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Old 11th February 2007, 05:17 PM   #16
perfectmarriage
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

My wife and I have been married for 22 years. She is a committed Christian and I am a staunch atheist. Has it made any difference? No. Has it created even the slightest problem? Emphatically no.

If you love each other and you want to marry I would say go for it.

Ed
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Old 15th February 2007, 05:47 AM   #17
Evada
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

I think it is important you go into the marriage being clear on what you will teach the children regarding religious beliefs.

I have been married 15 yrs to a wonderful man who thinks all this business about God is a bunch of bunk. Furthermore, he thinks he is doing his children an injustice letting them be "brainwashed" into believing what he sees as a negative thing. It has made things very difficult and I have almost had to sneak any sort of spiritual guidance into my children's lives. It's pretty much "ex-nay on the Esus-Jay" around here, otherwise Dad will go about explaining to the kids that there is no such thing as God, Jesus, etc, that it's all make believe story, like Santa or the Easter Bunny.

When we first got married, he seemed okay about it all and respectful of my beliefs, but it all changed when we had kids. Kids have a way of changing our priorities, and it suddenly became apparent to him that he had to protect them from being fed these "untruths". If you look at it from his perspective, you can see how he thinks he is doing what is best for his kids.

Unfortunately, I disagree with him, and unfortunately, it makes things very difficult in our marriage. I love him very much, but if I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn't have married him. Which is really a shame, because he really is a good man.
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Old 15th February 2007, 07:32 AM   #18
Raymond
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

I think any christian has to really think it through before marrying a non christian, be not unequally yoked and all that.

However Evada the scriptures say that your children are purified by the believer, so God is there and He can bring about a miracle. Keep praying for the children and for your husband. Don't preach to him but show him by your life what you believe, who knows you may convert him.

These things are in the scriptures in the new testament.

Raymond
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Old 29th March 2007, 07:40 PM   #19
charlie1
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

I am in a relationship with a christian. I am a non believer (atheist/lapsed catholic).

- Marrying a christian doesnt guarantee anything. if you married Jimmy Swaggart or Jim baker ( fill in with multiple "fallen christians"). Christians have as high , or even a higher divorce rate than other religions.
- Not being "yoked" was probably good safe advice back in biblical times. people of different sects, tribes had very different customs, traditions and were very focused on preserving same. Modern society is much more homogenous and people are more educated, respectful of each others differences etc. Its not really relevant today.

I think its totally possibleto marry someone who is a non believer. I think Christians may , at some level, not want this to work because it acknowledges others beliefs which automatically undermines theirs.

You may have to re-examine some of your core beliefs though but you choose this person already so you are probably open to that. I wouldnt worry about adapting the bible to your life because people have been doing that for centuries to justify everything from slavery to heretic burning.

Every couple has things they want to change about the other. Its part of the tension that keeps a relationship dynamic.

This is love. If you are in a happy, respectful, loving relationship that is the most important thing and that is where you should start. Any loving God would smile.
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Old 24th April 2007, 02:28 PM   #20
ricardo1979
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

Hi all,

I'm an atheist who is currently in a relationship with a Christian and we've talked about getting married and what problems might come up. One thing we've discussed is some sort of informal but binding agreement about what compromises each of us agree to make before we get married. So I thought I'd post it here in case anyone had any helpful comments.

The more exact situation is that we both entrenched in our beliefs but can accept the other person's. Obviously she wants the children to become Christians which I'm prepared to accept with a few caveats. Although I don't believe in God, I do think that Christianity helps some people (including my girlfriend) to live happier lives and that a lot of the moral teachings of Jesus were excellent principles. So...

Children

Obviously the main problem. They would be taught about christianity by their mother and the father would make no active attempt to subvert this. However, this religious teaching couldn't include anything which contradicted certain moral principles. These are roughly that all people can be good or bad people regardless of religious belief, sexuality etc. It is also obviously unacceptable for the child to be frightened with images of hell. When asked about religion, the father will give his honest opinion, and the children will be told that different people have different views about this.

Schools

The children will go to a Christian school, but it must be one which seperates science and religion. For example the children won't be taught that Creationism is a well-supported scientific theory with an equal status to the theory of evolution. The Christian beliefs taught by the school will be in accordance with those outlined in the previous paragraph (i.e. no 'gays go to hell')

Charity

The family will obviously give to charity. This can be to Christian charities which help people in need but not those whose aim is to convert people to Christianity.

I'd really appreciate it if people pointed out any other big issues that could cause conflict, and also commented on anything in this that is not likely to work.

Cheers, Richard
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Old 31st May 2007, 06:42 AM   #21
snooples
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

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Originally Posted by marion View Post
My boyfriend and I are completely in love and we've both discussed the prospect of marriage. However, I am a Christian and he is an atheist. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, and I want to be with him for eternity. But I know that if he doesn't believe in God he won't go to Heaven. He holds quite strong views on the subject and I can't see him changing these views. I can't bare to think of what will happen to him when he dies if he doesn't find Jesus. I love him completely but can a relationship like this really work? Should I just respect his views and be content with having him for a lifetime only? I pray for him everyday that he will find Jesus one day.

I myself had a Christian girlfriend who meant everything to me . I could not imagine not being with her , but she turned her back on me ultimately when she realized that I could never be converted. I will never forgive her for that betrayal. That seems to me to be the ultimate in selfish heartless bigotry.

You speak only of him changing HIS views, that sounds rather familiar to me . Your boyfriend , like myself, has no doubt considered the truth or falsity of Christian beliefs in great detail. Have you ever considered his side of the story ?

From your perspective , you can turn your back on a good man who loves you and go be with a Christian man in Heaven for all eternity ,leaving your loving boyfriend behind to burn in hell . And your Christian community will pat you on the back for that as being a virtuous decision!

From his perspective , though he loves you very much ,he is powerless to change the fact that what you believe is not only false , it also demands that you must have nothing to do with him ! ( " do not yoke thineself unequally together with the unbeliever" ) And you will leave him at a the drop of a hat over a few bronze age scribblings cobbled together by the Emperor Constantine in the third century CE.

As for the education of children, well. If you freely admit that belief in God must be indoctrinated as a truth from birth , then you have no respect for freedom of thought or even the "freewill" that your Deity is supposed to value so much. (although most moral persons would argue that there is no "freewill" when under duress of eternal damnation)

If there is an open discussion with your boyfriend as well as your kids ,then there should be no problem . Liberal Christians that see the New Testament as moral philosophy are likely to argue it`s tenets . If you are a Conservative Christian, then all those that don`t believe as you are the agents of Satan . The bible tells you what to do with them .

It all depends on which one you are.
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Old 1st June 2007, 08:10 AM   #22
snooples
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardo1979 View Post
Hi all,

I'm an atheist who is currently in a relationship with a Christian and we've talked about getting married and what problems might come up. One thing we've discussed is some sort of informal but binding agreement about what compromises each of us agree to make before we get married. So I thought I'd post it here in case anyone had any helpful comments.

The more exact situation is that we both entrenched in our beliefs but can accept the other person's. Obviously she wants the children to become Christians which I'm prepared to accept with a few caveats. Although I don't believe in God, I do think that Christianity helps some people (including my girlfriend) to live happier lives and that a lot of the moral teachings of Jesus were excellent principles. So...

Children

Obviously the main problem. They would be taught about christianity by their mother and the father would make no active attempt to subvert this. However, this religious teaching couldn't include anything which contradicted certain moral principles. These are roughly that all people can be good or bad people regardless of religious belief, sexuality etc. It is also obviously unacceptable for the child to be frightened with images of hell. When asked about religion, the father will give his honest opinion, and the children will be told that different people have different views about this.

Schools

The children will go to a Christian school, but it must be one which seperates science and religion. For example the children won't be taught that Creationism is a well-supported scientific theory with an equal status to the theory of evolution. The Christian beliefs taught by the school will be in accordance with those outlined in the previous paragraph (i.e. no 'gays go to hell')

Charity

The family will obviously give to charity. This can be to Christian charities which help people in need but not those whose aim is to convert people to Christianity.

I'd really appreciate it if people pointed out any other big issues that could cause conflict, and also commented on anything in this that is not likely to work.

Cheers, Richard

There are a few issues that I think might come up regarding your contract. You say that the mother shall teach the children ABOUT Christianity. Does this include telling your children that God is real? How about original sin? I know all about Christianity, but that is very different from having been taught it from birth as a true fact of reality. Children are vulnerable to integrating their worldview between the ages of 3 to 8 or so . Most religions know this ,and place special emphasis on integrating true/false distinctions by this age limit. Consider this factor.

Regarding schooling . I have never in my life EVER encountered a "Christian" school that taught a full and accurate honest account of evolution by natural selection. Some teach that "adaptation" inside of species is accepted , but not macroevolution. Others teach that evolution is a theory of "chance" and is highly improbable ,and is just a "theory" and is not proven in any way. I have heard many ,all are dishonest. There is a reason for this though. Most Bible based religious worldviews are blown out of the water if one truly understands evolution and its evidence. Christian schools know this . They also understand that their students may encounter evolution later in life . That is why they provide their students with a ready made "straw man" concept of it , in order to protect their students FAITH.

As for charity. There is a message being sent by only giving to Christian charities. That is , that Christians are virtuous beyond any scope involving secular organizations. Like the catchy new Church billboard phrase ,"GOOD WITHOUT GOD= 0" .

Last edited by snooples; 1st June 2007 at 08:14 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 23rd June 2007, 07:46 AM   #23
snooples
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz View Post
Dear Marian

There is a lot of wisdom in what the others here have said to you. Someone who really values you and cares for you is hard to find and sadly marriages between Christians can also break down. Becoming a Christian doesn't make you perfect or enable you not to make mistakes. It should open up the opportunities for grace and forgiveness when we do make mistakes and it should help us to do what is right and loving if we are really seeking God's help all the time.

Having the same values is important in most marriages and when you have children there will be tensions if you can't agree about what to teach them about the why's of life.

The bible says that it is not good for a believer to marry a non-believer. In this it is pointing towards some of the problems about different values and bringing up children. The bible also says that if you become a Christian then you shouldn't abandon your spouse because they don't accept Jesus as their Saviour ( I Cor ch 7).

But you touch on an issue which is probably hard for non-Christians to understand - what will life after death hold for a non-believer. I can only speak from the point of view of our own spiritual journey. I made a fresh commitment to Jesus when our son was born. I knew then I needed to know what I believed so I could guide him as he grew up. At that time my husband didn't know what he believed and I struggled with this for some time. I tried to bargain with God, that I would live for him if he would get David to follow him too. In the end I accepted that I couldn't bargain with God like this and handed David over to God, trusting that he would take care of him. Whatever David decided I was going to follow Jesus. However that didn't mean that I just went my own way. Part of loving God was to lovingly accept David and recognise that caring for him and my marriage was a way of serving God. Eventually David chose to follow Jesus too and it means so much to us that we can share that together. I am not sure that we could be as close as we are without that.

When I accepted that I couldn't bargain with God or force the situation, I had to face up to the fact that I couldn't be sure that David would be with me and Jesus in eternity and that was very painful.

My situation differs from yours in that we were married before the issue arose. If I was facing the same decision before marriage, I would want to be sure that God wanted me to marry the person I was in love with. When we first fall in love we find it hard to see things clearly we just want to be with the one we are in love with. If we want our marriage is to last, we both need to have the kind of love and commitment that will take us through the difficult times. Why not think about what some of those challenges may be and what impact your different beliefs may make at such times. There are also a host of marriage preparation programmes like Engaged Encounter, Prepare and FOCCUS which can help you both to think these things through. Perhaps you might do something like that together so you can explore together what the impact one ach of you will be of having these different beliefs.

Liz
Can you not see the life destroying ,heartless ,corruption that you are advocating ? I have experienced this mindlessness firsthand . I know what I believe . My values are that of honesty, truth , and love . Lets face it ..if you don`t get your way ..your going to bail ! Apparently the twisted authoritarianism of man made scripture can even make you turn your back on your dearest of loved ones,and encourage others to do the same as if it were a virtue! What greater hell can there be than that? You disgust me .
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Old 2nd September 2007, 10:56 PM   #24
rejones1
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

[quote=marion;15836]But I know that if he doesn't believe in God he won't go to Heaven.

I think that this is a common misconception in the christian faith, that if you don't believe in God you won't go to heaven. I believe that as long as you live your life in a way that christians would, i.e. not hurting people, helping them and leading your life in a good way, God will not leave them out of his kingdom.
A person may not believe in God but God will still believe in that person.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 11:02 PM   #25
rejones1
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

I think that it is a common misconceaption that if you do not believe in God you will not go to heaven. I believe that as long as you lead your life in a good way, not harming others etc you will find that you are not kept from his kingdom because although a person may not belive in God, God never stops believing in that person.
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Old 11th December 2007, 01:24 PM   #26
sweetmusicman
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

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Originally Posted by rejones1 View Post
I think that it is a common misconceaption that if you do not believe in God you will not go to heaven. I believe that as long as you lead your life in a good way, not harming others etc you will find that you are not kept from his kingdom because although a person may not belive in God, God never stops believing in that person.

It's not just common conception but the truth; people don't go to heaven because their good,living morally accepted lives but rather believing and accepting the Sacrifice given by God throught Jesus Christ. If people could go to heaven just by being good and morally accepted according to Biblical standards, then Jesus Christ birth and death wasn't needed at all. Now this is just common sense,don't you think?

Please understand this- Every humanbeing is born as dirt within themselves,but as soon as they accept God's Sacrifice they become clean! It's like using washing powder to get stain out of fabrics.
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Old 11th December 2007, 07:11 PM   #27
Raymond
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

I found that to be true as well. He is amazing.

Raymond
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Old 12th December 2007, 02:03 AM   #28
Sierra
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

All that is well and good, but it assumes that there is in fact a god. If in fact your boyfriend turns out to be right (and it's highly probable that he will) then you lose nothing by marrying him. In fact, if he is right, then you will have him for the BEST PART of his eternity. The path he is on after he dies is of no consequence.

I've been at it 42 years, have seen not a shred of evidence of a diety, and have not suffered a minute for it. It sure would have gummed up my social life if I worried about where people were going to be "after".

If my companions wanted to go to church, fine. I've even gone with them on occasion. The music was nice, the doughnuts tasty and it got me out of bed earlier.

S
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Old 29th December 2007, 11:15 PM   #29
tx345
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Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

Hi, I'm a little confused so hopefully someone can shed some light on my circumstance as you all appear to be worldly and experienced in this field.

Now I've been in a relationship with my partner for 5 years. We love one another, wished to spend our lives together. Recently he has returned to his Faith. His family are religious but he's never shown an interest whilst he has been with me. Suddenly he tells me, without any discussion what so ever that he wishes to terminate our relationship as he wants to pursue a relationship with someone who shares his faith.
Now I'm an open minded athiest. I respect everyone for their views, am completely tolerant. This I just do not understand. I understand the possible issues that may have arisen with children but I was always willing to compromise or come to an arrangement of some sort that would suit both of us.
He tells me he still loves me and as a person can see us living out a happy life together but he cannot let it be as I do not share his faith.

So I'm confused. Truly baffled. Two people who love each other as much as we do, and it just can't happen as he believes he needs someone to share his Faith with.
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Old 11th August 2008, 08:22 PM   #30
gembe38
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Unhappy Re: Do christian/atheist marriages work?

I have the same problem as the person above me although we were only together 8 months and he has always been strong in his faith. Ive said I would support him in any way I could, and I understand the problems that may occur.
He says he still loves me but he cant compromise, he has to make a full commitment to god.
He said he didnt want another christian girl, he wanted me to be his christian girl. And that just wont happen.
We are broken up atm but we both know we still love each other. Its really hurting. and I miss him terribly even when we are around hanging together as friends.
I know in my heart he wont change his mind.....
I just need to know why love can be abandoned so?
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