I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with my stepsister. Thankfully, she is one of the few friends who still talks to me and that I get along with -- and is even more cool now that she is family!
As per usual, we started talking about just about everything, but in particular religion and relationships. Both of us were raised in Christian homes, and both our parents are still devout Christians. I wouldn't say my sister and I have "fallen to the wayside," but merely we each believe we need to find "God" our own way. There are just so many things about modern Christianity that I have problems with, the modern Church being just one of them -- until further notice I refuse to be married in a church or have religious vows but that's not what this post is about.
One of the things we talked about is people basing their relationships solely on the premise of, "God wants us to be together." Now, on one hand, that's great. You have a higher power who has relieved you of that decision making process -- hurray! Picking a mate is one of the hardest things you will ever do in my mind. But here is a problem we both discussed. When does a relationship go from being based mutually on a religious standpoint to just being one based on guilt?
I really can't figure out the best way to word that question, but I can give an example of what I'm talking about through personal experience.
Some of you -- whoever might be reading this -- might be familiar with the relationship I had last year with my now ex-fiance. Both of us were practicing Christians -- I don't really like that phrase, but whatever -- and both of us at one point were in the agreement that God wanted us to be together, and I think I believed that more than he did. A few months later, we were engaged, and I was going to be with him for the rest of my days. There was no doubt about it, God wanted it and so did I.
The problem I am starting to suspect now is that my firm belief that we were destined to be together because of the Divine created a sort of guilt effect for him. He wasn't as sure as I was, but because I and a lot of other people kept saying it was, "God's will" I think he kept the relationship going and took it further than he wanted to because he felt guilty, guilty because he wasn't as convicted as the rest of us. If so many were so sure it was what God wanted, what room did that leave for him to have what he wanted?
Thinking back, I can see how it could have been just guilt, and not love, that kept us together for so long.
This leaves me with another question:If you leave everything up to God, doesn't that negate his gift of free will? What are your thoughts?