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“How to respond when husband mocks Christian beliefs?”

Katie and Scott on Facebook Live

Outline for video:

  • 0–6:43—Scott’s question
  • 6:44­–8:11—Katie’s thoughts on Scott’s question
  • 8:12–12:54—Katie’s question
  • 12:55–17:37—Scott and Katie’s thoughts back-and-forth on Katie’s question
  • 17:38–19:17—Katie shares from Marriage God’s Way
  • 19:18–24:56—Discussion of Christian Heritage Marriage Retreat

Scott’s question: “How should I respond when husband mocks my Christian beliefs?”

How should I respond when my husband mocks my Christian beliefs? My husband claims to be a Christian, but he randomly says the church is really his wife’s church and it’s ridiculous to believe in creation over evolution. Occasionally he does this in front of the kids too.

There’s a chance your husband might be saved, but it’s hard to reconcile your description with the behavior of a Christian. People can be saved and believe in evolution, but they wouldn’t Christianity. That sort of hostility toward the Gospel seems incompatible with regeneration.

Here are the two encouragements:

  1. Pray for his salvation. It might be tempting to pray that he embraces creationism or stops mocking your beliefs, but these issues are symptoms and not the problem itself. If he becomes a Christian, hopefully these issues will improve or resolve themselves.
  2. Strive for peace. When he mocks Christianity in front of the kids it will be tough not to argue with him. I would encourage you to do your best not to become hostile in return. Consider the following…

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.

Verses such as Romans 12:18 command us to pursue peace with other believers, but in the above verse Paul specifically has marriage in mind. He says peace is so important a believer spouse shouldn’t engage in conflict over an unbelieving spouse’s departure. The two reasons for this are:

  1. People aren’t won over through conflict. That often only causes the flesh to flare up.
  2. Christians have a testimony to maintain, and this is especially important before your children.

You’re legitimately concerned about what your children are observing from your husband. When they see you respond lovingly toward your husband when he’s acting unkindly, that will make a big statement to them. They need to see your respect for your husband, not your anger. This is the best way for them to see Christ through you.

The alternative is your kids see you argue with your husband, which will be a poor witness to them. As it stands now, you’re the only parent influencing your children for Christ. You have to put forth extra effort as a result. Your children will look back on the way you treated your husband and know the Gospel worked through you.

Katie’s question: “What should I teach kids when husband and I disagree?”

In a situation where the husband and wife don’t agree on theological things (probably non essentials) with the wife doing most of the teaching of the children, which should she teach them? And how should EITHER husband or wife respond to the kids noticing or questioning the inconsistencies? Like if I’m talking to my kids about something theological and they say “but daddy said…” or daddy is talking them and gets ‘but mommy said…”

Scott and I have this situation! 🙂 We disagree on numerous minor things. That’s okay! This isn’t an issue of submission. But when we disagree we need to do so kindly so the kids see us respecting each other.

When teaching them you can say, “This is what Mommy thinks _____, and this is what Daddy thinks _____.” Remind them that great theologians disagree on nonessentials of the faith. Ask the kids if they have any questions. It doesn’t have to be awkward. Just make sure not to talk bad about your husband.

Excerpt Katie shared from Marriage God’s Way

Just as Jesus is the premier example of submission, so Satan offers the premier example of rebellion. Scripture provides vivid images of Satan’s original rejection of God as his head, which resulted in his being cast down and out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12–20; Ezekiel 28:12–19). Then, in the Garden of Eden, we see him as a serpent stirring up similar rebellion in Eve. Consider the parallelism between the words he spoke to himself and the words he spoke to Eve:

  • Isaiah 14:14—“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”
  • Genesis 3:5b—“Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.”

Satan is saying here in essence: “You do not need to submit to God. You can have His position instead.” To be rebellious and reject the authority God has placed over us—whether parents, church leadership, government, employers, or husbands as head of the family—is to follow Satan’s example.

A few other things:

 

Discuss:

How would you respond to these questions? What advice would you give? Share your thoughts on the comments section!

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20 thoughts on ““How to respond when husband mocks Christian beliefs?”

  1. Hi there! I don’t remember how I recently stumbled across your blog, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve been reading many of your posts and watching your videos. The video here is probably the one that resonates the most with a situation I’m currently going through. It is a long story, but I will try to sum things up here so perhaps you can give some advice/counsel. My husband was a pastor up until this last year, when God moved us from the western US to the southeastern part of the country. I actually married him while he was the youth pastor, and together we served at two churches out west. Then, God called us here, where he could teach Bible in a Christian school. We were excited, as my in-laws live close by and we knew the pastor and wife pretty well. So, we were confident in our decision, especially because if you teach at the Christian school, you also have to be members of the church. After a few short weeks of being here, I got involved in one of their ministries (that I have done in the past elsewhere), and it seemed to be a good fit–at first. But then, the Lord began tugging at my heart that didn’t seem right Biblically speaking. So, I prayed about it, talked with my husband, and he suggested I remove myself quietly. It was a hard thing, as it is something I know I can be a great asset in with prior experience and heart, but I thought I would just pray about future things at the church. I have been (or currently am involved with), some teaching/nursery help as much as able, but I’ve also had some physical issues, an ectopic pregnancy that recently led to a tubal surgery (yes, it’s been rough this past year!). However, because this ministry reaches all ages every week, my children have had an option to be a part, if parents want them to. I had been approached about this, but was told I couldn’t help with it (or lead in it), because I didn’t fully support this particular ministry. (this was a few months after I stepped out quietly…and honestly, had never had to deal with this anywhere else). I talked with my husband about it, and because of my personal decision months prior, told me that he didn’t want to be a part of it. For months, he has been telling me that I have been rebellious, not following him (submitting) or the church—all because I stepped out quietly for something I believe the Bible doesn’t want me to “go with the flow” about. I have led in this area for years, have felt confident and at peace of where I stand, but now…things are different at this church. My husband has never belittled me for where I stand on this issue, and there have been things he thinks strongly about that I have respected him on as well. After the processing with this, I have hardly mentioned this at all to him, nor do I judge others who are a part or even talk about it with other congregants. But, now with our kids being asked to join, and my husband saying for me to deal with it, I have…but recently exploded at me when he got upset over something else. This is when it becomes a contentious thing in our relationship. We will talk about other things, and perhaps a disagreement gets heated, and then I’m reminded that I’m not following him again in this particular situation. For the past few years, I have noticed that he will use the “submission” thing against me with some of these “non-essentials”…almost as if God can only speak through him for me. My opinions seem devalued many times and it has been discouraged. I have been teaching my kids things, but never have I said that they shouldn’t listen to Daddy’s point of view. In fact, some of these things, he has been very quiet on, until–he gets frustrated/upset about something and then he throws it in my face, as if it is wrong to apply Biblical principles, or have a different view than himself or others at church. In this case, he was initially worried that he would lose his job. I agree that we as parents need to be careful that our kids don’t see these arguments, but sadly, ours have so many times (even if the talks are loud and then it wakes them up…sad). I have suggested counseling, to no avail. I have sought counsel from our pastor with how he handles conflict, but I didn’t share this particular situation because he and I don’t agree on why I stepped down “if God led us here.” If you could help me, I would appreciate it. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells all the time, even though I don’t bring up the situation. With God closing this particular door at the church, He has reminded me that my primary ministry is the home, so He’s been working through me through all of this. If you could give some guidance, I would appreciate it…and if you need more info as to the particular thing I believe in, I wouldn’t mind sharing more details. I desire to do the right thing and be at peace with my husband. But at the same time, don’t have the “fit” that I have had before at other churches this because this area permeates a lot of what the church does, and the philosophy there, as well. Thanks so much!

    1. Hello Theo-Ann,
      I thought it best to copy your comment down and respond below certain parts.

      Hi there! I don’t remember how I recently stumbled across your blog, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve been reading many of your posts and watching your videos. The video here is probably the one that resonates the most with a situation I’m currently going through. It is a long story, but I will try to sum things up here so perhaps you can give some advice/counsel. My husband was a pastor up until this last year, when God moved us from the western US to the southeastern part of the country. I actually married him while he was the youth pastor, and together we served at two churches out west. Then, God called us here, where he could teach Bible in a Christian school. We were excited, as my in-laws live close by and we knew the pastor and wife pretty well. So, we were confident in our decision, especially because if you teach at the Christian school, you also have to be members of the church. After a few short weeks of being here, I got involved in one of their ministries (that I have done in the past elsewhere), and it seemed to be a good fit–at first. But then, the Lord began tugging at my heart that didn’t seem right Biblically speaking.

      Do you mind sharing what exactly it was that didn’t seem right? I hate to pry, but I’m not sure I can respond well without knowing.

      So, I prayed about it, talked with my husband, and he suggested I remove myself quietly. It was a hard thing, as it is something I know I can be a great asset in with prior experience and heart, but I thought I would just pray about future things at the church. I have been (or currently am involved with), some teaching/nursery help as much as able, but I’ve also had some physical issues, an ectopic pregnancy that recently led to a tubal surgery (yes, it’s been rough this past year!). However, because this ministry reaches all ages every week, my children have had an option to be a part, if parents want them to. I had been approached about this, but was told I couldn’t help with it (or lead in it), because I didn’t fully support this particular ministry. (this was a few months after I stepped out quietly…and honestly, had never had to deal with this anywhere else). I talked with my husband about it, and because of my personal decision months prior, told me that he didn’t want to be a part of it. For months, he has been telling me that I have been rebellious, not following him (submitting) or the church—all because I stepped out quietly for something I believe the Bible doesn’t want me to “go with the flow” about.

      I’m sorry, but I’m a little confused. Earlier it sounds like you said you spoke with your husband and he suggested you remove yourself quietly, which you did. It sounds like you did submit to him?

      I have led in this area for years, have felt confident and at peace of where I stand, but now…things are different at this church. My husband has never belittled me for where I stand on this issue, and there have been things he thinks strongly about that I have respected him on as well.

      Can you tell me what “issue” you’re referring to? Without knowing, I’m not sure how to provide counsel.

      After the processing with this, I have hardly mentioned this at all to him, nor do I judge others who are a part or even talk about it with other congregants. But, now with our kids being asked to join, and my husband saying for me to deal with it, I have…but recently exploded at me when he got upset over something else. This is when it becomes a contentious thing in our relationship. We will talk about other things, and perhaps a disagreement gets heated, and then I’m reminded that I’m not following him again in this particular situation. For the past few years, I have noticed that he will use the “submission” thing against me with some of these “non-essentials”…almost as if God can only speak through him for me.

      Interestingly, nonessentials should be the area where wives have the easiest time submitting to their husbands. It’s when husbands ask their wives to submit in areas that could be considered essentials, or very clear in Scripture.

      One other difficulty in responding to your post (aside from not knowing the actual issue at hand), is I haven’t been able to hear your husband’s side. Scripture says both sides should be heard before coming to a conclusion, and most times it’s not that either person is being dishonest. It’s simply an issue of them seeing things differently. I’d be glad to know your husband’s side, at least the best you can present it.

      My opinions seem devalued many times and it has been discouraged. I have been teaching my kids things, but never have I said that they shouldn’t listen to Daddy’s point of view. In fact, some of these things, he has been very quiet on, until–he gets frustrated/upset about something and then he throws it in my face, as if it is wrong to apply Biblical principles, or have a different view than himself or others at church. In this case, he was initially worried that he would lose his job.

      Do you mean his job in ministry? I would say if he’s in ministry at the church he needs to work for unity with the elders. If he’s so at odds with the theology of the church he can work for change, but if he’s considered divisive then the issues are large enough he should move on. It sounds like perhaps your husband feels like you’re differences are putting him or you or your family at odds with the leadership?

      I agree that we as parents need to be careful that our kids don’t see these arguments, but sadly, ours have so many times (even if the talks are loud and then it wakes them up…sad). I have suggested counseling, to no avail.

      If your husband is in ministry and you two are having these types of problems, you should definitely get counsel. If you don’t, more than likely it will simply erupt at some point, people will be shocked, and it will be much worse than if it had been handled earlier.

      I have sought counsel from our pastor with how he handles conflict, but I didn’t share this particular situation because he and I don’t agree on why I stepped down “if God led us here.” If you could help me, I would appreciate it. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells all the time, even though I don’t bring up the situation. With God closing this particular door at the church, He has reminded me that my primary ministry is the home, so He’s been working through me through all of this.

      Yes, that’s a very good view. I hope you can be encouraged that this is on your husband’s shoulders, and you’re largely responsible with supporting him, versus making the decisions yourself.

      If you could give some guidance, I would appreciate it…and if you need more info as to the particular thing I believe in, I wouldn’t mind sharing more details.
      Yes, that seems to be very important to know 😊. In fact, I feel like there’s little I can say without that info.
      I desire to do the right thing and be at peace with my husband. But at the same time, don’t have the “fit” that I have had before at other churches this because this area permeates a lot of what the church does, and the philosophy there, as well. Thanks so much!

      Thanks for reading, commenting, and asking. I will try to respond more thoroughly when I have more information.

      In Christ,
      Scott

  2. […] come to an agreement. But they cannot. At this point, what do they do? How do they decide? Do they resort to arguing? Do they flip a coin or play “Rock-Paper-Scissors”? Just as in all the authority structures we […]

  3. […] Be sure to check out this other video: “How should I respond when my husband mocks my Christian beliefs?” […]

  4. […] Be sure to check out this other video: “How should I respond when my husband mocks my Christian beliefs?” […]

  5. This jumped out at me:

    “When they see you respond lovingly toward your husband when he’s acting unkindly, that will make a big statement to them. They need to see your respect for your husband, not your anger. This is the best way for them to see Christ through you.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen families where the spouses lash out at each other all the time and the kids get the message that married life is full of fighting, etc. I’m constantly trying to make sure to watch not only my words but my attitude when there is a point of disagreement between us.

    1. That’s great, thanks Laura.

      Yes, instead of being convinced of some theological position, when the parents argue about their beliefs the kids simply become convinced that religion is a point of contention.

      Katie and I try to discuss in front of the kids, but argue in private :).

  6. This is sound advice, Scott and Katie. I so appreciate that you said to teach kids both parents’ understanding on minor issues. It supports your point from your book- “submissive wife” is not synonymous with “doormat!” I love a good theological discussion 👍🏻

    1. Beka,
      Thanks for your comment, and you quoted my book. Of course I think that’s great :).

      “Gentle and quiet spirit” versus “gentle and quiet mouth.”

      Yes, we all have differences with our spouses. Just an issue of handling/discussing them peacefully.

  7. My wife and I disagree on some minor things so I like the idea of telling the children with both parents believe

    1. Thanks for the transparency Randy. I think all couples disagree on some things. But yes, hopefully, they’re minor things.

  8. good content

  9. This is tough. I couldn’t imagine being married to someone who mocked Christianity. How hard it would be to stay humble and show the grace and love of a god to that person. Major prayer would be needed!

    1. Hi Jolleen,
      I couldn’t imagine it either. I appreciate the woman’s desire to honor the Lord in a really difficult situation, and raise her children to know God.

  10. It is so true that conflict doesn’t win people over. I like how Paul would look for common ground with people when presenting Christ. Yes, he was presenting a different point of view, which some violently disagreed with but, he used something they were already familiar with.

    1. Hi Kristi,
      I’m glad you caught that from the video. Pride flares up and makes us want to argue, but instead of helping us get our point across better it destroys our case.

  11. I can relate to the second part of this post about how to disagree with your spouse in front of your children without it being a conflict. My husband and I think it’s important for our children to see this behavior modeled, so they will know how to communicate during disagreements with their future spouses. Also, it’s important to show children they should think for themselves instead of just swallowing what everyone else tells them. Their relationship with God and faith will be stronger for it.

    1. Hi Rachael,
      That’s wonderful that you’re taking into consideration the example you’re setting for your children, not just for their lives now, but for their marriages in the future.

      I think it’s true that daughters look for men who will treat them the way their fathers treated their mothers, and the same for sons with their future wives.

  12. I love the relaxed style of your videos – I think videos may be a really important way of engaging in mission and ministry online – I’ve done a little bit of it, but keep thinking I should try it more. I think the style you use may make it less intimidating. There’s also a good mix of Biblical points and down-to-earth wisdom.

    Advent blessings

    Bosco

    1. Thank you Bosco.

      It’s definitely more my wife’s encouragement that allows these videos to take place. I feel much more comfortable behind the pulpit with my notes in front of me. The “live” aspect of Facebook Live is what makes it a stretch for me :). You could say preaching behind the pulpit is live too, but for some reason it seems different to me.

      Anyway, thanks for your encouragement!

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