How couples can discuss religion, even when they believe differently
Religion and politics are two topics everyone says you should avoid discussing with your mate. I say there is no conversation that should be avoided as long as two emotionally mature adults are present.
In this article I’ll share a few tips that work for my husband and I when it comes to discussing religion from differing viewpoints. I trust this can help in some way, especially if you are divided on beliefs.
Religion vs Relationship
I love God, and I never hide that fact, yet I don’t feel the burden to mention this in every conversation. My husband and I have very differing viewpoints about my relationship with God because he views it as religious non-sense. I view it as my personal spiritual walk which is one of my deepest core values. Since we believe different things, this topic often becomes a sensitive subject for us to discuss. No matter what the topic, however, I’ve found it much easier to talk when we can find one thing we both agree on first, and go from there.
When one person has a strong opinion about something, and the other person feels offended by it, its because that person feels triggered. Most often there is an attachment to pain from the past, an unwelcomed reminder of not feeling heard, or validated. I get it, but its really difficult to have adult conversations when this happens. Where there is only one emotionally mature adult in the room, then chances are no matter what you say it will be offensive to the other person. We ALL have trigger points, but if being offended becomes a way of life, there is a deeper need for healing and restoration.
One of my subscribers on www.wiselike.com, asked, “Can a mutual ground be found among all religions that would make having the religion talk with your spouse easier?”
Great question. Lets see if we can find a starting point.
I saw a video on FB this morning that showed 4 & 5 year-olds abusing a toddler while an older person filmed it laughing and encouraging the abuse. Its already gone viral (12 mil views) because it evokes such deep anger and racism. I’ll use this video as an example of how to discuss any topic, even one as deeply disturbing as this one is.
Discussion point: “Honey, can we agree that whomever created our universe never wanted children beating on each other, or shooting other children?”
Religion or no religion, this is a topic you can probably unite in. Though this topic may seem broad, you can work your way down to more defined topics as you discuss it.
More defining statement: “This video infuriated me. When children are hurting a defenseless toddler, the compassionate side of me feels angered by it. God certainly doesn’t have to condemn us. We’re doing a good job of it ourselves.”
Notice that I’m not preaching. I’m simply sharing what we agree on and why I feel God put righteous anger in us.
Defined belief: “While most people want to punish the children for their behavior, its us adults who’ve taught them how to hate each other. Its another reason why I’m so thankful for the unity that Christ brings. I want to love my neighbors the way he taught so I can be free of hatred and sin.”
Now my husband may not believe the same way I do, but he still unites, or agrees, with me about the children’s behavior. Notice I shared pretty strong opinions about my beliefs, which are more about relationship than religion. Relationships are built on unity, not religion.
Unity creates community. Unity brings our states together when disaster strikes. Unity can even form a country; just look at the Declaration of Independence for proof of that.
Unity can also save marriages.
Pardon my seemingly feeble analogy here, but one of the best physical examples of unity I know is the egg. Yes, we still wonder which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I say chicken. The interesting thing about the egg is that it has completely different functions with many hidden benefits and anomalies.
As described on the blog of the imagination station here are just a few of it’s functions;
- Eggshell – The outer eggshell is made almost entirely of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and is covered with as many as 17,000 tiny pores. It allows air and moisture to pass through its pores and has a thin coating called the bloom that helps keep out bacteria and dust
- Yellow yolk – a major source of vitamins and minerals, the yolk contains less water and more protein than the white, some fat, and most of the vitamins and minerals that include iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, phosphorus, calcium, thiamine, and riboflavin. The yolk is an effective emulsifier.
- White yolk – Also known as, the latebra is an area of white yolk located in the center. It stands out as a bright white area in many Magnetic Resonance Images. The specific function is uncertain but it may act as a central structure around which the additional layers of the yolk are formed.
Once the egg is cracked open, something happens to its physical properties. Its function and purpose change.
From a spiritual perspective, unity has a trinity.
God is like the shell – the one that gave us breath and air to breathe.
Holy Spirit is like the yoke – which provides nourishment and comfort
Jesus is like the white – which casts light into our life
Scripture said to love God, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Again a three in one reference.
Unity is a three-in-one concept, not a religion. Without it we will be divided. Divided houses fall because of selfish intent.
To create deeper, more meaningful relationships, unity must be made a priority. Religion isn’t the issue. Relationship is.
Here is an article I wrote about 7 ways to communicate that can help you start bringing unity into your relationships right now. These tips have been extremely helpful for couples for centuries. Some readers may have deep seeded bitterness and will need further coaching to break free, but once unity becomes a habit, you’ll see your relationship thrive.
So go be an egg. And remember that religion creates division while relationship creates unity. Its a different way to think that can change the course of your current conversations. The question for all of us is, “Am I wiling?”
Share and comment below if you have insights, questions, or if you simply enjoyed this article. By the way, it took me a long time to learn these things, so be patient with yourself. Let me know if you’d like to join my next webinar to learn more.