Christianity is lacking manpower.
Quite literally—the typical American church is made up of 61 percent women and only 39 percent males, according to a Uscongregations.org study. In total, there are about 13 million more women at church on any given Sunday than there are men.
That’s a huge gap.
This reaches into every level of Christian activity. While the numbers of men and women who profess to be Christians are roughly equal, the number of men who see value in actually engaging with church activities is far less—women are the majority in volunteerism, general attendance, and even church employment and leadership.
If you’re a woman who took the time to click on this article, it may be because the man in your life isn’t going to church. Perhaps he, like many men, doesn’t see the value in it. Perhaps he doesn’t like the idea of submitting to God or pastoral authority. Or maybe he just can’t quite articulate what keeps him away from the church doors.
For many men, it’s simply because church can feel dull to them. Christianity can see like a religion of passivity, of non-action. And for guys who subscribe to the traditional masculine role, this can leave them feeling a little bored.
But whatever the reason, it’s heartbreaking to have that space on the pew remain empty. The happiest couples grow together in a multitude of ways, including spiritually, and to not have your loved one there beside you can be saddening—that’s a completely valid response.
So it’s time to do something about it.
If your husband is, like many other men, a sincere Christian who believes in God, but simply doesn’t like church, he may respond to certain powerful Bible verses that tap into what it means to be a man of God, and why it’s important to seek out Christian fellowship and leadership.
Let’s take a look at a few of these verses.
“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’”
God is an active God. He is a strong God. He is a leader and a general and a master tactician. And in the case of these verses, He is a God of battles and victory as He protects Israel against overwhelming odds.
If your husband is the active type, one who thrives on knowing he can make a difference, then show him this verse and let him see that God is not inactive and meek, and neither are his peoples. In God’s church, there are ample opportunities for those who wish to fight and conquer.
What kinds of opportunities does this translate into? While there may not be much opportunity for swords-drawn chariot-filled warfare in our modern age, the Christian Church faces odds just as overwhelming as any enemy army.
Encourage your husband to jump into the fray. He can do this by reading up on Christian apologetics and defending the faith against naysayers. He can organize outreach programs that feed the hungry. He can take on a leadership position or lead a prayer group to fight against spiritual evil.
There are many battles to be fought within the church, and these are only the beginning. Help your husband to realize this, and his interest in challenge and adventure may just be piqued.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
When you cut to the heart of this verse, it is incredibly powerful. Christ loved His people so much that He died for them. He healed, served, and accepted them.
Show your husband this verse to remind him of what marital love looks like. If it hurts you that he doesn’t come to church with you, gently tell him so. Read Ephesians 5:25 together, and remind him of what love looks like—it’s self-sacrificing and kind. It’s the love that Christ has for all of us.
Do that, and you’ll reach his heart.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Iron tools can be made sharp and fit for work by rubbing them against an iron file. And just as iron sharpens iron, one person can sharpen another.
Many men are strongly driven by ambition. They want to be bigger, better, and more adept. And so they feel like their Sunday mornings are better spent working on that next financial report for work or working on their car or lifting weights.
But show your husband how coming to church can actually be a benefit for the both of you, and you might just convince him to come.
Mentorship is incredibly important, and the church is filled with some very wise people. Spiritual growth is just as important as psychological and physical development; remind him that the best people attend to all three.
But if he doesn’t go to church, there will be no “spiritual iron” against which he might sharpen himself. Once you plant that in his ear, he might just come seeking that one area of self-improvement he’s didn’t know he had been missing.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
If all else fails, appeal to your husband’s sense of fatherhood. Perhaps the two of you have children, or perhaps they are on the horizon, still mere glimmers in your minds’ eyes. Regardless of which, he’s probably thinking on how to be the best father that he can be.
And if he’s also a Christian at heart, he’ll know, at some level, that raising a family within the church will only be good for the kids.
Remind him of the message of Matthew 5: his children watch everything he does. He is a bright light—a sun, almost— especially to their little eyes. They will do as he does. They will live as he lives.
And if your husband knows the value of being around other Christians, and of having access to spiritual mentors, he might just be convinced by this verse to head over to church with you next Sunday.
It is vital that your husband be on the same page as you, spiritually speaking. If he isn’t, life can get frustrating and contentious for the both of you. Realize, though, that you cannot change him. Change has to come from within himself. All you can do is to reveal the truth and give him the tools to process that truth.
And be sure to pray for him before you speak on these verses. Pray for his heart and mind to be changed—sometimes, it really is only God who can help us make the transition from a life unengaged, to a life utterly captivated by God and His Church.
There are a million reasons why your husband should join you on the pew, but let this be a starting point—a new beginning, so to speak. Take a breath, say a prayer, and have a conversation.
If you do, it’s very likely your husband will soon be joining you at church, for the betterment of you both.