Finding the right person within the church is oftentimes difficult for both men and women who come from a church with few members. The options are very limited and in most cases, young men are outnumbered by young women or vice-versa. This prompts the young adults to search outside the church which, due to religious differences with their future mate, more challenges await.
One reader sought to be enlightened, should she stay in an SDA-Hindu interfaith relationship to be with the man she loves and who loves her dearly despite their constant religious clashes, or should she walk away?
Hi Glee, your love story truly inspires and touches me. I’m a Seventh-day Adventist since birth. You know, I have always dreamed to find the “one”, the right Guy. I’ve had a relationship with an Adventist guy but it didn´t work out. Then I was also with other guys who were non-Adventist, here also things didn´t work out. I suffered a lot.
I prayed to God to show me the Guy. Then, I didn’t plan for anything, I have not searched for him.. and last year in January I met my boyfriend. But he is not Adventist, he is of Hindu origin but he does not practice his religion. He eats pork but after I told him it is impure, he does not eat anymore. He does not smoke and drink, only if he is proposed at times.
But, he hates religion, he says that it is full of hypocrisy. He has Faith, he prays, he believes in God but he does not see him sitting in a church. And the scariest part is, slowly, you get used to having TV in the house on Sabbath and inevitably, your faith is also affected, weakened.
Our relationship have many problems: my parents have accepted our relationship as well as his mum but not his dad. We always fight when we talk of religion. He does not understand why I should go to church each sabbath. Why I am ready to fail an exam because of Sabbath 🙁
We have talked about our religion problems but we love each other too much to separate… Deep inside me, I know that he is the guy, I love him very much and can’t let him go …
My boyfriend have told me that he doesn´t know if it would be possible for him to continue, to support my religious beliefs.. so the solution was to break up. I explained to him that we will always argue about our differences.. then he said that he doesn´t want to break up, he loves me too much.
And I proposed to him than if we love each other..the solution is Respect..and he agrees with me… But he also said that we must live the relationship in the present and also that we must not expect too much from this it. Do you think it’s a good idea to stay with him?
It’s been a year and a half that we´re together and he is the guy who loves me, takes care of me, who´s always there for me. I don’t want to make him suffer.
I am waiting for your answer..stay blessed ~ Annette
Hi Annette, I really feel for you in this difficult situation where you are made to choose between love and faith. I´ve been there, done that, and could definitely relate.
One important factor (among many) in a relationship is “love”. If there is love, it´s possible to beat all odds. However, love is neither everything nor it´s enough to guarantee a successful relationship.
Many married interfaith couples who love each other greatly, break up because of religious differences. According to studies, interfaith marriage has a 75% failure rate compared to same-faith marriage (Vera Lawlor, The Bergen Record in Hakensack, NJ). That rate is a lot!
Why is this so? Because religious belief is based on faith which can NEVER be won over by any substantial arguments, unless one is spiritually convinced that a faith is more right than the other. A couple can argue and fight over their clashing beliefs but they will never arrive at a consensus just like theologians of different religions never resolved their differed Biblical interpretations. In short, you will argue and fight over and over.
Another reason why marriage deteriorates on a pair who attend different churches is the lack of marital satisfaction due to lessened companionship. A spouse feels not completely happy with the blessings she receives in a church service because she is not able to share it to her special someone. (This is supported by a nationwide survey conducted in the 1970’s, “The challenge posed by mixed marriages,”)
If you and your boyfriend eventually end up together, your initial challenge will be the Friday night. As you struggle to keep the Sabbath holy the moment the sun sets on Friday evening, your husband enjoys watching TV in your living room.
And then the biggest challenge comes once the children arrive. To which belief should you raise your kids? Would you agree to bring the children to church on Saturday and then they go with their father to his church on Sunday? Or, on your case, you teach your kids the importance of Sabbath and when they go to their dad, he´ll tell them that going to church isn´t necessary. Are you willing to raise religious-confused children?
“The family that prays together, stays together” is a saying I´ve been so familiar with since I was young, which proved to be very true to my family. I grew up in an economically-challenged family (of 6 kids) but my parents made it through by praying and worshipping together, sharing the same faith and bringing their kids to church every sabbath, together.
This is the same family that I so crave for, where both mom and dad wake up early on Sabbath to prepare for breakfast and lunch, then wake their children up at 7:00 so that everybody is ready by 8:30 to attend the Sabbath school.
Unfortunately, I don´t have it. And I tell you what, it´s very difficult. No matter how happy I am with my husband because of how much he loves and takes care of me, a part of me longs for a family which shares the same faith. And even if I´m logically aware that I made the choice, that longing never dies out.
So what this got to do with you? I´ve given you a little window into what it´s like to be in an interfaith marriage. And believe me dear, that´s just the surface.
Does it mean you should walk away from your relationship? I believe that´s something you really have to weigh in. Is your relationship too serious that it can lead to marriage? For me, I agree with what your boyfriend said, enjoy the present but don´t expect too much from it.
That means, don´t give your everything to this relationship. Avoid engaging in premarital sex, protect yourself. You have the duty to let your little light shine by upholding your faith and integrity.
You´re still young, there´s no need to hurry. You still have the whole world to conquer. Who knows, God has the right person for you to meet when you turn 25? Or who knows, God will knock your boyfriend´s heart and make him understand why God created the Sabbath and how to properly observe it. Really, God´s plan is so great!
As you take your time to decide the best step to take, keep praying and asking for God´s guidance. He will speak to you. Also, seek advice from the leaders of your church or from the elders whom you look up. If you know anyone who´s in an interfaith marriage, seek advice or brainstorm. Ask your parents, family and friends to pray for you as you ponder.
On our next post about interfaith, we´ll explore the ways possible to search for a partner within the same denomination.
I hope this helps. Hugs and God bless. 🙂
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