10 Apr 2014

I married a non-believer. Is God mad at me?

We all think - quietly - that God is mad at us, at some point.

Perfection just doesn't jive with us.
We know we are not perfect, so how can we ever measure up to a Perfect God - who must by his perfection be irked by our many constant imperfections.
This is after all, how we feel towards others who do not measure up to our expectations.

So deep in the echoing chambers of our soul is a tremor that just perhaps -- God is mad at us - especially when we are struggling and don't feel 'blessed'.

Nothing betrays us like our questions.
Nothing reveals our hearts like our anxieties.

A new friendship I have with a young mom pointed me in this direction. Her preoccupation is how to get her child interested in spiritual matters when her husband is lackadaisical about it. She is not alone. Across the years, I have met many women who struggle with this. How do they raise children in the faith when their spouses are not interested? This disinterest spans a wide range: spouses who will let you go to church but will not go themselves - to spouses who mock, stop and oppose.

I call such women spiritually single.

If as a pastor married to another, I struggle with a common vision for faith in our homes and the hearts of our children; the spiritually single must have it so- much- harder.

And you know what? When things are rough, we sometimes think God is somewhat angry with us. And once, an honest soul asked me the question; "I am supposed to marry a fellow Christian.....Is God angry/disappointed.."?

Fourteen years as a parent, twenty years as a pastor and forty years as a Christian tells me that is the wrong question.

I understand the feeling; I get the question. But consider this --

Since Jesus is the exact representation of God (Colossians 1v15); then what we see is forgiveness, compassion and Grace. Jesus never once rubs our sins into our faces, makes us feel bad, muzzle us with guilt. He does berate and judge - and it has always been reserved for the proud religious leaders of his day; for their stubborn refusal to ponder the truth.

God is not smouldering with anger. He is saddened by our choices but, He is sovereign-ly able to bring change.

Marrying a non-believer is a blatant act of disobedience because the command is clear. But obedience - for we are creatures - is not rule-keeping. It is response-making out of being touched by God's mercy and grace. So it is possible, that for Christians, our longing for human affection at some point was a greater thirst and we did not know that God alone can satisfy that thirst, for we have not learnt to drink from the never-dried up Well that is God himself. We have all done. So the right question is, "God, show me how you see me and let me live the way you call me to, even now".

We will tend to hide when we sense anger. So I am urging you to take a good look at Jesus and know that though God is righteous and holy, He has one massive desire: to save you and I back to a vital relationship with Him. Did he not say,
I did not send my son into the world to condemn the world, 
but that the world through him might be saved ~ John 3v17

The verses that follow speaks of what God truly judges: a refusal to turn to him, to believe, to go to the Light.

So please, don't stay away. Come. Come for -

Forgiveness: God will forgive.
Compassion: God will journey with you.
Vision: ask God what to do now; he always has a way forward.
Courage: the way forward may require sacrifice, a lot of waiting, praying in ways you never knew before.

Come and see what God has in store for you:
A sense of freedom because you are forgiven.
A sense of acceptance as you lean into God's compassion.
A sense of hope as you perceive possibilities and act as the Spirit prompts and guides.

Once again, God brings good out of our messes.

God is not mad.  

Tell you what, if you run to him, he is, in fact, glad.

{ I felt a leading to write this. We will resume Journey to the Never Dried-up Well }


  1. Hi Ps Jenni, this pointed a way out of anxiety for me. Instead of feeling defeated, there is some hope in knowing that God can make beauty somehow still. :)

  2. I am so glad it did. You may be the person the Spirit asked me to write this for. He sees, he cares, and he always has a way forward (not necessarily 'out'). Peace and Grace!


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