An Introduction

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.

8 Comments

  1. Very true, D. And you know I have you and yours covered in prayer. One of my best friends was in such a marriage for over FOURTEEN years. We prayed. We counseled her. We loved him in Christian love. And God touched his heart about 5 years ago! What a change. And so worth the wait!

  2. I enjoyed reading this Dineen 🙂

  3. Dineen, There are so many of us walking this road due one circumstance or another. It is a long road at times but we have hope!! As you said, The key is to remember that God wants your spouse saved even more than you do!!! I am holding you and your family in prayer. Thank you for this excellent post!! 🙂

  4. Thanks Ron! I’m so glad Kelly can minister to this friend. Support makes a huge differenc. And I so appreciate your prayers.

  5. I’m always praying for you, Dineen. I have another dear friend whose husband is a non-believer. I’ve watched her break down in tears in bible study over a passage dealing with marriage. And you’re right, mixing men and women together in a group like that can lead to disaster. It’s always hard knowing that my friend is hurting, yet I am not the one who should offer comfort. Fortunately, my wife (who is a believer) can. You’re willingness to reach out to others in your situation is a beautiful ministry. God bless you and your family.

  6. Wow, Heather. What a small world! God is truly amazing.

  7. Wonderful, Dineen. You know, when I did the bio it didn’ occur to me that you were the same Dineen from the 1Peter group. It is so amazing what the Lord does. I have been in that place and HE is so faithful when we trust Him. And the 1PEter group is wonderfully encouraging as well. 🙂

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