Many adults join the church without their spouses. It can be challenging to come to church each week alone and to listen to lessons on eternal families when you don’t yet have one. Home life sometimes takes on new challenges as well, and the spouse may find it difficult to adjust to the rapid changes that come into his life because of your choices.
It’s important to help your spouse feel comfortable with the changes you’ve made. This helps keep peace and insures your ability to participate in the church. While your natural inclination is to push him to join the church or to live the way you’ve chosen to live, this can cause him to blame the church for stress in the marriage. We all , if he is frustrated because Sundays now belong to the church and spiritual things, you might suggest that Sunday be the day each of you does whatever you personally want to do and Saturdays are spent together. He may decide to go fishing or off with friends on Sundays while you’re at church, which may not make you happy, but will leave you free to keep the Sabbath Day holy. Plan your week carefully to be certain you can keep Saturdays for him. Look for Sabbath appropriate activities you can do together, such as genealogy.
Try to curb your instinct to do intense missionary work on your spouse. You can certainly talk about the gospel if he’s willing to listen, but try to do it in a way that doesn’t feel threatening and that shows him how the gospel is making things nicer for him as well. Your good example will go further than all the preaching in the world. Take what you learn about family life, homemaking, and priesthood leadership and bring it into your home. Put your family first, spend more time with them, make nicer meals, and do little meaningful things for them. As your spouse notices the change in the home’s atmosphere, you can help him to realize it comes from the church. Mention what you’re learning: “In Relief Society, they asked us to learn to fix nicer meals with less money. Sister Jones invited me over to learn how to make bread next week, and I’m going to try to make my own bread whenever I can.” “In priesthood today, I learned about date night. Would you like to go out to dinner on Friday?”
In no time, your spouse will begin to see this new life of yours as something that will make his life better too. Bring the gospel home in the form of love.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.