On any given Sunday, I often gather my two kids up and drive to the nearby church. They have a morning service with the most beautiful music you’ve ever heard. They have daycare with caretakers who are loving and kind. It’s really a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.
Sometimes as I listen to the music, my heart will begin to swell, my body starts to sway, and I feel a love exuding from me that cannot be described. Then I see the couple in front of me embrace or hold hands, and the tears well up in my eyes. I’m alone in my pew.
My husband let go of his spirituality a long time ago. His reasons were justified, and he has been agnostic for most of his life, and far longer than I’ve ever known him. I, on the other hand, have always been spiritually devoted. Born and raised to know and love Christ, I often turn to him for answers, or to give thanks. My relationship with God has seen its peaks and valleys, like most relationships, but I never lost my belief.
Early in our relationship as a couple, our different beliefs seemed surmountable, even exciting in a way, as we debated the great depths of this life and what it all meant. But in the back of my mind I always thought that his beliefs would change over time. Yes, I though I could change him. Or that time and circumstances would change him. After all, we both went into our partnership wanting children, and I’d heard that having a baby changes everything. Maybe it would change his beliefs? It is the greatest miracle in life, after all.
It’s been a few years. We have two beautiful boys now. They fill us with love, and passion, and drive everything we do and live for. But my husband feels the same way about God as he always has… God doesn’t exist.
My husband stood next to the doctor for both the boys’ births. He was the first to hold them, he watched them squeal and cry out for the first time and latch to my nipple. And as time has passed, he’s seen these little creatures turn into people. Walking and talking and having opinions. Lots and lots of opinions.
Isn’t this all such a miracle? Isn’t this all proof of a higher power? Not for my husband.
So I sit alone in my church pew. And it sucks. More than sucks, it breaks my heart that I can’t share my faith and spirituality with the man I love with all my heart. I wish we could grow in our faith together, but alas, that is not how our relationship was born and it’s not where our relationship is headed.
I love my husband with all my heart. I am committed to him for life, and he is committed to me. We have a strong relationship too, perhaps better than many. But my heart will always yearn for us to grow in our love for God together. I will always pray that someday his faith in God will be restored.
Because a life full of love is something most of us hope for in a marriage. But my heart is set on eternity.