Post # 1
Hi ladies! This isn’t meant to be hurtful to anyone who is having an interfaith marraige or who is okay with differences of faith, I’m just reaching out to the other strong Christian girls on this board because faith is the one issue that I’m not able to compromise on.
So, for those of you (I’m assuming protestant, maybe evangelical) believers, I just ask that you add my BF to your prayer list. He’s an amazing guy who was once hurt by religion and for the last 10 years has been anti-religion (but still spiritual).
In a year and a half of dating we’ve had some of the most amazing conversations about God and he’s begun listening to sermons online, emailing a pastor who is a friend of mine and attending a church a few times in his neighborhood. All of this is great, but I refuse to set myself up for a life where I am the spiritual leader of the family.
He is very intellectual, mature, and very passionate when he commits himself to something. I’m sure once he commits his life to God it’ll be quite a huge learning curve. I’m just ready for him to propose but he can’t (I won’t say yes) until we’ve worked this out.
I covet your prayers for his eyes to be opened and this openness and learning he’s had to jump from his head to his heart. Many thanks, sisters.
Post # 3
I will definitely keep you in my prayers! I think you’re wise to refuse to set yourself up in that situation because it sounds like your faith is really important to you. I know couples where interfaith (or faith and non-faith) marriage has worked, but usually not if one is incredibly invested in their faith. It could definitely be a source of strife in a marriage.
I’m curious, though: if you knew you couldn’t marry him if he wasn’t Christian, why did you get into the relationship? I know you’re hoping he’ll come to faith — and I pray he will — but it’s not guarenteed. Have you thought about what you’ll do if he doesn’t convert?
Post # 4
I am a christian, baptist girl who will absolutely pray for you. I think its important that you both be on the same page. At least he is trying to learn. I think that he is making a huge effort as some people that have a bad experience with religion never try it again.
I dont think one or the other should be the leader I think once you commit to each other you become a team and you work together with everything, even religion.
Maybe look for a church you are both comfortable with, talk to the pastor, he will likely recommend pre marital counseling and if your SO is willing to do that than he is opening his eyes to a great world with you and God.
Perhaps you should say yes to his proposal and continue to work on this, its not going to happen overnight.
Post # 5
Speaking as a non-believer, the best thing you can do is have open, honest conversations with him and be patient when you may not hear what you want. After all, his spiritual or philosophical journey is just as important. Ask him (and really listen) about what he does believe right now – for instance, does he believe in a god, a deity, your God, or no god at all? Just asking him these questions without expecting a certain answer that you want will add a lot to your relationship.
Post # 6
Thank you for your encouragement!
MaybeeBecca, I’ve wondered for a long time what I’ll do if he decides that Christain faith is not for him. I’ll be devastated. But I know people who have found “the one” and it didn’t work out. Life will go on. (I sure hope not- that would hurt so much!)
I got involved with him on a whim and seriously thought that there was no way that this would develop into something serious. But all of the issues have come crashing down, save for this one, and it looks like this one is going to happen, it’s just a matter of time.
3M- We are sort of looking for a church together and he’s all about pre marital/pre engagement counselling. He actually has been setting the standards for purity in our relationship higher and higher since he’s been convicted by recent sermons! (We are waiting, but everyone has that “line”.)
I have been so challenged by him spiritually and I don’t doubt that we will be a strong partnership, spiritually and otherwise. I just want to be sure that he has a relationship with God so that we are on the same page here because it’s so important in my life.
lilyfaith- thanks for the advice. There is SO MUCH discussion happening! At least we’re very open about our perspectives and not as far off from each other as we originally thought. =)
Post # 7
What I am worried about is that your boyfriend will accelerate his religious journey to please you and not because he is ready for that himself. It doesn’t sound like you are pressuring him at all—please know I am not trying to blame you if that is what is happening. Your boyfriend might not even be conscious of what role your beliefs are playing in his conversion. But I worry that he will have a great conversion in part because of your strength of belief and your desire for him to believe, you will get married, and then he will cool off and you will be disappointed.
I can put that on the table for you to think about it because virtually the same thing happened to me. My husband and I also began our relationship on unequal religious footing: He was a new convert to Catholicism and I was on the road there (so I identify with where your boyfriend is coming from). We (obviously) got married but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing in terms of spiritual matters.
But a key difference is that my religiosity was never a deal-breaker for my husband, whereas it sounds like it is for you. Frankly, if you need a husband who will be the spiritual leader of your family (and there is nothing wrong with that), I would try to give your boyfriend as much space and time as possible to figure this out on his own. In some ways even your support and encouragement of his religious journey are pressuring him (in a positive way), because they are encouraging him beyond what he might do on his own. Good luck and my thoughts are with you and your boyfriend.
Post # 8
Endured a lot of heartache over this issue. It is very serious. He is very sorry now for the years we lost together spiritually, and everything worked out well- but it is not something to gloss over. Once the marriage settles in and children come into the picture, these differences can become extreme, even if your husband is a good man- which mine is. Now, he would be the first one to caution a young bride about being unequally yoked… because he remembers the way he used to make fun of my faith, and how it almost drove me away from him.
Post # 9
I will definitely think of you in my prayers. I sort of have a similar situation, my FI grew up in the church and I didn’t but I have been a Christian most of my life and doing my own thing with it even though my family wasn’t really involved in the church. But right now we are kind of both in the same place were we are stuck. We both believe, but it just isn’t where were once were.
Post # 10
I realize this is totally nosey of me, but I was looking back at your history, and you have posts about a jewish wedding ceremony about a month ago. Is your unwillingness to compromise a new development?
Post # 11
Oh wait – I’m totally confused. I just saw your “resume”
my BF is a former Catholic and I am conservative Jewish (fairly religious) with a protestant southern family
So are you needing him to be protestant now? And how long have you considered yourself Christian rather than Jewish (since that was written a month ago)?
Post # 12
Haha, sorry for be confusing Twalila. I am culturally Jewish but religiously Christian. So there will be many Jewish flavors to my wedding, but when it comes to faith I need a husband who shares my Christianity. We’ve talked about this a lot over the last year and a half and he “gets” it. (It’s like saying an African American Christian can have a jumping the broom ceremony in her wedding. It’s cultural.) So yes, I celebrate Hanukkah and go to church.
I don’t go into all that when I’m posting on the Jewish boards because most people just find it confusing. =)
Post # 13
@dreamer – Jews for Jesus? One of my good friends in college was a Jewish Christian and I always loved the history her culture brought to our faith!
I can’t add much to the wisdom given above by several ladies, but will also be praying for you both.
Post # 14
Hi, daydreamwanderer! I certainly wouldn’t call myself Jews for Jesus. Jewish Christian? Hmm.. maybe! Either way, yes… I do find that this cultural context adds a lot to my perspective of Christianity… and most of my believing friends agree. =)
Thank you for your prayers!
Post # 15
That is so wonderful about your heritage!! The Christian college I went to heavily supported groups like Jews for Jesus and every year we did an authentic Passover seder. I have always loved getting to know people with both perspectives… very cool. 🙂
Anyway, I will be praying for you as well! That must be such a difficult position for you to be in and I really respect you for wanting to make it work out. It sounds like you are really committed to this guy and want to glorify God too.
I can’t really speak from my own experiences, but my grandma was a believer when she married my (at the time) non-believing grandpa. She’s told me before that what helped him to believe was her honesty, patience while he figured his beliefs out, and living what she said she believed. Her example led him to faith, and now my family has that legacy to look back on.
I hope that’s the case for you both too!! I really hope and pray for you both.
Post # 16
I’m glad to hear youre sticking to your values. But I woud not suggest going ahead and getting engaged because what will happen if you do, and as time goes by and the wedding gets closer…and still nothing…? Things like this take time…and you need to accept the fact that he may never accept Christ…all you can do is continue to help him grow and be an example for him. I will definitly keep you in my prayers. Let me know if anything happens…even if it’s a year down the road!!