Just for Catholics - Testimonies

Husband, will you save your wife?

By Chris Wagner

I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, regularly attending Mass on Sundays and going to confession. However I never read the Scripture and I was never exposed to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I was searching. Oftentimes I looked up to the sky after hearing on the news about different things going on in the world. “Lord, what’s going on? This is nuts.” I called Him Lord even before I knew Him personally as my Lord and Savior. I had no idea what was really happening in the world. I was as lost as I could possibly be even though I was a religious person. Eventually I stopped attending church altogether.

The Lord worked in me through the witness of a dear brother in Christ who would come to my home to share Christ and my need for Him. I listened, yet I just wasn’t ready to surrender myself to Him. I remember traveling the hour to and from school in the evenings and listening to the news and thinking to myself, “I just don’t understand.”

Then 9/11 happened and my world as I knew it was shaken. Suddenly my mortality looked at me face to face and I was petrified. I didn’t know what to do and I walked around my office thinking much the same as before – “This is nuts! What’s going on?” I didn’t have any answers, but thanks be to God, there was a woman in my office who always been very cordial and nice to me. She kept walking around, saying, “I’m so glad I’m saved.” She said the same words repeatedly. I was so curious and intrigued that I felt compelled to ask what she meant. I will always remember her answer: “Chris, I’m going to tell you the same thing someone told me once – do you think that that Man came down here from heaven and hung on that cross so that you could do it yourself?”

I was floored. I’d never been convicted in that way about Christ, and for the first time in my life, I actually understood the sacrifice Christ made for me and the manner of grace God had shown me in sending His Son to die in my place for my sins. I remember thinking in my heart that I needed to get right with God – right now. I went upstairs in my office. There was a gentleman in the office directly across from me who had the door open, but at that point I just couldn’t care whether he was looking at me or not. I needed to talk to God!

I bowed my head, with eyes closed, and confessed my sins to God and placed my faith in Jesus Christ alone that very moment. I felt like such a weight had been removed from my shoulders, and the Lord had truly taken the scales off my eyes. I immediately began to understand spiritual things that I had never understood before. I couldn’t get enough of God’s Word. I studied everything I could get my hands on.

If I believed in coincidence, I would have used that word. But I don’t. As I learned what the Scriptures said and taught, I knew in my heart of hearts that I could not stay in the Roman Catholic Church. So, fearfully but obediently, I left my wife, to whom I had been married for a short time, at the Catholic church there, and started attending a Bible church in my area.

In all honesty I admit that it was one of the hardest things I ever did. I was miserable. I was in such agony over her soul and the fact that I couldn’t seem to get her to respond to reason from the Scripture. But then I received some very good counsel about letting God handle the situation. So I entrusted her to God.

God did one of the most amazing things. I had the privilege of leading my two eldest children to Christ. But God had more blessings in store for me. My wife came to my baptismal service even though at that time she did not understand its meaning of believers’ baptism. Yet something began to happen. God was making her heart tender to the Gospel, and she began to come with me to church more often. As she attended more and more, she seemed to worry less and less about attending the Catholic Church, until at one point, she just stopped going there altogether.

As I prepared with our pastor to have the children baptized as well, he came to consult with them about their salvation experience and to orient them to believer’s baptism. After he finished talking to the children (we were all seated at our home), the pastor asked my wife if there was ever a time when she had trusted Christ as her Lord and Savior. The answer was the one I had been waiting for a long time. She explained that it had been several weeks before that she trusted completely in Christ. The pastor then asked what helped her make that decision. She answered plainly, “It came down to a choice for me – was I going to believe what the Catechism taught or the Word of God? I chose the Word of God.” Praise be to God for His goodness to us!

Our family has been attending a Bible church ever since. If you have an unbelieving spouse, or you are struggling with an issue of separation of churches in your home, please take heart in these words – God can change your spouse, especially when we can’t see the end of it. He did mine. Take to heart what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16, especially verse 16:

“If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

We may not see the impact that our witness has on others, especially those we live with since we see them each and every day. But through godly living and a faithful personal testimony, who knows what the Lord will do?