My 30 year old daughter is dating a man who is 38. I just realized that he has atheist on his FB page as his religious beliefs. How do address this with her, but do so with love. She is a Christian and was raised in church all her life. I believe Yeshua will not bless this relationship, however she says she’s in love with him. My heart hurts with this information 😔
Hey sibling, I know your heart is aching at this. The ideal situation is that we all be equally yoked with believers, and we certainly want that for our children. But you are not the first parent, nor will you be the last who finds themselves here. We must remember that His word is black and white, but it must be applied with mercy and grace.
So how do you address this? By treating him with the same respect and kindness you would a believer, loving him where he is at. Keep in mind that there are many young men who claim to believe, that you would freely welcome, although they may actually live in opposition to the word and simply use the label.
As for your daughter, realize she is a grown woman. You have raised her in the faith, she knows these things already. Further, you are not capable of knowing his heart or where the Father has him at this point, nor is this your decision to make. Therefore, you pointing these things out will most likely create the following problems:
1. Cause her to dig in her heels even if she might not have to begin with.
2. If they have good communication, which I hope they do, it will cause him to feel unwelcome and judged by you – which is not a great way to be a light in someone’s life.
3. If they get married, this will affect your potential to have a good relationship with your possible future grandchildren and thereby remove your influence in their lives as well.
You raised her and now she is in the Father’s care. It is hard to let go and as parents, we will often want to be back seat drivers in our children’s lives, but now is a time to be gracious, kind, and realize that your daughter is going to make her decision regardless of what you think. Therefore, I would focus on maintaining your relationship with both of them by respecting them as the adults they are, in order to remain a loving and positive influence. The alternative is that you can try to tell a thirty-year-old grown woman what to do with the very high risk of fracturing your relationship with the both of them.
When Ricky and I got married, he was not a believer, neither was I as strong in my faith as I should have been. I remember one day we had some workmen at the house and it was getting late so I made them supper plates and had Ricky take them out to them. When they were done working, they came to the door to thank us and I heard them from the kitchen asking Ricky, “Do you know Jesus?”. He responded with, “No, but my wife does.” We still laugh about that honest answer today. Our path looked different when we started out, but it was the path we took to arrive where we are now. The Father had plans for us and I am so grateful that my family afforded us the respect and space to take the journey we needed to take to arrive to where we are now.
As parents, our responsibility is to raise them up in the way that they should go, and once they are grown we must allow them to have their own journey. If Jesus came back today, based on past patterns and His own words, we know that He’d be more likely to be found at the table of an atheist than either of our own. Perhaps you have been given the honor of setting that table.
“I was hungry, and you fed me.” -Matthew 25:35
I just wanted to throw my thoughts in here as well. I wasn’t raised in the church but instead I was raised deeply entrenched in new ageism. Unfortunately, this meant that I didn’t know much about what Messiah did for me. So to a believer, I probably looked like an unbeliever, even though I would have called myself a believer.
When I met my husband, he was a devout Christian and we were definitely unequally yoked. But after asking a million questions and reading the Bible myself, I really came around. It was hard, but I chose the Father and I left the inherited new ageism of my past behind.
But, I have to be honest – if it hadn’t been for my husband being a devout Christian, I probably would never have gotten here. Jarred is the kindest, most loving man and he saw me in a way that no one had ever seen me and I knew that had to be something special. I truly saw the love of the Father in him and that is really what led me down this path.
I 100% believe that the Father directed our paths together. He knew we were unequally yoked but He also knew what was going to happen as we walked this path together.
I am by no means advocating for all of the unequally yoked couples to marry but I am saying that if we seek the Father in the matter, we might find that amazing things happen.
I am also grateful that my in-laws didn’t say anything (that I am aware of) about how we shouldn’t be together because we were unequally yoked. It would have caused some serious hard feelings, ones that I might not have been able to get past for a long time.
As a mom, I am have been pleasantly surprised by the amazing choices that our grown (early 20s) daughter has made. Where I see pitfalls or potential catastrophe, she sees potential. Even when I don’t say anything to her, she still sees the potholes in the road and chooses how to navigate them. Are they the same way I would have navigated them? No but I have learned to let go and let her choose her own way. While her boyfriend isn’t where we are, he knows it’s important to her and he is stepping up. Will he ever be where we are? Maybe, maybe not but we love him just the same. We do our best to be a good example to him and treat him as family (or better than family).
I hope this helps.