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

  1. […] 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 […]

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

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

  4. 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 :).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. good content

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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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