By: Francine and Byron Pirola
It is often difficult for a couple to share their personal faith experiences with each other. This is so for couples of different faith traditions, but is also true even if they are of the same religion.
We are trained to avoid talking about religion and politics in polite company because these topics are laden with strong feelings. Precisely for this reason, it is very important, for a couple who wants to be close, to trust one another with these feelings and to be open and accepting of the other’s deeply held beliefs and personal experiences.
Sometimes, people think that faith does not really matter to them because they are not overly religious. But even if they have no formal religious training, their concept of God and how they view themself in relationship to God, is central to their personhood and powerfully impacts their behavior and attitudes. If they simply avoid sharing that which is so central and foundational, they run the risk of their relationship becoming shallow and vulnerable to a great deal of misunderstanding.
Tension can arise because couples have sometimes been taught different things about what is right or wrong. They may even hold deeply seated misconceptions about the other’s faith traditions or experiences. Sharing faith can overcome this formation and draw a couple closer together whether or not they choose to practice their faith in the same way.
It is a great act of generosity to free the other to be themselves by sincerely encouraging them to reveal their feelings and experiences in their relationship with God.
Credit to Francine and Byron Pirola of SmartLoving.