Hello, I have a question regarding having a discussion with my husband who grew up a Christian but stopped believing believing about 3 years ago. He started looking at some of the difficult things in the Bible and couldn’t find answers that made sense. He comes from the belief that science has explanations for these things, therefore there’s no need for God. We have made great strides in being able to have open discussions, thanks in part to RZIM. But I do believe that there is so much more we can talk about and would love some input. Or perhaps there is somebody here who has gone through a similar experience. Thanks!!
Thanks so much for your question. I did see another recently from someone who was in a similar situation which you can find here and has some helpful comments on it.
Are you able to share any of the specific issues that your husband has or something he thinks the Bible doesn’t have the answer for? That might help in knowing what the best way you might have in approaching discussion.
Can I say that it’s a wonderful encouragement, not only that you have a sincere desire and passion for discussing these things… but that, obviously through your faithfulness and witness and God’s work through that, your husband is open to discussing these issues without total rejection. To me that is heartening and I hope and pray God gives you the wisdom in what to say and how to keep that communication going.
I will say that I can appreciate people who say that they trust science… and I do… but some of my first thoughts are that if you truly look into the depths of what science offers, there is a great deal of even more difficult questions that science has no answer to whatsoever. Science is good for what science can comment on… but there are entire realms of existence that it has no comment on, first amongst these I would say as being the reality of evil and a moral realm that is (in my mind at least) impossible to get around.
Again I would ask is there some particular issues that your husband has that stand out above the rest? That might give discussion a good starting point.
Thank you so much for all that great info, I will check them out!
We have talked about several sticking points for him, starting with the Garden of Eden and creation story as well as Noah’s Ark. That results in then going deeper to asking how we know that God is real and that the Bible is true and not just a book of stories. My heart and prayer is that God will reveal Himself through the truths of scripture, and bring both my husband and I to a deeper understanding of who He is.
Do check those resources out from the other thread. I like especially anything by John Lennox or Stephen Meyer. I haven’t checked out the Berlinski Video or book but am really looking forward to having a look at them… someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think he is an agnostic, but advocates that Atheism doesn’t (and Science cannot) provide full answers to existence as a whole, which I think is awesome.
In scientific terms and speaking from the beginning of Genesis, I tend to start discussions in more general terms before getting onto specifics. For example, from a current understanding, the Bible and Science agree on the fact that the Universe has a start point. This can be described as “The Big Bang” or “In the beginning God created”, but both agree on the same point. Some scientists are averse to this idea and so are trying to come up with hypotheses which don’t require a God, but these are still just ideas at this stage. The resources that SeanO has put in his response in the other thread will cover things like this in more detail, but I would say it’s a good place to start from if you need it.
My greatest encouragement to you, however, is that (read all of this as it starts not sounding like an encouragement) it is not up to you or anyone else to convince your husband of the truth. Nothing we say will show him the truth. Thankfully that power sits only with the Spirit of God. So my encouragement is to pray and keep praying… continuing to witness and discuss as we know and are told in the scriptures to do this so we can show the grace of God through us as his people… but continue to pray that the Lord will open his eyes to the truth of the gospels.
Maybe others will have other, better, advice… but that is my two cents and I hope and pray that God’s wisdom will be given to you in order that your husband might come to know the Lord Jesus.
There is a 3-part video about the archeology evidence of the red sea crossing. Part 1 is here: Red Sea - proof of the supernatural, in Part 2 (links are under the video) it talks and shows the pillars found on both sides, Part 3 shows what evidence was find on the bottom of the sea at the crossing site (Egyptian chariot wheels). Not very long ones but quite interesting. Take a look at them first if you’d like, and see and pray whether it’s worth to share with your spouse.
I pray for wisdom and patience.
(God was working on my husband’s heart for more than a decade. The breakthrough came when I gave up trying and handed it over to God.)
This is so helpful. Thank you for sharing. It is stimulating for this community and will be useful to others in the same situation.
I think the most important part, as you have clearly been doing, is to make the conversation a respectful and enjoyable one.
One approach that may be helpful is to acknowledge that there are various interpretations of the Garden of Eden, the creation story, and Noah’s ark.
For instance, perhaps your husband can’t accept a young earth creation perspective, but would be open to an old earth interpretation. John Lennox’s book Seven Days That Divide The World has been helpful to many in sorting out the different interpretations and the main rationality behind the creation account.
Perhaps you are on a different track or have already considered this? So for now, I’ll pause here. I’m praying for you and for your husband this morning.
Thank you all so much for the feedback and prayers!!
This Red Sea videos look really interesting, I will definitely check them out and see if he will watch them.
We have talked about the young earth vs old earth idea, we do have that book by John Lennox, I still need to read it and I’m hoping that it will help me to understand his perspective a bit more.
I know that ultimately his heart needs to be changed. Only God can do that, but we can continue to dig in to these issues.
Rebecca, first let me thank you for your question. I am a research engineer heavily involved in the sciences. But I am a devoted Christian. Before I get into the science aspect, I once heard Ravi say that a disbelief in God first comes from a moral perspective, then they move it to trying to justify it. So is your husband wrestling with any moral issues?
There are many that believe you can’t believe in both God and Science, and science overrides God. I believe that science relies on God. It is not blind faith alone, that I follow our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me explain my perspective and maybe it will help you look at it from a different angle.
There are 2 things that God divided when man fell. He divided the physical world from the spiritual world.The Science world lets us figure out how our physical world works. It can’t explain the spiritual world. Science can explain how our universe evolved from the beginning, but can’t explain the origin of it. If there was nothing before time space and matter, how do we get something after time started? Something can’t come nothing! This is true in the physical world only. But in the spiritual world, something can come from nothing only through God.
Another thing that science reveals, but can’t explain where it came from, is the discovery of DNA in all living things. This is proof that there is a intelligent designer. Nothing complex can come from something simple. This is true in all aspects of science. Can you think of anything that something simple evolve to something complex? We are complex creatures from a scientific view point. It can’t be proven that we evolved from a simple amino acid to a protein to a single cell to etc.
As a research engineer I see many scientific theories take root in our civilization as scientific truths. Theories are not proven to be true, they are just theories. This is the brainwashing of our civilization that science can answer everything. The theory of evolution is a good example of this, it is just a theory. It’s has never been proven. The fossil record does not correspond to the evolution theory. There are other examples that follow this path, but I won’t get into them because they can be political since the government is spending billions of dollars in those areas.
Another imperfection of science is what is known as Pseudo science. This is when a scientist concludes their scientific work with a bias. They want there result to go a certain way, so they set up their experiments so the results match desire outcome. This make science based on the scientist, not the science. This occurs more often than ever, since government grants and money are a driving force.
If science was so truthful and it could explain everything, how come the scientist can’t figure which foods are the right ones to eat. The studies on these foods keep changing ie. Eggs and so many other foods.
If science can explain everything, how does it explain love and other emotions? Love is not a physical thing. It’s an emotion coming from your soul. Your soul is your spirit. How can science explain this? It can’t!
When one believes in science without God, our universe is much harder to understand. Without God, we have many more questions that can”t be answered. With God and science, the world around us makes sense, and there is harmony in both questions and answers.
Cordial greetings dearly beloved Sister Rebecca,
Prayerfully, I hope you are familiar with Acts 11:26. The fact that someone was born in a “Christian” home, Church, religion and so on; does not mean that the person is saved and a disciple of Christ. You see, In order to fully grasp the true meaning of Spirituality; we must first understand what God does with you when you are born of Him: Because the person who is born of God will give the demonstration of his hatred of sin (1 John 3:9; 5:18), by his actions (1 John 2:29), through his love (1 John 4:7) and his victory over the world 1 John 5:4). The world today associates “Christianity” with religions; whereas, it is a relationship with Christ Jesus. In the beginning the followers of Jesus used to be called Those of The Way. I do not like to refer myself as a “Christian”, but, a born again follower and or a disciple of Jesus.
Mayer Pearlman, in his book Knowing the Doctrine of the Bible gives one the most (comprehensible) definitions of what is a “Christian”: It is a man in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. His body is a temple of the Holy Spirit; in virtue of this experience, he is sanctified as the tabernacle was consecrated for the interior dwelling of Jehovah God. He is therefore, called holy or saint and his duty is to preserve and protect the sacredness or holiness of the temple of his body. You are a soul in a body; not the other way around.
A what point in our lives can we truly make Galatians 2:20 our own. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me…God cannot be mocked!!!
But the bible makes it vehemently clear that the Blood of Jesus Christ sanctified us. Sanctify– to make holy. Our sanctification begins when we become “Christians”. It is continued by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
Jesus Christ came on earth to model and exemplify holiness and left us His word with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should live “Christian” lives that are “holy and pleasing to God” without any excuses.1 Peter 2:11,12 urge us as born again Christian, and aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against our soul.
My sister, maybe what you should do is holding a fruit, maybe an apple in your hand and ask your husband if the apple that you are holding in your hands is sweet or sour. Make sure he answers before going further. Because Jesus is just like that apple. Not until you are eating it; you can not ever tell whether or not it is sweet. The Bible says, come and taste…
I have prayed for wisdom, patience, and discernment for you and salvation and peace for you husband in Jesus’ name.
@Setapart87 I understand your pain, Rebecca, because I was there a long time ago. I was very immature in my faith and understanding and married to a very cynical and hurting man. Although we were together in marriage for over seven years, we did finalize our separation with divorce in the tenth year.
I am so encouraged by your efforts with your husband and pray that with your more mature faith you will find blessing in the struggle. My Dad has these very same issues of faith. Although he was a church goer all his life, as an analytical engineer he said he could not embrace faith. He was the reason why I started with the RZIM Academy. If I couldn’t argue with him on a thoughtful, logical basis, there was not really much point. When someone doesn’t believe that the Bible is authoritative, it’s hard for it to be a source for them to find understanding.
Although I don’t feel I can offer you much in the way of guidance for how to talk with your husband, I do believe I can encourage you and offer hope. A few years back, the head of our Christian Education and Discipleship department, offered in a curriculum this idea that was very helpful in helping me understand another person’s journey. He offered that for a person to be saved they need to come to a place where two things are true in their life:
- The acknowledgement that they need a savior
- Knowing that Jesus is that savior
He said that it’s possible to know you need a savior, but search for that salvation in all manner of things that will not save you–alcohol, relationships, success, addictions, etc. People can spend their lives knowing they need that one thing to finally feel they aren’t drowning (physically, emotionally, spiritually), but never find it.
He said it’s also possible to know who the savior is, but never really acknowledge that they need a savior. That was pretty much my Dad, and frankly many people that occupy pews in America. They’ve held that knowledge of Jesus as the savior of the world all their lives and never claimed Him as their own.
It’s the crossroads of those two things where salvation happens.
I’ve found for most people who do find Christ in the struggle, that science didn’t ultimately matter much to them. It was love that mattered the most. Desperate to feel love despite how unclean they felt inside.
Recently we had a preacher confess his sins to us, his congregation. He was a preacher’s kid, always loved and knowing he was loved by God, but still in the hidden places of his life he had always known that if people really knew him they would not love him. And what stayed in the darkness grew. I knew that almost everyone in the congregation had probably grappled with the same question, “if people really knew me…”
My experience is that it isn’t dotted “i’s” and crossed “t’s” that finally get a person to say yes to Jesus, but the deep desires of their heart to be known and loved for who you really are.
I believe as a loving spouse, your model and witness of that love may one day bring your husband to that crossroads. We’ll be praying for you.
p.s. In my Dad’s final months, due to heart issues, his brain wasn’t getting the same amount of oxygen. I think that somehow inhibited, shut off, whatever those logical processes that had been his stumbling blocks. Ultimately he keep praying for God to take him. I asked him if he really understood what he was asking and did he know who his savior was. Finally, he said yes. He was gone within 24 hours. Blessedly I have a real feeling of assurance that he was sincere and saved. Praise God.
I had a long, similar road with my wife, who was not only agnostic, but came from a culture of great numbers of atheists and Buddhists… Once we zeroed in on the source of her skepticism, we were able to build her logical base back up - which thankfully, included her desire to understand God and Christianity. What we discovered was that as an adolescent, she developed an aversion to the PEOPLE making up the churches and religious groups in her area. She had heard countless hours of less than ideal proselytizing over many months, and as the discerning intellectual that she is, decided that those commentaries were rubbish; she hence, jumped to the conclusion that religion and Christianity must ALSO be rubbish. Over many months, I helped her to understand that the individuals who attempt to help others understand the Bible and God, ARE NOT PERFECT, nor do they speak for Jesus - only about Him, as best they know how… She doesn’t have to feel forced to attend, or even listen to ONE pastor in ONE church, with whom she does not feel compatible with. Instead, she should look for the pastor which she feels comfortable with, and with which she feels is answering her deep questions. A good example is the fact that I have listened to Ravi for many years, and I don’t feel comfortable with just any minister. I never make the mistake of hearing bad, or inaccurate sermons, and extrapolating those into disbelief for the entire reality and truth. One last good example of this goes something like this: in college, did you ever have a bad math professor? Did this math professor make mistakes, and fail to help you understand key concepts? Maybe this same math professor even provided inaccurate lessons. Well, just because you had the misfortune of this less than ideal math professor, doesn’t mean that MATH, the subject and reality itself, is somehow nonexistent or untrue.
Great analogy, Ben. I’m going to remember that one.
If I may succinctly tell you of my experience with my husband I hope it will give you some peace. My husband was an abusive alcoholic. He was not a believer. I prayed for him all the time but it seemed like nothing happened. Then he got cancer. Even though I had such indifference in my heart towards him because of his treatment towards our family I was terrified that he would die unsaved. I fervently prayed for him to be saved before he died which I knew he could not be cured.
I tried many times during his treatment for the cancer to open up a conversation about faith and how we are saved; but I botched it every time. Because he was dying ( he lived two yrs) I had to be careful about what I said bc he never admitted that he was dying.
Then as God always does He answered my prayer in a way that I NEVER expected. A young man who was a former neighbor of ours and had also since become a preacher came to visit us bc he had heard of my husbands illness. He also knew my husband was not a believer. During the course of our friendly chat I asked the young man why his brother did not attend his church . He said “ my brother thinks that all you have to do is be good in order to get to heaven”. My husband responded with “I”m counting on that.” He thought he was good enough to get to heaven. And that one question and my husbands response opened the door to our young preacher friend to give him the salvation story.
I left the room while they talked and when I was asked to come back in we three prayed together and my husband cried bc he had accepted Christ.!!! When he died I KNEW that he was in heaven.
It showed me that it is often not the ones closest that are the ones to plant the seed of salvation, or reap the harvest of helping a nonbeliever to Christ. It can come from the places and circumstances you would never expect.
So I appeal to you to pray for your husband.s salvation but please be at peace about it and just be an example of God’s love to him. God will answer prayer. Acts 16:31. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved—you and YOUR HOUSEHOLD”. I claimed that promise and God answered my prayer. By the way, my husband died just two weeks later.
Thank you for this link!
Hi Rebecca. I, thankfully, don’t have an unbelieving husband, but I do have a cousin that has been closed for years until about 1 1//2 years ago when I sent him a letter after 2 years of silence on the subject of his salvation. Ironically, then a year later, it was the Core Module assignment to interview someone of a different worldview that opened channels of communication again. My cousin is very tender-hearted and a pacifist. I think he would avoid stepping on an ant However, he raised the question about abortion in the case of known suffering or abuse. He was on the fence about which way to go. My response was to do as much research as I could. When he questioned one point I made, I had a YouTube to back me up. He was surprised at the proof I gave him.
Last night, my daughter texted me about something she heard at a women’s conference she was attending that didn’t sound quite right to her. She asked me to verify her sense and sent me a link. So, again, I did research. Her question involved something biblical, and that was my jumping off point in doing research. I often go on the internet and have some trusted sites or have learned to cull for sound doctrine.
My point is not to expect to have immediate answers or arguments to back up your positions, but take the time to research. If you don’t have an answer, tell your husband you will get back to him on that point. I agree that John Lennox is a wealth of information, especially when answering biblical/scientific questions.
Also, I have a Young’s Analytical Concordance that not only gives all the references in Scripture, but also the Hebrew or Greek word for the given word you are looking up. Knowing word usage, cultural traditions, the historic settings, etc. are invaluable in answering questions.
I guess this advice might be basic and intuitive, but I’ve found doing my homework goes a long way in being able to answer questions.
Also, don’t forget Scripture says we can win our spouses by our Godly behavior (1 Pet.3:1-6).
I pray the Holy Spirit will open your husband’s heart and mind, and give you wisdom during the process.