My husband doesn't care if the children and I go to church but he doesn't want anything to do with it. He says he's had enough of people trying to stuff God down his throat. How can I explain this to our children without making them lose their respect for him?


You don’t say how old your children are, but if they are still quite young the best approach is to be as positive as you can under the circumstances.

In other words, if they bring it up, simply tell them that at present their father has decided not to go to church with them. Don’t go into the details of why he dislikes church, and don’t argue in their presence about his attitude or tell them he is wrong for not going with them. Instead, be positive and let them know that he approves of the rest of you going to church. In time, they may have more questions–but for the present, a simple answer probably is enough.

At the same time, be on the lookout for opportunities your children may have to invite your husband to come to church– to see a play they are in, for example, or attend some other special event. His pride may keep him from accepting an invitation from you–but he may be open to an invitation from one of them.

The most important thing you can do, however, is to pray for your husband. Whatever his reasons, God is able to overcome them and help him realize his need of Christ. Pray too that your life will be a witness to him of Christ’s love and peace. The Bible says that even husbands who are opposed to the Gospel “may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1).