Giving More When Your Spouse Is Not a Christian

Corey —  December 19, 2013

       A reader asked me what you should do when you want to give more but your spouse is not a Christian. It’s especially difficult because she doesn’t want to go against her husband’s wishes. This issue can be hard for women who want to honor their husbands as God’s Word teaches but also want to honor God. However, I think a similar approach should be used for men married to non-Christian women as well.

       I don’t have personal experience with this, so I don’t pretend to know all the answers. If any readers have dealt with this, please share your thoughts in the comments. I will, however, attempt to approach this from a Biblical and practical perspective in an effort to help people deal with this challenging problem.


       As in all things, we must seek God’s will first. Prayer is one way we communicate with God. When you feel God’s Spirit leading you to give more but your spouse is not a Christian and does not want to give more, your first step must be prayer. Specifically, here are some matters you can pray about:

  • Your Spouse’s Salvation – Not so your life will be made easier, but so they will receive eternal life.
  • Wisdom – For how you should approach this situation with love and grace when discussing it with your spouse.
  • Guidance – For what you should do if your spouse is not willing.
  • Patience – To wait upon the Lord and to continue being a light to your spouse despite the difficult struggles you face.

       God will give you His strength to handle this task. If He is calling you to give more, then He will provide you with a method to make it happen.

Talk with Your Spouse

       Next, you should approach your spouse lovingly and graciously to share what God has placed on your heart. Focus on gracious speech – do not accuse your spouse or attack them. You may be surprised by their response. Try to share where God is leading you to give and why. Talk about ways you could give more by focusing on contentment and the generous blessings you already have.

       If your spouse is completely opposed to the idea, do not press the issue and cause an argument. Doing so could damage your witness to them. Listen to their viewpoint and see if a compromise could be made. Here’s an example:

       Let’s say your spouse doesn’t want to give up anything they’re used to so you can give more. The two of you have budgeted a weekly amount for you to buy lunches at work. Offer a compromise. You’ll pack your lunches and use the money you save to increase your giving. This way your spouse doesn’t give up anything and you still get to increase your giving. Or maybe you have a way you could earn some extra money on the side. You could offer to have some of it go to your joint budget while using the rest to increase your giving.

Give Your Time

       If your spouse is completely opposed to increasing your monetary giving in any way, you could look at ways to donate some of your time. Again, this is probably something you should discuss with your spouse. You must also be careful that your volunteering will not cause you to neglect your relationship. But a couple hours a week can really help a mission or charity quite a bit without causing much stress on your marriage.

Continue to Pray

       Finally, you must continue to pray about the situation. This is a difficult situation and can be extremely trying on your faith. Continue to seek strength from God and pray for your spouse’s salvation. Honor your spouse and live a life of generous, sacrificial love just as Jesus did. I am not saying your should sacrifice your relationship with God to keep your marriage intact, but you must do your best to be a light to your spouse in all situations. A mature Christian (of the same sex) can provide helpful counsel and encouragement during this trial in your life, so seek fellowship and support if needed.

Your Thoughts?

       What do you all think? Is this a Biblical approach to the situation? What are some other ideas that could help someone deal with this issue? How have you handled it in your own life? Please share your thoughts in the comments!



Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

4 responses to Giving More When Your Spouse Is Not a Christian

  1. Thank you for such a beautiful and well-written article. You hit the nail directly on the head. I am going to take it to heart. Keep up the good work. You are a true blessing. I hope other readers agree.

  2. Thanks for your kind comment, Donna. I’m glad you found the article helpful. Thank you for the encouraging words!

  3. This is an appalling article. It assumes that non-Christians automatically do not give to charitable causes. As an atheist myself, I make a point of contributing a set portion of my income to charities on a monthly basis. I feel that it is my obligation to make the world I live in a better place. The issue here is not whether your spouse is not a Christian, the issue is whether they are a responsible community member. And that CAN have serious impact on a relationship.

  4. Liz, I’m sorry you found the article appalling. I did not write it under the assumption that non-Christians do not give. The premise was looking at how a Christian should approach the situation when they feel God calling them to give more (not to just start giving, but to give extravagantly and sacrificially) when their spouse is a non-Christian and does not feel the same.

    As you’ve pointed out, if your spouse does not want to give at all it could indicate a deeper issue that may have an impact on the relationship if you don’t feel the same way. But the point of this article is how Christians should approach the situation when they feel God calling them to give more and to give in a sacrificial way – especially when the spouse does not feel the same way and/or is a non-Christian. I specifically talked about a non-Christian spouse because that was the nature of the question I received from another reader.

    Thank you for your comments. And again, I’m sorry you were offended by the article. I hope I made myself a little clearer in this comment.