart because of the lack of union in Christ? Yes, it’s possible, but God also give a promise to wives concerning their unbelieving husbands.

1 Peter 3:1-2 – Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Do you see the promise? If your husband does not believe the Word (that is, the bible, or Jesus himself) he may be won over (brought to Christ) without words (not by you saying a bunch of things to him) but by the behavior of their wife (your conduct), when he (your husband) sees the purity and reverence of your life (your spirit in Christ when you honor and reverence your husband).

Start praying for your husband’s salvation today and every day until it comes. Hold on to God’s promise and don’t let up no matter how difficult it gets. It is not wrong for you to obey your husband and have him lead your home even if he is an unbeliever as long as he isn’t asking you to sin. And I’m not talking about legalistic sins like when he’d rather take you and your son to the park and play on Sunday morning instead of going to church.  Go ahead and do that… being happy for the special time you’ll have together as a family.

It’s a wonderful thing that your husband doesn’t give you a hard time when teaching your son about Jesus or going to church. Be thankful for that! Take the season you’re in now to grow in your relationship with God, getting to know Him and His word better. Your husband doesn’t have to be at the same pace you’re at for you to teach your son or grow yourself. Trust in God’s love for you and for your husband. God can and will use YOU as a tool to bring your husband to Christ if you obey and yield to His ways. It may take 2 years of praying  like it did with my husband or it may take 35 years like it did for my dad. In any case, it will be in God’s timing, not yours. The question is, are you willing to hang on to the promise?

My favorite book on being the wife God created you to be is “Created to Be His Help Meet” by Debbie Pearl. You can find it at www.nogreaterjoy.org or a local Christian bookstore. At this point, you need to diligently pray for your husband, but don’t take the burden of his salvation upon your own shoulders. That’s God burden to bear. You are only accountable for your own actions, not your husband’s, although you should do everything you can to help your husband be the man God wants him to be.

Some examples? Don’t preach to him. If you’ve shared Christ as Savior with him, then let the words go and let your actions show. Your husband has anxiety? Listen to his troubles then sweetly let him know you’ll be praying about it for him. That’s all you need to say at that moment. Don’t be tempted to bust out the Bible and go into sermon about casting your anxieties upon God if He’s not open to hearing it at this point. But DO diligently pray to God and believe that He will meet the needs of your husband.

Proverbs speaks a lot about a wife, so listen up!

Proverbs 12:4
A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.

Proverbs 18:22
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,and he receives favor from the Lord.

Proverbs 19:14
Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth,but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.

Proverbs 21:9
It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

Proverbs 27:15
A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.

Proverbs 31:10
[Wife of Noble Character] Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.

You said it in your letter that you should just let Christ show through you and that’s exactly right. Let the sweet love of Jesus shine so brightly through you, that your husband will question what has gotten into his wife. Literally! The Holy Spirit. Let the spirit lead you as you show reverence and obedience to your husband.

Visit Candid Candace for more Qs & As on Growing with God.

29 comments for “Winning Your Husband to Christ

  1. Lisa
    May 1, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    That was so beautiful Candace! As for the writer, I too came crawling to the Lord before my husband did, he knows more about the bible then I do b/c he was raised in a Christian home. I had to be broken before I gave it all to God. My husband loves going to church every sunday and he even listens to Christian radio (air 1 90.9) since that is all I listen to. I read the bible out loud to my husband b/c i am an avid reader and then we talk about the verses together, my husbands walk might not be as fast paced as mine is but atleast he is walking the walk with God! I am very thankful for that. And great job with watching fireproof, that movie can really save a marriage! Candace is right, let your husband see the glory of Jesus change in you and he will soon follow! God luck and may God bless you and you family!

  2. marcy
    May 1, 2009 at 9:43 PM

    What a great question and one that many, and I mean many women struggle with. I was raised in a strong pentacostal christian home and it is in my blood, however, I married a man who was raised in a strong catholic home. You can imagine the conversations we have encountered- but I thrive on it. My husband always believed what he believes because it was the way he was raised. I have posed some questions to him over the years that has really made him think and actually get his bible out and read it. He still holds on to his faith and so do I so we are not on the same page yet. But every night I hit my knees and pray about it- and i give it to God. I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that God brought us together and has a plan for our marriage and family. After all- he knew us before we were born and knew every aspect of our future. We just have to surrender and trust him. He loves us and created us. Thank God for his perfect plan! May God bless you all and guide you all.
    I also want to say – thank you to Candace for answering God’s calling and being a strong, wonderful, God-fearing role model for young women today. They need it so much in this hard world we live in. It grieves me to watch the news and see so many hurting and lost people. I always wonder what i could do- So thank you for what you do!! May God protect and bless your family as you move and enter into a new chapter in your lives.

  3. Marianne Knapp
    May 3, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    What a great answer to this question. I’d encourage her to hang in there, I’ve been praying for my husband for almost 30 years. He has always been supportive of my going to church, bible reading and now is asking questions. Remember with God in it, there is always hope.
    Sometimes the harder thing is people who judge you because you are married to a non-believer…an unchurched man. Remember the only one you are answerable to is God. I believe God puts us where we are for a reason. Some of my husband’s family have turned to God because of my faith and willingness to share. God is good!
    The other hard thing is going to church and church events alone. Being the only married person at a luncheon or potluck is lonely at times. Sometimes I go and sometimes I choose to stay home and enjoy time with my husband. I think God is ok with that.
    You are in my prayers!

  4. May 4, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    Hello! This is my first time posting. What fantastic advice and I must say, it is sadly very common to go to churches anywhere today and see husbands MIA. My husband and I do attend together (he is one of the few at church), and at Sunday school yesterday, our pastor talked about how to get more men involved. He had a great idea about offering more hands-on projects with the congregation, like helping neighbors fix things, painting, building fences, etc. which the men love to do, and they are carrying out ministry. It would be a way to get them involved and maybe more comfortable then sitting in a class setting.

  5. Maria
    May 6, 2009 at 7:20 AM

    Every day I pray that my husband will one day walk the walk with the Lord, and to date he has not taken that step. His priority is Sunday morning golf, while mine is attending church, singing in the choir, and living a Christian life. My husband considers himself a man of science, and this is his reason for not believing in God’s creation, but I think he is not an atheist, but an agnostic. I have given up explaining why he is not a church goer and am sometimes embarrassed by his choice as he makes a big deal out of it. Once we had a professional opera singer sing with our choir for a special Sunday service, and since my husband loves opera, I had hoped this might be the catalyst to break his mold of resistance. Another time I was excited about making my debut as a hand bell ringer and thought perhaps he might attend. Alas, no to both. I haven’t given up hope that one day he will join me in the pew, but I pray that the first time will not be at my funeral.

  6. May 9, 2009 at 5:27 PM

    Thank you, Candace, for such encouragement. Being in a spiritually unequal marriage is a difficult road. One of the biggest gifts to someone in this place it so let them know they’re not alone. God is there, as well as some wonderful resources he has inspired to help. One is http://www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com. The writers there are dedicated to sharing their own journeys in this kind of marriage and how God has shown them how to not just survive, but thrive in their marriages. There’s also a wonderful Yahoo group called 1Peter3Living that is for the unequally yoked. A great place for encouragement, caring, and prayer support.

  7. Kristen
    May 18, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    Candice,
    I understand how you feel about wanting your husband to come to know Christ. For years, there was this one person who I went to school with and he had a crush on me. He wasn’t a Christian then. I’m not sure if he is now. (He’s mormon). I kept praying over and over. It got really exausting at times. I sometimes still pray for him (if i think to) (We were in elementary – the end of middle school together) I know how it feels when your prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling. Fact is, they don’t bounce off the ceiling. God is smiling down wanting the same thing you want- your husband’s salvation “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence”

  8. May 23, 2009 at 2:25 AM

    Hi there,
    I happened upon this site and read this ladies post about her unsaved husband. I just wanted to say that I thought it was so neat you suggested the “Created” book by Debbie Pearl. I have this book myself and it really has changed the way I treat my husband, not that I treated him badly before. But now I’m more mindful of the way I talk with him, how I encourage him, how I talk about him to our kids, etc. It’s a great book for all wives- whether their husband’s are saved or not.
    Thanks!
    Julianne

  9. J Tomas
    June 1, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    I am SO thankful I came upon this website. Candace. thank you for the wonderful answer to this question. I am married to a non-Christian, different religion and I am getting back to my faith. We have 3 children and I am trying to raise them in church and with Christ in their lives.
    I will continue to pray for my husband and thank God for you and your work!

  10. Kaci
    June 24, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Candace,
    Thank you so much for your words of wisdom on this subject. I can closely relate to this womans situation. I read the book “Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage” by Lee and Leslie Strobel. That book helped me a lot. You are truly a light for Christ, Candace! You are a wonderful encouragement to Christian woman! Thankyou so much!

  11. BJ
    July 3, 2009 at 1:56 AM

    Yes, we should live Christ in front of our husbands. Less words, more actions. Sometimes, we want to win them for Christ so much, that we miss the point. I have heard a man who said that he doesn’t want his wife’s God, as he must be boring and nagging. On the point: pray and live Christ. Answer on your prayers will come.

  12. Nathalia
    July 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    Im waiting on the Lord and im hopefull…i have faith that one day in God’s timing my husband will surrender to Jesus…untill then i will keep on running the race, and i will keep seeking and worshiping the Lord because my victory comes from Him!!i am very hopefull, even though sometimes it feels like nothing is changing and it hurts, but i have the mark of God’s promisses and i know He has the best for me…
    I became a believer back in april of 2004, it was love at first site…but then unfortunately i left God like about a year or so later…it was horrible…then in march 2008 i married a nonbeliever…things were really bad he left to iraq like about a month after we got married…we went through alot while apart but during that time that we were apart i realized that i needed to go back to Jesus bc if i didnt my marriage would have ended a long time ago…so i am so thankfull that God took me back after all these years wasted…when my husband got back from iraq we still went through alot bc of the things that happened while he was away, so he would always throw stuff at my face and tell me that i would never be able to make him happy again, and that hurted me so much but i keeped on praying and asking God to change his heart and to forget about what happened in the past, (while he was away i was misarable and living with the mother in law wasnt easy so whenever we spoke i would complanin and say mean things to him and i was a jelous freak so i would go through his stuff and break things and through them in the garbage and i would also pretend i was someone else to get in contact with his ex girlfriend and find things out and he found out about that so he though i was a psycho so this really messed up our marriage but not as much as when something bothered me i would throw at his face things from the past that were no longer there but i was so spiritually blind that i couldnt see stright, so i started telling him that i wanted a divorce and i didnt want to b with him …(the devil was really working in my life to bring me down and destroy my marriage)…my husband being a marine and all i never really thought that my actions hurted him so much time until one day b4 he came back home i spoke to him over the phone and he was crying and letting everything out and saying that now it would b him that wants a divorce and didnt want to try to work things out anymore and that broke my heart but i knew that that was the concequences of my actions….so thats when i realized how much i made him suffer…so when he came back from iraq i had already gone back to Jesus (thats the reason why i remained strong and never gave up on my marriage) about 2 weeks later he went to his country to see his family, and i was here alone and sad, but at the same time God was showing me that i needed this time alone to really get down on my knees and pray for my husband bc i planted alot of horrible things in his life and i needed to fix that, so i was asking God to touch his heart so that when he comes back he would come back differently (he was away for almost a month so i really dedicated myself to pray for our marriage and for his life)…so when it was time for him to come back, God had worked a miracle, God gave me a stragedy to touch my husbands heart i prepared something romantic for him at his arival home, so when the moment came he turned to me and told me that he will love me forever, so i knew right then that everything was going to be alright and that God in control of my life…he became someone diff now i can say that our marriage is being restored i thank God for that everyday, now the 2 things i ask God for is for my husbands salvation and to remove this so called friend of his that takes him out clubing and i stay home on a saturday night until late waiting up for him that torns me up inside, but i stay strong bc i know God will work His miracle and i pray in the name of Jesus that my husband will no longer go out to clubs with this guys anymore…and i just wanted u guys to help me out and pray for my husband salvation and our marriage as well…i know that my battle is already won through Christ!!…thank u all for reading this God bless u guys forever…(see u in heaven=)

  13. Alicia
    July 28, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    Thanks so much for the advise you gave Candace! For years my husband was on fire for Christ and was like a sponge but I turned him off slowly from our beliefs because of my “uptightness”, as he called it and constant nagging. I really didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have a husband that loved the Lord and wanted to grow in Him. It went from bad to worse but we are now on the road to recovery as far as me understanding that I need to focus on my faith and growing in Christ rather than being so concerned that he stays on the right track. I really encourage wives to let the Holy Spirit guide you in marriage and eventhough sometimes it feels out of character to let things slide, our reactions will either help or hinder…it really is our choice. Telling my husband over and over again what he should believe does nothing except push him farther away from God. God bless!!

  14. Judy
    August 12, 2009 at 11:26 PM

    Prior to coming to this website as a christian woman I was feeling really down about my 13-year marriage. The truth is my husband and I have been separated for a couple of years now. Eventhough we both know that we are still married as we communicate all the time about what bills need to be paid and what our 12-year old daughter needs. I have been lifted up by all your inspirational comments about your own marriage. I have always felt that god brought us to it so he will bring us through it our issues. After reading your comments I am reminded that my husband need to see Jesus in me in order for him to come home so that is what I must continue to believe. Also, god is in control it does not look like he is but we walk by faith, not by sight. We must stand on what the word of god says not act on what we see. Sometimes it seems difficult but that is when we minister to one another. May god continue to bless each of you abundantly!!

  15. September 27, 2009 at 10:41 PM

    Just had the pleasure of seeing you at the Extraordinary Women’s Conference in Roanoke, VA. Had an awesome time, 10 ladies from my home church came and was blessed tremendously. Hearing you speak of your husband, and your dad too, blessed me. I am a christian for 16 years now, take our kids to church, have raised them all in church but my husband is unsaved and just find it difficult some days. I have witnessed to him throughout the years and the last thing I was told by him was, “I am not interested and I do not want a thing to do with GOD!” I asked him, “do you believe in GOD?” – he tells me a flat out N!. And the funny thing is, his father is a preacher, my husband went to church as a teen…I still have faith and hope. You just renewed my realization that everything is gonna be alright. I was truly blessed by your testimony. Thank you very much.

    ~*Twila*~

  16. Sara
    October 21, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    I was looking online this morning for some devotions, and thought to myself “it would be nice to be able to share this time with my husband, but I just don’t know how.”

    It’s difficult because my husband grew up in Church, knows the Bible frontwards and backwards, yet he’s not very spiritual and he doesn’t pray very often. I was thinking maybe there was some ‘magic word’ I could say to him that would make him want to actively serve God…but by reading this I realize I just need to *Pray* for it to happen and *Trust* that it will.

    It’s amazing how God will literally put what you’re looking for right in front of your face 🙂

  17. kelley
    October 25, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    I am so happy to have found this website. I have been doing what you said all along. I want my boys to grow up knowing God’s love. At times I find it so difficult to do this on my own. I feel at times to give up. But, I know He has is promises for me. I just have to trust! Sometimes things become so difficult day after day. The seasons can be so long.

  18. January 19, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Candace, I found your response so encouraging and wise – thank you for sharing your own experience as well as referencing 1 Peter 3:1-2. Comforting and encouraging indeed.

  19. ucida immaculate
    February 11, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    Thank you very much for the encouraging words you have given me and the scriptures. I have not remained the but a chanched person iam going to pray for him using the guide lines you have given me. May the lord reward you abandantly.

  20. ucida immaculate
    February 11, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    Thank you very much for the encouraging words you have given me and the scriptures. I have not remained the same but a changed person iam going to pray for him using the guide lines you have given me. May the lord reward you abandantly.

  21. cherie
    February 16, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    I am a ordained Miniser, and I have been believing for my husband for 16 years, 1 peter 3:1 is the scriputre, you can win them, our marrieage is so much better, there is peace, and he truly loves me but it hasnt always been that way by no means, seek God, get into the word, let God change you! start treating him by faith like he was already that man of God, and watch him become what you treat him. God is faithful dont ever give UP, that is the only way you can lose, God is a rewarder, and reward us ladies he WILL. Keep on keeping on!

  22. robin
    February 24, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Thanks for the article just what I need to encorage me to keep doing what I am doing and one day he will come around. We arent married yet but have a child together so I want to make this work. I know we shouldnt be sleeping together i was weak and gave in and lost my virginty to him . I just believe that despite that god did let us have baby together so he must want us to be together. I going to keep praying and doing what Iam suppose to

  23. Jen
    January 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    What a well-timed read this was. Thank you! My husband isn’t a believer, but he’s not an unbeliever, either. Thank you for showing me there is always hope!

  24. Irene Seif
    April 20, 2011 at 3:54 AM

    Its very encouraging.

  25. Dabney
    September 14, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    This is my first time posting. It is so encouraging to know that I’m not the only one that married a nonbeliever. I’ve been married for 7 years and have been praying for my husband to have a relationship with God for the past year. I attend church, sometimes alone and sometimes with our 3 year old daughter. I know that my husband’s relationship with God will happen in God’s time. I’ve had to rely on my faith and continue to pray every single day. It is hard at times. I feel in my heart that bringing my husband to Christ is what I’m supposed to do. This message is what I needed tonight. Candice, thank you so much for standing your ground in what you believe in. May God bless you all.

  26. Sheree
    May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    This is Great advice!! Thank you for the scriptures to back it up!! I’ve been married for 34 yrs. and although my husband still does not go to church he does tell our children they need belife of Christ in their life. Many years of prayer for my husband and children.

  27. Appollonia
    June 3, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Thanks for the advice, will do.

  28. Gurdeep
    June 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I am very new to Christianity how would I word my prayer for God to show my husband the way to Him so that we can than together show the way to our children, please help.

  29. July 4, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Hello there! This post could not be written much better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of
    my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this.
    I most certainly will forward this post to him. Pretty sure
    he will have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

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