Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Married an Unbeliever...

A little over 20 years ago, I met a lovely man with all sorts of good ethics and honesty, but when he told me he was very anti-church and anti-Christian, I merely shrugged it off, secretly thinking that one day, one day..... I would change him!

Oops. Two decades later, and he's no closer to becoming a Christian, and I have to rethink what this means, especially with kids.

I've concluded the following:

1) badgering someone to become a Christian, whether he's your husband or the stranger on the bus, doesn't work
2) try to remember all the good things your spouse does, because good is of God. (and praise him or her for it!)
3) dump the moral superiority -- we've got nothing to be superior about. God forgave us (and continues to forgive us) when he died on the cross, and we continue to let him down.
4) don't barricade yourself into a tight little Christian group that your spouse has no way of joining -- when you entertain, mix things up and add a few non-Christian faces.
5) try to avoid being gleeful when something he'd done that is clearly non-Christian ends up failing
6) pray ceaselessly -- it worked for St Monica (whose son was St Augustine)
7) do not think leaving the marriage will make you happier -- even two Christians on the same page will find plenty to argue about
8) act with grace (love), speak with truth (boundaries, limits, etc.) at all times (at least when you're not tempted to lose your temper)
9) Jesus never talked about being a Christian in his parables, but he spoke lots about becoming fully human, and a little more divine by giving to the poor, treating your neighbour with compassion, planting good seeds, and so on

What about the kids?
For spiritually single women like me, the findings of recent studies on church attendance are grim. Although the numbers vary according to the study, it was found that when both parents take children to church, as much as 75 percent become attenders; if dads only take kids to church, that drops to 55 percent, but when it’s only the moms taking them, the percentage plummets to a mere 15 percent.

However, I’m not one to give up hope – and here’s why:

-- studies show that children derive their image of God from their fathers – since my husband is gentle, nurturing and ethical, I’m banking that they will continue to see God in a similar light
-- I try to be an informed Christian, so I can talk to my children about their faith as it relates to culture, helping them to discern difficult moral and spiritual issues
-- We attend a vibrant church, filled with children and youth, and alive with the Holy Spirit; I want my children interacting with real people who are Christian – caring, smart, holy, and fun
-- I send them to summer camp to nurture their connection to God’s created world and to a Christian community
-- I pray – a lot – to keep my relationship with God strong, and to ask on behalf of my children (and my husband) that they will come to know and love the Lord


Anonymous said...

Very shorts, simple and easy to understand, bet some more comments from your side would be great

rachel said...

6 years later im curious if you're still married? did your husband get saved?