I am a Christian who, many years ago, broke an engagement to another Christian, because the differences in our respective sects of Christianity proved to be too much to overcome.
My ex-FI is a fantastic guy who comes from an absolutely wonderful family. We loved each other, we had much in common, and the Lord was and is extremely important to both of us. However, he is Catholic, and I am Protestant. He did not want to leave the Catholic Church, and I did not want to return to it, as I had been raised Catholic but had spent many years following the Lord in a Spirit-filled, Protestant denomination by the time I met my then-FI.
Because we were both Christians, we allowed ourselves to date, fall in love, and get engaged, all the while thinking that, somehow, everything would just work out in the end. However, our differences in faith were the elephant in the room that finally reared its head once the ring was on my finger, and we began planning a life together.
Suddenly, I began to ask myself questions such as, how will we worship together? (I had zero interest in having him continue to attend his church alone, while I continued going alone to mine.) Will either of us be fulfilled spiritually if we choose to go to his church one week, and my church the next? How will attending our church of choice only every other week permit us to become involved in various ministries? How would I feel if my children were baptized as infants and raised Catholic? How would he and his parents feel if his children were not baptized until they reached an age of accountability and were raised Protestant? When I sat down at the computer and drafted a multi-page list of questions, I knew that I could not go through with that wedding. After I printed out the list and gave it to him, he couldn’t see how we could move forward either.
It was an extremely difficult and very painful decision to walk away from each other. However, the pain of breaking up was far more temporary and far less traumatic than the pain of attempting to make permanent a relationship that would only lead to a lifetime of issues and sorrow for both of us and our families. I cried buckets of tears, but, I knew in my heart, it was the right thing to do.
I’m pleased to say that, three years later to the weekend that we were to be married, my former FI married his beautiful, sweet, Catholic wife. They are very happy and have a beautiful family.
To be honest, no one was more surprised than I that it took an incredibly long time — more than 15 years! — for me to finally meet the man that God had chosen for me, and another year or so before we were married. However, I am extremely glad that I made the difficult choice to wait for God’s best for my life! It was well worth the wait.
If being free to practice your respective faiths is extremely important to both of you, and if having a unified family is also a priority, you may find it very difficult to succeed in an interfaith marriage.