1 Corinthians 7:13-14: Unsaved Spouses?

Last night at church there were a number of women who were grieving the fact their husbands had not made a commitment to Christ. This brought to mind 1 Corinthians 7:13-14

1Co 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Here are some scriptures and understanding that came at that time.

When a man is pleased to dwell with his saved wife he is sanctified by the faith of the wife. We are saved by faith. Those two being one in God’s eyes means the faith of the wife is imputed to the husband. This is an amazing and challenging concept. In the Old Testament when clean and unclean met, the result was the clean became unclean.

In the new, [now that we are sanctified by the blood of Jesus and not that of animals perhaps] the unclean husband is made clean by the faith of the wife. How, or why, can this be?

Jesus said, “in as much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my disciples, you have done it unto me.” Is it possible that God counts a man who is faithful to his wife as being faithful to meeting His needs?

One thing is sure. Paul was sold on teaching that the children of a believer are sanctified and the union that brought them forth is also clean. The best explanation of what this means for the unbeliever is this. If they are faithful in doing what they know to do for their mate it will be accounted to them as unto the Lord. If they are married to, but despise their mate, will the same be accounted to them? God knows.

This knowledge should encourage and liberate husbands and wive’s from the drivenness to get their partner saved before they die. Salvation is God’s work and the best way given a woman to save her husband is through her meek and humble conduct, which does not require a salvation message to be preached.

Please, share your thoughts and experiences on this.

Tim Reinagel

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