It’s getting serious, but he doesn’t believe. Is that really so bad?
He’s the one! You have everything in common. Your family love him. He treats you like a queen and you just know that you want to spend the rest of your lives together.
But there’s that nagging feeling again. Like a fly buzzing around your ear. He’s wonderful, but does he really have a relationship with God? You wonder if he is just going to church for your sake. In fact- he hasn’t gone for a while. He doesn’t want to pray with you and at times, he wants you to compromise your faith.
Or perhaps you’ve been in a relationship for a while and your own walk with God has become more serious lately. And the closer you get to Him, the further you realise Mr. Right is.
You ask him about it and he drops the “A-bomb”: “Agnostic”. He believes “in his own way, but he just doesn’t want to be pressured into believing the way you do.”
Sit down Girl, we need to talk.
There are three ways this can play out, so let me take you through it because I have been there:
- You ignore your concerns and hope he will be saved one day
This seems like the easiest option. Especially if he is not outright against your faith. He allows and even encourages you to go to church. But take it from me, it gets harder. There will be sexual temptation, you will have to give up on your pre-conceived ideas of a godly marriage and when the children come, your ideas of godly co-parenting.
It will take an effort to get the kids and yourself to church alone every week. You will meet couples who look like they have a perfect life, who kneel at their bed every night praying for their marriage and for their children. And you will cry. A lot.
Yes, he could be saved. And it could be quick. But it could be over thirty years that you will have to keep praying and loving him and witnessing with your life.
I want to warn you, though, that the Bible says not to be unequally yoked. Now I know some use this as the reason why you should not be with an unbeliever at all. But I believe this is the case when the other person is pulling you away from God and pulling you with them. If this is the case, you should seriously consider Number 3.
2. You acknowledge your concerns and start pressurising him to “be saved” (Yes it’s as bad an idea as it sounds)
I would not recommend this one. Especially because I did it. And it didn’t work. I stopped short of baptising him in his sleep. I arranged for him to talk to pastors, a Christian university lecturer, casually invited him to special services where there would be an altar call and invited him to listen to me when I preached so he could “look after the kids” (I know. I’m bad).
Andy Stanley said that people do not come to Christ because all their questions are answered. They come to Christ because of a crisis moment in their life. And I had to realise that no matter who he spoke to, and no matter how many questions were answered, he would just have more questions.
3. You decide to walk away from the relationship
This is a tough one. If you have considered the future and you don’t want to sign up for (1), you may need to break it off. Now this will be heart-wrenchingly difficult because he may not be a ‘bad’ person. But (especially if he is pulling you way from God), you will save yourself a lifetime of heartaches.
A friend of mine made this difficult decision recently and it became the catalyst for her ex-partner to find God for himself. But it will not always be the case.
This is also a situation where sexual purity can be a weapon against further hurt. Because if you don’t stay sexually pure and you become pregnant, then your options really are limited to staying with him (unless there are factors like violence etc. to consider.) Also, if you have been intimate, it will make it so much more painful to break up, because you have joined yourself to someone in a physical as well as a spiritual sense.
Obviously I am not talking here about situations where you are already married. If you are married and one of you becomes a believer, I believe the Bible guides us to stay together and let our life be a testimony to our spouse, for their salvation.
So, look before you leap into a relationship with someone who doesn’t share your love for God. Seeing them become saved will be very rewarding, but it can take an agonisingly long time. Always ask God whether this relationship is His plan for you. And if you don’t get an answer immediately, take it slow until you do.
Footnote: In the interest of full disclosure: I am married to a beautiful, perfect man who hasn’t chosen God yet. And I know I made the right decision to marry him. But even though he would never pull me away from God, it is a very lonely road at times.
I would love to hear your thoughts below.