A Place of Rest: Embracing Differences
Chris: Yes. But we'll see after my next book comes out! (Life After Faith)
And on the other side of the coin, do you feel pressured by your partner to conform to his/her faith?
Carol: No, not really. We will sometimes have intellectual conversations and debates about our different views; however, at the end of the day, I do not feel Chris is pressuring me to change. We may get angry with each other about what we perceive as the other's intellectual blind spot or unwillingness to "see" our view. Instead, I think we both receive some comfort from the other's different-ness and it feels like we hold each other accountable.
Chris: While it's rare, I'll agree with her.
What other wisdom and stories would you like to share from your experience in an interfaith marriage?
Carol: At the end of the day, it's not as important to me about what Chris believes or not, it's about how he acts. Last November we were visiting my parents for Thanksgiving in their North Carolina home, and the last morning of our visit, my father fell in the bathroom. For at least 30 minutes, Chris sat on my parents' bathroom floor with my father, waiting for the EMTs to arrive. Seeing Chris sitting/kneeling on that bathroom floor with my father, as his head was bleeding and his hair and body disheveled, this for me was and is the Gospel incarnate. For me, there is no greater statement of faith or belief.
Chris: A good sense of humor makes it all much easier. We laugh a lot. And cry together. We have some heated discussions. We aren't the "perfect couple" but we have some wisdom of the years that keeps us on a path of respect and joy.
Read more interviews with interfaith couples here.
Visit the Public Square on Interfaith Marriage here.
Deborah Arca joined the Patheos team after more than ten years managing programs for the Program in Christian Spirituality at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Deborah has also been a youth minister, a director of Christian Education and music/theatre programs for young people and has served as a music director for worship and special retreats.