Manuscript Releases, vol. 3 [Nos. 162-209]


MR No. 202—Counsel To The Wife of an Unbelieving Husband

We receive many letters soliciting advice. One mother says her husband is an unbeliever. She has children but they are taught by the father to disrespect the mother. She is deeply burdened for her children. She does not know what course she can pursue. She then expresses her anxiety to do something in the cause of God, and inquires whether I think she had a duty to leave her family if she is convinced she can do no good to them. 3MR 369.1

I would answer, my sister, I cannot see how you could be clear before the Lord and leave your husband and your children. I cannot think you would feel that you could do this yourself. The trials you may have may be of a very trying character. You may be often pained to the heart because disrespect is shown you; but I am sure that it must be your duty to care for your own children. This is your field where you have your appointed work. It may be rocky and discouraging soil to work, but you have a Companion in all your efforts to do your duty unflinchingly, conscientiously, notwithstanding all the discouraging circumstances. Jesus is your helper. Jesus came into our world to save lost and perishing souls and you are to consider that in this work you are a laborer together with God. 3MR 369.2

Do not shirk your responsibilities. Be a daily home missionary. Not only teach your children from their babyhood, but train them. Keep a steady, firm hold upon your children. You must not only tell them what to do but to the very best of your ability make their surroundings favorable and sow your precious seed in the love and spirit of Jesus. Because Satan uses the father of your children to counteract your work, do not be discouraged; do not give up the conflict. Do as you wish them to do. Treat your husband with kindness at all times and on all occasions, and bind your children to your heart with the cords of love. This is your work; this is the burden you have to bear. Talk not your home trials to anyone but Jesus; pour them into His ear. 3MR 369.3

Jesus “came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13). 3MR 370.1

Grace is not inherited. A very bad father may have a godly son; a Christian father a profligate son. Let mothers take up the burdens made doubly heavy for them by the course of the head of the household. This makes your work plain, to let your light shine in the household where Satan is at work to secure your children to himself. Shall he have them? Let the missionary spirit rise to the emergency and say, No, no; my children, although they have a godless father, are the purchase of the blood of Christ. I am their mother. I will seek the Lord in faith, in humility, that He will not only save my children but their father, to repentance. Talk not and plead not for the sympathy of your husband and your children, but simply live the life of Christ. In words, in spirit, in character, in meekness, in patience and forbearance, in cheerfulness, be a signpost pointing out the way, the path that leads heavenward. 3MR 370.2

Be a witness for Christ. Exemplify the strength of the Christian's hope, which is cast into that within the vail. Reveal that the anchor holds you under all circumstances. Let your home be made pleasant and cheerful. Jesus—you must rely on Jesus every moment. Draw your strength from Jesus. He will give you that which you ask in sincerity. If you seek Him with your whole heart He will be found of you. 3MR 370.3

God does not call mothers away from home missionary work which will leave their children under the control of influences that are demoralizing and ruinous to the soul. Are not her children in need of missionary labor? Are not her children worth earnest and prayerful effort? Shall she neglect home missionary work for a larger field? Let her try her skill in her own home—take up her appointed, God-given work. If she has utterly failed, it is because she has not had faith or may not have presented the truth and lived the truth as it is in Jesus. Let her, after years of apparent failure, try again other methods, seeking counsel of God. Present His promises on your knees before Him. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:5). 3MR 371.1

Have you felt your lot was hard, and complained and murmured? Then as you received no help in this line, beg in another course of action. Speak kindly, be cheerful. Because you have Jesus as your helper, break forth in songs of praise. When tempted, when reviled, revile not again; and labor with your children while there is one out of Christ. Sow the seed, the living seed, deep into the soil of the heart. Let your words be wisely chosen. Consider yourself as God's appointed missionary, to be the light of your home. 3MR 371.2

Again I say, It is not like the works of God to call the mother away from her husband and from her children to engage in what she considers higher work. Take right hold of the duties lying directly in your path. 3MR 371.3

I am pained when I receive letters from mothers who have children inquiring, Shall I leave my children to do missionary work? In the fear and love of God, I say, become a home missionary. Educate yourself in Bible ways and means that you may be a successful worker in your own home, for you see they need to be saved, for they are sinners. Do not forsake your post of duty because of the unpleasantness of it. There are many living martyrs today who suffer in silence, who trust in God when they are abused with the tongue and who are tantalized, who are hurt and wounded by coarse, harsh denunciations, whose lot seems to be to live and to suffer, receiving comfort only from Jesus, who is the source of their strength. Such souls are missionaries. They are Christ's noble ones, and their names are written in the Lamb's book of life. 3MR 372.1

Remember, Jesus knows it all—every sorrow, every grief—He will not leave you to sink, for His arms are beneath you. You may be an enlightenment to a whole neighborhood if you are indeed patient, kind, forbearing. In this, my sister, consider your questions answered.—Manuscript 9, 1868, 1-4. (Counsel to wife of an unbelieving husband, circa 1868.) 3MR 372.2

Released August 1, 1967.