Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Faith & Belief
There is one thing that often gets overlooked in a relationship. Something many don’t talk much about, if at all. Yet, it quietly exists, impacting our lives and relationships without notice until some situation brings it to the forefront. It is the topic of what a person believes.
It may surprise you to know that I am not necessarily talking about religious faith. It is not to say that this is not important and needs to be considered in laying a good foundation. Two people having the same faith in common to help direct their spiritual growth and journey together is a great thing, but it is not automatically a formula for success on its own. And is only one side of the coin on this topic. It is the other side of that coin that I am wanting to focus in on. The reality is that two people can be of the same religious faith, even attend the same church and adhere to the same doctrine, and yet not really believe in the same things. Outwardly it would seem that they are compatible. They may follow the same teaching, observe the same rituals, festivals and whatever else that is specific to their faith but still not be on the same wavelength. Religious observances or following a religious belief system is not the same as one’s personal “core” beliefs. This is why you can have millions of followers of a particular religion or faith and yet they all do not all hold to the same dictates.
What I have learned is that there are cultural, social, religious and family belief systems one may follow out of a tradition or expectation that is not necessarily their own. There are personally held beliefs about things concerning life that truly make up what a person adheres to. This core belief system represents their feelings, worldview, and thoughts that are overlayed upon the basic tenants of a religious or faith group. It is, therefore, a hybrid that is specific to their life and represents what they truly believe. It is not theory or theology but their life principles.
As this relates to couples, how this plays out is whether two people hold to similar life principles. Such examples would be whether both hold to the same belief in how to raise, correct and teach their children? What about end-of-life decisions? Their personal stand on assisted suicide if their spouse wanted this? What is it that they personally believe about the death penalty, abortion or politics? These are things that can tear a relationship apart if two people are not on the same page, or allowed to think differently without incurring the wrath of their mate.
To give an example. One news report wrote of a couple that literally divorced over voting for different political candidates. Why? It was due to the different views (what they personally believed in) that proved to be the opposite of what their spouse held. A personal worldview that made up what they really, really believed down deep. These difference were not known until their vote was revealed. Ultimately their opposing stands were so strong that it made it impossible for them to live with each other. It wasn’t that they were of different faiths. It wasn’t that they held to different tenents of a faith. It was that their personal “core” beliefs were not compatible.
There are those that attend a church that is against abortion yet they personally support it. Or follow some sage that frowns on dancing and considers it a sin, yet they personally partake and enjoy it. There are those that are taught to hate a particular nation, group or people because it is believed that they are “evil” and yet they themselves just don’t feel that way, and in fact just see them as people they like. Others that say they are against racism but quietly are part of a group that they don’t see as racist. You have some that profess that their faith promotes peace and tolerance while others of that faith send terrorists out to kill. There are plenty of examples. Today’s environment has brought much of this to the surface. Where people really stand on issues that they believe in or don’t believe in. Establishing harmony is one important key to remember.
Do we have some differences in what we personally believe? Some, but they are very few and minor topics which we simply don’t harp on..
How about you as a couple? Where do the two of you stand? Beyond traditional beliefs that you may have, what is really your core beliefs? How do you get to know the core beliefs of the other person? You talk. You ask. You share. Some things are not worth bothering about. Nevertheless, find out truly how the other person ticks. Get past the theology, religion, cultural traditions and the like. Get to the “core” of who you are and the one you are with. If you identify these and find there is commonality or acceptance, you have laid down the last big building block in your relationship.
One last thing, above all, at your core be sure that you believe in each other!
Until next time, we wish you LOVE, JOY & PEACE!