From a Christian Woman Whose Marriage to a Non-Christian Failed
John ShoreBesides here on Crosswalk, John blogs on JohnShore.com.
- 2009 Jan 29
I thought worth sharing was this reader's response to my post, Christian Marrying a Non-Christian? Marriage: FAIL :
I am a Christian who was married to an atheist; after twenty-two years, we are now divorced.
I understand and agree with a lot of the dissenting comments made to John's post. However, ultimately I agree with John. A successful marriage is so much about respect, patience and kindness. This can, of course, occur among Christian and Non-Christian alike. And alcoholism, cheating and abuse can and does occur among Christian and Non-Christian people too.
So what made my marriage good (when it was good)? It was the attributes that tend to come from God: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
And what caused my marriage to destruct and fail? It was a lot of things: sexual immorality, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, drunkenness, selfishness. Who did the good things? We both did at times. Who did the bad things? Some of them we both did. As a Christian I tried hard. I prayed for and strived to realize ideals in my marriage and my life. I tried to be a better person, a better wife, a better mother.
I feel as if my ex had fewer resources to draw from than I did. He could be good man---really good at times. But where does goodness come from, if not from God? I read the blog post by the atheist, David---the one who is married to a Christian woman [Letter From an Atheist Married to a Christian]---and he seems like a wonderful man. I have had many Christians in my life who were not as good a person as he seems to be.
I do have a bit of an issue with the “unequally yoked” verse of the Bible. I think this can mean much more than it has traditionally been interpreted to. I am now, after two-and-a-half-years and a lot of counseling, re-entering the dating world. I am choosing to date only Christians. But this is only one of the items on my list of must-haves. I also need a man who is not abusive, unkind, selfish, addicted, full of rage, and/or 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, in fact) when I believed this was asking too much to hope for a man who had all of these qualities and was Christian. I believed that no such man existed. But I now believe that there are men in the world who believe as I do, and who strive to maintain such such standards in their lives. Don’t misunderstand me; I am not claiming perfection, nor do I expect a perfect man. And I don’t have the illusion that a Christian marriage means a marriage in which there are no problems. I know better than that.
The most important issue for me (and John addressed it) is that, as my (future) husband and I travel the road of life, we are traveling in the same direction. I want to share with him a common path and destination. I long for the oneness that can be experienced in such a relationship. I did not have that, and now I have another shot at it. If I don’t meet this man of my dreams, I think I’d consider someone with all of the qualities except for “Christian”---but at this point I’d probably just continue being alone. Besides, with my God, my family, and my friends, I know I am never truly alone.