In the never-ending American mating ritual the BIG PICTURE is often overlooked or ignored by couples inebriated with love. Frequently blinded by the intense joy of being someone else’s #1 individuals develop tunnel vision. Many of you can reflect on past relationships where you neglected to see the big picture, disregarded those who tried to make you see it and when you finally focused and saw the big picture promised yourself to be more observant the next time.
Many relationship issues fall within the “big picture” but here I want to focus on religious differences/religious upbringing between couples.
Individual spirituality, or personal religious beliefs, falls on a wide spectrum. Often if asked to explain our viewpoint we find it difficult to accurately express our beliefs. It is often so difficult that when we are dating/mating we are willing to put aside any obvious differences and let each be who they are. End of discussion…NOT! This particular item within the “big picture” will manifest itself in very real relationship problems, most often when the children arrive, if not sooner.
If you are one who has a strong, personal faith let your prayer be that God prepares and presents to you your mate. Be patient and obedient to that prayer by not dating anyone who does not share your strong faith. (Perhaps you believe God has called you to be Hosea to an irresistible Gomer. Carefully read how that relationship went and put out your fleece, Judges 6:36-40.)
We overlook the potential problems in our different family, religious backgrounds because, hey, we both believe in God. Coming to a mutual agreement on church attendance, religious education and personal faith requires a level of maturity and unselfishness that takes too much work especially in the glow of a budding relationship. The time WILL come when conflict will raise an ugly head and require attention to these issues. For the sake of your future happiness it is strongly recommended you do not overlook discussing these issues. The earlier in a relationship you have this discussion the stronger a foundation that relationship will enjoy or the sooner you are available to meet your God-given mate.
For those who have/will miss seeing the “big picture” all is not lost, but it WILL NOT be easy and happiness will come at a costly, personal price. Our selfish desires will feed the argument and cause problems but it is UNSELFISHNESS that will solve the disagreements and heal any wounds. 1 Peter 3:1-7 is the model you’ll both need.