My spouse is an unbeliever
How did it begin:
There was no room for Adonai in our lifes when we started as a couple. There were too many negative influences because of religion. Before we came together as a couple we decided that we would not attend church services any longer. We got married in October 1965 and we were happy with the choice we made and our lives. We went on long holidays on far and adventurous trips. We had nice friends and lived in a cosy home. And I as a woman went to work outside our house. No! We didn’t miss anything and no, we did not miss the Lord at all.
Things became difficult:
Married couples around us we knew had children, we did not. After many years of medical surgery we knew for sure we would never have children of ourselves. My husband went bitter and I started looking to Adonai for help and caring in our distress. He answered me because He called me to be His child. For me it was enough but my husband did not share my feelings. He went his own way as an unbeliever who blamed G’d for his destiny in our lives. However, we had a strong love for each other and we survived this painful and great shortcoming in our lives. More often than before we made long trips to our beloved Scandinavia.
But God called me:
It was a strong call from G’d. I studied scriptures and had to confess that I was a sinner and in need of the forgiveness of my sins. I needed to be rescued through the blood of Yeshua. From then on I would live for Him, my Messiah and my King. But in our home there was no place for such an action. Apart from that I did not find a church to worship G’d. Because of my Calvinistic background I was unable to find a place where I felt at home. G’d directed me to a church where I could celebrate the holy feasts of which Adonai spoke about in the Bible. I discovered the importance of kosher food and more of the commandments that He gave us to obey. In 1976 I was immersed in a tube filled with water, in which I symbolically got rid of my old life and stepped into my new life with Yeshua. I celebrated the feasts of the Lord in their full meaning when I started to attend the Messianic Jewish Congregation Beth Yeshua in Amsterdam. Compared to the church tutoring, the Hebrew text became more clear and exact to me than what I experienced before and understood more than before and it was a pleasure to me. Only my husband still didn’t like it at all and I missed him so desperately through all the years that I took part in most of the activities of the Church then and now in my new found congregation. I can hardly believe that it was possible to live together for such a long time, while each of us was going his own way. Both of us worked hard. My husband worked as an all-round carpenter and he also took care of his vegetable garden at our house. I was a sales representative on the road and later I started my own business in advertising and writing articles in sales magazines. But still my life as a believer in Yeshua Messiah had no place in our home. Things went on and I did not utter a word of my love for the Lord. It was a very lonely and stressful kind of life to live with a man whom I have always loved very much. Many tears did I shed and many times of fasting and praying as I gave my distress to the Father in heaven. Good as well as bad periods were lived through the years but nothing changed in the situation or vision of my husband concerning things of G’d.
My life took a new direction:
All through the years of our marriage I tried to change the position between my husband and myself to achieve a life more fitting to us than the difficult one we went through thus far. Our friends were as diverse as we were. My husband brought unbelievers into our house and I brought believers. I tried to create a church style of life and my husband a worldly style of life. Believe me, it was a bad thing to do. After many years of tears and failure I have learned to make an atmosphere in the house so that we both felt more comfortable. Our guests and visitors have to find their own way in our home. To be a woman of valor in this situation in the first place for me is to make our house a home to my husband as well as to myself which means that visitors or friends of both of us will have to respect just that kind of atmosphere. When someone tries to break in so that one of us is in distress, we set our mark. From then on there was no room for our own lifestyle any more in our life together.
It was a hard lesson:
In many cases in my life I wait for the Lord for His direction and vision. In the case of my marriage I had a blind spot. I was always busy to show my husband how we had to live a good life in Yeshua and because I could not speak about it I tried to really live that life and hoped that he would notice. But I forgot that not I, but Yeshua through me had to do it. As a successful saleswoman I rapidly took things into my own hands in this important part of my life. To myself I quoted from the Scripture, my Maker is my Man and I truly believed it but did not really trust Him all the way to give everything that happened in my marriage to Him. Through the years I became a tired and stressful woman and was filled with pain. I was unable to give this distress to my Maker because it was already too heavy a burden for me. But through one word of the Lord there was a change in my life. “Do not think that you trusted me, because you did not. Do it and trust me in all your feelings and wrestling and I shall deliver you” the Lord said to me loud and clear. Now I knew that I should not wait for my husband to change but that I should direct my path to my Maker and trust Him with my whole heart. He would change me, not my situation. In that way the Lord wanted to help me because He is my Maker. I had to be strong in Him and not in myself as I tried to be for so long. Now I had the faith that He would deliver me from all this heartfelt pain and sorrow. Only than I would become that strong woman as is written in I Peter 3:5-6 “This is how the holy women of the past who put their hope in G’d used to adorn themselves and submit to their husbands. The way Sarah obeyed Avraham, honouring him as her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not succumb to fear.” (The Complete Jewish Bible, by David Stern)
And you as a woman will know the meaning for your life in Yeshua even in your marriage with an unbeliever as your spouse.
Becoming a woman of valor:
My husband does not sing to me from Proverbs 31:10-31. Oh no! Well, go to your songbook and let the Lord sing this beautiful song to you on Erev Shabbat. Ask Him to lift you up in His presence. Let your hope be in Him and in Him alone and your Shabbat will be as beautiful as it can be. Bless your husband all the days through the year and in this way you will be able to be a woman of valor for the Lord and your husband as well. He shall see your joy and your love instead of your grievance and distress. Don’t let your hope be in your husband because he cannot give you the deepest hope and desires of your heart. Only the Lord can fill this emptiness. Do not even look at a woman whose husband is a believer. It is the same for her to find the fulfilling of her desire in Yeshua. If you do that you shall become free from your husband and more dependent on your Maker and there shall be more room for both of you. Your husband will notice the lovely fruits of that kind of freedom and in this way you can become a woman of valor in your home. Speak well of your husband to others and God will bless you more than ever before. Perhaps your husband will see the love of the Lord in you instead of your pain. In this way you won’t stand in the way of the Lord and He will be able to do the work in and through you. Things have turned out for the better. My husband made a house smoked fish meal for Erev Shabbat for our home group in Beth Yeshua and from that time on he is known in the gate as a man of very good taste.