Posted by: Hope | January 23, 2008

Puppy Love

Recently I’ve been getting a lot more open with my boyfriend, telling him a lot of things about me. Things that I’m sure not going to say on here. Surprisingly, he’s been really supportive of everything. He was willing to open up to me really early, it took me a little bit longer. Still though, I haven’t told him all of my story….that could take days. But I feel a lot more comfortable around him. We’ve really bonded a lot the past week. I mean, it’s been ridiculous how close we’ve gotten just within the last week. I don’t think we’ve not seen each other everyday in over a week. It is as if we insist upon seeing each other. We hang out for 6 hours at least, daily. And you know what? I love it. It’s been a long time since I could feel so comfortable around someone. We have so much in common, and other things that we don’t have so much in common. Like our background, and the types of homes we grew up in? Yeah, totally (TOTALLY) different. But the cool thing about that is that we’re both extremely willing to just listen and understand where each other has came from. I know that all relationships start off like this, and I suppose we haven’t been dating long enough for me to say whether or not this is true love or not. ‘Cause it very well could be puppy love.

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Shoot, right now…that’s probably all it is. But that doesn’t exclude the fact that this could actually lead to something true and real. Needless to say, everything is going great with us. We’ve really discussed a lot of things that have been on our minds. We’ve also come to a lot of agreements on things, which is totally great. I was worried that our religious backgrounds would hinder us from a lot of agreements, but it seems that we’re both willing to cooperate with each other.

Speaking on that term, his dad wants me to go to church with them sometime. I’m considering going one time, just to be nice and show that I’m open minded..though I clearly told John that I would definitely not be a Mormon, nor would I be attending church with him. But I don’t know, I don’t want to lead him on and make him believe that I might be considering it, because I’m not.

Even so, we got into a religious debate about a week ago now. Maybe the word “debate” is a bit harsh, how about “discussion”? It actually was really intriguing. He had never really listened or understood what I had to say about religious things. But this time he really did listen and thought about the words that came out of my mouth. I didn’t say anything that would rock his world or anything, actually…if my memory serves me right I think I just brought up Noah’s Ark. Which really, I can’t prove much from that. But I think I just mentioned the cruelty and silliness of it (to me). And he did respond, with a respectful response…something that made me stop and think for a second…but I think we ended the conversation on a consensus that we understood and respected each others viewpoint.

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So…that is about all that has been going on in my life. I haven’t really been all that ‘moved’ to write lately. I’ve slowly secluded myself (for the most part) from the blogging world. There’s just not much to say right now. I haven’t been being all philosophical about much of anything lately…But life is good, thats all that matters.

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Responses

  1. Hi,

    I had been following your story on and off for the past few weeks, and if I recall correctly another visitor chimed in about how two people with opposing views on religion or Christianity could have a relationship without their beliefs causing grief. [paraphrasing from faulty memory :)]

    I’m a Christian, and I would simply share this with you: Because my faith (that being my relationship with Christ) is the most important thing in my life. I wouldn’t and couldn’t compromise it for the sake of a relationship with someone that didn’t come into the relationship sharing the same values. Not so much that the person has differing views, but rather that their views are contradictory to what I have placed my faith in.

    It’s like having two people in a rowboat trying to get upstream but they are facing each other & rowing in opposite directions, so they never move forward.

    When pursuing a relationship I think we can easily fool ourselves into believing that the difference in beliefs or religious ideas won’t have an impact/effect on the relationship. Once the newness & physical attraction fades however, the reality of dealing with your mate and their quirks comes into play.

    Regardless of whether one is a Christian, practices a particular religion, is agnostic, an atheist or whatever title applies, being truly “open-minded” can become synonymous with being open to any and every idea out there. The truth is this however; Jesus came, he died to save you, me, our friends, and family from our sinful nature; by accepting Him as your personal savior you will be saved from spiritual death and damnation.

    2000 years of HIStory, the complexities of the human body, the cosmos & the Bible as one of the most long standing pieces of literature mean something more than just a cruel “religious” hoax or superstitious beliefs by my observations .

    Anyways, I didn’t mean to get long-winded on your blog, just wanted to share with you the Good News and my 2 cents worth.

    Grace and peace be with you.

  2. Thanks for the response Chris, and I’m sorry that its been a few days for me to respond. I actually didn’t see you had posted a comment until today. Yes, I’m definitely slacking on my blog.

    I understand a lot of what you’re saying, but for the most part I think I disagree. I don’t think that religious differences (if handled correctly) would hinder a person from being able to maintain a good and healthy relationship.

    For the most part the key answer to making it “work” is complete open-mindedness.

    Why do I have such a problem with him wanting me to go to church with him? It is like me inviting him to an Atheist convention (if theres such a thing). It’s just absurd…you just don’t do that to someone. It is disrespectful to the core of their beliefs. You probably disagree with this because I would assume that you feel that what you believe is truth and could save someone like me…I get that…but I also feel that what I believe is truth..and that religion is a bit silly. So then, put yourself in my shoes, would you not have the same emotions as I do?

    Hope that you continue to visit here!
    Hope

  3. Hope,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog today.

    I don’t mean for this to come off as gloating, but you’ve confirmed the essence of my statement regarding a relationship where both parties have opposing views on "religion", when you say:

    "Why do I have such a problem with him wanting me to go to church with him? It is like me inviting him to an Atheist convention (if there’s such a thing). It’s just absurd…you just don’t do that to someone. It is disrespectful to the core of their beliefs."

    It is obviously important to your boyfriend to invite you, otherwise he wouldn’t have, don’t you think?  Likewise, if his beliefs/faith are strong, he’s eventually going to come to the conclusion, that unless you budge on your position, he’s going to have to let you go.

    To be fair problems are going to arise in any relationship.  In my opinion however, when asked to compromise on one’s beliefs; I imagine it to feel as though one is being asked to cut off an arm as a sign of commitment or love.

    Walking in Hope’s shoes…

    I have reacted similarly.  Following a discussion/debate, someone close to me recently invited me to their "church" to study with them.  I declined because their particular religion is not according to my beliefs ( I also went as far as to respectfully let the person know how I felt about their religion).  I could’ve been "open-minded" and accepted, since,however, I understand that the desire to is to convince and convert me, why explore, if I’m perfectly comfortable and accepting that what I choose to believe is true and having researched their beliefs, found several things that are warning signs?

    As for saving Hope..

    I couldn’t even if I wanted to.  That’s what Jesus did/does for all of us.  I was just sharing with you the Good News, what I believe to be true;whether or not one believes it to be true is their choosing.

    Agreed religion and it’s agenda(s) can be silly, following Christ however is rewarding.

    Grace and peace be with you, Hope.

  4. Well Chris, you may or may not be right. Maybe my initial worry will come true: the religious differences will come back to bite me in the butt. I suppose only time will tell on that one. But for now? I steadily disagree in this situation. I feel it solely depends upon the people in the relationship and how committed they are to that relationship.

    However, I’ve got to ask how I am asking him to compromise in his beliefs? I suppose if it came down to marriage, then yeah…I’d be asking him to compromise because they believe that it has to go through the church, yada yada yada…but as for now…there isn’t much of any compromising going on.

    Thanks for walking in my shoes, not sure you got the entire point, but surely close enough. Though, I didn’t ask you to save me. Suppose I was just rationalizing how you may react to my point.

    Hope all is well,
    Hope

  5. Hope,

    No problem, I appreciate your perspective concerning “saving” you ;), I imagine that you’ve had your fair share of experiences with people zealously wanting to witness to you about Jesus and in doing so have perhaps come off less than Christian-like, because you did not respond as they wished.

    I honestly pray that your relationship does grow and that you two don’t have the problems that I described, I’d happily embrace being “wrong”.

    Some food for thught”

    The compromise:
    I think that you have a valid point in saying “if it came down to marriage”.
    In which case, you would both be in a relationship based on unity. Unity in action, purpose, focus, etc. I am speaking from a Christian perspective on marriage for the most part… I know that within Christianity, the marriage is based on living according to our faith… raising children in a Christian environment, teaching children about Jesus and the need to accept him for salvation, having God as the center of everything in our lives. Again, I don’t know all of the ins and outs of Mormonism, but if they are “Christian” as they claim to be, then their faith in God is the utmost of importance. To forsake God or his word, would be compromising one’s faith. (see: 2 Corinthians 6:15-17

    Would you be willing to allow your mate to teach your children something that you don’t believe in?
    How would you feel about studying the Bible on a regular basis with your mate?

    Consider this: Say you and your boyfriend are out together and you happen to come across a group of atheists that are hostile to Christianity (not implying that all atheists are hostile), it comes out that your boyfriend is Christian, and they start to belittle or harass him. Or… same scenario, but this time you two run across a group of “Christians” (take the Westboro Baptist Church as an example), they start cussing and harassing you because you don’t share their beliefs, the situation becomes very threatening.

    How do you think either of you would react? Would you take up and defend your boyfriend, even though you don’t share his beliefs?
    Would he do the same for you?

    I don’t think that people normally stick their necks out for causes or ideas that they don’t believe in. How do you suppose either of you would feel for not taking up for the other, if that we’re to be the case? I know the examples may be a bit extreme, but they are possible, would you not agree?

    Anywho, I did not intend to let this run so long, and I hope that the tone is not coming off as me trying to drive “my point” home to prove myself right to you. I just wanted to lay out somethings to consider.

    Grace and peace be with you.

  6. Chris(topher),

    I’ve had my fair share of people witnessing to me. But most of the time its been decent experiences, though I have a hand full of bad ones. I’ve done the whole “witnessing” prospect as a Christian, so I get it…I understand why they do it. I just slowly have came to believe that a person should learn a bit more about a person and what they believe and where they stand in life before they begin to witness/preach at them. Which for the most part is why I no longer feel that Way of the Master (www.wayofthemaster.com) is a ‘good’ witnessing strategy. I practiced it for a few years, and nothing really all that great came from it.

    I know and understand the compromise of the marriage. But right now, the only thing I’m asking him to compromise is to not be so cheesy. We’ll talk marriage later, but for now…that shouldn’t even be on my mind.

    As for our children? I’ve actually posted a blog about this topic: https://trumpethope19.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/relgion-relationships-and-children-2/
    You can go ahead and read that, that way I don’t ramble too much here.

    As for your scenarios? Absolutely I’d stick up for him, and I am pretty darn sure he’d do the same for me. I’m not insane. Any normal person would stick up for the person they love, even if I disagree with what he believes. He is well read, and believes what he believes with a purpose and passion. I respect him and anyone else that is well read and sticks with what they believe. And because of that respect, surely I would stand up for him, besides the fact that the situation would just be terribly sickening. Even if it weren’t as hostile as your example…I’m not going to allow anybody disrespect the person I love and their beliefs. I’m not that kind of person.

    Your fine, I enjoy our discussion. Maybe a bit too much!

    Take care,
    Hope

  7. Well, we won’t “beat a dead horse” any longer then, I have to go now… still aching from that jab about me being a Steelers fan. If nothing else though, at least you’ve been a bit more active on your blog. šŸ˜‰


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