I received a note from a reader. She said her husband told her the he was an atheist last year. He's a seminary graduate, and well grounded in the Bible. She also told me that she's afraid to talk to him about it, because she doesn't know if she can handle what he says. This was the last line of her message:
Do you have any advice for me?
I do. I'd offer this advice to anyone who's spouse believes something different than what they do.
Love him. It starts there. Don’t love him in hope he returns to faith, just love him. Go on walks together. Cook dinner and talk about the good times. Laugh, flirt, and delight in each other. Through words and actions, make it clear that you love him, that you will always love him, and that you don’t judge him.
Make him safe in your marriage. He will likely return the favor.
Kill the taboos. Don’t fear any discussion. Don’t try to win or lose. Just talk. Make your life a journey of shared discovery, and enjoy it. Learn to speak honestly, without hostility.
You both have your whole life to learn more about the world. Enjoy it.
Finally, find a cause he loves, some form of charity that he loves. Now make your faith come to life by serving with him. Invite Jesus into his life through your work and your love.
He may win a debate. But, if you try to out-love each other, everyone wins.
You believe in God, so surrender your husband's faith to the One who made him. It is not your job to save him, or to change him. It is your job to love him, as it is his job to love you.