What Should You Do When Your Husband Turns Away From God?

One of the most difficult things that can happen in a Christian marriage is your spouse turning away from God.

On your wedding day, you stood before God as two believers and promised to love each other for the rest of your days. Way back when you were sure there was nothing the two of you couldn’t get through, but this? You never saw this coming!

What do you do when your husband tells you he no longer believes in God?

turned away from God

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Pray Like His Life Depends On It

Several years ago I found myself in this position, and it was heartbreaking. I couldn’t believe that the man I married, was saying he was turning his back on God. He knew how important my faith was to me, and I thought it was important to him too.

The first thing I did when my husband turned away from God was pray.

I kept thinking if I’m hurt about his decision, then God must be too. Praying, and talking to God about it seemed like an obvious first step.

Why Should You Pray For a Husband Who Is Turning Away From Their Faith?

Prayer is a powerful tool that God gave us, that should be used often. In God’s word He tells us many times about how prayer can change things, so praying for a lost loved one is important.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

James 5:16b NIV

Praying that God will work in the heart of your husband is essential.

How Should You Pray If Your Husband is Turning Away From God?

Pray for him like his life depends on it because, after all, his eternal life does depend on his belief in Jesus. Click To Tweet

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing” (ESV) and I believe that to be true especially when praying for someone who has turned away from God.

Praying without ceasing is much more than whispering a prayer in church on Sunday. It means spending time daily in devotions with God and taking any and every opportunity to pray for your spouse.

Pray quietly while you are sitting in a waiting room. Fill a journal with prayers. Cry out to God while you are stuck in traffic. Have your Pastor or trusted brothers and sisters in Christ pray with you.

It doesn’t matter how or when, just be fervent in your prayers!

Let Your Actions Speak Louder Than Your Words

You can explain to your husband that you are saddened by his decision to turn from God. That being said, be sure that you are speaking in love and not anger. No one likes being nagged or forced to do something they don’t want to do.

Having your husband next to you in church might be important, but if he’s only there to make you happy then it’s meaningless. He needs to be acting like a Christian because he is a believer, not because he knows how to act like one. It’s important to remember that.

“Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”

1 Peter 3:1-2

How Do You Let Your Actions Speak?

Notice the verse does not tell wives to give up on their husbands. Does it say to continually remind your husband what he has done wrong? No, it says quite the opposite.

It can be challenging to stay committed when a husband has turned away from God, but we are called to. Of course, there are situations where this may not be safe, but for the most part, Christian wives should try to continue to love and respect their husbands. In doing this you will be showing your husband your commitment to him and Christ.

Why Should You Let Your Actions Do The Speaking?

Using your actions more than your words will speak volumes to your husband. It may be difficult to keep quiet about something that hurts you so much, but your example can be a real witness to your husband.

Letting your actions speak to him doesn’t mean you never invite your husband to church with you or ask him if he’d like to pray with you. He must know these are things you desire, but also that he comes to do these things on his own, and he isn’t forced into it.

Your behavior may even remind your husband that God doesn’t turn His back on us even when we turn our back on God.

Final Thoughts

When my husband told me he no longer wanted to be a Christian, a dear friend of mine told me something that I thought of often during that season of my life.

She said, “If your husband was ever truly a Child of God, which I believe he was, he will not lose his salvation, and your prayers and example will help to bring him back around in time.”

Everyone’s story is different, but in my situation, she was right. It took several years and countless prayers but my husband did come back to Christ.

The day that my husband was baptized, I asked him why he wanted to live as a Christian once again.

He told me several things happened in his life that were a wake-up call to him and helped to bring him back. Among the things he told me, were the love and devotion I showed to him during his time of wandering.

If you have a spouse who has turned away from God don’t lose heart. It’s not easy to stand by them, but God is working in ways you cannot even imagine. Let your actions be one of them.

Would you like help dealing with a wandering spouse? Join our Facebook Support Group, to get support from sisters in Christ who have been there!

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I'm Meghan, a Christian Marriage Coach, Speaker, and Writer. I am passionate about helping others restore and revive their marriages.


Darlene · July 20, 2020 at 7:02 pm

Excellent post!8

Emily · July 20, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Praise God for your faithfulness to him and to your husband! I cannot imagine how difficult that season must’ve been, but how sweet it is now that your husband is reunited with Christ. Such a powerful testimony for prayer!

    M. J. · July 21, 2020 at 4:40 am

    Thank you. It was the most difficult season of my life, but God is faithful!

DONNA MILLER · July 20, 2020 at 8:24 pm

Oh wow Meghan, you are such a beautiful example of a godly wife. That must have been tough to keep praying and hoping and showing love through your example, but never get angry. And look how the Lord came through. I absolutely LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing your story … ❤

    M. J. · July 21, 2020 at 4:42 am

    God was definitely working in me during that time too. I am generally not a patient person, but He gave me the strength to push through it all.

Tricia Winslow · July 21, 2020 at 2:24 am

Absolutely love it! Great sound advice… also one could apply this to their prodigal children as well..❤️❤️❤️

    M. J. · July 21, 2020 at 4:43 am

    Yes, definitely! It could really apply to any loved one who has lost their way!

Tiffany Hidalgo · July 21, 2020 at 4:08 am

I have personally seen women have this issue and I always direct them back to 1 Peter 3:1-2 also! You have so many great suggestions here, thank you for all this!

    M. J. · July 21, 2020 at 4:46 am

    It’s a great passage for dealing with anyone who is lost really. It was definitely a verse that I was clinging to during that season of my life!

Teresa Hodge · July 21, 2020 at 4:37 am

1 Peter 3:1 truly works! God’s way is always perfect. My husband was saved just a couple of years after the Lord used that verse to teach me how to deal with my marriage to a lost man! Those first 14 years were difficult, but praise God we will celebrate our 35th anniversary next month!!

    M. J. · July 21, 2020 at 4:50 am

    That’s wonderful! I’m so glad that God worked in your husband and marriage as well!

Teri · July 21, 2020 at 4:27 pm

OMG! One of my dear friends is struggling with the situation right now. I cannot wait to forward this to her. Thank you so much for writing this. So many women find themselves in the situation, but I know God is able to draw hearts back to him.

    M. J. · July 23, 2020 at 3:34 am

    I hope it will be a help to your friend. It’s hard to watch anyone turn away from God!

Ava James · July 21, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Thank you for such an encouraging post. Prayer is the key and in the process God works in our hearts too!

    M. J. · July 23, 2020 at 3:33 am

    Absolutely! Prayer is so important and powerful!

Wendy @ One Exceptional Life · July 22, 2020 at 1:28 pm

I cannot imagine what it must have been like for you to go through that period with your husband. What a great example you were to stay strong in your faith, and stay faithful to the Lord and put Him first. Praise God that your husband renewed his relationship with Jesus. What a wonderful answered prayer.

    M. J. · July 23, 2020 at 3:32 am

    Yes, I am so thankful for the changes that God has done in my husband!God is so faithful!

    Laura Cimmino · July 23, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    What an incredible gifr your husband gave you by sharing that your love and care was one of the things that lead him back. What very special things God uses. He truly blessed you for that difficult time you walked through. You are a.loving godly example of a wife. No wonder he delighted you with this precious happy daughter of your heart.

      M. J. · July 26, 2020 at 6:37 am

      Absolutely! I wan’t expecting to hear that from him, so it was a really emotional moment for us both! And yes our baby girl is such a blessing and a beautiful reminder of God’s goodness!

Kari Minter · July 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm

Such great action steps! Thanks so much for writing this and for providing hope in such a difficult situation.

Mary Armand · July 22, 2020 at 7:09 pm

What a great post…a topic that is rarely discussed but so needed. It is authentic & honest and will help many

    M. J. · July 23, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Thank you. It’s not easy to talk about sometimes, but necessary!

Collene · July 22, 2020 at 9:46 pm

Such an encouraging post! Yes, the most important things we can do in this devastating situation is to pray and continue to love them. People need us to love them the most when they deserve it the least.

Adriana · July 23, 2020 at 1:31 am

Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Thank you for for reminding us that God never turns his back on us!

    M. J. · July 23, 2020 at 3:29 am

    Thanks for stopping by!

Betty Rojugbokan · July 23, 2020 at 8:12 am

You nailed it when you wrote “pray like his life depends on it” I couldn’t agree more.
So glad to know that your husband is back in the fold.

Joni Steinauer · July 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm

This was a very lovely post. Thank you for sharing your insight into this matter. Blessings, Joni

    M. J. · July 26, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Glad you liked it.

Dani James · July 23, 2020 at 7:37 pm

How heartbreaking but great advice – seek God, pray without ceasing and love!

    M. J. · July 26, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Yes,it was heartbreaking, but God is good!

Barbara · July 24, 2020 at 4:44 pm

WOW! Praise God for this testimony! Thank you for your transparency and boldness to share what to do when your husband turns from God. The same wisdom can be applied to a wife, children, and others close to you. I really appreciate this post. God bless you!

    M. J. · July 26, 2020 at 6:35 am

    It’s not easy to share sometimes, but I believe it’s important, because we all know someone who needs our prayers and help to turn back!

Elizabeth · July 25, 2020 at 12:33 am

God always has a way of working things out. I loved this blog. Though my husband hasn’t turned from God, he is not serving Him like I want him to. I remember complaining to God…a few times. One time while crying and praying, praying and crying….I heard God say, What are you going to do about it? All of a sudden a boldness came over me. And I started to pray with such authority. Prayer moves mountains

    M. J. · July 26, 2020 at 6:34 am

    Absolutely! Prayer is so powerful!

Karen · July 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm

What an encouragement with practical reminders for what to do when your husband turns away from God. It is easy to feel like we need to be their conscience but the Holy Spirit does a much better job!

    M. J. · July 28, 2020 at 2:07 am

    Yes! You are so right, we can try to push and nag, but in the end it’s only the spirit who can change anything!

Summer · July 26, 2020 at 7:47 pm

My husband wasn’t a very strong Christian when we got married almost 15 years ago. As time went on I got more and more concerned. I realized that I couldn’t guilt him into drawing closer to God. All I could do was pray and live as the believer God called me to be. I can see now, looking back, that that was the best way to go. There was nothing I could do to convince him. As a result, God did a good job on his own in drawing him closer and I see such a big difference!

    M. J. · July 28, 2020 at 2:06 am

    That’s wonderful! It’s such a blessing to watch God work when we trust Him and put things in His hands!

AT · July 26, 2020 at 8:37 pm

This could not have come at a better time. My husband has never said he is not a Christian; in fact, he often says he is. He just doesn’t have a relationship with God or at least from what I can see. I’ve been praying so hard for him. For years, I prayed that he would stop drinking and he did for over 100 days but the stress of COVID was too much. So I’m back to hitting my knees hard. Thank you for this incredibly encouraging post.

    M. J. · July 28, 2020 at 2:04 am

    I am glad this post touched you. I will be keeping your husband and you in my prayers. It’s difficult when your spouse is doing things that are hurting himself. Keep praying and don’t give up! God is able!

Tinashe · July 26, 2020 at 10:23 pm

What an amazing testimony of restoration! This is a very common issue, thank you for sharing practical ways to address it.

    M. J. · July 28, 2020 at 2:02 am

    Yes, God has done amazing things in my husband and in our marriage! I am so thankful!

In the Midst · July 26, 2020 at 11:07 pm

Beautiful post and beautiful blog! The topic of a Godly marriage is not talked about enough. Thank you for sharing and listening to the Lord as your wrote.

    M. J. · July 28, 2020 at 2:01 am

    Thank you for your encouragement! It’s not easy to write about struggles in your marriage, but I do think it’s necessary sometimes so you can support others who are having a hard time!

Hannah Wilhelm | Tiny Joyful Treasures · July 30, 2020 at 12:37 am

Oh Meghan! That’s so hard. I’d also encourage you to fast for your husband as it breaks down strongholds! I think it’s in Isaiah 58 where some of my favorite scriptures on fasting are. Have some believers praying with you because there is special power in agreement! Remember our battles aren’t physical. On your knees is where your power lies through Jesus ❤️ I’ll be praying too!

    M. J. · July 30, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Thank you so much for the suggestions! Prayer is always a good idea!

Kudabo Victory · September 15, 2020 at 2:41 am

Such a wonderful post, glad to hear your husband is back on faith.

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