Should a Husband and Wife Attend the Same Church?
Many husbands and wives attend different churches, and they have their reasons for doing so. The question is asked quite often if husbands and wives should attend the same church.
I belonged to a church for many years where the pastor's wife was a chairperson of the deacon board at a different church down the street. Whenever she came to visit her husband's church, the members welcomed her and rallied around her. They thought of her as the absent spiritual mother that they saw only on special occasions. Members of the church felt neglected while she was serving at another church.
The pastor and his wife had set an example. There were many other wives who were members of a different church. Also, there were some husbands who also went to a different church. There were fewer than five married couples in the entire congregation, and that's not an exaggeration.
In most cases, young children go to church with their mothers. When they get older, they may or may not choose either one of the churches their parents attend.
Some married couples who do not go to the same church give answers to support their decision. So, what are some of those answers?
Reasons Couples Give for Attending Different Churches
There are various reasons married couples might not agree on attending the same church. One spouse might say he has always belonged to his "home church" and he doesn't want to leave. The other spouse might not like the church for various reasons and wants to continue going to the church she belonged to before she got married.
According to Genesis 2:24, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." A husband and wife are supposed to “cleave together as one” after they marry. The couple is not cleaving if both partners attend different churches. If they don't cleave over spiritual things, they might not cleave on other things. Ideally, a married couple should attend the same church. However, it is better for them to attend two churches than not to attend any church at all.
One couple contends that even though both of them are members of different churches, they attend special programs and services at the other's church. Another couple says they have two sermons to discuss on Sunday afternoon and two groups of people they have fellowshipped with. Therefore, they are getting double what married couples get who attend the same church.
Reasons Couples Give for Attending the Same Church
The late Billy Graham and his wife Ruth came from different denominations. They came to agree to attend one church instead of attending different ones. Neither one of them wanted to change churches at first, However, they finally agreed on one church to attend. The evangelist once wrote, “The Bible doesn’t say anything directly about this. The problem didn’t arise because Christians were few in number in those days.”
Later he wrote, “If it’s at all possible, however, I certainly urge couples to attend the same church. It will help them grow closer to each other and to God."
Realizing that not all couples can't agree on the same church, Graham gave them this advice:
“Above all, put Jesus Christ at the center of your lives — as individuals and as a family. When our lives are centered in Him, disagreements begin to fade. Remember the Bible’s admonition: ‘Let us not give up meeting together… but let us encourage one another.‘”
Most people said in a survey that they believe a married couple will have a tendency to grow spiritually closer to each other if they attend the same church. Besides, unity between parents sets a good example for their children.
Another pastor wrote that one should make sacrifices for the other and use creative methods to be involved in both churches. He suggested going to hear one pastor preach in person and listening to tapes of the other pastor or visiting the other church online.
One pastor said that he thought it must be insulting to God to fight over where to go to worship Him. The arguments give the enemy a way to get into the relationship. Married couples should seek the Lord on what they should do.