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Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage Paperback – March 27, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

High school sweethearts whose marriage seemed to have been made in heaven, the Strobels enjoyed a good life with two children and experienced few problems until Leslie became a committed Christian, much to the dismay of her husband, a confirmed atheist. The Strobels struggled along in this "spiritually mismatched" state for quite a while until Lee made the conscious decision to become a Christian as well. The Strobels do not advise couples who strongly disagree about religion to marry, but their book offers useful advice to couples who are spiritually mismatched, either from the beginning of their relationship or through a change in belief. Ideas about raising children and advice for single Christians are also included. Written in the first person, usually by Lee, the text is readable and helpful. While not a substitute for professional marriage counseling, the Strobels' suggestions are based on years of practical experience and will be useful for a Christian audience. Recommended for church libraries and for public libraries serving a sizable Christian population. Mary Prokop, Savannah Country Day Preparatory Sch. Lib., GA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Someone came between Lee and Leslie Strobel, threatening to shipwreck their marriage. No, it wasn’t an old flame. It was Jesus Christ.

Leslie’s decision to become a follower of Jesus brought heated opposition from her skeptical husband. They began to experience conflict over a variety of issues, from finances to child-rearing. But over time, Leslie learned how to survive a spiritual mismatch. Today they’re both Christians--and they want you to know that there is hope if you’re a Christian married to a nonbeliever. In their intensely personal and practical book, they reveal:

* Surprising insights into the thinking of non-Christian spouses * A dozen steps toward making the most of your mismatched marriage * Eight principles for reaching out to your partner with the gospel * Advice for raising your children in a spiritually mismatched home * How to pray for your spouse--plus a 30-day guide to get you started * What to do if you’re both Christians but one lags behind spiritually * Advice for single Christians to avoid the pain of a mismatch

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310220149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310220145
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 116 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've been looking for a book like this for years! As a Christian married to a spiritual skeptic, I've wrestled with all sorts of emotions, pain, and difficulties. Finally, a couple who has actually lived in an "unequally yoked" marriage has written a biblical, practical guidebook for how to deal with the inevitable conflicts that arise in such relationships. This book has it all -- how to get through the arguments and disagreements; how to raise children in a spiritually confusing environment; how to talk to your spouse about God; how to pray for your partner (the book includes a 30-day prayer guide); and so on. It also features chapters on whether Christians should even date non-Christians; what to do if you and your spouse are both Christians but one is less spiritually mature than the other; and how to handle the situation if your spouse is a member of another religion.
I thought the advice was sensitively presented, biblically sound, and resoundingly practical. The authors, Lee and Leslie Stroebel, draw on their own experience of having been married during a time when Leslie was a Christian and Lee was an atheist. While my spouse isn't an atheist, the counsel they offer was totally relevant and useful.
Let me add one other thing. I've been trying at my church to start a group of people who are married to non-Christians, but I've been stymied as far as what resource to use as a curriculum. This book includes a wonderful "application guide" that's a roadmap for a group like this. Now those of us who find ourselves "unequally yoked" can get together and encourage each other while learning together how to survive our mismatched situations.
If you're a Christian but your husband or wife isn't, you MUST have this book.
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69 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Mistrmind on December 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm in my own spiritual mismatch in my marriage.
My wife is Jewish and I'm Christian. My beliefs weren't an issue
with our marriage until I re-affirmed my beliefs in Christ a few years ago.
If I mention so much as a desire to go back to church, my wife hems and haws and threatens divorce. I've never pushed my beliefs on my wife, and likewise she with me, but I was concerned about the backlash she unleashes when the subject of God comes up in our household.
I heard Lee and Leslie talking on a radio program about their book and figure I give it a shot.
On the upside much of what Lee and Leslie went through I could identify with, since they themselves went through the same thing. In their case, Leslie is Christian and Lee was Atheist. Many of the fights and situations they described I've gone through to some degree with my wife. The solutions to those problems are of course outstanding, but the Strobels give some tools to the reader in dealing with you and your spouses differing perspectives.
I've used those tools, and they've helped somewhat. Not a total solution, but very helpful in keeping a hot subject from escalating into disaster.
However I felt a bit letdown in the tone of their book since the Strobels have the notion that men, not women, in a majority are seperate from Christ. Thus the reader is addressed that "your husband this..." and "your husband that..."
Well, my problem isn't with "a husband" but with "my wife".
This tone sort of made me felt left out when reading the book. The Strobels acknowledge this oversight, but wouldn't it be better to just address the oversight by being non-gender specific?
Also I had a problem with lack of scripture reference.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brian Albert on May 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Leslie and Lee do an outstanding job of comforting, encouraging, motivating, and giving sound Biblical advice to those in an "unequally yoked" marriage. Chapter after chapter gives essential advice and encouragement from a couple who have gone through it themselves and have come out of the experience all the stronger for it. The one piece of advice that helped me more than anything was to give up my guilt and responsibility for my part in my wife's unbelief. Her salvation is between God and her, they say, so love her unconditionally and stop feeling responsible. Chapter after chapter contains great advice for changing your own attitudes, developing an attractive faith, standing firm when necessary, avoiding arguments when unnecessary, providing spiritual input for your children, etc, etc. The Christian spouse is constantly motivated to give up his/her gloominess and thrive in the situation, with God's help living out an authentic faith and a sacrificial love that very well could win over the unbelieving spouse. You would do well to read this book slowly and prayerfully, then make a list of all the suggestions you can try in your marriage.

Of course, none of these things are the solution to the problem. After all, only God can bring someone to faith in Christ and create peace in a home. And as Lee and Leslie state many times, there is no guarantee that it will happen. My wife still doesn't have an active faith, but is now much less resistant to mine ever since I started serious prayer for her and have put some of these suggestions into effect.

Some minor quibbles: 1) Prayer should be emphasized more. There is a chapter on it, but considering how essential it is, there probably should have been more.
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