Hello, my name is Dineen Miller, and I’m married to an atheist.
Sounds like something you’d hear at an AA meeting, doesn’t it? Except this isn’t an addiction with a twelve-step plan to rehabilitation. Unlike an agnostic who neither claims faith nor disbelief, an atheist simply doesn’t believe God exists. There is no afterlife or heaven, because death means the end of your existence. Life on this planet is all you get. No need for salvation. Or a savior.
Interestingly enough, I’ve discovered being unequally yoked (also called spiritually single) comes in many forms. Atheism, agnosticism, stagnation, or even an entirely different faith—all create a struggle that can lead to contentiousness, resentment, and unforgiveness. It’s not an easy road to travel, no matter how you find yourself there, and the only “rehab” is complete trust in God.
If you’re not unequally yoked, you might know someone who is and don’t even realize it. Look around at your church. Ever notice a woman sitting alone or just with her children? How about that guy you thought was single? Is he? They’re the ones you see in service, but not necessarily at the family functions. And some will avoid the marriage-based Sunday school classes completely, because they’re too painful a reminder of what they can’t share with their spouse—like how a sermon impacted them or the monumental moment of a child accepting Christ.
If you can identify with any of this, don’t walk this journey alone. Many churches have small groups for unequally yoked. If not, start your own group. (I’ll talk next month about why it’s not a good idea to mix genders and the importance of discretion and confidentiality.) Another resource is a blog called Spiritually Unequal Marriage. You’ll find lots of support and several book recommendations there, as well as a link for 1Peter3Living, an online group designed to encourage people in unequally yoked marriages through prayer and Bible study.
The amazing thing is, despite the differences, God still blesses these marriages. Just as he blesses marriages between believers. He is faithful and honors the covenant of marriage, even if you’re unequally yoked. The key is to remember that God wants your spouse saved even more than you do. God loves us that much. All of us.