When you're newly married, and all is sweetness and light, it seems easy to overlook differences of preference—which restaurant to go to, what TV show to watch, where to go on summer vacation—in order to please your spouse. This time of agreement often extends to your choice of what church to attend.
As you settle into your relationship, however, feelings about some preferences gain importance.
For many couples, the birth of their first child seems to trigger a closer look at the church or faith tradition in which they want their children to be reared. Differences of opinion about what church to attend become more intense when the debate centers not just on varying worship styles but also on differences in deeply held doctrines and worldviews—even if those differences never had seemed all that serious before.
Frequently spouses discover a desire to return to the traditions in which they were raised. Or they want just the opposite—avoiding reminders of unhappy religious experiences in their own childhoods, against which they rebelled.
Here are a few principles you might want to consider—especially if you and your spouse are having trouble in this area.
If you're at an impasse on this issue, don't despair. Keep praying with each other that God will give you a solution. Examine your own motives, asking yourself why you find it so hard to accommodate your spouse. You may discover that this argument is a symptom of deeper problems in your relationship—control needs, conflict management, or plain old selfishness. Address these issues—in Christian marriage counseling, if necessary.
Most couples, if they're seeking to please God and not just themselves, do eventually find a church where both spouses are satisfied. You can, too.
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