|Disney - Pixar|
Marlin frantically looks for his son amid the vast ocean and teams up with Dory, a blue tang who suffers from short term memory loss. Together they search for Nemo as they encounter various dangers, sea creatures and unforeseen delays. Dory wants to help - but her constant memory loss diverts her attention to everything except her ongoing search and rescue mission to find Nemo. Marlin refuses to give up even though the task at hand seems hopeless. Father and son will be together again! With help from Dory and many others along the way, Marlin is finally reunited with his son.
I often joke about having "short term memory loss" like Dory - but that might be a good thing! In your unequally-yoked marriage you will have days where forgiveness is key; no, it is absolutely necessary! Your Christian witness is on the line. You don't want to harbor resentment when your spouse doesn't meet a need, or responds in a gruff way to your request, or simply doesn't share that special spiritual connection with you.
Paul's passage in I Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us that love has a responsibility to the other person. It enumerates several qualities that we as Christians should exhibit in our marriage - even to an unbeliever. This post I wrote breaks it all down: True Definition of Love
Another sticking point in your spiritually mismatched marriage is self-control. A quick temper can derail any chance of a civil resolution to your dilemma. Instead, if you let go of your right to revenge, criticism, and backlash - you can learn to turn a deaf ear to the enemy when you are tempted to answer in anger. Remember, Ephesians 5:33 tells us that the wife should respect her husband. That means your speech, body language and attitude. Here is a past post I wrote about anger that may be helpful: Anger Management - God's Way
I often remind myself to take a deep breath and bite my tongue if I need to before I respond to something negative. We all can take offense to someone's actions or words. What we need to do is to extend grace to our partner and give our frustrations over to God.
I Peter 3:1-4 lays out what a Godly portrait of submission should look like. Wives can be a greater influence for their unsaved spouses by being whom God created them to be. Conduct is the key to exhibiting Christ-like qualities to your spouse. Are we perfect? No - far from it. However, God will give you the grace and quiet strength that is necessary to live for Him - even in an unequally-yoked marriage. You can read my past post on submission here: Oh No - Not the "S" Word !
Below is an excerpt from my book MISSION POSSIBLE - Chapter 1 You've Embraced Christ - Now What?
The enemy will mercilessly bombard you with thoughts, feelings, emotions and physical disdain for your mate. You must take every thought captive (II Corinthians 10:5) and stop looking at your mate as the enemy. Don't let his actions and words provoke you into disobedience.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for building up, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Matthew 18:9 states, "and if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you." So it goes with your tongue.
Stop committing spiritual murder against your mate! Bite it off and cast it away! Don't sin by grieving God as you curse the very person God wills to join you to, as ONE!
Now back to the whole matter of "what are you going to do when push comes to shove?" My best advice is to be like Dory... Make sure you have short-term memory loss. Don't hold a grudge. Forgive quickly and fully. Keep your focus on what God would have you do to keep your marriage in balance and pleasing to Him.