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Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word

askauntdara@gmail.com


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Can a Couple with Religious Differences have a Successful Relationship or Marriage?

Dear Aunt Dara,
 
A good friend of mine told me about her dilemma with her current boyfriend who she has been dating for a year.  They are both in their 20s.  From what she says he is a great guy but the only problem is that his mother really does not like her.  She is a catholic and he is part of a protestant church that is very strict (women can't wear pants, fake nails and hair, makeup, jewelry, men and women can't sit next to each other at church, etc.)  She and her boyfriend decided to go on a vacation together alone, and his mother was very upset about it to the point that she told all the church members that she was ruining her son.  I too was shocked when she told me this because I would never go to another state or country with a young man by myself who is not my husband.  However, from what I see his mother doesn't like her because she is not the simple and humble type of girl she wants for her son.  She is my friend but I have to be honest—she doesn't dress or act like a modest Christian woman.  Also, it seems as if the relationship is causing the young man to rebel against his mother and the church, because he even told her that if they decided to get married he wouldn't mind getting married in the catholic church.  As a born again believer, I was always taught that marriage is a union between two people recognized by God.  This union is supposed to put both families together on a common ground.  Your religion really plays an important role in your morals and character.  This is what will shape the relationship between you and the other person.  If their morals don't mesh together, there will be problems down the road and that's what I think will happen between my friend and her boyfriend.  Do you think two people of completely different religions can have a successful relationship or marriage, and do you think it is a good idea for these two to stay together?  I feel like telling her to move on.  I just feel like she is with him because it is making her interesting for the moment.  I feel like she is setting herself up for failure.  What do you think?

Sincerely,
Her Friend

 
Dear Friend,

If your friend and her boyfriend are still together, I suggest that you completely stay out of it and let the two of them work this thing out together.  Nobody appreciates a friend trying to give helpful advice about their romantic relationship.  You may see disaster ahead for your friend and her relationship as you described it, but you should NOT tell her that she should move on.  This doesn't involve you and you don't know all the facts.  (For additional information on giving relationship advice to a friend, please refer to “Giving Marital or Relationship Advice to a Friend” that I posted on 7-31-2012 at http://askauntdara.blogspot.com/.)  You could, however, express your concerns about your friend's behavior, such as how she chooses to dress or act in an unchristian way.

Do I think that two people of completely different religions can have a successful relationship and marriage?  No, I do not.  I have never seen it work out well, and I have seen a lot of marriages.  Sometimes one partner is successful in converting the other, and in those situations the relationship/marriage has a chance of being successful and happy.  However, one should never enter a marriage hoping to be able to convert their spouse.  It rarely works out that way.

God Bless,
Aunt Dara