Marriage - Church Attendance

I’ve just moved into the area and I’ve attended your church, and I’d like to stay there and get more active in the body of Christ, but my husband likes the church we used to go to, and he would like to stay there in the city. I’m having a hard time struggling with this—do I follow man or do I follow my heart and go where I believe the Lord is taking me?

First of all, that’s a great question. I understand your situation and that’s a tough situation. I want to help you. But when given the option, “Do I follow God or do I follow man?” Peter said it’s better for us to obey God.

In Acts 5, they said, “You need to obey us” and Peter said, “We need to obey God and not man.” That doesn’t mean that we should be defying man, and we should be rebellious against man’s authority. It means when push comes to shove, if God’s saying one thing and a man is saying something else, we need to go with God.

Now when it comes to going to church, you know, you want to come to this church and your husband prefers your old church, somehow you’ve got to come up with a compromise that is going to benefit everybody and not create division and strife in your home. Because the Bible says when “two of you agree about anything they ask, it shall be done for them.” And so, God wants you to come into agreement.

I’ve seen people, where one spouse goes to one and another spouse goes to another, and I’ve seen that work fine. And they get along and they have great relationship, it’s successful. I mean, it’s three or four hours a week where you’re apart from one another.

But you have to value the same things. That’s the most important thing. You have to value God’s Word as final authority in your life. You have to value your fellowship with God. You have to value prayer. You have to value reading the Bible. You have to value tithing and honoring God, putting him first in your money. If you both agree about that, it’s not a problem if you go to two different churches.

But if those two different church's teaching are so diametrically opposed to one another, then you’ve got to decide where you’re going to go. But ask your husband if you can continue to go to the church that you want to go to, and if he wants to continue to go to the church he wants to go to, that’s okay.

And also, because churches have so many different services—for example, our church has five services a week, actually six, five or six services a week—and with that in mind, why not go with your husband, if you want to go with him, and then come to one of our services as well? Maybe his church has many services, so he could go to one of the services there and then come to one of the services here with you.

It’s important that married couples go together to church. I think that I would value that. I think you value that, so maybe you can go with him to his service and then come for a service here once a week, or twice a week, or vise versa. But one way or another, I think there’s a way to compromise that, and without you missing out on what God has for you in the church that you believe He’s leading you to. So that’s what I would do. And I would encourage you to do likewise.

Marriage - Church Attendance

I’ve been married to a wonderful man for about 30 years and we have been in a Catholic church. And I have been so disheartened. I was not raised Catholic. But he is and I’m having a terrible time getting him to understand that we could be happy somewhere else. I would love to see us in a Bible-believing church that I grew up with and I just don’t know how to pray for our situation. I just really want out of the Catholic church and I need some advice as to how to handle this.

I want to preface my answer to you by saying that I certainly would not come against the Catholic church or speak against the Catholic church or any church because there are true believers in the Catholic church and there are things in the Catholic church that are good.

But, I understand what you are saying. Because if you want to live by the Bible and you want the Bible preached to you and be taught the Word of God and have people that are like-minded, you aren’t going to find that in the Catholic church just like I personally am not going to find that in the Catholic church.

So I would continue to attend the Catholic Church with my spouse. But I would then also attend, maybe on Sunday or Wednesday evenings, another church that is a Bible-teaching church. I’m sure that your husband would respect that you have a need for something more than what the Catholic Church is offering. And you’re not opposing the Catholic Church. You simply want to go beyond that and do more than just that. That’s where I would start. Then I would find that place and get plugged in at the services that are not at the same time as the one that you’re going to with your husband.

And then let him see the change. Let him see the joy in your life. Let him see the fruit of the Word of God in your life. Let him experience and see for himself how powerful it really is by seeing your life change and seeing you fed and happy and ministered to. And then, God will work on pulling him into it as well. That’s where I would start.