Hubby switched churches, now we're unequally yoked
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Dear Counsellor,

My husband and I have been going to the same church for the past 10 years. Recently he decided to join another church which is the total opposite of what we were accustomed to.

Now everyday is a quarrel, because he wants to install their customs into our family. I want your advice on how to handle this issue because he is a good guy, but the principles of the church turned him into a monster.

I really want out.

Well, it is good that you can say "he is a good guy". But it is a bit strange that you'd then use such a strong word like "monster". The dynamic of two opposing doctrines in a home will inevitably cause a conflict. Resolving situations like these can really be difficult, depending on the kind of variance in the doctrines and the level of commitment he has made. It can also be additionally challenging because of the nature of some religious organisations. Some groups will circle the wagons around a new convert, and even encourage them to abandon their "unbelieving" family.

Let me address this, for the sake of any reader that may be that way inclined. Verses such as Matthew 10:37 ("He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me…") are often used to justify abandoning family for "faith". But true faith as taught by the Bible doesn't approve this. And those that think this are confused and "therefore err" (Mark 12:24). The Bible teaches, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" Ephesians 5:25. God expects a person of faith to cherish their spouse and family. And a man of faith is to love his wife, even sacrificially. Also, God is called a "Father" because with God nothing comes before family.

If you think a doctrine is correct, then demonstrate the love and patience that the doctrine empowers. Display that it is the correct and more virtuous way. "God is love" — so the doctrine that facilitates kindness, tolerance, peace, unity, joy, that's the one that is worth keeping the most.

My advice:

Be patient with him: Let him know that his "new thing" may be destroying the unity and love in the family. Tell him it's a challenge for you to see his way with the present confusion happening. However, I do urge you to be compassionate towards him. Love on him more than ever before. And let him see the power of your faith, manifesting as love and kindness. Understand that this is just a present misunderstanding between you both. It can pass, and you don't want anything said or done that may irrecoverably harm a great relationship.

Find a neutral counsellor: Try to create a tender moment with your husband where you can assure him of your love. Then tell him that you want to forge a plan to protect the family from disagreements. Ask him if he'd support a chat with a neutral advisor or counsellor. Ask him to pray that you both will be led to the right neutral person for guidance. You can both present options. Then let him choose the one you'll meet with. Then you make the appointment in short order. Remain open-minded in the session.

Be careful regarding advisors: Many people around you may mean well but they can make the situation worse. So, guardedly involve only very mature folk from your church. Advise your minister that you're seeking neutral advice to try to resolve the situation.

Prepare for anything: You have to be prepared for the possibility that your husband may not respond well. So consider what you might do if interventions do not work.

Let your faith keep you through this storm. I pray for a speedy resolution and restoration of peace in your home.

Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to

Christopher Brodber

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