My Choice – His Choice

As I think back over my life, it seems that I have always had a measure of faith. My mom grew up in the church because her father was a preacher. As the child of a military man, I attended all kinds of churches in different parts of the world. There would be times when I would go weeks or months without attending, but no matter what, I always found myself back in church. Then I met the man who became my best friend and husband.

My husband has never felt drawn toward a relationship with God, so you can bet, we have had some pretty interesting, and at times, heated conversations. He asked me early on why I believe in God.

Hmm. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we hold. It also tells us to give this answer with gentleness and respect.

One thing I have learned is that any words I might say won’t mean a thing when my actions or attitude tell a different story. I have tried to give a reason for my hope in God, but my husband always has an alternative theory. So, I don’t use words any more. I choose to use every other area of my life as an example for my faith.

I have to remember that just as I made my choice, he has a right to his choice. That’s when I have to remind myself about that gentleness/respect directive from 1 Peter 3:15. My husband’s responses are responses that could come from anyone: children, siblings, parents, friends, etc…

So how do we, the single in faith, cope with rejection, especially when that rejection comes from the people we love the most?

One thing I do is to remind myself that it isn’t necessarily about me, the person. The rejection is against accepting another persons beliefs. We have to respect that choice and move on.

Some ways that help: music. I love listening to music that touches my soul. Some of my favorite artists include: Group One Crew, LeCrae, Mercy Me, Britt Nicole, and Mandisa, to name a few. When I feel my lowest, I blast music and sing and dance my heart out.

I still pray for my husband, but in the end, our marriage works because we have retained our friendship despite our different spiritual paths. Sometimes it seems like my husband has given me great training in being able to accept other people’s rights to their beliefs. Every time he challenges me, it forces me to look at situations and people from a different perspective even when I only want to see things from my point of view. Talk about aggravating! Sometimes I just grind my teeth in frustration and walk away. There are times when I stand my ground and there are other times when I choose silence. Sometimes it’s the best reply. No one likes to have beliefs shoved down their throats and my husband will come to a relationship with God in his own time, when he is ready (if he makes that choice).

Ask yourself this question: Can you give a reason for the hope you carry?

The single in faith must be confident in the hope we carry, persistent in staying the course and flexible in how our faith is shared. The single in faith can enjoy the company of our spouses even though our spiritual paths follow different roads. The single in faith are stronger than we realize.

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Welcome to Married, but Single in Faith

Many people who go to church, or not, are people who are striving to maintain faith in God while living with a spouse who doesn’t share their faith. They face struggles that may not be understood by people who married someone of like faith. Sometimes, the struggles aren’t understood by those who teach classes or preach sermons and so those married, solitary faith keepers are left without encouragement that addresses their unique situations.
I know about those struggles because I have lived this reality for 28 years.

This blog is not an opportunity to slam my husband. It is a celebration of my choice to stay married and stay faithful to the race I am running so that I can hear the words, “Well done …”
I will be sharing the struggles I have faced and worked through and my goal is to encourage you to stay on course. I can’t promise to have an answer for every struggle, but I can promise support.
I have read a lot of blogs, books, and articles on this subject. My problem with most of those is that at the end of many of them, the husband ends up accepting God and the persons life ends up happily ever after (not many of them talk to husbands). 

Many of those books, blogs, and articles spend a lot of time telling the reader (women) what they need to do differently in order to bring their spouse into a relationship of belief. Some of the things suggested to make the transformation include: keeping a clean house, showing appreciation for your spouse, having a soft nature. I have a problem with these because they don’t acknowledge the fact that people have been given free will and some people have used that free will to decide against a relationship with God.

So, I will not give you advice about keeping a clean house. I will talk about:

* ways to keep your faith even when circumstances make it difficult
* how to let go of some things for peace of mind
* the importance of praise and worship
* how to love the relationship you have with God for yourself

I hope you join me on this journey and together, we can encourage each other to hold on and keep on keeping on!

Jessie

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