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Question

What are some appropriate scriptures to help me pray for my backslidden husband?

Answer

Thank you so much for contacting us with your very wise question. I am glad that you have confidence in Scripture's promises and guidance. I am so glad that we can approach the Father with confidence when our prayers are in line with His will and based on His promises.

And this is the confidence that we have towards him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

One thing we know for sure that it is His will that His children should walk with Him and not turn back to the world.

It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

God is at work in your husband's life, even if He does not seem to be. You can pray with confidence, knowing that you are co-operating with His will. He will not overrule your husband's will and force him to return, but He will persist in working in him and calling him, until he is able to respond. You need to persist in quietly confident faith and prayer. Your husband is securely in covenant with God through Christ, if he once made Him his Saviour and Lord. Ask the Lord, the Good Shepherd, to rescue His lamb who has strayed, (John 10:1-18, Luke 15:1-7)

I wonder whether you know what is at the root of your husband's backsliding? If you do, then you need to pray for healing and the grace of God for that situation. Pray, too, that whatever or whoever your husband is placing his trust in, instead of Jesus, would be removed from his life. Pray that he will see the emptiness of his 'God substitutes'. While those 'thorns' are in his life, they will choke the Word.

"Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 13:7-9)

You have grounds for confidence as you pray, because you are asking according to the will of God- and even more so, because both you and your husband are in a blood covenant with God.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:27)

Pray, too, that your husband will be able to receive the grace and forgiveness of God and that shame and unbelief will not prevent this.

I expect you are aware that it is usually counter-productive to preach at your husband. Allow him the freedom to make his own choices. At the same time, let him see that you love God and put Him first, but you also love him.

A wife with a backslidden husband is in a difficult position because, Biblically, her husband is her spiritual head and the family cannot function properly when God's pattern for the family is undermined.

Paul describes this pattern in Ephesians,

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 
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, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

Great wisdom and honesty is required here. You can stand on this verse to ask God to establish this pattern in your own family. At the same time, remember that you are responsible for your own walk with God and that your husband needs to see that you take this responsibility seriously.

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)

Many women are the de facto spiritual heads of their families, because they are the only one humbly and wholeheartedly walking with God. You need to provoke your husband to a spiritual envy, not by being preachy and pious but simply by being gently but determinedly right in the way you act. Secretly, he is likely to respect this.

Ask the Lord to help you to get your priorities right, so that you are a loving and hard-working supporter and servant of your family and yet know your place of spiritual authority in Christ.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe, (Ephesians 1:15-19)

I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com

In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder

Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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