Do I Please God Or Obey My Husband?

Q. My husband is an unbeliever.  I tithe from my income (which is a small amount from social security, an “allowance” from my 401K and babysitting money).  This is a second marriage, and while my husband is very good to me personally, his god is his money.  He does not like that I tithe even though it is not from our overall income.  Since the Bible instructs wives to submit to their husbands, I am willing to stop all giving if this is what I am supposed to do, but I’ll be honest, it makes me sad.

A. As you already know, this is one of the problems with being married to an unbeliever. You have different perspectives and as a Christian wife you must continually balance your desire to please God with your need to submit to your unbelieving spouse (Ephes. 5:22).

God knows the motive of your heart and understands the dilemma that puts you in. But He would not have this become a source of contention between you (Romans 12:18).  So if your husband insists that you stop giving, then stop.

In the New Testament, tithing is not a “do it or be cursed” thing like it was in Old Testament times (Malachi 3:9-10). It’s a sign of our gratitude to the Lord for all He’s done for us. Therefore, it’s the spirit in which we give that matters most.

Explain this to your husband. Remind him it only involves a portion of “your” income, and it’s an important thing for you to do. If he’s willing for you to continue giving on that basis, then do as you’ve been doing.

But regardless of the outcome, continue to reflect “the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).

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