Saturday, June 25, 2011

Can The Difference of Religion Crash Your Relationship?

     Many practicing religious people have understood that a critical step towards a successful relationship is to have a partner with the same religious beliefs. That's why many practicing Muslims will not marry someone who is not a Muslim unless they convert to Islam, idem for Jews, Buddhist or Hindus but not so much for Christians.
     Hence, we've seen the birth of many "unequally yoked" marriages with the big majority going up in flames.
Disclosure: This post is not going to be some theological discourse with the goal to convince you not to date this non-believer or that spiritual but non-church going person. I'll just take a few minutes of your time to make some empirical statements.
      It had been an on and off relationship over a span of 3 years. We both knew where each of us stood on the religious domain. I was [still am] a hand clapping, tongue speaking, church going believer and him a non-practicing, catholic raised, non-church going unbeliever. Typical Sunday mornings schedule were spent with me driving off to church and him having a "service" with Tim Russert [R.I.P] or entertaining himself with The Sopranos on Netflix.
     Religion or God would barely make our conversation list, not because we were afraid to discuss it rather we had a silent, polite understanding "You don't mess with my God" and I won't mess with you non-church going "arse" and we never stepped on each toes, that was the agreement period.
     As long as the agreement was respected the peace-o-meter would measure the peace within the relationship to a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest satisfactory level. The disrupting peace factors could range from banal subjects like complaining about his missing scarf to non-hackneyed subjects like me accusing him [rightfully so] not to keep his word, with all these shenanigans, NEVER had religion carried the winning cup for disturbing the peace. However reality displayed a whole different scenario: although quarrels were medium rare, each of them consistently would leave the pernicious taste of rotten food. And what do you do with rotten food? You throw it in the garbage and that's where the relationship finally ended.
     After each altercation, I would always wonder about the root cause of the heinous words. It took a couple of years during a conversation with a man of God, for me to understand that, it's the difference in the essence of the Spirit that animates the believer and the non-believer that can create violent clashes. It is the spirit inside the non-believer, at times unbeknownst to the latter, hating anything that comes from the Light of Jesus, that will stir disputes and animosity. That's often why small missteps, unnoticeable peccadilloes could easily turn into unstoppable, unsurmountable, rains of repellent and venomous exchanges [between you the believer and your non-believing partner], dangerously flirting with the point of no return. And 9 out 10 those "mixed" relationships reached that point.
     So I guess the question is: Should a [serious] convinced and converted Christian-believer marry a non-Christian? Paul urges us to get married to avoid sexual immorality but it must be with a brother/sister who belongs to the Lord*. If you're already married to a non-believer, as long as the non-believer is willing to live with you, you must remain married to him or her period. Nevertheless, having a [serious] convinced and converted Christian-believer like yourself as a spouse, annihilates 50% of the battles, struggles and roadblocks you'll encounter in your relationship. Marriage, like sex is a divine concept that to succeed, must be honored by following the divine precepts ordained from God Almighty through Christ Jesus.
     This is no new teaching nor heresy but not everybody can accept or believe it. Some do accept but make different choices. Thus prompting the question What would induce a non-Christian to marry a Christian? That will be the highlight of the next post. For now, let's remember this: "People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient and then they repent" [Bob Dylan]

He who has an ear, let him hear or should I say He who has eyes, let him read?


Tresor De Beaute


Flomessi said...

I do not know, how I landed on your blog, but let me tell you that some of the points you are making on "Can The Difference of Religion Crash Your Relationship?" are very well thought!
Thumbs up!!!
Florence Messi

Tresor De Beaute said...

Thank You!

Prince Hamilton said...

It does for the spiritually immature and hypocrites too. The covenant of marriage has not got religion as one of its rudiments, so it should nto be a deciding factor in crashing or stabilising a m,arriage. However, it would make it easier to live a happy and joyful marriage.

Tresor De Beaute said...

"The covenant of marriage has not got religion as one of its rudiments, so it should not be a deciding factor in crashing or establishing a marriage" - - Are you saying it is ok for a Christian to marry a non-believer?

Prince Hamilton said...

The dichotomy between a Christian and a nonbeliever is even blurry. While Christians must not yoke themselves unequally with non believers, there are “faits acoomplis” where one partner believes while both were already unbelievers or one partner deceived the other into believing they have been converted. Such a scenario does not call for divorce because the unbelieving partner is sanctified by the believer as Paul aptly puts it in I Cor 7: 12-14. Without a doubt, it calls for more sacrifice and the application of the fruit of the Spirit.

Furthermore, I believe there are special circumstances where the believer should marry the non believer as was the case of Hosea (a prophet) and Gomer (a prostitute).

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