Nazarene Space

Living with a Non-Believing Spouse - The Netsarim Lowdown

Firstly, I'd like to say that it's all too common for a person in this walk to want to hit the accelerator and just power out of their current corrosive non-believing environment. The truth is that if we do this, sometimes we might be walking away from a custom-made object lesson that the Almighty has prepared for us. Sometimes it is better to stay and weather the storm, if for no other sake than for the spiritual well-being of a spouse that has become a foreign object.


A cheif area of your concentration should be focused on maintaining peace and harmony in the home (especially when children are involved) rather than running off attending meetings and studying Torah all hours of the night while the unbelieving spouse continues to hold the fort at home. A Nazarene in this situation needs to move with small steps and with a mind that will comprimise with the intent that small wins are the aim. If you commit your forces to every hill, you will find them too thin in number to win the overall battle.

If a wife is not a believer the ruling among the Netsarim is written (1 Corinthians 7:12-17): “… (If) she is satisfied to go on living with him, he should not leave her. Also if any woman has an unbelieving husband who is satisfied to go on living with her, she is not to leave him. For the unbelieving husband has been set aside for Elohim by the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been set aside for Elohim by the brother –otherwise your children would be ‘unclean,’ but as it is, they are set aside for Elohim. But if an unbelieving spouse separates himself, let him be separated. In circumstances like these, the brother or sister is not enslaved – Elohim has called you to a life of peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Only let each person live the life Yahweh has assigned him and live it in the condition he was in when Elohim called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the congregations.”

If a wife or a husband is not a believer, but accepts his or her spouse’s Sabbath attendance and Torah observance within the home (even if only marginally or begrudgingly [at first]), the believing wife or husband should persist, hoping that a negative attitude may change for the sake of the spouse’s salvation. In this regard, divorce is to be approached like the severing of one’s own limb because if it remains, it will contaminate the rest of the body.

A wife or husband is to try and retain and nurture their love (in whatever way possible) for an unbelieving spouse in the same way that Yahweh maintains his love and patience with a wayward Israel. In this regard a wife or husband of an unbelieving spouse is given a special opportunity to be living a life that directly parallels the Creator’s relationship with his Chosen People. The entire book of Hoshea deals with this theme and is a special book set aside for the broken hearted. Notwithstanding, if an unbelieving spouse is dogmatically against the pursuit of the faith and demands a complete canceling of its pursuit by a believing wife or husband, the latter should seek a divorce with the advice and counsel of a rabbi (without feelings of guilt or failure on the believing wife or husband’s part). But you have to be prepared to stand before Yahweh and say, "I tried everything dear Sovereign."

Remember, “Pain handled in Elohim’s way produces a turning from sin to Elohim which leads to salvation, and there is nothing to regret in that! But pain handled in the world’s way produces only death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Love to all.





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