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Sanctified & Holy

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NKJV)

One of the greatest joys in ministry is watching a person making the greatest decision one can possibly make—giving their life to Jesus.   Their decision to follow Him and allowing Him to be the Lord of their life is an amazingly powerful testimony, as the weight of their sin is lifted and His love fills their hearts, and His light fills their eyes.

There are many times when a married person gives their life to the Lord, they will be the only believer in their household, and this can bring on some interesting challenges.  I have seen several marriages where both spouses were caught up in the world and were partying together until one of them decided to seek God and repent.  This will usually cause some uneasiness within the relationship as the couple is unequally yoked.  I have actually had a few people come to me and ask if it was okay for them to leave the marriage because it became so uncomfortable living with their spouse who continued to live in their sinful ways. 

But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 (NKJV)

I will always answer these types of questions by showing them what God’s Word tells us, and in this case we can see the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about this very thing.  Paul knew there could be a great chance for the unbelieving spouse to be witnessed to, and so he told them, “the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy” (1 Cor. 7:14).

When Paul says the unbelieving spouse is sanctified, he isn’t saying they are saved or morally pure, but that they are set apart for Him (cf. Ac 20:32; 26:18).  When either spouse is saved, the entire family is actually looked upon as a unit.  There is a blessing given unto the entire family because there is one who now represents the Lord, and this blessing extends to the children as well. 

Paul goes on to say the children are now holy—i.e., not spiritually separated from God, as is the case in unbelieving families.  This simply means the children of believers will be considered holy until they reach the age of accountability—the age where they can take responsibility upon themselves (which will differ for each child). What a beautiful assurance God has given us. 

With this in mind it should encourage every parent who may be married to an unbeliever, who may have children to think upon this biblical truth.  God can and will use you in a mighty way to draw your family unto Him, and to help them in being consecrated unto Him. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 Corinthians 7:14, what happens when one of the parents decide to give their lives to the Lord?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you currently married to an unbeliever?

APPLICATION:  As much as it depends on you, live at peace with them, and if they are willing to live with you then do not divorce them.  Seek the Lord to guide you to being the spouse God has called you to be and allow God to draw them unto Himself through your genuine loving actions. 

LET’S PRAY: Father, thank You for Your Word to guide us through difficult situations.  Father, I lift up all those who may be married to unbelievers and I would ask that You would give them a fresh filling of Your Holy Spirit.   I pray for those who are unsaved and who are married to these believers; that You would open their eyes to see Your truth so they may be saved.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000