Can a Husband and Wife Attend Separate Churches?

We should never underestimate the power of prayer. Scripture tells us, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5: 16) The Bible urges us, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6: 18)

There is no doubt that we are told to pray, to bring our requests and concerns before God. We are told to pray in agreement with His will and when we do so, God answers prayer. While God does not always answer prayers the way we prefer, the answers are always best for us. We are encouraged in Scripture that prayer changes hearts, opens our eyes, and offers us wisdom. (James 1:5

There is a powerful cliché that says, “A family that prays together, stays together.” It’s a cliché, not an unalterable truth. It’s a principle to live by, not a truth we can demand from God. 

A writer asks what happens if a couple does not worship together. She asks about the impact of not worshipping in the same place. (She does not ask about not praying together.) 

Dear Dr. David, 

It is said that "A family that prays together stays together." Is it possible to have the two partners/spouses each worship in a different church and still have a healthy relationship/family?



Notice that the writer does not say she and her mate will not be praying together, only that they don’t worship together. Such is the case for many couples. While not ideal, there are many, many couples who have different preferences in worship and thus choose to worship separately. Such need not be the end of their praying together. 

Consider some strategies this couple might use that could benefit you as well:  

First, share your worship experiences with each other. 

While not able to pray in worship together, they can share their experiences in worship with each other. In a sense, this can be the best of both worlds and create rich dialogue. This can be a powerful connection for the couple who worship in separate places.

Second, create unified worship experiences at home. 

Who says worship has to be limited to church? Worship, after all, is simply the expression of respect and admiration for God and this can be done in home as much as in church. I recommend couples who cannot worship in church together find ways to worship at home together—through prayer, song, and reading of Scripture.

Third, pray individually, as well as a couple. 

While not able to worship in church together, any couple can pray at home together and separately. Pray for your marriage, family, and other concerns that enter your life. Share with each other how you want your mate to pray. Share prayer requests as well as answers to prayer.

Fourth, make prayer an integral part of your home/marriage life. 

Prayer can be a unifying factor in your marriage and family. Couples who pray together are more likely to stay together. This is a most powerful source of intimacy.

Finally, discuss answers to prayer. 

Watch the movement of God in your lives. Share concerns you wish to bring before God. Celebrate together answers to prayer. Take note of how God is working in each life represented in your family. 

Do you worship together? If so, or if not, do you pray together? Consider making prayer an integral part of your family/marriage life. We would like to hear from you. We at The Marriage Recovery Center are prepared to walk with you through any challenges. Please feel free to contact me at or email us at [email protected]

Photo credit: ©Akira Hojo/Unsplash

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