Love and Religion

Imagine meeting a good brownbrotha.  He’s just about everything you’ve wanted and more. He’s educated, attractive, well mannered and intriguing. The conversation between the two of you flows without effort.  You chat about life, expectations, dreams and desires.

As the date progresses you find yourself joking about the children you could have together and the roles each of you would play. And then a lightbulb goes off and you say…wait! What or who do you believe in? And his answer isn’t the one you’d hope he’d say.  He believes in someone/something else.

What happens then? Next?

That happened to me not to long ago.  I continued on with the date but once it ended I knew no matter how much I pondered the possibilities, the truth was that at the end of the day it would be difficult for me to progress into a romantic relationship with a man who did not believe in the same God as I did.

I ran the scenario by a few friends.  It sparked much debate.

Hands down the women said NO.  It’s not going to work.

The men threw their hands down as they grew frustrated with the growing thought that women wanted it all.  In their opinions, women want the impossible…a perfect man.

I thought a lot about that and came to one conclusion, I don’t want a perfect man, I want the perfect man for me. Just as I am flawed, he will come with his own flaws and limitations. I accept that.  But with maturity I’ve learned that no matter how tempting the man, the apple, the temptation, I will eventually find myself unhappy in my decision to pursue something that I knew wouldn’t work.

Besides my own self, what shall we do with our children?  We both believe in our religions strongly enough to want them raised according to our individual beliefs. What about family customs and traditions?  Holidays?  What about the wedding ceremony?

How much of my identity will I have to give-up, sacrifice or compromise to be with a good brownbrother who doesn’t worship the same God as me?

While I have friends and even some family who practice different religions, I always remember my pastor saying that a marriage must be equally yoked.  If we are religiously oil and water, how long will it take before we realize that some things will never mix between the two of us?

Love and religion. I always thought the possibility of loving someone would triumph and void all other things.  This time it didn’t.  I couldn’t allow it to.  It was just a date but the right ingredients could lead to so much more.

Maybe it was maturity.  Maybe I didn’t want him to fall in love, pop the question and then hear me give the sermon of why we just can’t be.

Maybe its foolishness.  Maybe it could work.  Maybe he could convert and become a follower of my belief.

But that just isn’t me.  I’m not the one looking to change anyone because of my own selfish interest.  I want people to believe in whatever fulfills them.  And for me to pursue him, knowing that in the back of my mind a real future could not exist…that just isn’t a good reflection of any religious lessons I ever been taught.

As I sat at my desk smiling at the roses that this good brownbrotha sent, I couldn’t help but think –in another world maybe I could have stepped out on the faith of love and gave it a shot.  But for now, ladies there’s an amazing brownbrotha out there waiting for the right woman who’ll love him back.

-Ashley Charisma is the author of School of Black Love.  For more info on Ashley Charisma and the novel visit www.ashleycharisma.com.

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32 Comments

  1. I am Christian and have been since elementary school. My first two boyfriends were both staunch atheists. Every single day during my relationships with them I felt guilty about being with them because I knew I was wasting time with men that God did not want me to be with. I even thought about forgoing Christian just so I wouldn’t have to live with such guilt. Needless to say, I made some of the biggest mistakes of my life with those men. I no longer have regrets, but what a painful way to learn a lesson and what a sad way to learn how much my God truly loves me.

    If your beliefs truly mean anything to you, you won’t settle. God knows what He’s doing. He’ll lead you to the right guy at the right time.

  2. I am a Christian and I just recently broke up with a man that I loved dearly. I noticed as I became more into my faith the more I saw we weren’t as compatible as I had thought or wanted to believe. He didn’t believe in any God and constantly made it a point to remind me about hypocrites in the church, how the Bible was written by man, And how he hopes I didn’t get too involved in my faith. I had no choice but to let him go. I never tried to force my beliefs on him. Ever! But he was killing me little by little with his attitude about life, God, and anything he thought of. Because none of it I agreed with. Eventually we started bumping heads about what we believed in. And that was views on marriage, raising children, a man’s role and a woman’s role, money, etc…Things that are important. I also disliked all the cursing he’d do. Each word would cut my heart. Yet he knew how I felt and totally just ignored it with no apologies. So now I’m single again. And this time I am looking for “real” compatibility. Like stated above. I’m not looking for Mr. Perfect, just Mr. Perfect for me.

  3. I am also a bible believing Jesus lover and I decided to remain a eunuch for God. I decided this because I was in a relationship with a guy who was not as serious about his christian walk as i was. even though he was the best compared to what i was dating before i got serious with Christ, the more committed and serious i got, like Mrs. Eva said, i saw how less compatible we were. Thanks for the article.

  4. It’s a shame that a god or a belief in one could totally derail the potential in a relationship. If one’s faith or lack thereof had never been brought up, the mental torture probably wouldn’t have begun. The building of a beautiful thing could have been in the making.

  5. Are you ladies really serious, religion and LOVE?? Because of religion many have lost the opportunity to have loving relationship in my opinion. Too many women loose site of what religion is supposed to teach. They assume it is about them being chast and pure…hhhhhaaaaa!!! It is about being intune with your god-self. Many men know themselves well enough to know their religin does not make or break them, it how they apply it to their situation. So get over yourselves ladies it ain’t about YOU. It’s about who God sends you, he may be there to teach you something you might need.

  6. I am a Christian and I understand that there are a lot of men who have a very strong and personal relationship with God and does not necessarilly go to church all the time. Does that make them not husband material. That is crazy. If especially in a black church out of a 100 men 90 percent is married and out of the other 10 percent 3 percent are suspect and out of the 3 percent that is life 2 percent are not really looking to get married you a 20 to 1 women looking at the same 1 percent of men. Where is the logic in that. God is in your heart.

  7. Well you get what you paid for. You can love Jesus n’ em and tote the bible every where you go and at the end of the day, you’re still ALLLLLLLL alone. All this cry for “I need a man, I want a man,Lord send me man, blah, blah” and then ruin a potentially loving, budding relationship because he doesnt believe what you believe. Maybe God sent some of believers a non-believers for a reason but oh-well. Some of you broads need a reality check and a cold hard glass of “Get over your damn self”.

    And to the author, no disrespect hon’ but what if HE wanted you to convert. You cant expect him to do for you but you’re not willing to do the same. Relationships are 50/50.

  8. Its crazy how people think they can have a real relationship without God being the center of it. Its not about letting a “religion” get in the way of a man. Christianity should be a way of life,a worldview,your inner being,your spirituality. So,if someone is not on that same commitment level,your relationship will eventually falter. I dont care,it could be years,months,days…you will eventually come to a turning point in which you will have to wake up and allow God,not man,be first and foremost in your life and priorities. If that man is not thinking in the same way…you will not be happy. If a man cant comitt to the creator of the universe,his reality, and the creator of Him,why would he comitt to a woman he has fuzzy feelings for?

  9. no disrespect or anything, but Ms. Eva your bf was RIGHT…A LOT of hypocrites go to church…..this may be hard to believe for close-minded Christians, but some of the ABSOLUTE WORST people I’ve ever met in my life go to church every Sunday

  10. no disrespect or anything, but Ms. Eva your bf was RIGHT…A LOT of hypocrites go to church…..this may be hard to believe for close-minded Christians, but some of the ABSOLUTE WORST people I’ve ever met in my life go to church every Sunday

  11. There are hypocrites in every faith and there hypocrites in every day life. No one should base their own actions or belief system off of other people’s actions unless the person is Jesus Christ Himself.

  12. @ Femme no disrespect taken, but I’d like to point out the article states…” But that just isn’t me. I’m not the one looking to change anyone because of my own selfish interest. I want people to believe in whatever fulfills them.”

    That means that I am not expecting him to convert to my religion.

    #thatisall 🙂

  13. To the people that disagree with the article, you act as if women who feel this way are being too difficult or hard to deal with. One’s religion/belief isn’t something to take lightly. It’s obvious you all don’t consider that to be something serious when it comes to being in a relationship with someone. I’ve always been a person whose had a close relationship with God, and I want a woman who feels the same way. Whether she was Alicia Keys bad, good job, etc., I don’t think I could be with someone who doesn’t believe in the same God as me. I look at my God for guidance in my life and relationship. I look at him to be with us in whatever we may go through. How can we be on one accord if she doesn’t believe the God I look to can bless us?

  14. @ JanetFan89
    Thank you. You have just explained how I feel and what went wrong with my relationship. Since I’ve gotten older I no longer worry about other people’s view on religion. I do what has become so natural to me the very moment I came to know Christ. I try to be a good Christian by prayer, reading, and trying to remain focus on what I am really here for. I’m not perfect, but since I gave my life to Jesus, life has become less harsh and hard. And the temptations aren’t quite tempting like they use to be.
    It’s really nice to hear from another Christian who shares my feelings. Thanks again.

  15. WOW….LADIES, Obviously you have no since of the history behind christianity and how it has corrupted the African-American view of Divinity. WE as a people were forced into Christianity, by people who said they understood god’s plan for mankind. They raped you in tha name of jesus, killed you in the name of Jesus and now you love Jesus???? Wow, can you say mental break-down as well as spiritual disater. Read up on the Agenda of the Church pre-18-19 century it will In-lighten you.

  16. Oh by the way Your GOD, never looks like you, why is that? Jesus is always a Caucasian or a variation thereof…hmmmmm?? Things that make you go WTH?

  17. I don’tike hollier than thou people, I hate extra jesus people they get on my nerves, so as long as someone is not trying to force me to believe in what they believe im cool.

  18. I must agree with Femme. God is sending unbelievers to believers. We are supposed to befriend and pray for them privately. We make the mistake of trying to embark on a romantic relationship when we should build a friendship.

    Two years ago I messed up a relationship with a man whom I was attracted to. It became clear after 2 weeks that he was not marriage material. I cut him off. I knew that I was suppose to be praying for him–not to be my husband but to receive Christ. He put on a happy face but I sensed he was suicidal. It was hard to pray for his healing and wholeness because my selfish desires clouded my perception of him.

    Back in April I had dreams 4 consecutive nights about praying for all of those unbelievers who are fond of me and cling to me. Within a week God sent a man to me that I once worked with who is an atheist. This time I was ready. Sometimes it can be hard keeping my perspective of friendship only because he is so much fun to be with. We have had one serious discussion about spirituality and it really grieved me. But it made it easy to not think romantically about him. You know what else? It sure does take the pressure off of being “perfect” because we truly accept each other as is and respect each other.

    I think the KEY to engaging in these relationships for the single Christian is that what we have is more valuable than anything that this earth has to offer. Stop looking at these men as a potential mate and as a soul lost. Pray before you go out with them that your interaction will be pure and acceptable in His sight. Pray for their salvation daily. Don’t compromise and settle for a deadend romance.

    You may be planting a seed of slavation or watering a seed someone else planted. Seek God first and all the other stuff WILL COME. He may not become your husband but he might eventually accept eternal life because of your lifestyle.

    Tonight at church God spoke to my spirit saying He has called me to pray for a long list of folks and this guy’s name was the first I heard! This friend did reveal to me about his ongoing battle with various forms of cancer. currently he seems to be well but maybe he is worse off than what he says. Hmmm

  19. Religion is a contrived product to control the colonized masses… free yourselves and be at PEACE.

  20. Religion is a contrived product to control the colonized masses. -Free yourselves, and be AT PEACE.

  21. I really dislike how people force religion into their relationships.
    I also agree with Femme &
    Ptahkhutem.

  22. I will not force anyone to believe in what i believe, and i expect the same in return.

  23. Women make the mistakes of thinking every guy they meet or go on the date with could possibly be The One. Its the first date and you already thinking long term and crossing out things that are unexceptable without giving each time to grow and learn what you can deal with and what you cannot. I say just chill and enjoy meeting new people.

  24. Gotta let him go plain and simple. I don’t care what you all think and you may not believe in Jesus and that’s fine. I do and you haven’t lived my life and experienced the things I have so you don’t know what Jesus has done for me, I do and because I know, there’s no way I could be with a man that doesn’t believe in my God. And I hope that whatever he believes in it’s strong enough for him to let me go too. Nothing wrong with that. Why does everyone have to be so desperate, I for one am not desperate for anybody. I get approached by various men of different races at that so if I wanted one I can have one. That’s not the point. I believe strongly in my faith and so if I have to be alone that’s fine, God see’s my heart so if he sends the right guy my way then I’m fine, until then I’m good too.

    Oh and if a guy doesn’t believe, you don’t have to be nasty like whatever you don’t believe I’m through with you. I think you can have a decent conversation about it. Maybe God lead him to you for a reason, that’s how I see it.

  25. Must add: do not tolerate any person that does not respect your body. I have had problems with men who claim to be Christian and are way too touchy-feely. Even worse is the constant sexual inuendo. You should make it clear–calmly and in your nicest voice–that you don’t get down like that. If they persist then let them know that this is as far

    I told my atheist friend on our second outing that I did not exchange body fluids. LMBO. I have never had a problem with him touching me too much. I do allow him to put his arm around me when we watch a movie and I let him kiss my hand. I am comfortable with this and he says he realize that this is as far he will get with me. Inspite of this he still calls and we still hang out and have lots of fun.

  26. Delusional people always speak about what their GOD, God or god has done for them. Why not let your diety show you other things besides your rigid point of view. Life is a multiplicity of things, so to must your view be. MOst Religious people have 20 million easons why their religion/way of life is so great to them. Mostly it stems from them being indoctrinated intothe mind-set that your view of God is the right one. Remember GOD is like a diamond many faceted your view of him/her is only one of many from various angles of perception. I said all that to say this,If you are godly all things are connected to you and you never need to pray for or hope a person gets your view because your view is a mutlifaceted view. Remember Psalm 82:6 Ye are GODs, and all of YOU are Children of THE MOST HIGH….Peace be UPON and IN YOU.

  27. Religion is a personal experience. Don’t sell it, live it! Someone’s religion should NOT be another parameter by which we critize, judge or discriminate others. If you are confident enough to respect your man’s values and believes, and he does the same. Then you should love and ambrace that man!
    I love me a man who happens to have an other religion. But we learn every day from each other without asking or expecting to give anything up. And I have never met a man as sweet, caring and understanding as him. So I will not let his our my religion be a reason to end our relationship.
    I have checked this blog a few times before, and I honestly think that a lot of times the stories are being written with blinkers on. Be a little broad-minded and don’t hate.

  28. Hello to all my old school bloggers Lady, Kanyade, KSH etc. If you’re on this thread. I know it’s been a while since I’ve been here, but I had to comment. NO NO NO!! I could not do that. Me and my lovely husband are born again christians devoted to God and that’s how it needs to be. Two God’s cannot stand in the same household…one has got to go! And it won’t be my Jesus!! He’s done too much and he is too powerful for me to let go of him 🙂

  29. i’ve dated several men in different stages of their lives. i’ve never tried to change any of them- i accepted them as they were. i did always and will continue to pray for them though. Some grew up in the church, some had another religion, some just had crazy issues. Since i am a devout Christian it matters to me that the person i date is as well. my past dating experiences have taught me just that. it’s important to be equally yolked- and not just spiritually either. just because someone goes to church and claims to be a Christian doesn’t mean he’s meant for you. Also a man could be a wonderful guy but his spirituality is not up to par. And when ur talking about marriage that is of the utmost importance because it will set the tone and foundation of your lives together. That’s what I have found to be true through my experiences. and for most of these experiences i saw the red flags and just kept going until i had to face the music and let the relationships go. now i’m determined to not hang on to those who not only don’t share my religious beliefs but other important ideals as well. as for what others think, i can’t speak for u but i know what’s best for me. and i believe that my committment to God will eventually lead me to the one He has for me. In the meantime I’m doing all i can to make myself a better person. and with Him all things are possible.

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