I’ve been dating a really nice guy for almost 2 years now. He is kind, intelligent, hard working and I know he loves me very much.
I’ve been through some ups and downs in my life and I am the happiest now that I have EVER being because I found GOD.
Please understand, I am no Bible basher, I just noticed that my life is so much better now! The problem is that Andrew totally HATES the new ME! He says that he believes in God but not in religion. He thinks that it is all too political and that I should be very careful. I think he worries that I will be brainwashed or something!
I really love what we have together but I am even willing to give him up for what I believe, but the thought of not having him in my life is devastating. What would it happen when we decide to raise a family?
I am really confused and hurt. Please help!!
My family wasn’t religious. I could count, on one hand, how many times I went to church before I turned 18. One day, when I was 27, I was driving on some back road in Cumberland, Maryland, listening to the oldies station and thinking of who knows what, when I felt God reach from wherever He is and touch my heart. I can’t explain what it felt like, other than to say that, I cried like a baby pulled to the side of the road to catch my breath and get myself together.
Some will read this and know exactly what I mean. Others will read it and think I’m lying or that I need one of those white canvas jackets that make you hug yourself. My story is to show you two things. First, I know what I felt was real. Second, I don’t get to decide how other people feel about it.
Yours is a tough problem. No one should have to choose between their partner and their religion. Maybe you won’t have to either. Here’s what you might try;
SLOW DOWN: If you two have only been a couple for two years, and Andrew “hates” the new you, it means he knew the old you. So, you probably found God within the last year or so, but the change has been so drastic (good for you!), that it’s throwing him for a loop. You’ve got a new spring in your step, a new attitude, a bunch of new friends, and the old you is slowly slipping away. But Andrew liked the old you. Constantly praying, going to church two or three (or seven) days a week, talking only about the Bible: these may all be wonderful things for a religious person, but can become annoying to others. Andrew may just be rebelling because he needs a little room to breath, and telling you he doesn’t like religion may be the only way to get you to shut up about it. Or maybe he’s a bit jealous that you’re spending more time with God and less with him. Being that you’re new at this, it may be hard for you to judge when enough is enough. I’d never tell you to stop your journey (I don’t need that kind of heat!) but maybe slow down a bit. There’s a reason they call it “walking with God”.
MAYBE YOU CAN WORK TOGETHER: I don’t think God wants His word to drive people apart, and I think if He could have gotten away with just saying, “treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated” then all the holy books would have only been one page long. Andrew, for whatever reason, is not where you are with his faith. But this isn’t a race or a battle of wills; if he believes in God, than you two are playing for the same team. He believes that some churches are politically motivated and that some are convincing some naive people that they can buy their way into heaven (he’s right; some churches are.) You may change his mind, but it won’t be by dragging him to church, dogging him about being a sinner, or exorcising his demons by reading scripture to him until he pukes pea soup. Don’t show him how much more religious you are; show him how much stronger, happier, and more at peace you are, and then give him time to see that it’s genuine, and to get curious.
MAYBE YOU CAN’T WORK TOGETHER: Hey, it happens. For religious reasons, for differences of opinion, or for a host of other reasons, sometimes two people can’t work together. If you are no longer the woman Andrew wants to be with, then that’s not your fault. If you like who you are, don’t throw it away to run after him. Along the same lines, if Andrew isn’t the man you want or need to be with, don’t try to force him to change into something he’s not. If you two can’t work together, give each other some space for awhile. If you’re a believer now, than you know that if he’s the man for you, than he’ll be back, but you also know that if he’s not the man for you, than he’s in that other guy’s way.
I’m glad that things are turning around for you, and I’ll be sure to toss a prayer your way (if you’ll toss one back!) I hope I helped!
William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.