I became a devoted Christian about a year ago after living with questions for many years. From birth until about 5 years ago, I was very agnostic/atheist, but my beliefs since then have shifted dramatically.
I have been with my SO for 4 years. We are both 20 and have been discussing the possibility of getting married. I fear, though, that our religious beliefs will cause a divide. He is spiritual and believes in God, but he hasn't really developed a relationship with Jesus. Will this cause a divide in our relationship? He is an amazing man and I love him dearly. We pray together if there is something going on that I need to pray about, and he completely respects my choice to not have sex anymore since I've had some major emotional issues regarding sex (which may or may not stem from my faith; I'm seeking counseling to sort it out now.)
So can a relationship work if the two partners are not of the same faith? I would hate to spoil an otherwise healthy, perfect relationship because our beliefs differ to some degree, nor would I hate to push or force my beliefs on him. I would love him to develop a relationship with Jesus, and a part of me wonders if maybe one day he will; but is that going to be pivotal to a successful marriage one day?
If you love him, you should accept him as he is. Believing in a particular religion doesn't have to be shared unless you can't get over it.
I definitely accept and respect his beliefs, because my faith never entered my life until about 5 years ago, but the main reason I'm wondering is because I'm interested in reading marriage related books. Most of them I'm finding that are highly recommended are Christian based, which doesn't bother me, but it got me wondering how it may work if SO is just spiritual.
Its an awkward spot for me to be in and I just don't know how to handle it, nor do I know the full 'importance' of a mutually-held religious belief.
@Meglin: It depends. Like do you go to church a lot? If you don't want to go by yourself, that could be an issue.
Do you agree on how you will raise future kids? I'm agnostic and my SO is a non-practicing Catholic. If he said he wanted to raise our kids Catholic, I'd have a big problem with that. But since he doesn't go to church anymore (his own decision) and isn't really that religious, I'm ok with it. I have no issue w. him believing in God or anything like that.
@throughthebarricades: touching on the kid aspect is smart.
@Meglin: My husband is Muslim and I am Christian. He prays in multiple positions that I have no idea what they are and I pray at times walking to the car in the morning. The most important thing is that there is a belief in a higher power. THE END. I need him to pray for me and vice versa. I may have missed something but I did not see what faith he was. I would really discuss the children aspect and besides....you are young right now. A lot will grow and evolve for you over a period of time. It sounds like it has already.
IMHO you will be fine.
@Meglin: I have seen interfaith relationships work out, so you may be alright on that front.
The bigger issue I see is that you are finding that you are becoming more and more spiritual, and that you have an earnest desire to abide by God's wishes for your life- which is good!
But that means that you need to keep in mind the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians, where God calls us not to be 'unequally yoked' (as in a marriage) with nonbelievers.
If you believe, as is stated in many places in the New Testament, that the man is the head of the marriage household, then you should strive to find a partner who is spiritually grounded in God and the scriptures.
I don't know you and don't have a very in-depth look into what your beliefs are, so ultimately I can't tell you what you should do- everyone has the right to make their own choices.
I would simply recommend that you take some time to talk with God about it and also to try to delve further into his word (as we all should) to see what answers he leads you to.
ETA: Consulting with a pastor or other spiritual leader in your church is also a fantastic idea- that's what they are there for. :)
@rachelmichelle: Very well said.
OP...you have to think about what kind of marriage do you want. Does the thought of you and your spouse worshipping God together at church services every Sunday, discussing His word together, getting involved with a church and serving the church together sound ideal to you? If so, then you need to find someone that is on the same page as you regarding your beliefs. It's not fair to you or him for that matter if you will always be hoping and praying that he becomes more in line with your beliefs one day. If you do marry him, you do so without expecting him to become more involved, that you can 100% accept that he may never be where you are spiritually.
Personally, an interfaith marriage would never work for me because of the reasons I listed above.
I couldn't, and wouldn't have, married someone who wasn't Christian since that's my faith. I would recommend speaking to your pastor or a Christian counselor about this.
Love knows no bounds. Not race, age, gender, or religion.
If you love him, and he loves you, it will work. It won't be easy for either of you, but you'll find a way.
Coming from the mouth of a "devout" Atheist.
Edit: SO is a "Devout" agnostic, so.. I guess my opinion isn't exactly welcomed here!
@oneofthesethings: Why not? I don't share my fiance's views on many things, but we love each other.
I am Catholic, FI is Christian but not practicing at all. We have had extensive discussions about faith, our beliefs, attitudes toward organized religion, how often we would (or would not) attend mass together, and ESPECIALLY how the kids will be raised. We completely and totally understand and respect one another's stance, and agree on what is important. I would not be marrying him if I wasn't 100% positive that we have mutual respect and understanding for one another.
Bottom line, communicate, communicate, communicate. And keep your mind open, but stay true to your heart as well.
Depends on what you mean by "work." For me, no. Because in my mind a working marriage necessarily means worshipping and serving God as a unit. If you mean can you love each other and be healthy and raise well-adjusted kids: sure, why not? It's been done before.
@peachacid: Oh we have very different views on a lot of things too (politics comes to mind . . .). Faith is something that's very important to me and integral to the person I am, so for me personally marrying someone who didn't see eye to eye with me on that was a non-negotiable. I know it's different for some people, and that's totally fine - to each their own.
@rachelmichelle: +me. Everything I didn't feel like saying this time. Exactly. Well said.
Let me add, when we went through the premarital stuff with the Catholic church we'll be married at, we had a ton of these important questions asked, as well. We had talked about 99.9999% of the questions asked, but it was still good to rehash them all.
The amount of discussion FI and I had done before the pre marital stuff really impressed the couple guiding us, and they even expressed that we had done everything right.
If you do seek help and advice, please consider talking to an interfaith couple at your church as well as a pastor/spiritual leader. Get a balanced opinion. Our sponsor couple I spoke about in my earlier post was interfaith when they married (he later converted) and talking to them made me feel even more confident than I already am.
If you do decide to continue moving forward with your SO, you have to do so believing he will never change. You cannot expect him to develop a relationship with Jesus because he never may. If you can live happily with that, then go for it. If you will forever be bothered by it, then don't go there and end things on good terms now.
Too often have I seen older couples where the zealous wife drags her husband along to church and prayer meetings. They never look happy. The wife is always trying to push her husband into being something he is not. (And this can happen with a zealous husband and a less religious wife - I've just seen it more the other way around.)
@littlemisst08: I'm not Catholic, and I don't know if the OP is, but this might be difficult depending on the church she attends.
Because the general position of the (Protestant- I don't know terribly much about Catholic beliefs and traditions, so please forgive my ignorance!) church, many pastors will not perform a marriage ceremony of a believer to a non-believer, though they have no problems marrying two believers or two non-believers.
If you love him things can work out. It is important that he share your core beliefs which seem to be a belief in God and prayer, which you two have. The rest will eventually follow.
I've also lately become more involved in my faith. I started reading the bible and taking my prayers seriously. I'm looking for a church now and my FI goes with me. He knows when I'm praying and doesn't interrupt.
He told me the other day that I've helped him get closer to God and that he's been praying more lately as well. I don't push my belief on him but I talk about it a lot. As much as I talk about it with anyone else. And if I wasn't able to talk about my faith with him that would be a deal breaker. God comes first. Plain and simple. And no one gets in the way of my relationship with God.
Your relationship does have a chance, and perhaps he too will be right behind on the path. Just keep going and don't let anything or anyone hold you back. Be open about it and have open discussions with him about it and it will help both of you.
I'd check out Colossians 3, Ephesians 5, and 1 Peter 3.
I believe it is important as believers in Christ to be equally yoked, because as Christians every part of our life should flow from our love for Christ. Praying your SO comes to know the Lord - not just for your relationship, but for his soul, too.
Seek the Lord on it! No fancy words needed, just ask God for direction and guidance. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us that when we seek Him with all of our heart, we'll find Him.
Trust that the Lord knows and He does have His will and what is your greatest good in mind.
Blessings to you!
Thank you all for the lovely advice; it really makes me feel MUCH better.
I plan on talking with him about this issue tonight or tomorrow night, and I will especially bring up the idea of how we would raise children. I never thought about that before, so thank you for bringing it to my attention. :D
I don't attend church often (mostly because of work) and I have chosen that reading the Bible/praying is best accomplished in my down-time (usually late at night.) SO never minds, and he'll occassionally ask me questions about what I'm reading and we'll discuss it.
I've prayed about our relationship many times and it DOES feel right; I've asked God to send me any sign that he isn't the man I'm supposed to be with, but I've never felt anything to suggest that we aren't supposed to be together. I am just nervous because as we discuss marriage, I fear and wonder if the differences in our faith can divide us.
I really appreciate the first-hand experience and advice from you Bees. :)
@Hyperventilate: Everyone's opinions are welcomed! :] We need to hear all sides of everything, even if we end up not agreeing.
Personally, for me, it would not work because I have built my life around my faith, nor would I recommend it if you are planning to do the same. But there are plenty of instances of interfaith marriages working and being successful. It all depends, it all depends.
the "unequally yoked" thing really bugs me sometimes... Yes you shouldn't marry someone who is OPPOSITE religions as you - or someone who is Anti-God but it doesn't mean that you should leave someone who just isn't quite there yet... Will he ever get there - idk thats up to God really. But God could have brought you to him just so he could bring your boyfriend to him too. Ya know how they say "The Lord works in mysterious ways" and that is 120% accurate. He can work in ways you never even dreamed possible. Your SO believes in God he just doesn't have the relationship. If God turned an Aithiest like yourself into a born-again christian - OFCOURSE he can save your boyfriend too. And guess what... I think God just might be challenging you... How much do you really trust Him. Leave it in His hands and just keep praying for your SO to find God. All you need to do is plant the seeds God gives you.
My best advice tho is to start going to church even every once in a while - and ask your SO along... Plant the seeds - and leave the rest up to God. Discuss it with him.... support his opinions and share with him that you understand his apprehensions. I wouldn't even bring up the fact that he's not a christian so your worried about marrying him.... (that discussion usually just pushed my FI away -he told me that too) But once i started supporting him and telling him that I don't blame him for not believing because of the way he was raised... and i just shared HOW i changed .... his mind became more open. He needs to feel accepted and know that God accepts him just the way he is.
I had posted my story here if you wanna read it: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/new-christian
@rachelmichelle: Actually a lot of protestant churches (depends on the denomination again) will marry a Christian to a non-Christian: our Presbyterian officiant didn't even ask us if we were both Christians (we're not: I'm very devout, my fiance is a deist, he believes in God but not neccessarily Jesus and does not attend church).
I am going to school to be a pastor, and I, personally, think "unequally yoked" gets thrown around far too much--I could go into it in more detail (what it could mean in Greek & Hebrew, how it doesn't neccessarily apply to marriage, etc) and if you want me to, go ahead and PM me. I think it's more important to be on the same page and know what you're comfortable with. I definitely don't want to sound like I'm judging those who couldn't marry a non-Christian because I totally get that! For me, it's more important to be with a loving, caring man who understands my beliefs, accepts me for them, and has already agreed on how we will raise our kids than someone who 100% shares my beliefs.
Good luck, OP. Again, I really believe it comes down to you and what you're comfortable with.
I think that it's different for each couple and what you hold as the standard you want your marriage to fall under. Everyone has their non negotiables in relationships, and for some people, a spouse with a very firm spiritual walk is a must.
Personally, it is important to me. However; I don't think my husband and I are always " on the same page" spiritually. One person may be in one spot with their spouse in the other. It is important to me to have a husband who is not only a faithful, loving and devoted spouse, but also a spiritual leader of our home.
Plenty of Christians marry outside of the faith and have a happy, thriving marriage and household. It just all boils down to the role you think your faith should play in your marriage.
@Meglin: Well, your beliefs changed in the last 5 years, who's to say his won't as well? He prays with you so he's obviously open to your beliefs. So cheesy, but I always think, "the family that prays together stays together". A relationship with Jesus is something for him to work on if he wants to. Maybe this is something you can talk about with your counsellor. How important is it to you in the future? Definitely have the kids talk, going to church togther talk, things like who will teach your kids their faith, what type of school they would go to, how you will handle holidays, etc. just to get on the same page. If you are wanting your partner to change his ways/faith, are you accepting of this never happening? It can go both ways, so as long as your expectations can be met and you are both open and understanding of each other - why not? Maybe bring him to a bible study or something and see how he feels about that.
I have found in my personal life in the past religion/church has influenced me in a way I do not agree with when I think for myself. I broke up with a boyfriend because I said at the time I felt so so guilty about sex because of what my youth group was putting upon me. After taking a step back I realized, wow I don't actually agree with these beliefs to this length. The excuse to break up with him over that was, in reality, insecurity and self-esteem issues on my part. Once the sex stopped I didn't have to deal with it anymore - so I got a solution but I didn't deal with the underlying issues until later. I only bring it up because you said you aren't sure where your emotional issues to do with sex are coming from.
I think its just important to be really open with him and honest with yourself. If there's something you expect of him in your heart but don't want to say because you're scared to lose him, you need to be strong enough to bring it up. People ar ever-changing so its difficult to decide exactly what you need in the future, th skills to work through these issues as a couple are most important.
Situations like this, especially those of you who feel strongly about the New Testament passages about not being unequally yoked, and only wanting to marry someone wo believes and attends church with you and such always make me wonder...what happens if one of you changes your mind about religion over the years? OP, you said that in the last five years you've gone from being an Atheist/Agnostic to being a devoted Christian. What happens if ten years into your marriage your husband shifts the other way and is more Agnostic? What do those of you who believe strongly in being equally yoked do in that situation?
Not meaning to threadjack or sound snarky at all, I'm genuinely curious, and think it is something to consider when faith is important to you in who you marry.
My Dh and I struggle alot with this so best wishes to tou
@Meglin: I have been struggling with this issue as well. My FI does truly believe in God and is working on developing that relationship. I would have never agreed to marry him if he wasnt and he knows that. So, with you and your boyfriend, love doesn't conquor all, I strongly beileve that resentment and heartbreak will follow those who don't listen to what God told us with being unevebly yoked.
There's a book I would suggest, its a little cheesy at times but the message is WOW. Breaking Up. I forget the author but her name is very weird, look it up on message boards/reveiws/youtube interviews. Powerful life lessons.
@Kate0558: I totally agree!!! My thoughts exactly!!! Plant the seeds!! God will do the rest!
@Meglin: i think it depends on what type of marriage you want, if you have children how do you want to raise them and things like that.
Also remember faith can change (as it did for you) so your SO could become more religious but could also become more agnostic. Are you ready to accept that?
I'm an anglican and my SO is a catholic but neither of us are religious, but we have spoken about it and always agreed that we won't christen our children. If as adults they decide to adhere to a religion then it's their choice although it would upset me if they became uber religious. Basically we are just uninterested in religion and luckily are on the same page!
that's the key! talk and be open about your expectations and be honest about what matters to you.
@Meglin: The number one thing here, above what kind of marriage you want, is what kind of relationship with God do you want? That's the REAL question. God makes pretty clear for us the kind of marital relationship he wants for us, not just for us but for His plan for us. Marital "responsibility" is very specific for a godly wife and a godly husband. Scripturally it's not possible to be that kind of wife or husband without a spouse who holds the same biblical worldview.... that's not said to be judgmental or close-minded, it's simply the fact of the matter.
A godly husband is called to love, sacrifice, like Christ did for the church.... Is is possible for a man that doesn't truly understand that kind of love, doesn't know that love for himself to do that? I've heard time and time again men that had been happily married for years come to know Christ and admit openly to themselves, their wives, and those around them that they now know they never truly loved their wives because they didn't know what love is.
A husband is called to nuture & protect his wife, grow her, "wash her in the word", according to God.... Can a man that doesn't know His word or His heart do this? Can he give his all to build you into all God has you to be if he doesn't know what that looks like?
And a husband is called to lead you in accordance to God's word...... Can he do that if his worldview is different than God's? Can he be led by God to lead you if he doesn't know God's voice?
No.... He can't. It isn't that he isn't a great guy or doesn't love to the capacity his heart will allow, but simply put he cannot fulfill the place of a husband for the marriage or life God has for you as a follower of His. Yes, you can still choose to follow your FI away from God's command, but at what cost? You could have a good marriage, couples unequally yolked do all the time, but what greatness will you miss.... Because spiritual fact is when we do things our way over God's way we DO miss something... whether it's growth, blessing, healing, fulfillment, it's SOMETHING. And that something we sometimes won't know until that day we stand infront of God, but is this moment worth missing that place with God in that blessing, healing, etc?
It's definitely not the popular belief but there is so much to why God calls His followers, His beloveds to not stray away from what He has for them. There is reason why he gave the example he did of being "yoked" and when you look at it for what it is anyone would agree that you would never yoke an oxen with a mule or even a strong oxen with a weak oxen as it wouldn't be effective to fulfill the work you set out to do. Our lives as His followers are to live out, walk out, and fulfill HIS plan & HIS work...... everything we do, ESPECIALLY who we choose to be "one with", is so important to the turn we take. Do we choose that path He's chosen for us, or our own?
I would definitely seek some outside counsel with someone spiritually mature and maybe even look into fasting so you can fast & pray to really seeks God's voice on the matter. I'll be praying for you & hope that as you seek God you'll grow closer to Him and more into He created you to be. =)
@runsyellowlites: So very well said, I would say the best reply in this thread hands down.
@Kate0558: To bring some clarity to the scripture on being unequally yoked I think it's important to look at it in context. Today it's seen alot like you post, to not be "opposites" but is that what it would mean in context?
God described yoking two oxen together to do work, His work. Obviously it wouldn't be wise to yoke a strong large oxen and a smaller, yet still strong, mule.... But wouldn't it be the same for yoking a strong mature oxen and a weak young oxen? The strong oxen would be slowed down by the weak one AND would overpower the weak one ultimately bringing more harm to it because it hadn't been strengthen and matured but it's master (God) yet. There are SO many "levels" of being a Christian today.... some are the "pew warmers" and others are the "pillars"...... How is a pillar and a pew warmer supposed to live for God together? Yes, the pillar COULD plant seed in the pew warmer BUT no where in the bible has God ever called the women who follow Him to do this. Infact the only, closest, example of this kind of relationship would be Hosea with Gomer and NEVER would God give the position of Hosea to a women because he didn't create us to fulfill that spot in building up & nurturing a man. It's not our job to convert, but His so never would he bind us to someone on our hopes that that person surrender to him. He WOULD ask us to step back and let Him have his way, preparing and building that person so that they could be ready for us and the plan God has for us. Yea, no one likes to hear that today because Christianity has been diluted with tolerances and a weak, deceptive kind of love, but God does make clear His stance on it & when you look at His word inductively you can see what He was meaning and more importantly (to us) why.
Anyhoo... just thought I would give some expansion on that scirpture reference since it's so often looked at narrowly. =)
@Wonderstruck: God does hit on the what happens when one falls away OR after getting married one comes to know Him but the other doesn't....... Basically as a believer you continue to uphold your commitment to God and take a place of prayer for your spouse. IF in your following God, your spouse decides they don't want to go that way and no longer want to stay married THEN they can divorce you and you are in no fault. As a Christian though you are to not "facilitate" the ending of the marriage.
@Meglin: First, I want to say how wonderful I think it is that you have come to have a personal, life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ! For a former, self-identified agnostic/athiest to press through her doubts and unbelief and to diligently ask the questions and seek the answers she needed to become open to a saving faith through Christ is such a wonderful story!!
Second, I want to say how very, very wise it is that you are asking yourself these difficult and potentially painful questions and that you are open to hearing and obeying the voice of God regarding His plans for your life.
"I fear, though, that our religious beliefs will cause a divide. He is spiritual and believes in God, but he hasn't really developed a relationship with Jesus. Will this cause a divide in our relationship?"
Several other bees posting in this thread have given you wise counsel about the issues involved with a Christian willfully entering into a marriage in which he or she would be unequally yoked together with a non-believer. Many people find themselves in unequally yoked marriages when they become Christians after they are already married, and Scripture clearly addresses this issue. However, this is not the same thing as a Christian choosing to violate God's instruction not to enter into such a marriage.
It's important for me to note that this does NOT mean that God cannot or will not eventually -- or even soon -- lead your SO into a relationship with Christ, because He absolutely can! And, whether or not you end up with your SO, this is something for which you certainly can pray.
However, as Christians, it's vital that we are willing to surrender OUR will for GOD's will in every area of our lives. Of course, this is not at all easy, especially in the beginning, because the death of our desires and our will (what the Bible calls our "flesh") is a very hard-fought, lengthy, and often painful process. It begins the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, and it continues each and every day for the rest of our lives. However, as we take the baby steps involved in following Jesus, and are willing to yield our will to His, we quickly begin to realize that what Scripture says is true. His ways are NOT our ways. His thoughts are NOT our thoughts. His ways and thoughts are higher, better, much more wonderful for us. We just need to trust Him, and He will ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS PROVE HIMSELF faithful to us!
I've prayed about our relationship many times and it DOES feel right; I've asked God to send me any sign that he isn't the man I'm supposed to be with, but I've never felt anything to suggest that we aren't supposed to be together.
This comment makes sense to our natural minds. I totally understand why you would make this statement. However, the Bible tells us that we cannot put faith in our feelings or even in our own thinking, if those feelings and thoughts do not align with Scripture. The flaw in this particular statement is the idea that God will always speak to us specifically and personally about something that He has already specifically addressed to all believers in Scripture. Yes, he OFTEN will speak to us (not necessarily ever in an audible voice but in our hearts) personally. However, when there is already a specific, Biblical principle that is outlined clearly in Scripture, we do not need to seek a different, specific, personal answer that would possibly violate a Biblical principle. I hope that this makes sense.
It is possible that your SO will come to the Lord, and, if he does, then it's possible that he would be the man God has chosen for you. However, unless or until your SO comes to a saving faith in Jesus, it would not be God's will for you to further solidify a commitment to him by becoming engaged to or marrying him while he is still an unbeliever.
Just so you know whereof I am speaking, I should note that I had to break off (or experience break ups in) many, many relationships over many years, because the guys just were not God's choice for me. Many of the guys I dated were believers, including my ex-FI. However, God made clear to me that my former FI and I still were on different paths spiritually and that God had something better for me, and I just had to trust Him. So, despite the fact that I had already waited SO long (I was 30 years old) to get married, and I loved my ex-FI, I had to make what, up to that point in my life, was the most difficult decision I had ever made and give back the ring, walk away, and cancel that wedding.
I cried buckets of tears. It was extremely painful. But, deep in my heart, I knew that God had something else for me -- something better, and I had to be willing to wait for HIS timing, HIS choice of a husband for me.
My ex-FI found a wonderful girl and was married exactly three years to the weekend later after our canceled wedding date. I had to continue waiting for a number of years. It's highly unlikely that you or most people would need to wait as long as I did. However, 17 years after I broke that engagement, I walked down the aisle and married my DH. He was God's choice for me, and I am so glad that I waited for God's best for my life. God is faithful. You can trust Him with your whole heart.
If you surrender this decision to Him, and leave your SO in His hands, and if you continue to pursue the Lord with all of your heart, and if you put HIM first in all that you do, He will, as Scripture promises, "perfect that which concerns you."
@RapunzelRapunzel: That's why I said 'many' pastors and not 'no' pastors. :) It definitely depends on the church and their beliefs.
I've been a full member of four different protestant (Presbyterian) churches in my life (I've lived in a few different states) and all of the pastors were very clear on their beliefs concerning marriage and that they don't perform ceremonies between a believer and non-believer.
That's not to say that if the OP's pastor holds this belief that she wouldn't be able to find a pastor who would perform the ceremony.
As for the theology behind it, I look at it this way: God tells me that my desire will be unto my husband and that he is supposed to be the spiritual leader of our household. If he is not also Christian, how can he do that? (He is much more likely to lead me further away from God, or hinder me in my walk with God, than he is to help me grow in my spirituality. And I certainly don't think that God wants my spiritual walk with him to be any more difficult than it already is.)
@runsyellowlites: Interesting! Thank you for answering my question =)
@Meglin: I was raised a roman catholic but have removed myself from the church completely and only go for other peoples events if they decide to follow their faith.
He is spiritual and believes in God, but he hasn't really developed a relationship with Jesus.
This part of your post had me scratching my head. To your reasoning because he doesn't have a "relationship" with the child of god it will possibly cause problems for you later? I'm not picking a fight or trying to cause an argument, I truly don't understand how there is a difference...
I think you should try and look at your dilemma from two sides. Sit down and think about the relationship without a religious mind set and then think about your religious beliefs without a relationship based conversation. If overall you are happy with both your relationship and the communication occuring within it; and are also happy with your own relationship with god and jesus then I don't see how the two could cause you problems.
As long as you and your FI keep the lines of communication open and you spend the same amount of time working on the marriage relationship as you do working on the relationship with god and jesus, any problems you do have should be resolved early and not become a major issue.
I am agnostic/athiest and my husband is a Christian. We've been together for 5 years and happily married for over a year. Before we got married, we discussed religion in our household, the raising of children, etc and we were on the same page. We did premarital counseling where we discussed the issues again, and were still on the same page. As long as you are on the same page in regards to those things, it can definitely work out.
Personally I don't think I could marry someone who was an entirely different faith...I would feel really awkward and distant idk.. :/
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