How to Get a Non-Religious Spouse to Pray with You

How to Get a Non-Religious Spouse to Pray with You
March 25, 2015 Neil Kennedy

by Neil Kennedy

We sat outside in the plaza of a coffee shop. He looked worn out, tired, and frustrated. He sighed out in anguish, “I’ve retained an attorney. I have no other choice. We’re just not getting along. She wants to live like she’s still single. I want to have a marriage and a peaceful home. She wants to party. I want a wife that will pray with me and believe God for a great life. She’s just not the person that I thought she was”

Although I am not a marriage counselor and seldom take on the daunting task, I did offer my friend some advice. I suggested that he stop trying to fix her and make or mold her into a religious woman and begin to be the husband that he should be.

I explained that the word, husband, means, ‘husbandry’, it means to ‘cultivate.’ He needed to speak words as if they are seeds planted within her for an expected harvest in return. Rather than focus on what she is not, pay attention to what attracted you to her in the first place. Show gratitude for her and treat her as a beautiful bride, rather than an unclean person who doesn’t know God.

He left that day will a small glimmer of hope, called the attorney to put the divorce process on hold, and began to do what I suggested. Within a year, not only did they save their marriage, but also they were thriving with a new child, a peaceful and prosperous home. She began to attend church with him, and they began to pray together.

I later asked, “When was the breakthrough in your marriage?”

He said, “One day, she was facing a difficult situation at work. She was overwhelmed with stress from it. I gently took her hand and asked, ‘Do you mind if I speak a blessing over your day at work?’ Amazingly, she said, ‘Please, I need it.’ That was the beginning of it all.”

How to Get a Non-Religious Spouse to Pray with You

Don’t consider them unclean.

This is one of the most crucial mistakes that we make in relationships. This attitude reeks with judgmentalism. It repels our spouse as if our religion is a bad odor. The Apostle Paul said, “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:14) Your example of faith will have a cleansing effect upon your unbelieving spouse.

Paul also said, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. (Ephesians 5:25) In other words, speak kind and comforting words that build up, encourage, and strengthen your spouse. Don’t speak negative words and expect positive results.

Create and protect the atmosphere of your home.

Don’t allow strife to enter in. Where there is strife, there is every evil work. Don’t underestimate the destructive power of strife. It’s obvious that music creates an atmosphere. Television can have a huge impact on the home. Nothing can set the tone of the home like your words.

Attend a church that supports proper relationships.

A church that promotes the ideas of healthy marriages. One that provides safe and nurturing programs for children. Has the fruit of your pastor’s teaching produced a healthy family in his home? Does the leadership in your church model a strong family life? If a leader cannot be faithful to his own marriage, what makes you think he will honor yours?

Keep your relations confidential.

My friend confided in me regarding his marriage, but I quickly pointed the conversation to him and his issues, not hers. She was not there to be in the conversation so it would have been inappropriate to talk about her. Guys, no locker room talk. Don’t talk about your sex life. Ladies, don’t belittle or demean your husband to your girlfriends. Keep your marriage bed holy.

Show gratitude for your spouse.

Your spouse connected with you, your dreams, your ambitions are part of the shared hope that you have together. Don’t stop dreaming together.

Speak kind and comforting words.

I saw this example in scripture, and it overwhelmed me with the character of God. During a vision in the night, a prophet named Zechariah was involved in a dialog with angels and the LORD. When the angels reported what they had found on the earth, Zechariah says that the LORD turned and spoke, ‘kind and comforting words to the angel.’ This example shows how gracious the character of God is toward the angels. I often remember this example when it comes to my response to my wife. I often reflect on my conversations asking, “Did I treat her with the respect that God treats his angels?”

Continue to court one another.

A few years ago, I realized that I had slipped into the daily grind of life and stopped pursuing my wife. I changed that by asking her out on a date. I hired a babysitter. I made reservations at a restaurant and a hotel. We had a wonderful time. Interestingly, during that date our intimacy wasn’t just physical, it became spiritual. I remember hearing a concern that she had for our family and responded later at the hotel, “Honey, I know that you’re concerned about this, and I think that we should take some time to pray about it.” We did.

I wasn’t raised in a religious home. My experience has come from reading the Bible and attempting to make myself a better man, an example of faith for my family to follow. My faith is not expressed in a long list of do’s and do not’s, but in a deep and passionate desire to be the kind of man that inspires faith in others, especially to my wife.


  1. M 8 years ago

    I needed this. My husband is not religious, but he has been learning about mine.. for a while now. I feel like I’m needing to learn patience.. It is so very hard to remain strong and positive, and loving and understanding. But I keep holding to the image of us being together at church and raising our future children in the gospel. Thank you :)

  2. Oisin O Toole 7 years ago

    Ok since you have no basis in reality you are not a gentle man and will not be treated as such you’ve talked about my people with disrespect therefore you deserve none so screw you what you have just described trying to make a spouse pray who doesn’t want to pray is spousal abuse and frankly you’re an idiot you shouldn’t even attempt to make someone pray if they don’t want to just because you’re an idiot who’s lost their mind doesn’t mean they have to don’t drag them down with you

    • Author
      Neil Kennedy 7 years ago

      Oisin, Once again, you are short on substance if you can’t speak to me without a personal attack. My reality is very secure. In another comment you mentioned you are fourteen. Really? At fourteen, you are audacious enough to speak to a man in this way. Do you have a father? Do you speak to him in this manner? Are you a person of faith? Do you know what prayer is? God bless you.

      • Oisin O Toole 7 years ago

        I’m an atheist and yes I had a dad he took two from the ruc when he had done nothing, and I’m this comment you literally implied that you are superior to me and yes I will talk to you however is fit and you are delusional so speaking logic to you would be like giving medicine to the dead unlike you I don’t care how you respond as I’m not a coward but equals as men and as such I will talk to you in any manner I chose

        • Author
          Neil Kennedy 7 years ago

          Oisin, You have faced a lot of tragedy in your early life. I am sorry for that, especially the loss of your father. You’ve read a few articles here — you’re aware that we believe in the masculine male, authentic manhood — we believe in the original intent of manhood is defined by man’s creator who is God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who established David’s throne in Israel, and who sent His Son, Jesus to redeem fallen man, which we ALL are. My hope is that you will hear His kindness speaking to you — that you will experience His love, for God kindness leads us to repentance and return to Him. If you would like more information or would like a Bible, please let me know. God bless you.

          • Oisin O Toole 7 years ago

            You think i haven’t read the bible a kid in northern Ireland hasn’t read the bible ha wow I’ve read it nine that I’ve counted cover to cover I giant guarantee I know it better than you it’s full of shit and straight up false and contradictory it’s a lie , none of any truth or even good it’s a horrible book full injustice and suffering they thought it to scare us and make us afraid they tried to break us and all the other bastards in the county I stood without fear and took what happened with the crutch of bullshit and stood and stand alone in a city ran by the IRA criminals protestant gangs the British army a police force that is as corrupt as the army me and my bhoys defend neighbourhood amongst the chaos with a smile on my face every day regardless of what happens ,I am much more of a man than you and I’m above this bullshit

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