I Love My God, And You?
by MEGS S. LUNN
Will you marry a person whose religion is different from yours?
The famous phrase, “If you don’t love my God, then you don’t love me”, is now a “word-of-mouth” among our teenagers and adults alike, especially the singles. Just how significant is our God to a relationship?
Just lately, I asked someone from afar who has a relationship with different beliefs. He said, “I think we respect each other enough that religion is not an issue between us. I don’t think we could come from farther perspectives – she and her family attend church regularly and through their participation, provide tremendous support to her community. I, on the other hand, am an atheistic Jew, but regardless, we respect each other and both believe that altruistic acts should be an important part of one’s life.”
It seems too good to be true, huh! But it is scary to hold on to that ‘altruistic acts’ as it is likewise, easier said than done. Let’s take the advice of my relationship/spiritual adviser who wishes to remain anonymous to all.
He told me to consider a spouse in the future only in your Catholic faith. With respect to my good spiritual adviser, I would not disagree with that point at all. He gave the passage in the bible, verse 2 Corinthians 6:14, the Apostle Paul says, “Don’t be yolked together with unbelievers.” While this verse probably refers to many interpersonal relationships, it certainly also refers to marriage.
Marriage is tough enough even in the best relationship. Marrying outside one’s faith adds on extra, huge burden from the onset. Marrying outside of your faith may or may not be a sin. Any priest can best answer this question. At best the Bible strongly discourages this practice. In 1 Corinthian 7:39 the Apostle Paul says, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as she lives, but if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord..” (This emphasis is from my spiritual adviser.)
It sounds like God is talking directly to us through this verse. To begin a marriage with such a disagreement of a core value concerning who Jesus Christ is in your life creates an immediate gap in one’s relationship to a non-believing spouse and risks compromising the believer’s Christian standards or may jeopardize one’s Christian witness to others. There is a beautiful verse in 1 Corinthians 15:35: “Don’t be deceived. Bad company corrupts good character.”
To paraphrase this verse—”Don’t be deceived. A non-Christian spouse is likely to make a believing spouse a less effective Christian.” When a husband and wife journey through their life together toward their heavenly home at their life’s end, which is the ideal journey in marriage? That ideal journey cannot occur when the husband and wife are on separate spiritual paths.
On the other hand, do not be concerned that you are not good enough for him or her, somehow inferior. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are made with extraordinary power to love and be loved. God has used us in so many ways to accomplish His will. We have dedicated our life to helping others who can’t help themselves. The fruits of our Christian walk shine brighter than those of almost anyone we know and are worthy of the respect and admiration of all who know you.
So, having a hard time to decide whether you will dump him because he has different religion or belief? “Let God.” It is only when we admit to God that we can’t, that God will show us that He can. /MP