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.