He attends church with us most of the time, but I wouldn’t say it’s the highlight of his week.

My husband’s faith doesn’t look like mine.

Sometimes, right in the middle of the pastor’s preaching, my husband pulls out his phone and starts scrolling through various news feeds. Yet, he could still tell you the main points of any particular sermon.

My husband’s faith doesn’t look like mine.

Partly because of his busy work schedule, my husband doesn’t participate in small group Bible studies. This doesn’t bother him in the least.

My husband’s faith doesn’t look like mine.

Although he has his own Bible, it doesn’t get opened on a daily basis, and he’s more likely to share biblical tidbits he comes across on the Internet than those he finds in Scripture himself.

My husband’s faith doesn’t look like mine.

Over the years, at various times, these things have bothered me. Sure, there are times I want to share my faith with my husband in a bigger way. As I’ve prayed through this desire of my heart, God has taught me a few things.

Faith Looks Different For Men
This should come as no surprise. My husband and I see a lot of things in life differently. For him, faith shows up in practical ways. When he sees a friend of ours in need, he’s eager to help. When his coworkers need prayer, he sends them an email telling them he’ll pray for them, forwarding me the same email so I can pray for that person too. When a family is grieving over the loss of a loved one, he talks with me about providing them a meal. If I get caught up in the list of churchy things I wish he would do, I can overlook the ways he’s walking out a life of faith already.

Be Intentional About Including Him in Your Faith
I am a Bible study teacher. I lead an online group that reads through the Bible each year. I also teach a group of ladies on Wednesday nights. In addition, I teach the children of our church, including my daughter, various times throughout the year. All of this means I’m talking about the Bible with a lot of people already, but if I neglect to include my husband in my discussion about what I’m learning, I miss a big opportunity to share my faith with the one I love most. Even if I’m the one who mostly initiates the conversation, I need to keep sharing my faith with my husband.

Accept Where He is Spiritually
In ministry, I come across couples with all kinds of faith experiences. I’ve known women who partner with their deacon husbands to minister as a team. There are women whose husbands will participate in church by going some Sundays, but they draw the line at praying as a family or reading a devotional together. Some women are married to a nonbeliever, unequally yolked. Regardless of your husband’s spiritual maturity, it’s not likely both of you will be on the same faith page at the same time very often. We all deal with this! One of the best things we can do is accept where our husband is, praying God will continue to draw him closer. Ask your girlfriends to join you in praying for this as well. Praying for my husband, and observing the ways he’s already practicing his faith, have given me more peace about our spiritual walk than stewing about his lack of motivation, and nagging him to do more, ever did. Believe me, I’ve done it both ways. Trusting God to move in your husband’s life works much better.

Train Up Your Child In The Faith
My mom kept us involved in church fellowship my entire childhood without my father’s participation in any way. He didn’t seem to mind if she encouraged us to develop a life of faith, but he never expressed any interest in such things himself. I take the spiritual development of my daughter very seriously. Sometimes my husband joins in, and sometimes he doesn’t. She knows finding a relationship with God is the responsibility of the individual, and I expect her to do the things Christians do to grow in their faith. Her dad’s own personal growth is between him and God.

Realizing these things about my husband’s faith have freed me. Seemingly, it’s freed him too. Rather than going to church out of obligation or because of what I’ll have to say about it, he’s wanting to forge his own relationship with God more and more. All I had to do was get out of the way.

Traci Rhoades

Traci Rhoades is a writer and Bible teacher. She lives in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area with her family and an ever-changing number of pets. Connect with her online at tracesoffaith.com or @tracesoffaith on twitter. She is the author of "Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost."