How do I counsel a Reformed mother who is married to a Roman Catholic?


MacArthur: Well, I guess I live in that world
a lot, because Southern California’s so many Hispanic people there, and it’s very
common. And even some people from Asia, who have been
raised as Catholics — we see a spouse coming to Christ, and that is a very, very common
kind of experience. And it takes all kinds of forms. Sometimes they shut them out of the church. They won’t allow them to come. They won’t allow them to read the Bible
in the house. They won’t allow them to communicate the
gospel openly to the kids. In other cases, they’re indifferent, and
that takes different form in just about every single case that you work with. But again, the balance is, you know, 1 Peter,
you win your unbelieving husband by being a submissive wife, but at the same time, you
also have a higher standard than that, as the apostles said, when they told them to
stop preaching, “Who do we obey, you or God?” You know, I have to — I must obey God, but
you’ve got to demonstrate, I think, as a spouse that your obedience to God makes you
a better wife to him in every area and every way, and a better mother in every way. I think that’s what has to be demonstrated. Not that you’re some kind of an antagonist
in the family, and that’s the balance, and that takes some of the gentleness of the Holy
Spirit to do. At the same time that you give honor to the
husband, and teach your children to respect the husband, because that’s an ordered home
and that’s necessary if they’re going to any place in life and the future that provides
any kind of success for them. But at the same time, behind that you’ve
got to communicate the need to pray for this unconverted husband, because the issue here
is, you know, we love daddy, but he needs Jesus Christ, and while he may resist the
wife’s pleas, I think that the pleas of the children, and the prayers of the children
are pretty powerful influences. So that’s kind of the general instruction
that we would give to people in that situation, although they’re very different in each
case.

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