How do you handle concerns on faith with marriage?

Hi Everyone,
Recently the long term girlfriend of a beloved family member became an atheist. My understanding is that he still plans to marry her anyway, but for now the marriage is postponed. Would you advise to simply to pray for both of them, or does something need to be said?

Prayer is important indeed. May I also suggest to have a talk with your family member. Were there any signs of her doubting the faith? Did she became an atheist because of personal experience or did she have doubts regarding theology? Did she come across conflicting world view? this could be a faith crisis. Is there good Christian counselor that can possibly help…

2 Likes

Prayer is definitely important. I would ask if this person has considered speaking with a Pastor or spiritual leader they trust, and knows the situation, for advice.

4 Likes

Hi, @AmberLee! Thanks for reaching out here on Connect and entrusting us with a little bit of your life.

There could be so many things going on here that, like the others before me, prayer is so so important for you and anyone else involved.

Without knowing anything but these details, what I find remarkable (and possibly commendable) is your family member’s loyalty to his girlfriend. If you have the kind of relationship with him that allows you to ask him deeper questions about how he feels about her and his commitment to her, then that could possibly be a fruitful path of discussion. At the very least, it could help you understand their dynamic a little bit more, which could help in future conversations and encouragements.

I’d also be curious to know if he was surprised by this turn of events or if was something that he could see coming. Also, does it bother him that she has taken this stand? It may do more than he lets on…or it may not be all that important to him.

If this is something that concerns you for him, then I would take this opportunity to ask him more about himself and his thoughts rather than focusing on the rightness or wrongness of her decision. She’s made this decision, now it’s his turn to choose how he will respond.

Praying for you all! :pray:

3 Likes

Hi Amber @AmberLee. It seems that every time one turns a corner, there is another individual who has decided to become an atheist. One can’t help but wonder why, and who influenced that decision.
You mentioned that your family member is “beloved”. So, I’m assuming you have a close relationship with him. (Forgive me if I’m mistaken.) What you haven’t said, although implied, is whether your family member is a Christian and why the marriage was postponed. Was it over her decision to become an atheist or another? (This is a rhetorical question.) If your family member is a Christian, then he should have serious reservations about going forth with the marriage. Yet, sometimes people call themselves “Christian” because they made a decision for Christ, but then they don’t do the Bible study and faith walk to become a dedicated Christian. I think I would prayerfully talk with your family member to see where he is on the scale of his Christian walk.
Let me give you an example from my own family’s experience…not with an atheist, but with someone who had serious emotional issues. My brother was dating a girl, heading toward engagement, who was the daughter of a friend of the family. It was easily discerned that this girl had some emotional problems that my parents could see would be problematic for my brother if he married her. My brother knew she had problems, but decided to go through with the marriage despite wise counsel not to. He was a strong Christian, but also a very stubborn individual. As it turned out, my brother endured and suffered through that marriage that ended in divorce after 37 years. His wife’s emotional problems increased significantly to the point that she destroyed my brother’s usual gregarious and confident personality. He is now very reclusive and is recovering from “battered spouse syndrome”. He knows he never should have married that person. In addition to destroying my brother, his wife wreaked havoc in our family as well.
I tell you this example as a means of your encouraging your family member to think seriously about the consequences of making such a marriage if his fiance doesn’t repent and come to the Lord. Love can be very blind, especially when it takes over the priority to put God and His commands first. What we so often fail to see is that by putting God first, He honors that decision. By all means, proceed prayerfully and with the leading of the Holy Spirit.