Slide 7 of 7
If you and your spouse have different faith backgrounds or vary in your perspective about church involvement or affiliation, you might find yourself disagreeing regularly about which church to attend, how involved you should be, or if you should attend at all.
We can also easily judge or criticize one another for the personal way we practice faith: reading, listening to music, going to Bible study or small group, serving, giving. All of these avenues for faith provide a possible platform for argument.
Ask a lot of questions about church and faith background when you’re dating, and don’t assume you can change someone’s mind after you get married. (You won’t.)
Decide what theology and church practice are non-negotiable to you and choose accordingly. Marriage pushes us to adapt and concede in many areas; faith is often one of them (what kind of concession is critical to your own spiritual growth).
Here are a few important questions when it comes to disagreeing about faith: Are you willing to leave your faith to keep peace in your home? Are you willing to pray and give grace when you disagree? What does God require of you as a married believer? Is your spouse asking/demanding that you disobey Scriptural practices and theology?
Arguments evolve from pride and stubbornness. Discussions evolve from mutual respect.
It is always more important in your marriage to prioritize how you disagree over what you’re disagreeing about. Even if the issue at hand is critically important, you can’t resolve the conflict if you can’t conduct a civil conversation. Learn to conduct disagreements where you both feel validated and loved, no matter what decision you make.
Sue Schlesman is a Christian author, speaker, English teacher, and pastor’s wife. She has a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Theology & Culture. Her second book Soulspeak: Praying change into unexpected places is a Selah Award finalist. Sue’s material appears in a variety of print, online, radio, and podcast mediums. She has a passion for missions, social justice, traveling, reading, and the local church. You can find her writing about life, education, family, and Jesus at sueschlesman.com.
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