Losing My Religion

It has been my intention to write about this subject for a while now, but every time I sit down to do it I freeze. Not because I am afraid of the subject, but because I want this blog to be relateable to people from all backgrounds and it distresses me to think that something I write could be alienating. That and the fact that this subject is highly controversial in certain circles I run in (and it may be a little more revealing than I am comfortable with).  But this is  a blog about my journey and its something I’ve had to think a lot about so here it is: How I Decided to “Live in Sin”.

As many of you may know (I’ve alluded to it several times in my posts) I am a Christian. Just by writing that I am curious as to how many reading this want to hit the “x” on their browser tab. Let me say that unfortunately I can understand. I am often disgusted with how Christians portray themselves and their beliefs. Please know that they do NOT represent all Christians. In fact, I believe that the Christians who act most like “Christians” are the ones that you don’t see in the media. They are the ones that love without judgement. They are those that give freely of themselves to others without expecting anything in return. They are quietly praying for the ones they love (and even those they don’t particularly like at all). They realize that no matter how “good” they are they are still  sinners and aren’t better than anyone else. More than anything they want you to have the freedom, peace and joy they get from having a relationship with God.

That being said, having grown up in churches and reading the Bible for myself I know that there are several things that are no-no’s in the life of a Christian. Let’s say for instance “living in sin”, which by the way is a term I HATE because aren’t we all living in sin one way or another everyday? How many of you went over the speed limit today? Did you know that is breaking the law of the land and is therefore a “sin”. If you look at ALL the things we are not supposed to do, and the likelihood of being able to follow ALL the rules, you can see why we needed someone to save us from ourselves.

I never intended to live with a man I wasn’t married to. It was one of my rules for myself that I was going to stick to since I had broken so many others. When it came time to rent an apartment with my fiance before my wedding I didn’t move in until I was actually married. That doesn’t mean I didn’t spend A LOT of time there, but I stayed with my parents for several weeks before the wedding. It was fun picking out the furniture and setting up everything before I moved in. There was so much excitement in the anticipation of living with my husband. Too bad that when I finally moved in (when it was too late to back out) it became apparent how incompatible we were when it came to living together. No worries though, right? I mean we had the rest of our lives to work on it. In truth, I don’t know that it ever got easier in the 12 years we were married.

Which brings me to the present. While I still did not intend to live with someone who was not my husband, after meeting B and realizing that this was serious, I also realized that I did not want to spend the rest of my life trying to make it work with another person after it was too late. I wanted to make sure that the next time I say “I Do” it’s with the knowledge that I can live in peace with him. I am happy to report so far so GREAT! I am not naive to think that we will never run into difficulty with sharing the same space, but I am hopeful that already, more than half a year into it, we co-exist very nicely. And maybe more importantly, he and my boys still love each other.

I know all the arguments for not living together especially where religion is involved. Thankfully I’m not religious. The relationship I have with God negates religion. He has given me free will to make decisions, and while I know LOTS of people disagree, this decision is the best one for me and my family. The best part is I don’t feel guilty about it thanks to the freedom I have in Jesus.

This lifestyle choice is not for everyone. I am not pushing my decision on anyone else. I believe that people are responsible for their own choices and therefore need to make the best decision for them as individuals. If you are a Christian then ideally the decisions you make will be prayerfully made, and you will have a peace about them when they are the right one. Also as a Christian, my hope is that you will not judge others that make decisions you do not agree with. In fact, that is when you are given a perfect opportunity to be an example of Christ by loving without judgement.

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10 thoughts on “Losing My Religion

  1. I had this conversation with God today. It went something like this, as I sat at yet another of ALL the red lights on the way to pick up the kids from school. “GRRRRRRRR. Okay, Lord, my time is in your hands, and you are delaying me with these lights for a reason. I accept that.”

    A minute later, I was stuck behind a REALLY SLOW driver and boxed in by another SLOW car in the passing lane. GRRRRRRRR. I said a few unkind words using my growly voice, and then heard, “Didn’t you just say your times are in MY hands?”

    Whoops. My point is that we are ALL struggling with our humanity in relation to our Holy God. Not a minute goes by that we fail to be fully human, fully flawed. However, Holy God, being wholly loving, has given us GRACE, undeserved favor, because we have put our trust in His Son Jesus Christ to save us from ourselves.

    Well-written, Dyana!

    • Is it any surprise that I actually heard your growly voice as I read this? Thank you for sharing how even in the simplest of situations we can be reminded of our “humanism” and that we constantly have the ability to be growing and learning. Grace is not just something that is given to us, but it’s something we can extend to others as well (even REALLY SLOW drivers).

      I so appreciate your comments. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

  2. Hi Dyana!

    I just read your blog after hearing about it from (my) Patty and Megan. Interesting reading. I remember praying with you when you were four years old. You have been firmly in His arms ever since that day. I am so sorry things in marriage #1 didn’t work out. I had a feeling things would be tuff for you guys even before the wedding, but I had some hope there would be enough depth of faith, conviction, commitment on both sides to get beyond the differences. I guess you did too. It broke my heart when I learned that you were hurting so much.

    You are very correct in some of what you said concerning our sin, but compromise does not make things better. You have read the warnings in Scripture about being unequally yoked? A believer with an unbeliever? The example is given of an Ox being yoked with a donkey. The weaker of the two will always bring the other down to the lowest common denominator. Neither one ends up fulfilled.

    I’m sure “B” is a wonderful person. Probably a good fit. I am sure I would like him if and when I ever get to meet him. I have no judgmental feelings toward him at all. I assume he loves you–which makes me like him all the more.

    You say you have no feelings of guilt. Remember that feelings don’t determine guilt or innocence. One simply is guilty or innocent; or is not. And you say your lack of feeling guilty is due to your freedom in Christ. Are you saying that being free in Christ makes us free to sin without guilt? Just asking.

    Just so you know, I’m not religious either. Neither was Jesus Christ.

    I have no judgment or advice for you Dyana. I love you.

    I am in the process of starting a blog of my own. I plan to share a bunch of thoughts I have been chewing on for years now. I think maybe it’s time to put some of them into words. I hope you’ll keep up with me as I put new things on. I’ll post the link soon.

    • Uncle Mark,
      Thank you so much for reading my post and I appreciate your comment. Knowing that you’ve held me in your prayers means so much to me. I wanted to respond right away, but my work schedule and Christmas plans have kept from it. So here we go…

      I am not at all surprised with the points you mentioned above that you do not agree with. In fact, I’m sure that I’ve said the same thing to others at one point in time or another. That is why I am not at all saying it is the right thing for anyone else, but I do feel it is the right thing for me. I don’t know why I’ve had to go through what I have, but I am thankful for it because I have learned so much about myself and others in the process. One of those lessons is that I don’t know why people make the decisions they do, but it is not for me to judge. God can use any situation and turn it around for His good. The best I can do is be an example of His love to others and that is what I am striving to do.

      To answer your question, when I said “The best part is I don’t feel guilty about it thanks to the freedom I have in Jesus” I was referring to the fact that there is no condemnation in Christ. For too long I have allowed what other people think rule my life. I have let guilt rule my life. I will not any longer live that way. I will continue to seek God, but I won’t make decisions based on what others think I should do. That is the point of my blog: It is my journey and I am inviting anyone who wishes to, to follow along. If my experiences help someone along the way, then great! I encourage others to share what they have learned from their difficult life experiences as well.

      I do want to comment quickly (because it’s a subject I could go one about for a while) on the unevenly yoked point you bring up. First I want to say that I have seen way too many “evenly yoked” marriages that have fallen apart or would be better off apart. In my opinion there are very few that are good examples of God’s love for us. Secondly, if I understand the culture correctly at the time that was written, not everyone (or maybe no one) had the option of who they married. Rather they were usually arranged. Not to mention that even today there are countries who abide by the arranged marriage code. Yet the Bible is relevant in every culture in the world. This is something I consider often.
      I am really excited that you are going to start a blog and I would love to follow you. Again I thank you for stopping by and I’d love to hear from you more.

      Love, Dyana

      • Just quickly… I am going to post some thoughts on my blog concerning the condemnation issue. I think we agree about that actually. But letting guilt be a motivator? Wrong. LOVE!!! There are folks all over the world giving up everything including their very lives–some in horrific ways–because they are absolutely and unreservedly in LOVE with Jesus Christ. Not because they feel guilty. Guilt is religious. LOVE is personal. These folks love him like a mother loves her child. They would sacrifice everything for him. How do you personally feel about Jesus Christ? I don’t need an answer. its just something you have to discover for yourself.

  3. Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on meeting someone you’re compatible with who is also good to your sons. He’s a lucky guy.

    You’re wise to be cautious about any decision to marry again. And I totally agree with you that having a peaceful home is a huge priority!

    I trust you to do the right things and I trust your values. May you have peace within yourself.

  4. Christian living is very confusing, which makes it very difficult. Stay open to the Holy Spirit speaking to you and you’ll hear him. You seem to be genuinely seeking the Truth, so you’re in a far better place than people who think they have it all worked out and end up shutting out anything that goes against their understanding.

    • Thank you for your comment. Christian living is difficult! You are right about that. There are so many expectations and pressures put on us from other Christians to live a certain way. Thankful I realize we are all just human and while we have a window into what God’s will is, it is still so far beyond us. It’s humbling and comforting all at the same time. 🙂

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