30Stories: One Couple, Two Different Faiths

On day 5 of 30Stories 30Day Gail of My Life’s Journey asks:

Q: How does faith, your faith walk, fit in to your marriage? Does it? What would you say to someone who is on a radically different faith walk than her husband? 

Click here to read my answer, and I’ll see you tomorrow! 


One Q Interview icon30 Stories in 30Days: I love getting behind the mic. So for my birthday month I’m answering questions and telling stories every single day. Email me your question along with the link to your blog, and I’ll book you a date on my 30Stories whirlwind. Watch for daily YBH (yes, but how) posts on friendly blogs, along with bi-weekly storied-podcasts at Magpie Girl.

30Stories 30Days: The Collection

Oct 1:  What is the intersect between work and play and how can I find it?
Oct 2:  How has your spirituality shaped your sexuality?
Oct 3: IRL and Online Friendships: same? different? balanced.
Oct 4: How can I connect with my neighborhood?

Susan October 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

Rachelle, I’m really enjoying the guest blog posts. It’s great to see such a broad array of blogs inviting you onto their sites. I like the variety of topics. It’s really highlighting your expertise in a broader spectrum of related subjects. Great idea and thanks for introducing me to more cool sites to investigate. See you soon on my site!!

Kate October 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm

This is a great question, and I love your answer!

My husband is Atheist and I’m Catholic. I was raised Catholic, but I’ve made a grown-up decision to continue practicing because I love the church. Despite our very fundamental spiritual differences, I can directly attribute my strong faith and appreciation for the beauty of my church’s rituals and traditions in part to my husband’s different views. We’ve had countless conversations about faith, and his respectful questioning has really forced me to think about why I’ve chosen this path. Encouraging someone to think for themselves is always healthy! We dated for 6 years before getting married, and in that time we came to mutually respect our differing beliefs by learning about each other in the context of real life.

When I look at him, I don’t see the label “Atheist” – I see a man of amazing integrity with an unerring dedication to truthfulness and enormous respect for the dignity of others. He thinks about the consequences of his actions, and he has such an unfailing sense of what’s Right. I don’t see him as deficient because he doesn’t share my belief in a higher power. It’s absolutely more important to take measure of a person based on their actions rather than any spiritual label.

Friends and acquaintances of all spiritual levels are often stunned that a devout Catholic and a firm Atheist “make it work” – but the truth is, we don’t have to make anything “work” because we share the same values. The source is secondary to the actions, and I believe my God thinks so, too.

Again, great question and great post, Rachelle!

Rachelle October 9, 2010 at 9:55 am


Thanks you for giving us a sneak peek into you and your husbands story. It’s really helpful to hear first-hand some success stories. I’m going to tweet it around!

LaLa October 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Gosh Kate! That is sooooo lovely!

Favorite line: “we don’t have to make anything “work” because we share the same values. The source is secondary to the actions”

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I loved how it made me think about my own marriage. I often feel like my husband and I are practicing the same thing and calling it different names and wildly respecting each other the whole time.
Thanks for the encouragement that we can CONTINUE!

melanie October 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Kate said that really well!
I grew up in the Church of England, and was a Sunday School teacher. Ours was a low church, not a high church though, and the low bits always really appealed to me. One of my most favourite things was the harvest festival, when the church would be filled with wheat, and bread, and fruit and vegetables, and we’d all bring a gift of food (non-perishable) to be given out to those less fortunate in our parish.

I’m sure it was this love of the most earthy festival in church that led me to where I am now, calling myself Earthish, and loving the earth and all she provides. Celebrating the beauty and magic that is nature, and life. Believing in the good that is in everyone. I didn’t learn about a judgemental god, I learned of a loving god.
My ex-husband is an atheist. He has called himself various things in his self-exploration, but he doesn’t believe in any higher power, we’re born, we live, and we die, and while he believes in karma, he also believes that everything is predetermined, which I can’t possibly reconcile with karma – what is the point of karma if you have no choice over how you behave?
I have a huge respect for life, which he doesn’t share, and this is one of the things that has caused me to question our relationship.

Ours is one relationship where “we don’t have to make anything “work” because we share the same values. The source is secondary to the actions, and I believe my God thinks so, too.” doesn’t apply. We don’t share the same values. But I do believe wholeheartedly in that statement!

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