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Religious Conflict

Discussion in 'Marriage and Relationships' started by Blane, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Hello! I've not posted before, but would greatly appreciate some feeback on a relationship issue that has become disconcerting. I'm 31 and Christian. I'm dating a 23 year old girl who used to be Christian, but is now agnostic due to some past experiences. We've been dating about 5 months now and she recently asked me where things are going. I told her I want to make a commitment, but her agnosticism is holding me back. I told her I want to marry a Christian woman who will go to church with me because of her own genuine, personal religous convictions; I want my children to be raised to be Christian. In essence, I told her her I didn't think I could commit unless she became Christian. That may not have been the right thing to say, but I was trying to be honest about my feelings. She said she completely understands. Lately she has become distressed and feels like things probably will not work out between us. Now that I've set forth the background information, here are my questions:

    First, can a Christian date an agnostic? I know II Corinthians 6:14 reads, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?" This verse is routinely cited in circumstances such as my own. However, I don't think Paul had dating in mind when writing this since most marriages were arranged in his day. Further, I don't think the girl I'm dating qualifies as wicked. Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthians because the Corinthian church had been infiltrated by false teachers who were challenging Pauls' integrity and authority. That said, it can certainly nevertheless be argued that dating an agnostic is unwise because of the risk her lack of faith will unduly influence your faith. It also poses a big potential problem with family life, should the dating lead to marriage. How can a child be raised as a Christian when one parent is agnostic? Even if the agnostic agrees to go to church, at some point the children will realize the agnostic parent's views and it may undermine the children's convictions. Does anyone know a Christian who married an agnostic and did not have these problems? If so, do you know how they made it work?

    Second, do you think it's possible to date an agnostic while trying to lead her to Christ?

    Third, if the relationship fails, how can I minimize the chance that she will be turned off from Christianity as a result. I want to see her become a Christian whether we date or not. And I certainly don't want to be the cause of someone being turned away from Christianity more than they already are.

    Any advice on these issues would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. At some factor the kids will recognize the agnostic mom's or dad's opinions and it may challenge the kid's beliefs.
     
  3. You could come home to find your wife playing with a ouija board with your kids and her friends.

    Take 2 Cor 6:14 AS IS. Don't try be smart and add to it!! If someone DOES NOT accept Jesus....WHO is their master? There ARE worms that you DO NOT see! but will terrify you one-day if you are foolish enough to continue this relationship!

    Put her immediately in your witnessing circle!!
     
  4. I appreciate the advice. It's unfortunately easier said than done once emotions get in the mix. She abandoned her faith after being heavily involved in the church and she abandoned it due to an extremely bad event in her life. Afer talking the matter over with her, she has expressed a willingness to reevaluate her faith, though it's evident that makes her very uncomfortable. While I want to continue to date her due to my feelings for her, I recognize the imprudence of doing so. She may decide to convert, but if she does, I suspect it will take a long time for her to reach that decision. She may also decide not to convert, in which case we have both invested more emotions in the relationship only to find ourselves in the same position. I have friends that are Christian and are married to agnostics. They get along great. But, at the same point, their marriages are only a few years old and they don't have kids yet. They tell me that, as long as they are tolerant and respectful of each other's religious views, it makes the relationship work. The part of me that has feelings for this girl wants to agree with that. However, at the same point, I don't believe it's rational. How can you genuinely practice your faith in Christ if you're married to an agnostic? Is it possible? A marital relationship should be Christ-centered. I find myself trying to make excuses to stay in the relationship...mainly due to my feelings for her. She is a wonderful girl, and she may become Christian down the road, but staying is a risky endeavor.
     
  5. I know its difficult Blane, I have first hand experience!

    Read what you are writing!

    My heart goes out to her! But use common sense. God is ONLY in our lives if He is FIRST / on the throne. If He is removed from that throne, who do you think takes His spot? It is us. Just like the devil....and since he is the author of this, Jesus quite correctly says 'they are of their father, the devil'.

    What happened? Does she not know what Paul says about enduring suffering for God? Does she not know what Job endured for God? Does she not know what Jesus endured? :eek::eek:

    So at the moment there is no space in her top ten priorities for a spot for God..... her Creator. You must have rocks in your head if you think you will remain a valued priority in her life in the future. You will find yourself in a very selfish relationship. Hope you have money or lots of something to give, because without it, you will be left on the rubbish heap...just like God.

    Is she really? what attributes of her's are you judging?

    One-day when you stand at the altar with her and she commits her life to be with you...like she did to God when she got saved....you will trust her?
     
  6. Just thinking, maybe I am jumping the gun.

    She is young and perhaps has never been saved. She might be God fearing and have potential in the future even though agnostic, but clearly not now. As I said on another thread, God cannot send people our way who are not His. Think about that!
     
  7. I greatly appreciate your input. You're right...she is young and, from what I understand, she gave her life to Christ in high school. I'm going to try to press for more information on that. From what I understand, her Christian friends were not conducting themselves as Christians. I don't know exactly what happened, but she indicated she had a bad experience that pushed her over the edge...she doesn't want to discuss it, which only leaves me to speculate. She never commented on religion when we started dating when I brought it up, which was fairly frequent. Finally I pushed her for comment, which I should have done sooner. She said she is agnostic; she believes there is no evidence to show that God exists or does not exist. She raises the standard agnostic questions: Why does God allow evil to exist?; Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?; Why are Christians so hypocritical? The list goes on. I've tried my best to respond to those questions, but I'm not sure it's helped.

    My impression is she is not settled on agnosticism, and that she is willing to reevaluate her faith. She has even indicated a willingness to go to church with me. While I think all that's true, I'm not confident she's in a hurry to reestablish her faith. That leaves our relationship, in my mind, in a kind of limbo. A relationship in limbo is unlikely to last. I either have to conclude the dating relationsip and try to be her friend and, at the same time, help her in the best way I can to reestablish her faith. That's probably the most prudent thing to do. My other option is less prudent - I can commit to an exclusive relationship with her and try, during that time, to help her reestablish her faith. If she doesn't reestablish her faith, then conclude the relationship at that time. However, we've only been dating a short time and we already have feelings for each other. If we continue to date, it will make it that much more difficult to conclude the relationship later. My brain says to end the relationship, but my heart says stay in it and see how things develop.
     
  8. You and Jesus are one! If she doesnt love / approve of Jesus...she will not approve of / love you either. It is all temporal. Listen to your brain!
     
    nijikon likes this.
  9. John had written his page to the Corinthians because the Corinthian cathedral had been treated by incorrect instructors who were complicated Pauls' reliability and power.
     
  10. Hey Blane,

    I understand why you feel like a relationship with the girl you're talking about can be a problem for you or your future children. I do not have a lot of experience, but I will tell you about an experience that I have made myself and I hope that I can help you, if at least just a tiny bit.
    I was raised in a not very religious family in Germany. Even though my mom is catholic and my dad is protestant, it still always just meant that they are a member of a local church and that they pay church taxes, that's all. I never believed in God and was actually quite opposed to any religion.
    When I was 16 I moved into my own apartment and started getting to know a guy that at that time studied in the US. We met in Germany and lived in California for a while. He had the same worries as you did. He was very sure that he would never marry a girl
    that is not Christian. Even though we felt like we were making eachother complete and had finally found eachother, he was having difficulties seriously considering marriage.
    After I had been in the US with him for a few weeks his dad was going to come for a visit and I, being his sons kind-of-girlfriend, was very nervous but also excited about meeting him.
    He is a lovely man and he was very kind to me right from the beginning, even though he was suspicious about me and the fact that I was not Christian.
    We got along really well and during that time that he was staying with us (he lives in Norway), we had many long and deep conversations on how I just couldn’t believe in god and that it was difficult for me to understand what he was talking about as I didn’t see a reason to believe in something whose existence is as certain as the correctness of weather forecasts here in Norway. That was my point of view at the time.
    He has a lot of life experience and he told me a lot about his missions in Fidji and on Hawaii, different people he met and how he came to believe.
    After another long conversation at some point I, totally suddenly, felt a blue bright light hand that grabbed mine (and I know that it sounds weird to say I FELT a colour, but for some reason that’s how it seemed, like I felt the blue and the bright light). Afterwards I felt a warm, comfortable light filling me up completely. I felt like a baby in a mother’s womb, weak and deliciously helpless and so caringly and lovingly protected. I felt a happiness that I never even knew existed.
    That was a wonderful and very confusing experience. Afterwards I understood everything I was told before, it all just made total sense. Like it was so simple. Like you make a mistake in mathematics and just can’t figure out what you’ve done wrong until you notice that it was just one digit that you got wrong. All of a sudden everything fits together and you kind of get that “aaaw, that was it” feeling.
    I didn’t have to understand in order to believe. In fact, you cannot believe as a result of something you feel you understand. It doesn’t work that way. You first have to believe in order to understand. Meaning that you won’t be able to make her believe again. But what you can do, and that’s what my (now) father in law did for me, you can help her open her mind and her heart again. Make her see that her belief is a wonderful thing, make her understand that it doesn’t hurt anyone and that she’s not expected much for the most amazing greatness in return. When she’s ready, god won’t turn her away.

    I have become a much happier person since. Not only because my husband and me got married a few months later J
    We both live in Norway now and we’re looking forward to having children in a year or two. I’m 22 and my husband is 28, so we still got plenty of time for ourselves though J

    I hope I could help you a little. Good luck with your girlfriend. Trust in her and God, there’s a great chance that it will be worth it in the end.
     

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