Share I spent a couple years being ashamed by his lack of faith. I took it personally. I grew up in a Christian household, but not a fundamentalist one. I was focused on school and being a musician more than I was hanging out with friends and going to parties. Yes, I pushed their boundaries a bit with my clothes, but I never snuck out, I never wore makeup until I was given permission , and I never broke curfew.
Basically, I was a focused girl who did very little to buck the system. I spent my summers volunteering at a Christian camp and helping lead other young people to Christ, andI spent my school years practicing percussion instruments and studying.
College did little to change me. That focused, Christian teenager turned into a focused, Christian twenty-something college-educated musician. In my last year of undergrad, I suffered a traumatic event a story for another time , had a crisis of faith, and suddenly, I was at the height of my creative life and the pit of my spiritual life. In my spiraling, I decided I wanted to get out more, meet more people, go on more dates.
So I signed up for Plenty of Fish I know. Dave says that as soon as he saw my profile picture me singing and playing guitar in a recording studio that he knew he had to talk to me, so he sent me a message. I still considered myself a Christian, but I pushed that down and went out with this atheist from the next town over. Other than our different beliefs, we enjoyed the same activities, movies, music, and other interests. We fell in love and were engaged three months later.
A few months after our engagement, I came back to my faith stronger than ever. Feeling convicted Christian-ese for "feeling guilty" of several things in my life, I decided that I wanted to live my life more focused on God and pleasing Him rather than wallowing in self-hatred and focusing on myself. When I was just calling myself a Christian, but not really practicing, Dave being an atheist hadn't been a problem — but now it was.
I took to the scriptures to figure it out. I found 1 Corinthians 7: He joined my church, became a Christian, and joined me in trying our best to live good, Godly lives. No, it was spectacular! I had my Godly marriage and a Godly husband. No more shame for being the good, Christian girl who fell for the "heathen" guy online. His desire to study the Bible with me dwindled. I never saw him pray.
Finally, after a fight about attending church, he told me that he no longer believed in God. In my head, I heard friends and family reminding me that they knew this would happen: I spent a couple years being ashamed by his lack of faith. I took it personally and thought I had failed as a Christian wife. It was a rough, depressing couple of years.
My whole life I had been taught to only marry a person was in the same faith. But here I was, invested in a marriage with two little boys to raise and love, and Dave and I were tip-toeing around each other because of our differences.
View photos We have been married 11 years and we have an inter-faith-ish marriage. How do we do it without having a holy war in our house on the regular? Well, sometimes there are arguments about our faith or lack thereof. But mostly we have a pretty peaceful life. It comes down to communication, respect, and love — just like any relationship. We have two kids, so communication about everything is important. Dave does not have a problem with me taking our kids to church and teaching them Biblical principles, so Sunday mornings, my two boys and I attend church with my parents while Dave stays home.
I was raised to question everything thanks, Mom and Dad! I still live by that and have found myself in conflict with my current pastor on a couple different occasions. This thought also applies to learning about other religions. We want our boys to experience and learn about other ways of life.
We want them to be aware of similarities and differences. So when the time comes, I will not be one of those mothers who pitches a hissy when my kids have to learn about Islam or play with a dreidel while participating in a school's holiday program. I want my kids to come to God on their own terms. I have no desire to brainwash them. Dave and I have an open dialogue about our beliefs.
If I am completely honest, his questions have made me search the scriptures and really dig into and process my beliefs about certain issues.
He wants to know why and how I came to my conclusions. Which all leads to love and respect. He respects that I believe in a higher power and live my life with my guidebook being the Bible. I respect his disbelief in my belief. We refuse to make fun of the other and will defend each other in social settings where people are being combative or mocking. I made a promise, after Dave told me he was an atheist, to not nag him about it.
They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. And I will not let it come between us. There have been arguments that have sent us to opposite ends of the house slamming doors as we go, because like many of our arguments, it starts about one thing and ends up about everything. When we finally started to get our relationship back on track, it took us having many serious conversations.
It took us looking at our marriage vows and taking them seriously. The only thing that has kept us together is that we love each other, we love our kids, and we will fight like crazy to keep this little family unit together.