Post # 1
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?
Post # 3
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.
Post # 4
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.
Post # 5
@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.
Post # 6
@canarydiamond: 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.
Post # 7
@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. 🙂
Post # 8
@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.
Post # 9
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.
Post # 10
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!
Post # 11
@oneofthesethings: Why not? I don’t share my fiance’s views on many things, but we love each other.
Post # 12
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.
Post # 13
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.
Post # 14
@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.
Post # 15
@rachelmichelle: +me. Everything I didn’t feel like saying this time. Exactly. Well said.
Post # 16
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.