Q. My husband said that he accepted the Lord when his parent died two years ago, but it’s hard for me to see his fruits. One area is tithing.. I really feel strongly about tithing but my husband borders on being Draconian regarding our finances. He puts money in the basket but I feel very strongly that I should be tithing from my salary but he would be apoplectic if he found out. So do I obey GOD and His Word that talks about tithing or submit to my “believing” husband?
A. According to 1 Cor. 4:5 we shouldn’t draw any conclusions about another person’s spiritual condition based on our observations of their behavior. The Lord has reserved those decisions for Himself, since He’s the only one who can see into our hearts. One exception to this concerns false prophets, where the Lord said we would recognize them by their fruit (Matt. 7:20). I believe He was referring primarily to the percentage of their prophecies that come to pass. According to Deut. 18:22 anything less than 100% fulfillment is proof that they’re false prophets.
That said, I understand your predicament. You feel a desire to tithe, but your husband disagrees. The clearest instruction in matters like this comes from Ephesians 5:22-28 where Paul taught that wives are to be submissive to their husbands in all things, and husbands are to love their wives to the point of giving themselves up for them. In an equal application of this instruction your husband would not stand in the way of your desire to tithe, if only out of love for you. But Paul’s instructions don’t make allowance for the other party’s lack of adherence. Wives are to submit to their husbands even when they disagree, and husbands are to love their wives even if they’re not submissive.
If your husband doesn’t believe in tithing and you can’t persuade him to go along with you doing so on your own salary, then you should yield to his desires. According to 1 Peter 3:1-7 this is a good way to win him over and is of great worth in God’s sight.