ADVICE COLUMN: Values, morals and faith in a relationship
I’ve been with my fiance for more than five years. As a newly engaged couple, I feel the pressure of getting the important things in life sorted out before we tie the knot. One topic that comes up frequently is values, morals and faith. It can be a sticky situation if the person you are in a relationship with does not hold the same morals as you. I’ve known many people that have broken-off engagements, relationships or even friendships because of not seeing eye-to-eye. With a lot of experience in this department, I’ve come across ways to approach the subject.
First of all, everyone is different and getting someone to change is almost an impossible task. Usually a person’s values, morals or religious-stance is highly influenced by their upbringing and people that have impacted him or her along the way. If the topic comes up, proceed it with caution. It can be touchy, offensive and all of the above. Start with explaining your views and make sure you keep an open ear to his or hers. Find the things you agree on and work on the things where you have different views.
If the topic doesn’t come up, bring it up. Show you’re serious, but ready and willing to listen.
If the both of you are on the same page as far as religion and values, but you are stronger in your faith, set aside time to study the Bible together or go to church. The most important component is communication. To grow together in your faith, you must both put forward the effort and challenge each other. Keep each other on the right track and talk about where you are at with your faith. It can be extremely attractive and compelling to be passionate about something and to want to grow with that person because of that fire.
It’s the same if he or she is stronger in faith than you. Sit down with he or she and talk about it, take time to do devotions together, bring up passages you find that could strengthen your relationship or a hardship your partner is going through. If it’s important to them, it should be important to you.
If religion isn’t an issue in your relationship, something with morals or values may be. Talk about things like trust, honesty and integrity. Ask what that means for the other person and what it means for you.
Fortunately for me, my fiance and I have very similar values morals and are both looking to grow in our faith together, every day. That is the single-handedly most crucial thing that binds us together and without it, we wouldn’t be as strong. Because we’ve talked about our faith, when the time comes, we won’t have to argue about how we raise our kids or what is right and wrong.
Faith is the basis on how we live our lives, whether we believe in a higher power or not. If you are serious with your significant other, it’s something to be taken seriously. If it’s not talked about properly, problems could arise when it’s time for important decisions.
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