- 11 years ago
- Wedding: March 2011
During my pre-marital counseling, the first time- sometime in the last century the best words from the minister were ” You can go the altar with someone but you can not alter them.”
If he isnt what you want then stop the parade and think about it.
OP, I think you really need to talk this out with your fiance and maybe a counselor not involved with the church. I know your faith is really important to you, but that doesn’t mean that his faith (or lack thereof) is not important to him. Personally if I married someone from another faith, I don’t think I would have a problem, SO LONG AS he didn’t push his religion on me and try to convert me. It would be hard to stay in a relationship with someone telling me everyday that I’m not good enough and there is something majorly wrong with me.
To some of the PPs, every marriage is different, and whether yours is based on equality or not, as long as that’s what you want, then that’s fine. I don’t think we have any right to tell two consenting adults what marriage should be about.
Think of it this way……… What would Jesus do? He has always said “love me as I have loved you”. How has he loved you? Would he, if he were in your position, leave your Fiance or condone this? Or would he continue to be with him and live a life of example? There is a good chance of him changing if you lived as an example of Christ (if that is what you want, though I don’t wholeheartedly agree with it).
Leave your prejudice, not him.
I’m in a similar situation. I have strong beliefs, but my husband doesn’t believe at all. He came from a very strict, regimented, not “user friendly” childhood church background. In the Netherlands it’s pretty common to go to church with your parents until you come of an age to decide for yourself what you want to do and then most people stop completely. He says church is either old people or families with very young kids.
The church he went to is a very Catholic oriented church (no offense to Catholics intended in what I’m about to say, I’m just going by my limited experience and what I’ve heard from both my dad and my husband and I know that each church and experience can be very different) and they were very much the “hell and damnation” type of church from what I can understand of the programs they have kept. Everything there was much more done for show then for understanding if that makes sense. He came away from it not understanding that a lot of the stories in the bible are metaphors to help give a clearer understanding, not getting that days or weeks to God are a completely different timeline then what we as humans understand days or weeks to be, etc. He found it stiff, boring, unbelievable, and very very very regimented. Needless to say, he came away from that not having seen the same side of God as what I did.
Now I mentioned that I’d heard about Catholism from my dad. He grew up Catholic and by the time he met my mom, he was very disillusioned about religion because of how things were handled by his priests, again the formality, regimented structure, the show rather then true understanding and explanation, etc. I’d say by the time he met my mom he was pretty much agnostic. He had a vague belief that there was a God, but despised religion. My mom chose to marry him despite being a very strong Christian and coming from a very strong Christian family.
I remember growing up, that my brother and I would go to church with my mom and that my dad would rarely be in attendance. We’d have family discussions at home as well, which my dad would participate in slightly more. As the years went past, something changed in him and he started going to church more very very slowly. About 6 years ago, at the ripe old age of 66 or so, he made the decision to get baptized and choose to commit himself to God.
I see a lot of similarities in my husband and my dad. I don’t know that Anton will ever choose to commit himself to God like my dad did, but I firmly believe that Anton was put into my life by God and so for that matter, do my parents! It was a decision that I thought long and hard about and did a LOT of praying over. Anton doesn’t disbelieve in God, but he has a very hard time understanding the bible – “The world couldn’t possibly have been created in 7 days” and things like that. It’s hard for him to see how the stuff in the bible can relate to life now. However, he IS open to discussing things, and will attend church with me every so often. I see very much a potential for God to open a door in his life, via his relationship to me.
It helps that I go to a church that is fun and casual. It helps that we had pre-marital counseling with my pastor and that my pastor listened and didn’t judge either Anton for not believing or us for the disparities in our religious views, or for living together prior to marriage. We’ve discussed very much how we plan to handle things with regards to religion when we have kids (God willing). Anton supports my choice to go to church and will very much be in support of any kids we have going to church with us as well.
As a prior poster said – faith is so very personal. I truly hope that Anton one day will have the relationship with God that I have, but that is going to have to be his decision! Just like I didn’t want him to propose until he was truly ready, I don’t want him to claim a faith that he doesn’t believe in. I definitely don’t believe in pushing anything on him. We do talk about things from time to time (I love my church and how they clearly relate the bible to everyday life, so often I come home from church and discuss something that was said there with my husband) and he’ll come to church with me every so often as well. I’m content to leave it at that until he shows that he’s ready for more.
I’ll stand by Anton and let him see God through my actions. If it takes a lifetime for him to decide, that’s something I’m more then willing to give! 🙂 I’m comfortable in my decision.
If you are having these kind of doubts, I think you need to take some extra time to really be comfortable with your decision to marry your man, or decide that you need to move on. Keep in mind that it WON”T always be easy, so if you do decide to marry him, you should go into it without any doubts.
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