Here’s another Christian woman who responded to my post, Christian Marrying a Non-Christian? Marriage: FAIL, by writing in about her marriage to a non-Christian. At the end of her letter I ask a couple of questions to which I welcome your response.
It’s really late and I’m really tired, but I am also so incredibly grateful for your post, John, as well as for the many of the replies.
One year after becoming a Christian I separated from my children’s father, to whom I’d been married nine years. We have been seperated for three years now, and I am just now beginning to figure out what the woman who wrote From a Christian Woman Whose Marriage to a Non-Christian Failed meant when she said, “I need a man who is not abusive, unkind, selfish, addicted, full of rage, and a drunk. I need a partner who is faithful, patient, kind, gentle, loving and who has self control. There was a time in my life (most of my life) that I believed this was asking too much—to have all of these qualities and be a Christian. I believed that there was no such man. But I now believe that there are men in the world who believe as I do and who strive for these standards in their lives.”
I’m finally starting to believe this too. It’s taken me so long to get to this place.
Since I met him I have been crazy about my ex. I love him inside and out. But I couldn’t live with him because ultimately we could not share those core values. I have tried over and over again to wrap my mind around why it is I couldn’t come to terms with him, and reunite my family. But it is that intimacy you talked about, John: we could never be truly intimate because I could not talk to him about how freakin’ cool God is, because he just didn’t and doesn’t get it, yet. I hope he gets it someday, because he really is a beautiful person. But there is something missing, and a darkness present in him that is difficult to move beyond without the light and love of the One Infinite Creator.
When you have God at the center of a relationship, you have that three-stranded cord that is difficult to break. You have the opportunity to really grow and blossom, because that person that is there to lift you up and support you in your beliefs. When I talked to my children’s father about the supernatural, wonderful things that God does the more I seek Him, my ex always found ways to discredit my beliefs. And I understand that he sees the whole subject of God in a completely different way than I do, and I respect that. But I don’t want to live like that. I find that when I am surrounded by people who really support me for who I am on the inside, I am more encouraged to grow in my faith and in my life. God has been so good to me in that way, by giving me a wonderful supportive community of friends and family.
The thing is, I feel that God has called me to love this man, and I will continue to love him and support him as much as I can. But I know that right now he cannot be my husband. I know also that I cannot spend my life wishing that something would happen to change that. I have to move on, and I just hope that moving on can be graceful, peaceful, merciful and loving, and that God will some day provide me with a husband who understands, knows, and wants to share in the love of Christ with me.
Thanks again for your post, John and all the wonderful comments (and the not-so-wonderful ones). Bless you!
Hi, there. John here again.
Touching testimony; it’s always so affecting when someone endeavors to make their everyday life more perfectly reflect their ideals. That’s the struggle of the human life.
I thought a couple of points brought up by this letter might be worthy of reflection/discussion. The first is her statement, “I understand that he sees the whole subject of God in a completely different way than I do, and I respect that.” It’s the “I respect that” that got my attention. It made me wonder (again) whether or not it’s really possible to respect anyone’s opinion about something when you know (or absolutely believe, which here amounts to the same thing) that their opinion on the matter is absolutely wrong. If someone believes that Monday follows Thursday, I can’t respect that. I can pretend to respect it; I can say I respect it—but, really, I can’t. And so it made me wonder if our friend here really respects her husband’s position on God. Not to pick on her, or suggest she’s lying, or whatever. Of course not. It’s just an interesting little dynamic. You always hear people say what amounts to, “That person is an idiot. And I can respect that.” And I always think, “Well, no, actually, you can’t.”
Her “I feel that God has called me to love this man,” caught my attention. I am not saying it’s what’s happening here, but I’m sure that every Christian has noted how often people claim that God has called them to do something that just so happens to coincide exactly with what they themselves, without any reference to God whatsoever, would naturally want to do anyway. I wonder how any of us can ever be sure when it’s actually God calling us to do something, and when we ourselves want to do something so wholeheartedly that it just feels like God calling us to do that thing. I think it’s safe to say those two are easily confused.