Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thinking about....

...Christians who choose to marry non Christians.

A close relative of ours (single, early 40s, similar age to me) has just announced her engagement. My husband told me that when he spoke to her, she sounded happier than he had heard her sound for many years. I think she has been really lonely for a long time.

But we have mixed emotions about it all. She is a Christian. My husband clearly remembers when she was converted to Christ. But her fiance isn't. This is his second marriage/partnership. We haven't met him yet. He has met some other members of the family, all of whom say he seems to be a really nice guy. He even asked permission from her parents (both Christians) before he asked her to marry him. They did say yes, but they also told him they weren't happy that he wasn't a Christian.

I'm finding it hard to know how to be supportive in this situation. I think there are other members of my husband's family who might refuse to go to their wedding. I think we will go, but I have this feeling that I'll find it very hard to watch. She has a lot of non-Christian friends who I think will probably make up for the mixed emotions coming from her family's direction.

We're not on the kind of terms where I could say to her upfront, "Look, if you think you were lonely before you got married, that's nothing compared to what it could be like AFTER you get married if you marry someone who doesn't believe what you do!" I'm probably not the right person to say it anyway, she would just see it as coming from the smug perspective of someone who's been married for many years and doesn't understand how hard it is to be single. And on one level, she's right.

But at the same time, I think single people find it hard to believe that even in a marriage where the two partners are both believing Christians, there can be lonely times. I have had them. But I do know that if I pray about things that are bothering me, then my husband will pray with me and we will work through it because we share the same perspective on life. We believe God is in control of what happens, that He has a plan for our lives, and that despite our sinfulness, He loved us more than any other human being could possibly love us. I don't know what I would do if the person I was choosing to spend my life with didn't share that view.

My husband and I decided to pray for her husband-to-be each day, that he will come to know Christ. We know there is no guarantee that this will happen. But I think it's all we can do right now without causing a family rift.


Meredith said...

Praying is a fantastic thing to do, given we pray to a powerful God who wants to see all come to Him. Be encouraged in your prayers.

Sarah said...

Ohhh that's hard! :( I have friends who are in their late 30s and single and when one of them told me she was considering a relationship with a non-Christian, I was glad that we had a good enough friendship that I could strongly warn her against it. I think she still thought I was a 'smug married' though. I remember a conversation I had with a single friend when I was single too - he said for a Christian to marry a non-Christian is idolatry because we are putting our own desires above what God says is best. That shook me at the time, but he was absolutely right (and it was probably easier to hear it from him because he was single and in the same boat). Meredith's right - praying is the only and absolutely best thing we can do for our friends. I will pray for that couple, too.