Post # 1
I was raised catholic and am now a theist (I believe in a higher power but it is not attached to any religion). My fiancé was raised non-denominational Christian and comes from a catholic family. He is a Christian but is just coming to terms with it. Spirituality in him seems to surprise those around us probably because he has a black metal band with a friend and that’s the kind of music he listens to mainly (music is his huge hobby). He is basically having a full crisis of faith. He says he does not want to keep waiting to marry me because he has waited so long but he’s worried about the ramifications of marrying someone who does not believe in Jesus. My first thought was he needs spiritual guidance but we have no connection to any churches and the only pastor he ever bonded with now lives in another state.
I’m not sure what the question is here.
In the Christian faith, is it wrong to marry someone who does not believe in Jesus?
How can I ease his mind?
Post # 3
I don’t think there is a problem, but I suppose it depends how serious you take it.
The main thing is that you are both on the same page when it comes to massive life decisions… such as, (if you are having children) will he want them to go to a religious school? Will you be against or open to that? What will you teach them about religion?
You would also need to discuss what your cermony will say, whether it will be religious or not.
If he did want some councilling about it I’m sure you would be able to find a pastor who would be more than happy to speak to the both of you about it, even if you’ve had no previous connection. That is what they are there for, to help people.
Post # 4
It isn’t ‘wrong’ but in his faith you won’t be going to heaven which would be a problem for someone who honestly believes in life after death.
Having an interfaith marriage can create problems if you don’t agree on big life events. How will you raise your children? How will certain holidays be celebrated? Will your children be able to read the bible?
Also, just an fyi, listening to ‘black metal’ has nothing to do with your faith. My husband listens to Rob Zombie and Godsmack and is a very strong believer.
He needs to seek out someone he can talk to about this situation.
Post # 5
My ‘very stringent’ pastor is working with us to officiate – but my Fiance is not religious at all. Doesn’t go to church or really even believe anything. My pastor has asked that my Fiance do a few premarital sessions and that will suffice his needs to officiate (maybe – I am meeting him tonight).
We are froma very strict synod and usually what others are allowed we aren’t and if my pastor is even considering this – I can’t imagine a non-denominational pastor wouldn’t marry you. And he can only do so after he has full faith that you two will last.
Post # 6
@AliceOwlLoveLace: it would be a problem for me as a Christian, but not limiting. There is always the opportunity to witness within a relationship with the hopes that the other partner may find Christ at some point.
The issue would arise when it came time to have children. How would you choose to raise them? Christian or atheist? Would you celebrate Christmas and Easter? What about if your children asked you why you don’t believe and daddy does and you would basically have to say that one of you is right and one is misguided. That would cause issues within your children. Who is right? Why doesn’t mommy go to church?
Ultimately, it is something that the two of you need to discuss in earnest before moving forward…ideally with the assistance of a pastor or a couple that has been through the same issues.
Post # 7
@Stargaze31: Surly you would just say “Daddy believes one thing, Mum believes another. We both think we’re right, but no one knows which of us is right, and other people have beliefs that are different from both of us”
Having a belief doesn’t mean you have to be narrow minded about it or call other people misguided (there’s a difference between “misguided” and “believes something different to me” that any reasonable person should be able to see). Kids are much more tolerant than you’d think, I doubt this difference in faith would be any more troubling to a child than “Daddy thinks fast food is alright somtimes, Mum says never.”
Post # 8
@AmyJCardiff: maybe so, but kids also sense conflict easily and have conflict within when presented with different ideas. The fact is that Christians and Atheists do believe completely different things…that Christ is God or that there is no God. The bigger issue is how would they RAISE the kids. Christian or Atheist? They are kind of mutually exclusive.
Post # 9
@AmyJCardiff: It’s not quite that simple.
If you are Christian (or Muslim, Jewish, etc) and believe in an afterlife, naturally you want to ensure that your kids go to heaven, right? If you are Christian and subscribe to the teachings of the Bible wherein Jesus says that no one reaches the Father except through him, then it’s going to he extremely important to you that your children are raised in the Christian faith- you love them and their spiritual wellbeing is important to you.
Having your partner, whom your children are going to love and respect and look up to, who will be a huge influence on your child’s beliefs, essentially contradict what you are trying to teach your kids can be a HUGE stressor on a marriage. I personally know of at least two couples who ended up splitting over this.
If neither spouse is particularly spiritual, it’s not always an issue, but it can be a huge problem if one or both holds very strong beliefs about their faith.
Post # 10
Well the children thing is not an issue. I believe religious exposure is very beneficial for children to craft their belief systems. We would also send them to public schools. And our families celebrate holidays just the same, it is two catholic families.
Honestly the real problem is now, during the engagement, the seeds of doubt that are in him.
Post # 11
I feel like I keep having to remind him that I beleive in a higher power. Why is this not enough?
Post # 12
“To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife…”
1 Corinthians 7:12-16:24
This solves his problem! However in Deuteronomy it says that the jews and the gentiles should not intermarry less they loose their faith, I dont see it as a problem as long as you agree to always support him in his faith and allow him to teach your children his faith, I hope you understand that while the children are young it probably means that you must go to church with them because if not the children will not go or will see it as a punishment (at least that happened in mu case but it was my father who wasnt a believer)
Post # 13
I am not an atheist. I think we need some clarification. I believe in a higher power and an afterlife. I believe Jesus was a historical figure but not the son of God. I also believe children should be exposed to religious and non-religious views.
Post # 14
there were a couple of really helpful comments on here thank you soooo much bees