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Christian Woman Discusses Marriage to Pastor-Turned-Agnostic

Christian Woman Discusses Marriage to Pastor-Turned-Agnostic

Nancy Sebastian Meyer is a devoted Christian wife and mother who testifies that she is happy despite her husband's agnosticism.

The author admits her marriage isn't perfect and she prays persistently for her husband to return to being the fervent Christ follower that he once was. Nevertheless, she confidently says that there's joy in her marriage and that her love for her husband is immeasurable.

But that doesn't mean it's easy.

Meyer, author of Spiritually Single Moms: Raising Godly Kids When Dad Doesn't Believe, spoke to evangelical leader Dr. James Dobson this week on his radio program "Family Talk." She described how she feels lonely on Sundays when she and her daughter, Becky, go to church without her husband.

"I feel a devastating sense of loneliness," she said. "Every Sunday morning that I sit in a worship service I miss my husband because there is a sense of loss and a sense of not right, a sense of discord that shouldn't be there."

Rich Meyer wasn't always an agnostic.

He graduated from Bible college with Nancy and they married a week later. He served as a youth pastor for around four years and then went into business.

When their daughter was about to turn 1 year old, that's when Meyer confessed his doubts about God to his wife.

"He came out one Sunday morning and said ... 'I'm sorry, but my prayers are hitting the ceiling, I can't see God, I can't feel Him, I don't even know if He's there and I'm not going to go to church with you until I figure this out,'" Nancy Meyer described on Family Talk.

"I cannot sit here and say I know Rich's mind and heart. I would think that he did all the right things in ministry but they may not have come out of relationship," she said. "Rich is almost all task-oriented ... when he first came to the Lord, I don't think that he understood that relationship process."

For several weeks, she said she was in "a fog" and went through stages of grief.

They hit more obstacles in their marriage and even reached the point of "zero love for each other."

But they overcame. "I allowed God to start making some changes in my life that impacted both of us," Nancy Meyer said, boasting of a stronger love today.

With permission from her husband, Meyer has been sharing her story with other women in similar situations. He was supportive of her helping women in difficult marriages keep their families together, she said.

As a Christian woman who believes in the biblical command to "submit" to one's husband, Meyer hasn't found it to be as difficult as other women might experience when married to a nonbeliever.

They have the same strong morals, she said. But their priorities differ.

Her husband does not prohibit her from taking her daughter to church or raising her in Christian teachings. But there are some Sundays when he asks her to skip church so that he could spend time with them.

And on those days, she simply does quiet time with her daughter or attends the evening church services.

"I try not to be a stuffy, opinionated woman who only does what I think is godly," she said. "I try to be open to whatever Rich suggests.

"I truly believe that my husband is the head of the home and his final decisions are still under the submissions of God and yet I am responsible to submit to him."

Dr. Dobson said he believes in the biblical command of wives submitting to husbands but he makes an exception in cases where a non-believing husband forbids the wife from attending church or from raising their child in Christian teachings.

"I believe in submission. I believe in masculine leadership. I've always taught that. But there is a higher power. There is a higher authority and his name is Jesus Christ. And I think there are times where you just have to say I'm being asked to do something that I simply can't do for spiritual reasons," said the influential evangelical.

When it comes to conflict or disagreement, Meyer suggested that women not get too emotional but rather present their case "logically and unemotionally" and without putting the husband down.

By doing so, the husband is "much more willing to listen," she has found.

She also recommended that the spouses be "real and honest" with each other and not be "over spiritual."

Both Meyer and Dobson are encouraging women who are married to nonbelievers to not give up in their prayers.

"God is hearing those prayers," said Dobson, whose grandmother prayed for 40 years before her husband finally accepted Christ.

And don't worry about going to God with the same prayer every day, he added.

"If I am redundant, the Lord understands that because He knows my heart," he noted.


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