I knew I couldn’t call myself a Christian for almost a year before I told my wife. It was her worst nightmare about me – about us – come true. Not only was I not Christian enough, I wasn’t even Christian any longer. For months I felt I was living a lie. I couldn’t attend church any longer either.
I knew I had to tell her because she deserved to know. She deserved the chance at the family she always wanted – at the husband she always wanted.
Once I decided to tell her, I had to put it in a way she would most understand where I was coming from.
I took an easel with that huge presentation paper and wrote one sheet…
Things Most Christians Believe
This list contained things such as Holy Trinity, tithing, physical existence of Heaven/Hell, etc. Once again, things MOST Christians agree on, but if someone said they didn’t cut for tithing, you wouldn’t necessarily revoke their Christian card for the indiscretion.
On the next page I wrote at the top…
Things All Christians Believe
On here I listed items such as Jesus was the son of God, 10 Commandments, the only way to Heaven and the Father is through Jesus, etc. This list was vastly shorter than the previous one, but much more concrete. Cross any one of these from a believer’s faith, and it would be hard to still rock the Christian title.
I told my wife we needed to talk one night after she came home from work, I sat her down, and went over belief by belief and where I differed on each one – and why. I gave her speeches, and articles, and quotes, and anecdotes. I gave her everything I had – I gave her myself. And as the night went on, I crossed out item after item – believe after belief – from both pages.
Hours later, by the time I flipped to the third page, I only had one question written…
“If I don’t believe these things, how can I continue to label myself a Christian?”
She didn’t hesitate, when she responded matter of factly, “You can’t.”
Then she said, “I understand. Thank you for sharing with me. I still love you.”
We spent the remainder of the evening going back over many of my observations. She asked questions, gave her opinions, and validated my thoughts with her time and genuine interest to understand my perspective. We talked for hours. My fears were lifted. We also knew that we had a lot more to discuss about our future, but those conversations would have to wait on another night.
That was five years ago. Since then we’ve welcomed a beautiful boy in to the world. She still reads her daily devotionals. I’m looking forward to our 10 year anniversary next next year.
My son has yet to ask my about David Koresh. Guess he’s still too into Frozen.