I’m married to an agnostic – What God has taught me in the process
My husband is agnostic. There, I’ve said it out loud for the whole world to know. My husband went from being Christian to agnostic. I didn’t ask for this to happen nor did I think I would end up loving the Lord without my husband. For some reason, God has permitted me to be in a marriage full of love, authenticity and acceptance. This I am deeply grateful for. I don’t understand most of what I am going through because it is contrary to my ideals and image of the Christian marriage.
At first, I was deeply hurt, horrified and angry. Ok, I do still get angry but that’s ok because I take it to God and we work on my issues. If you want to know what happened to cause my hubby to change his views on God, I honestly can’t give you the answer because I don’t fully know myself and that’s his story to tell.
But, I do want to stop you from feeling sorry for me. I’m not sorry that I’m married to an agnostic because of what God has taught me. This is what I want to share with you. I want to take you with me on a closer look of how God can turn an unexpected situation around for great growth.
The dilemma of ideals
God has uprooted many lies I believe about him, life, marriage, and unity. My personality type is one that is easily focused on ideals and quite frankly believes in a utopia world. People like me don’t understand how love and kindness can’t make the world a better place or why people just don’t want to try (generalizing here). Here’s my personality type – the Advocate.
I saw marriage entailing me and my husband as Christians who loved God passionately. We were supposed to read the Bible and pray together, serve in the local church, minister and do all the things that you see other Christian couples doing.
For the first five years or so, we kinda did some of that. Now, I’m on my own. Although, Jesus did tell me not to be dismayed because he is by my side every time I go somewhere without my hubby or when I minister to others and my man isn’t by my side. Yes, my heart does still ache and maybe it always will. I take great comfort that God is with me in it all.
I had to make a choice
When you are married to someone who doesn’t share your beliefs, you can’t be God to them or do God’s job of changing their hearts. The only thing you can do is love and accept them for who they are. This is hard for us to do towards Christians let alone people who differ from us.
I was given the choice:
1) Allow myself to see this massive separation between me and my hubby because of different spiritual beliefs. This would cause disunity and nonacceptance to reign supreme in our home. Plus, the constant anger, tension, and frustration that would come from both of us because of wanting to be right and prove the other wrong.
2) Allow my heart to remain open, soft, loving and vulnerable towards my hubby. This meant to not try understand things that aren’t mine to understand. It would mean to see the man who he is and not the man that I want him to be. If I chose this option, I’d be opening my heart up for heartache over and over again. Or would I?
You see, I was terrified of pain and constant hurt. Perhaps we all are. But, I was more terrified of turning my back on a man who I love with all my heart and fervently believed was God’s man for me. So I chose option 2. I chose to love as best I could, even though I’d make a mess and be imperfect. God showed me that the only way to experience His love was to love. Love is the cornerstone of everything we do in life. 1 Corinthians 13 is my favorite reminder and reference to this. Without love we waste our time and energy. I committed myself to loving my family and others with all that I had.
What God has taught me
When I looked at God and how he loves us, I saw a God who was secure in his love for us and his own identity. This was not true for me. I was and still am insecure in who I am and in other people’s love towards me. If I was going to love and accept my man for who he is, I was going to have to navigate my hurt and pain to discover who I am in God and his heart for me.
So, I embarked on this journey of self-discovery and God-discovery.
It’s one thing to know God on a factual basis; it’s a totally different matter to experience him (know his voice, his touch, his heart). I began to experience God’s love and kindness on such deep levels and in everyday events. These God encounters have kept my faith strong and shown me that no matter what I cannot turn my back on Jesus. My DNA is intertwined with God’s DNA and that’s non-negotiable or non-debatable.
God is my source
God taught me to rely on him for everything. When I was home alone with my little boys (while hubby was at work) and falling apart, God taught me to seek him for strength and wisdom. Those times when I would teach my boys about God and my heart ached for my hubby to be teaching them with me, I learned that God is the perfect husband and father. This doesn’t mean that my hubby is any less of a husband and father. On the contrary, it means that I remove pressure off him to meet a need that he cannot meet at this point in time. God, on the other hand, can meet those needs.
I learned that authenticity comes from true love. When we really love someone we can let them be themselves without panicking that the world is going to fall off its axis or that our lives are going to be scarred. Authenticity is part of acceptance. If I really accept and love you, you can let down your guard and be yourself. I don’t have to agree with you and that’s ok. I see the color and beauty in you and realize it adds depth and color to my own world. My life is richer because of you. This is the message of authenticity.
God showed me that honor is vital to a successful marriage. I have had to learn to honor and respect my husband unconditionally. This means that I think about how my choices affect him and I choose to speak to him in a way that builds him up. I lace my words with affirmation, kindness and appreciation. I speak up to him. My eyes twinkle with pride and joy when he looks at me.
One in God
It’s easy to fall into the lie that because we believe differently about God we are separated and no longer one in God’s eyes. This is far from the truth. God still sees us as one because we are married. God began to use this to teach me that we are still one in His eyes but my relationship with God is my responsibility regardless of my husband’s choices. The same applies to him. So, I have to own my walk with God. I can go as deeply with God as I want – the choice is mine to make. This choice is not hinged on how my husband leads me spiritually.
Whatever happens in life, God has taught me to constantly seek His perspective. This has helped me to understand God’s heart more and view people the way he does. God sees our faults and mistakes yet still loves us. The same applies to my marriage. God has helped me to stay faithful and encouraged that nothing is impossible. One day, my husband may change his views again; maybe he wont (I don’t know). Regardless of what he believes, its his choice and I continue to see him the way God does and trust God to lead my little family of five into the incredible destiny he has.
At the end of it all, being married to an agnostic has taught me to trust in the victory of Christ and the power of God. I don’t know what the future holds but as long as God holds my hand and leads my family, I know we’ll be ok.
So I ask you dear friend, don’t feel sorry for me. Love me, support me and be my friend. Walk with me on this journey but realize that God is doing a great and mighty work. He has tucked me and my family deep into his heart. I cling to him and can honestly say that although it’s not perfect, my walk with God is deeper than ever. I thank you, dear friend, for you love and friendship because without you this journey would have been unbearable. Your love and support have carried me through more than you realize. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Ailie is Wife, mom, freelance writer, blogger, and artist. Her life motto is to seize every opportunity that presents itself. Her life’s mission is to love wholeheartedly, unapologetically, and unashamedly.
Read more from Ailie at www.LivingFiercelyLoved.com