He Must Be A Christian Was Drilled Into Her Head Yet It’s Not Enough

by Yvonne Chase on January 29, 2018

Drilled Into Her Head
Recently, I had a detailed conversation with a friend about marriage amongst Christians. She married at a young age. The only criteria drilled into her head when choosing someone to marry was he must be a Christian. Well, the man she married was indeed a Christian and even better, they met at and attended the same church. He was in like Flynn.

Sex Is Taboo
Seven years into the marriage, they divorced and are now co-parenting three children. She says the marriage was over for her after the second year, however, she tried to make it work for the kids. There was no connection between her and her husband. While they waited until marriage to consummate, they never had a conversation about sex before marriage. “That was a big mistake,” she says. We didn’t talk about it because sex is taboo; you don’t talk about it.”

More Than A Christian
I love honest conversation and I love people who are honest about their lives and missteps. We live life forward and we understand it backward. Looking back, she says her marriage failed because she was too young; twenty-two and he needed to be more than a Christian. She says, “We wanted different lives. The way we saw the world was very different. We clashed like oil and water in so many important ways.”

Different Trajectories
Her then-husband met the top criteria, however, they were incompatible in so many ways.  For example, she was on the path of higher education while he wasn’t and had no plans to do so. That became a big problem. Education, learning and seeking new experiences is super important to her. Their levels of ambition, thirst for knowledge and passion for life were on two very different trajectories as was the rest of their lives. They really didn’t have much else in common outside of Christianity.

All Will Be Well
She and I grew up in that space where we were taught he must be a Christian. It was presented as the most important quality. Conversations about the importance of other qualities were not at the forefront. The conversation, in a nutshell, was marry a Christian and all will be well.

It’s Not The Whole
Being a Christian is a big part of the conversation, however, it’s not the whole. As bad as this may sound, just because he’s a Christian doesn’t mean he’s a good man. All Christian men aren’t good men. In her words, “My husband was a misogynistic patriarchal prick!”

Because He’s A Christian
Other Christian men are dishonest, verbally abusive and some are incapable of creating intimacy outside of a sexual experience. Some are lazy, have a horrible work ethic and make a bunch of excuses. You can’t just marry a guy because he’s a Christian!

drilled
Due Diligence
In the case of my friend, she didn’t do her due diligence in getting to know him. She thought attending the same church plus having the same circle of church friends and the approval of their families because they were both Christians was enough. Turns out it wasn’t.

Go The Distance
Know this, two people can love each other deeply and love Jesus wholeheartedly yet not have enough in common to go the distance in marriage. While some think love is enough, it’s not just like being a Christian is not enough. We need to have things in common. I believe the more a couple has in common the greater chance of a fulfilling life. What do you believe?

Look Beyond Faith
In closing, I leave you with this, while you’re meeting, greeting and screening potential partners, make sure you look beyond his faith to see what else you have in common otherwise you just might end up like my friend; divorced.

Something to think about…

What say you? Is being a Christian enough? What else is important and what else did you look for beyond his faith?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel Lee January 30, 2018

“We live life forward. but understand it backwards.” What an interesting and true statement! I agree with you, that marrying someone based on that criteria alone is foolish, and yet I believe (if you’re a christian), that it is equally foolish to marry without this being ONE of the conditions. It is important to be equally yoked.
I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Marriage is hard work! It’s hard to see its demise. Good advice here, Yvonne.

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Yvonne Chase January 30, 2018

@Rachel,

For me, being a Christian MUST be one of the conditions because it is important to be equally yoked not only in this area but also in other areas.

It’s so hard to see the demise of marriage and that is why I write with such conviction. People just don’t get it! There are so many layers to this overall conversation. I intend to pull back as many layers as I can.

Thanks for stopping by…
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Disobedience To God Will Change The Trajectory Of Your LifeMy Profile

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Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au February 3, 2018

I think marrying a Christian is non-negotiable for making your own Christian walk easier – and for parenting from the same page down the track. But marriage can be overly romanticized when we’re young – we often choose our partner for their looks, or their faith, or their sense of humour, or their job – or for any number of reasons. Sometimes we are fortunate and grow together – other times we grow apart – there’s a lot of work involved in making a successful marriage – I still think having the same faith as your partner is a big drawcard, but you’re right – it can’t be the only thing you have in common.
Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au recently posted…WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR HAPPINESS?My Profile

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Yvonne Chase February 4, 2018

@Leanne,

You are absolutely right; being a Christian is a non-negotiable for making my own Christian walk easier. I think we forget Christians are people. People are complex. We have different personalities, wants, needs and ways of being that need to be explored when choosing a mate.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Remember This And Forget That In 2018My Profile

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Jean | DelightfulRepast.com February 4, 2018

In addition to that top requirement, there are many other “musts.” Even if you don’t plan to have children, he must be a man who would be a great dad. He must have the same kind of sense of humor. And look for kindness, patience and consideration, not just toward you, but toward everyone from all walks of life.
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Yvonne Chase February 4, 2018

@Jean,

I like how you break this down. Kindness, patience, and consideration to everyone from all walks of life is a big one for me.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Falling In Love At First Sight Is Different Than Married At First SightMy Profile

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Elizabeth February 4, 2018

I’ve counseled with many who have had this same experience! Good pre-marital counseling would help maybe expose some basic differences and expectations and also the baggage each one brings into the relationship.
Elizabeth recently posted…Not the word of mere men, but the Word of God…My Profile

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Yvonne Chase February 4, 2018

@Elizabeth,

Premarital counseling is a must. It’s the reason I’m unmarried. A good dose of premarital will turn the light on and expose differences, expectations, baggage and a whole lot more. I don’t think any couple should marry without it.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…3 Bad Reasons To Get Married In 2018My Profile

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Roseann Hampton February 4, 2018

I wholeheartedly agree! I met my first husband in high school. He was a christian and we even had some things in common. However is addictive behaviors got the best of him and needless to say that didn’t work for me! Thanks for sharing at the Blogger’s Pit Stop! Roseann from http://www.thisautoimmunelife.com

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Yvonne Chase February 8, 2018

@Roseanne,

I appreciate your honesty. Sorry, you had that experience. I’m sure you’re a better woman because of it. All things work together for good.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…I Could’ve Married An Unbeliever But I Chose To Obey God InsteadMy Profile

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Ruth February 6, 2018

I totally understand this. The church and the Bible told me he must be a Christian, and hollywood said you must be in love. That’s pretty much the only council that I got except to date for a couple of years (though they didn’t say why, and we only dated for a little over a year, part of that long-distance.) I think it’s important for the parents and other mentors to give the youth more guidance on these things, like you said. My ex ended up being dishonest, unfaithful, and a wanderer who was never satisfied with what he had and had to move on. Hindsight I hope others will listen to and avoid the pitfalls.

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Yvonne Chase February 8, 2018

@Ruth,

And that is why I write in such a raw fashion; so others will listen and avoid the pitfalls. Youth and even adults need a lot more guidance on these matters.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…3 Bad Reasons To Get Married In 2018My Profile

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Susan Arico February 8, 2018

A lot of interesting thoughts in this post.
In young adulthood, many don’t know exactly what they mean by “being a Christian.” And they don’t know how what they mean differs from what someone else means… It sometimes takes life experience to see and discern these things.
An important topic, for sure.

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Yvonne Chase February 8, 2018

@Susan,

So true…many don’t know exactly what they mean by “being a Christian.”
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Disobedience To God Will Change The Trajectory Of Your LifeMy Profile

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Aimee February 8, 2018

Thanks for this post, Yvonne. I agree that marrying a Christian is top priority, but it shouldn’t be the only criterion. I’ve known enough people to know that just because they say they are a Christian doesn’t mean that they are. Are they displaying the fruit of the Spirit? How do they serve the Lord? What is their prayer life like? Are they kind to others? Do they do what they can to help their future spouse live a Godly life? What about washing her in the Word? There are many, many factors to look at here. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.
PS – I married a non-believer;) He came to faith 8 years into our marriage, but that is not the norm!
Aimee recently posted…The Simple But Remarkable Purpose Of The ChurchMy Profile

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Yvonne Chase February 8, 2018

@Aimee,

Exactly, just because someone says they are Christian doesn’t mean it’s so. The questions you pose are a great place to start when checking out the fruit. Thanks for the honesty about your marriage and noting it’s not the norm. Really appreciate it.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…I Could’ve Married An Unbeliever But I Chose To Obey God InsteadMy Profile

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