Would you be friends with an atheist
Finding a life partner is a difficult endeavor. The steadily growing divorce numbers make it clear. What begins with butterflies in the stomach and a long white robe in the church often ends in the war of the roses. Expectations are high today, and demands are constantly growing in an affluent society.
Choosing a partner is particularly difficult for people who regard their faith as a central part of life. In addition to the external attributes and character traits, the partner's creed must also fit. This dramatically narrows the choice. Radical religious communities are therefore mostly “marriage factories”.
The author Ute Horn is an expert in such questions. She is a devout Christian and has written several books on relationship issues. Among other things, she deals with the question of whether a Christian is allowed to enter into a relationship with a non-Christian. An example from Horn's fund: A young Christian wonders why God gave him his love for the atheist Sonja. Did he do it so that Sonja had the opportunity to get to know God? But what happens if Sonja cannot be converted?
I know from my consulting work that love is usually stronger than faith. Believers are convinced that God gives them the strength to lead the new flame to right faith. In order not to endanger the relationship, they initially like to press around the question of faith and hide. Or they say that they accept their partner as they are, but keep silent about the fact that they do not give up the hope of a miraculous conversion.
Such relationships often end with major injuries. If, after months or years, the believers stand by their hope of still being able to lead their partner to the “right faith”, they feel betrayed. Often, because of the question of faith, engagements had to be broken, vows reversed or marriages divorced.
"Many hope that the partner will convert at some point," confirms author Horn. “Either they wait so long to get married or they get married in the hope of conversion.” The wrong way for the Christian. As usual in such situations, she takes out the Bible as a guide and quotes Corinthians: "Do not make common cause with unbelievers."
When choosing a partner, belief does not have the same meaning as marriage, children, job, hobby, says Horn. Faith determines everything in life: how to lead a marriage, how to raise the children, how I choose friends, how to spend my free time. In short: Faith is paramount and must also be decisive when choosing a partner. If a girlfriend or boyfriend is not a Christian, it would be better to forego marriage, recommends Horn.
In short: Faith is more important than love, the life beyond is more important than existence in this world.
Or: Love your neighbor as yourself - but only if he has the right faith.
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