A Defense of the Inter-Faith Christian Marriage

Today is Sunday, which for my family, means that today we spent hour and a half driving and a good 2 hours in church.

To tell the family secret: I’m Catholic. Ethan’s Protestant. We cart our toddler to both of our church services. Every Sunday.

There are a couple different reactions when I reveal this to someone. Most of the time, people are nice enough to just raise their eyebrows and smile sympathetically. It’s a real treat if someone makes a comment like “Hmm, how long will THAT last?” or “Well, eventually you’ll convert” or “Good luck with that” or  “How will your son ever learn?” – each accompanied with their own respective eye-roll. Young parents these days. They’ll know better eventually. Perhaps you, reader, thought one of these things just now.

I won’t lie. It hurts my feelings.

Before we were married, or even dating, Ethan and I fiercely dialogued about our faith. At first, we seemed so at odds on every aspect of faith that I didn’t see how I could possibly have feelings for someone so different from me. But then, something happened. I started to read the Bible more. I started praying more, thinking of God more often than I ever had, turning to Him daily. I paid more attention during sermons, looking for answers. Ethan and I were growing in our faith. Never had I met someone who helped me improve my relationship with God like Ethan could- not always on purpose, but just by being himself. I’m sure Ethan felt the same way (at least I think so. We’re married now anyway.).

After a year and nine months, I can tell you it’s been a such a challenge. It’s so difficult sometimes that I have questioned whether God really meant me to be here, living a life I never dreamed I would live. But I have learned something that I often want to share with people who feel the need to point out how impractical our relationship seems:

I am not so arrogant as to claim I understand everything about God and his Word. 

I feel like everyone expects me to have religion “figured out” when I’m a parent, but the reality is that I just don’t. I want to learn as much as I can, and to do that I have to make an effort to trust God. I have to pray and cry and struggle and I’m blessed to have someone beside me doing the same thing. If you are or were a 20-something who has their faith life totally figured out, that’s wonderful. I’m genuinely glad for you. Please pray for us.

Maybe it’s irresponsible for parents to bring a child into the world before they know everything there is to know about God. Perhaps you want to quote scripture at me about how “a house divided cannot stand.” I would agree with you 100%. But with a mutual foundation in Jesus as our Savior, I hardly think our marriage is divided. I would rather Brady have parents who struggle and make an effort to learn more about God than parents who grow complacent and comfortable where they’re at. That’s a choice we made when we said our wedding vows.

As far as I know, it is good to seek truth.

However awful we are at going about that, that’s what we are striving to do in our lives. Of course, we fail at this multiple times a day. Everyone does. We’re flawed. I’m especially flawed; if you’ve read my blog at all my faults are visible in screaming detail. I’m talking about myself on here not so that some specific person will read it, but to share my faith in the fact that God has a plan for everyone. He does for my pregnancy, He does for my marriage. It’s not printed black and white on a single sheet of paper, like I used to expect it would be. Your path to God won’t go exactly the way you think it’s supposed to. If you have any faith at all, you will falter. Whether or not you stay in the dark or rise up in pursuit of truth is up to you.

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One thought on “A Defense of the Inter-Faith Christian Marriage

  1. I think this is an awesome way to compromise! When your Sunday’s get crazier, alternate each week between services. You two are learning and growing either way. Brady will learn that is a choice to live in faith and he will get to see that his parents are strong-willed and supportive of each other’s beliefs, which I think is pretty darn cool.

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