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Advice for solo mums & wives with unbelieving husbands

While our personal circumstances can seem so grievous to us, we can have great confidence in God's word. It is truth (John 17:17), perfect (Ps. 19:7), eternal (Isa. 40:8), and faithful (Ps 119:86). It warns us (Ps. 19:11) teaches us (2 Tim. 3:16), and counsels us (Ps 119:24), and in keeping His commandments is great reward (Ps. 19:11).

So what is God's counsel to the wife whose husband is an unbeliever and who wishes to have a regular Quiet Time with the children?

Two passages of Scripture need consideration here. The first is addressed to all wives, and the second is addressed in particular to wives whose husbands are unbelievers.

1.Eph 5:24

'But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything...'

2.1Pe 3:1-6

'In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behaviour of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behaviour. Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewellery, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.'

How does this affect having a regular Quiet Time with the children?

Well, if the believing wife of an unbelieving husband wishes to hold a regular Quiet Time, she should seek the permission of her husband to do so.

If he agrees, the believing wife is free to have a regular Quiet Time with the children. If he disagrees, the believing mother is not free to have a regular Quiet Time with the children.

While the second scenario of obeying the unbelieving husband might seem grievous to us, the higher call in the situation is our obedience to the Word of God.

And what of the solo mother?

The Bible tells us that in the normal pattern of things, children are subject to the parents (Eph. 6:1), the husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:3), and the wife is subject to the husband (Eph. 5:24).

As this is God's clear pattern, in a scenario where for some reason the husband is not present, by default the woman will automatically become the head of the home.

As the head of the home then, she is the one who needs to take the lead in establishing and running Quiet Times, and in setting a prevailing atmosphere of devotion to things of the Lord.

- by Todd Roughton

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