God dating relationships slowly
It started with a lot of bluster and confidence, mostly on my part. Converting the "lost" was my profession, after all. I also needed to believe this and needed to tell my worried, but open-handed, parents that although I was breaking the one rule they persistently drill into young evangelical girls (aside from no front hugs) — do not date non-Christian men — I was in control and was going to handle the situation. And while we clung tightly to each other and to the notion that love could conquer all, our relationship descended through multiple stages of hell before it finally came to another end.
First, there was the aforementioned "I’m right but you just don’t see it yet" period. Our arguments about how the world worked, whether or not I’d actually witnessed "miracles," and the foundations of morality were emotionally charged.
For Adam and I, it seemed like this was where our love story ended — at the third stage, the slow-and-painful breakup.
After three years of dying on our own separate crosses, an unpleasant trip to ask for my parents’ permission to get married (in which Adam was grilled for four hours on his beliefs about the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ), and my obsessive search for some theological loophole that would alleviate my anxiety over Adam’s "lostness," Adam’s original prediction proved true.
These markers had nothing to do with the Bible (and FWIW, I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t have been on Instagram), but in the culture of my faith group, they were gold.
The truth of the matter was that I had been raised to want certain things and I knew that staying with Adam meant that I may never have them. Relationships are already hard — was it masochistic to willingly upgrade to the extra-difficult interfaith version?
Adam was raised a secular humanist, a "nonreligous lifestance" that deemphasizes the role a God-like entity plays in a person’s life and emphasizes making good personal decisions.
But once weeks turned into months, the places I used to go to to find peace became increasingly devoid of any comfort or assurance.Sure, we were both college-educated Americans, but the people in my community got married early — like, ring-by-senior-year-of-college early — and then proceeded to have three kids before Adam’s friends could finish their doctoral dissertations.By 27, I had been to over 50 weddings, while Adam had been to one.More than one dinner out ended with me crying at the table in frustration, so we started eating at dimly lit restaurants. It was my family, the only community I had known, my education, and my profession, but it simply wasn’t for the person I loved. Luckily, Adam’s patience was just as strong as his stubbornness, and he put up with Sunday services, my parents prophesying over him, and the celibacy that I had committed to as a 13-year-old (despite the fact that I’d lost my purity ring, oops).He tried to explain to me that maybe, just maybe, our differences had more to do with rhetoric and semantics than actual value disparities, but I couldn’t accept that. As we passed milestones in our relationship and continued to circle the major issues dividing us, other problems arose — namely, our different cultural expectations.