Question: I love God, love going to church, and absolutely love the Bible. I love reading it, studying it, discussing it, and listening to good sermons. My husband says he is a Christian and will go to church with me when I make a big deal about it, but I wish he actually wanted to go. How can I get him more interested in spiritual things?
Answer: Your experience is not unique. I have met several women who share a similar burden for their husbands. More importantly, the Bible itself anticipates this dilemma and offers some very specific advice.
Before we get to that advice, however, let me suggest a somewhat sobering possibility: Your husband may not be a Christian.
According to the Bible, a person must be “born again” in order to enter the Kingdom of God and one of the first evidences of this “new birth” is a constant craving for the “milk of the word” so that nourishment and growth may occur (John 3:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:2).
If your husband manifests no hunger for the Word of God, then he has probably not yet been born again. He is most likely still dead in his sins.
I share this sad possibility not to discourage you, but so that you can approach this situation appropriately.
You see, far too many women in your situation engage in an incessant and “evangelical” nagging which only hardens their husband’s heart further to the things of Christ.
We cannot nag anyone into the Kingdom of God any more than we can nag a child out of his mother’s womb. The new birth is a work of the Spirit of God which he accomplishes in his own timing (John 3:8).
That having been established, let me now proceed to share two suggestions from a passage which offers very specific advice to women in your situation: 1 Peter 3:1-6
Let Your Attitude Soften His Heart – The greatest mistake you can make is to convey an attitude of spiritual superiority to your husband. Granted, you may know more about God than he does, but that only means this: You should be all the more humble before God (and before your husband).
Peter exhorts women “to be submissive to their husbands…” so that their husbands might observe in them the inner beauty of a “meek and quiet spirit” which is not only precious in the sight of God, but which is also a powerful witness in the eyes of their husbands.
Let Your Actions Speak to His Heart – Having softened your husband’s heart through a general demeanor of submissive humility, do not then begin preaching at him. Rather, simply allow your actions to preach silent sermons to his now (hopefully) curious heart.
Peter puts it this way: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives…”
What kind of conduct is Peter recommending in particular? The passage to which I made passing reference earlier in this article gives us the answer:
“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…” (1 Peter 2:1-2).
Just keep reading the Bible, enjoying the Bible, attending church, and living a humble and consistent Christian life. This will soften your husband’s heart and increase his interest in spiritual things like nothing else can.