Today Was Supposed to Be My Wedding Day

May 26, 2012. It was supposed to be a momentous occasion—the day I would walk down the aisle in my mother’s lace wedding gown, peonies in hand, best friend at my side, family and friends looking on with joy. It was supposed to be the day I started a new chapter, the day my dreams would be fulfilled. Little did I know, God had other plans.

We met in the winter of 2010—me and God, that is. He always had his eye on me, but I barely even knew who he was. Once I began spending time with him, our relationship blossomed into something special. He cared for me and loved me like no other. He filled a huge void in my heart.

That’s how I came to know God. It’s also how I came to know the man I thought I would marry.

The relationship started out like many others, following cultural expectations rather than God’s design. Dating, sex, spending the night, meeting the parents, integrating the pets (him, a dog; me, two cats). After 10 months, on a snowy Sunday evening in front of the place we first met, he asked me to marry him. It was romantic indeed. Even strangers passing by yelled congratulations from their car windows.

I was excited to be engaged—to finally be moving toward marriage—but something never felt quite right. I sensed a resistance in my heart, like I wasn’t totally sure about something. But he was a good guy—the right age, handsome, fun, easy-going, from a decent family. What more could a girl want?

So I moved forward. Even though I had just bought my own home, I gave it up and moved in with him on a spring day in early March. Everyone has to make sacrifices for love, I reasoned. That’s where we’re going to end up anyway. Why not start now? At first, it was exciting and felt like the right thing to do. But a different story soon emerged.

After just a few months of living together, God shook things up. I accepted an awesome job opportunity in another state, so we left behind the house we just finished renovating and drove across the country (pets in tow) to set up our life far from home, family, friends, and church.

Shortly after we settled, a friend from work recommended we try out a small new Presbyterian church in the area. I was a tad leery, as I had recently been baptized in a non-denominational church, but I agreed to check it out. I immediately loved it and felt like this could be my church home. On my second visit, I filled out a visitor card, which asked a few questions about how I wanted to get involved. Did I want to join a life group? Be part of a ministry team? Have coffee with the pastor? Coffee sounded good. I checked the box.

Later that week, the pastor emailed me, asking when I wanted to get together. What a great opportunity to get to know him and learn more about the church, I thought. Maybe he would even be willing to officiate our wedding in a few months. High hopes turned to frustration when I mentioned the possibility to my fiancé. “Coffee? With a pastor?” he asked. “Heck, no. That’s just too weird.”

After weeks of my coercing, praying, hoping, and begging, he finally obliged. But we continued to fight about it—all the way to the front door of the pastor’s house. Regardless, I enjoyed myself and looked forward to hanging out with the pastor and his wife again soon. I could see them being our friends—a couple who would help guide our marriage and bring us closer to God.

Before we could marry, the church asked us to complete a series of counseling sessions, so we set up time to meet with our new pastor. He recommended we start reading the book When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey. I ordered it online, along with Tim and Kathy Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage. And in my determination to be the very best Christian wife I could be, I also ordered a copy of Carolyn Mahaney’s Feminine Appeal.  I thought these books would help us get ready for one of the biggest steps we would ever take.

Help they did, but in a way I didn’t expect. As I started reading Harvey’s book, the first chapter stopped me dead in my tracks. He explained that faith is the most important part of a marriage. Faith? Really? Even though I was now a Christian, I had never considered this point before. Harvey explains that faith is like the first button on a shirt—if you get that wrong, nothing else will line up right.

I began considering how this idea played out in the episode at the pastor’s house, not to mention the weekly task of begging my fiancé to go to church, trying to convince him to join a Bible study, and asking him to remember to pray before dinner. Is it supposed to be this difficult?

No, it’s not, I learned from Harvey, Keller, and my pastor. I began to realize that just as my thinking had been flawed about sex as a prerequisite for love, I also had the wrong idea about the most important traits in a marriage. As I kept reading and talking to other Christians, no one said it was a good idea for me to marry someone with a different worldview. In other words, I had come to love Jesus and make my decisions based on him; my fiancé had not. That discrepancy became poison in our relationship—barely noticeable at first but eventually corrupting nearly every aspect of our lives. As I grew closer to God, I grew further from wanting to marry someone who did not have a relationship with him.

Keller’s teaching on Ephesians 5 helped clarify what I was discovering. Ephesians 5:25-27 says:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit spoke to me on a weekday in early January when my friend opened the Bible to this passage and showed me the truth. I came to understand that God intends for marriage to mimic Jesus’ selfless love for his people. I was awestruck. My husband is supposed to lead me closer to God? I immediately broke down crying. I kept digging, trying to understand how I got so far off base. “He’s a good man,” I argued. “Yes, but is he a Christian? Does he know Jesus?” people asked me in response. “But if I leave him, won’t I be going against what God says, by not loving the unbeliever?” Surprisingly, no. I was not yet married. I had not made a covenant with him before God. I was not bound to him. As much as it would hurt to say goodbye, I knew this was not the relationship God intended for me. He promises much more, and I wasn’t going to find it in a marriage with an unbeliever.

As this devastating realization sunk in, we began the process of disentangling our lives. And within a few weeks, my ex-fiancé headed back to his home with his belongings, including the dog I had come to love and all of my hopes and dreams for a lifetime of happiness together. We both knew he had to find God on his own terms, in his own way.

Who could have guessed that simply checking a box on a church form would eventually end in heartbreak, financial loss, and unwanted singleness? Difficult and sad as it was, God was there every step of the way. He was there in the simple way it ended, despite our lives being intertwined in nearly every way. He was there in the support and love our family and friends provided. He was there to give me a sense of peace that transcended all understanding. Left to myself, previous breakups had knocked me down to my lowest points in life. But this time, with more riding on the relationship than ever before, I was truly okay. I suppose obedience to God made the difference. As much as it hurts, God is always there to pick up the pieces.

Marriage and family are still the two things I want most in life, but I know that they’re in God’s control—not mine. Before I knew God, I tried to control my relational life by making poor decisions and sacrifices that brought little reward. Now, I find fulfillment in God. He is my rock, the one who deserves my love and attention. While it is a daily struggle to trust him with the things I care about so deeply, he has proven that he’s looking out for me. I leave my future in his hands.

Editors’ note: Read the follow-up article from M. Connor, “Today IS My Wedding Day!

  • B. MYERS

    I just want you to know that my testimony is so similar to yours. I felt my heart so knit to yours! I also chose God over a good man about 10 years ago. The joy of obedience? God led me to marry a godly man who draws me closer to God, who helps me to hunger after God above all else, is a godly father to our 2 boys. I never in a million years thought I would ever marry, let alone marry a man who truly, deeply, honestly loves God. I know that you will find joy in your obedience!

  • Annita

    If you can’t share your faith and the things most important to you with your spouse you find that there is a disconnect between you. That is the consequence of making the opposite decision you did. However, you were so right to chose what you discovered God was telling you to do just because He “said so.” Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. God bless you and keep you.

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  • Sheryl Root

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. As difficult as your decision was, if you hadn’t made it I know it would have brought even more pain into your life. May you continue to find joy in your eternal husband, Jesus, and rest in the truth that His plans for you are even greater than you can even ask or imagine.

  • Zia

    encouraging. was really blessed after reading this. Thank you for sharing your testimony. God will indeed reward your obedience :)) God bless!

  • Barbara

    I was engaged when the Lord saved me and brought me unto Himself. Breaking off the engagement was not easy, but oh so necessary – for the same reasons you discuss. We have such a gracious Redeemer and Husband (Is 54:4-6).

  • Em

    Today was to be my wedding day too! Through different circumstances than yours, I am not marrying today either. I feel like I can understand a bit of what today may feel like for you. I am praying for you today, sister!

  • Richard Maffeo

    I was engaged twice before I met my wife (married now 37 years). Each time I broke the news of my engagement to my pastor, his first questions was always, “Is she a Christian?” She was not. And each time I had a decision to make — follow my heart, or follow Christ’s teaching. I am so very grateful I did the latter. And so I learned very early in my Christian walk, we can never go wrong if we decide for Jesus.

  • Karen Butler

    What an encouraging story of the Spirit’s sanctifying work in the heart of a new believer! Thank you for writing this.

    Twenty years ago my husband and I pastored a home group that included a number of women married to unbelievers. Every single one is divorced now, after years of struggle and heartbreak. You did the right thing.

    I do pray for God’s peace and presence for you (and Em) all through this day, and that you will continue to know and testify that Jesus is enough.

  • Joey Espinosa

    Thank you for being authentic in sharing your story of hope, hurt, joy, and pain.

  • Mary

    Sister, thank you for sharing your story. The Lord ended an ungodly relationship for me in a different way, but no matter the difference we can both glory in how He ended them for us before we were committed to these lives with an unbeliever.

  • Bruce

    In economics, the value of something is defined by what you’re willing to give up to have it. So, your actions have demonstrated the great value you place in your relationship with Jesus.
    “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:33)

    • Anna

      What a great comment, Bruce. A very pithy and encouraging way to put it.

  • JH

    How merciful God has been to you! And to me, that just when I was procrastinating by frittering around on blogs, He made me to read such an instance of His grace that would reduce me instantly to a worshiper again. May He continue to bless you with knowledge of Himself and His Word.

  • Jeff Smith

    Thank you for encouraging everyone who is reading of God’s gracious, if painful in the short run, work in your life, dear sister. You did right by yourself, your former fiance, and God’s glory, and won’t regret it. “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10).

  • M. Rash

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I had a very similar experience several years ago. I was supposed to get married in July, 2005. The Lord in His wonderful grace, pried that relationship out of my hands (and He did have to pry – I was very unwilling for awhile.) It hurt, I had lots of questions, but I felt the Lord nearer to me during that time than any other time in my life prior to that. Shortly after that relationship ended, I moved to another state to work in a really awesome ministry, where the Lord did so much in my heart that I can’t even begin to explain here. It was there that I met a really amazing, God-fearing man. We are now married, with two beautiful little girls and he is the best husband and father I could ever have imagined. He accepted my past with its ugliness and all, because he saw me through the eyes of Christ – a redeemed child of God. Interestingly, his name means “healer” and that is just what God has used him as in my life. I am so not worthy of the grace God lavishes on me through my husband, or by any other means!
    Whether God brings someone else along or not, know that there are no regrets when you follow Him. And He will bless you for your obedience. Praise the Lord for saving you and lavishing His great love on you! Thank you again for sharing!

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  • Lindsay

    Thanks for sharing your story. Praying that the Lord lavishes His love on you today, dear sister in Christ. :)

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  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for this. For being willing to follow God in such an incredibly difficult situation. God bless you!!

  • Michael Adler

    Press on, girl. You’ve chosen to aim higher and God will honor it

  • Dane

    The Lord bless you and keep you, dear sister. Thank you for this.

  • Clarice

    Beautiful testimony of counting the riches of Christ greater than the riches of this world. Thank you so much for sharing. May God bless you, as he already has with more faith and more grace.

    Hebrews 11:24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

  • John Carpenter

    The lady is a sheep whom Jesus the good shepherd would not lose. One of the sadly remarkable things about this testimony is that she was apparently baptized by a church while living with her boy-friend. That was a case of pastoral malpractice — bad shepherding. But no amount of bad shepherding can cause one of Christ’s true sheep to be lost.

  • Neville

    The emotional tug of this story is high, and it is truly sad that this young woman had to learn this difficult lesson in this painful way.
    But the fact is that this woman was let down by her church. The first one, where she was “recently baptized in a non-denominational church”. This poor woman, having torn off and given away pieces of her heart multiple times before never to get them back, was involved with this guy enjoying all the benefits of marriage (sex, companionship, help with the dinner dishes) without ever making the commitment. She never says a word about that church confronting her about proclaiming to live a life sold out for Jesus and controlled by his Holy Spirit while continuing in sin. Apparently, they didn’t even steer her to the scripture just hoping she’d sort it out by herself.
    This is what happens when “the church” (that’s us, of course) worries itself about making converts (members on the rolls) instead of disciples. God gave us instruction for a reason, and he told us to teach others to follow all his commandments, for a reason. The first and most important reason is that we have exactly one way to show God that we love him – we obey him. The scripture is very clear on that. The second reason is that it is the best, safest, most productive way to live our lives.
    When a young man or woman turns 16, we don’t just ask them if they have decided to have a personal relationship with the car and then we give them the keys. We teach and train them, we give them instruction manuals, and we hold them accountable for their decisions and actions. Why do we do less when turning a new believer loose on the world, knowing the world is already gunning for their hearts and their souls? They get hurt, sometimes other people get hurt, the church’s reputation often gets hurt, and God’s heart always gets hurt.

    • Phoebe

      It is true that her first church let her down by not confronting her on this, but don’t forget the second half of the story. She came in contact with a church and pastor that did show her truth with grace. Interesting, the pastor did not initially tell her to break the engagement, but the truth changed her heart.

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  • racheAl

    What courage, and a testimony to God’s faithfulness to us. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • redrunner

    OK, I understand the thrust of this article. I have another story. I wasn’t attending church when my husband and I started dating, although I was a believer. I was brought up in a Christian (Missouri Synod Lutheran) home, and I guess stopped going to church out of rebellion or something. He was raised Southern Baptist, but was bitter about the messages he heard (no haters here, please, I’m just saying what he said). Shortly after we married and moved, I found a small church I loved and began attending again. He came to church with me at Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day, but just out of duty. I never pushed him. I just set the example. A couple of years later we moved to his hometown. His father experienced a recurrence of cancer and only had a couple of years left to live; his parents were bastions of their Baptist church. He began attending church with me more and more regularly, and after his dad died, he took instruction and joined the church. My pastor praised me for not pushing, just setting the example, and being a witness. These many years later, my husband is an usher and an elder. So I have mixed feelings about the message of this article.

    • gb

      I also had mixed feelings. I appreciate you posting your story/perspective as well.

    • Heather E. Carrillo

      @redrunner: I’m so glad you posted this! It gives hope to Christians who are married to people they thought were believers but aren’t. Or those who made the mistake of marrying a non-believer. You did exactly what the bible said to do by just setting an example with your life. That’s awesome!

      At the same time the bible also does give us enough of a reason not to marry a non-believer. So, I think the message of this post is if you can opt out of making a foolish decision you should. I mean, surely you don’t think that one should marry a non-Christian in the hopes that they would receive the same blessing you did? As your wonderful testimony indicates…all things ARE possible with God, but we probably shouldn’t presume on His grace.

  • Natasha

    Reading your testimony (and all the comments)has been such a blessing for me! Last week I put an end to a relationship with an unbeliever. It was (and still is) very hard and painful, but I know that I made the right decision. I can’t believe how far away from God that relationship took me at the time, but now I’m rediscovering His love and grace.

  • Lisa Robinson

    This post resonates well with me. The same thing can happen when two Christians are not on the same page and can’t build a right foundation. I think this author accurately assesses that the relationship should cause you to grow in the Lord if it is to be truly reflective of Christ and his church.

    I recently ended a relationship with a Christian for this very reason. He only wanted to go to his church despite my many requests for him to come with me, wouldn’t come to the class I teach, didn’t want to study scripture with me, never prayed with me and barely accepted any explanations I would give him if I disagreed with something he believed. It became evident that was not the right foundation to build on.

  • Todd Van Voorst

    Praise God for this awsome testimony to devotion in Christ. I am very encouraged by this. Thank you for sharing and thank God for providing you such intimacy with Himself as to grant you the courage and grace to honor the covenant He has made for you in Christ by refusing to make a covenant with one whom you love that does not love Him.

  • Todd Van Voorst

    Thank you for this testimony of devotion and love for Jesus over every other thing. May God bless this act of worship and use it to help others choose Jesus over any and every other thing that tempts us (no matter how strong and desirable the alternative to obedience to Himself).

  • Erick Reinstedt

    Thanks for sharing your story! My (now) wife and I were engaged, and she was a struggling Christian and I wasn’t one, and the pastor knew it, and had her read the unequally yoked passage. Though I was so angry at the time, she made the best decision maybe of my life and told me she couldn’t marry me until I knew Christ. Many, many months later I came to know Him, and she had waited, and we got married after that. I can’t imagine if she hadn’t done that and we’d just gotten married. I can’t imagine being unequally yoked. Now, I pastor a church, enjoy writing on my blog about God, and we are able to share together the things of the Spirit and to understand one another when God puts something on one of our hearts. You will be so, so blessed by waiting for the one God has prepared for you. May God bless you deeply for your love for Him! —Erick

  • Steve Martin

    The Lord will lead you to the right person. You made the right decision.

    God bless you for sharing your story.

  • Vinny

    I am a convert with a different story, I was a non-believer when I got married. My wife knew this, She did her best not to judge me, she set an example, trusted that God would do His work in His time – and He did. Many years down the road, I am eternally grateful that God sent this Angel to show me another way. She did her best not to push me, she really did. I would have run otherwise. In the end Yes, it was God who really brought me in, but my wife was by my side the whole time. We now have 2 children and are very active in our Church. Praise the Lord.

  • passion

    Great story and strong example set..your obedience I learned is just protection for you and us as daughters and sons. Families are failing because of being on the wrong foundation. Christ guides our steps and it is less heart ache now than waiting later. I had a horror story and now I am with child and the dad is in his world. Do it God’s way.

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  • Christine Clark

    I’m sorry you had to go through this but I’m happy you have come out so much stronger in the end. You are n amazing person and only deserve the best.
    I miss you and love you! Christine (childhood friend)

  • Wanda Zippler

    I became a Christian after I married an atheist. 22 years later he is still an atheist, and our marriage has hit a lot of rough spots because of our conflicting world views. It has been especially tough on our daughter who is an atheist as well. (Daddy’s Girl)
    Sometimes the spouse will become a Christian because of the influence of the Christian in the family, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. And take it from me as much as it hurt saying good-bye to your fiance, you saved yourself a lot of heartbreak in the end.

    • Heather E. Carrillo

      Thank you for sharing this. I was very moved by your story. I hope God holds you close in the years to come.

  • Steve Cornell

    I’ve walked through situations like this with a number of couples. Thanks for your willingness to share your story! You might find these articles helpful in the days ahead:
    One requirement for who God wants you to marry
    Answering the first question about marriage

  • Jean Wellman

    As my granddaughter,you already know how proud I am of you and your decision to follow your heart, however hard that must have been to do so. HE has blessed my heart once again in my life-time, as I see my family all coming to see the light, one by one.

    You will find that one person to complete your life in a blessed union with a Christian. HE does these things in HIS time frame, you will see. NANA

  • Linda Foh

    How difficult it must have been to realize the true meaning of obedience in this case but that is what God calls us to. God may some day convert your former fiance but that is up to him, not you. To marry him with plans to change him would have been sin not love. Several writers have said “Marry a man who loves God more than he loves you.” Sadly, so many women don’t want to hear that. Thank you for sharing your story which will be a blessing to many women.

  • Lisa Robinson

    Naomi, actually her actions demonstrate quite the opposite of selfishness. If she decided to stay in the engagement and go through with the marriage, that would have been quite selfish on her part because she would be telling her Lord that what she wanted mattered more than what He wanted. And what he wants is clearly outlined in scripture, that believers in Christ should not intentionally join in a marriage union with unbelievers.

    It also would have been selfish towards her fiance by putting her desire or need for marriage above having a good foundation for the marriage. Without the shared core value of faith, the relationship is not on a good footing. But she stipulated that in her essay, that as she grew closer to God the differences began eating away at the relationship. The differences created instability in the relationship. Why would either one of them want to stay in that? That is not childish at all, but quite mature on her part. The childish thing would be to stay in a relationship with a shaky foundation so that she can put claim the title “married”.

    Whether you agree with reasons for determining there was not a shared core value, the reality is there wasn’t one and that is no way to begin a marriage.

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  • Celeste

    Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!

    There is much joy in following Jesus
    His love encompasses all difficulties
    His comfort brings the heart to completely trust in Hm
    Who Himself created love.
    And this, by faith, we are able.
    By His grace and mercy, we are able to stand amidst suffering :)

  • James Gill

    Poor guy is driving home just wondering what he did wrong.

  • ToscaSac

    A beautiful story. I have to commend the choice to wait rather than press forward and regret just. Getting married to the wrong person or even to the right person outside the timing of God is something I hate to see people do.

    Growing in faith is so amazing. I am single too and waiting on God’s timing. I wish I understood it all more but I hold fast to what I do know about where I am on the journey. It is great when I read a story about someone else submitting to walk in the spirit and not after the flesh. Bless you.

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  • Anna

    Thank you for your courageous decision and for courageously sharing your story. I know firsthand how incredibly painful and difficult this is. I recently broke off a relationship with an unbeliever. We were not engaged, though I had hoped we might end up married. In the end, I knew marriage would be a mistake. He was and is a beautiful person, but we were fundamentally divided and not operating from the same foundation. I knew as painful and costly as it was, I would not lose out by choosing Jesus over this man, and by choosing short-term, very intense pain, over long-term pain, disobedience, and likely a broken marriage. I knew that my reason for choosing him would be my own emotional need, and that marrying someone with the desire to change them is wrong. It would not have been good for either of us. My heart is still for his salvation, and I pray daily for him to come to know Jesus, as I’m sure you do for your ex-fiance. May God bless you and guide you in time to the man that he has for you, as well as guide your ex to himself.

  • Ray Ortlund

    You are a great woman of God.

  • Crystal J

    This article came out on the very day my ex-husband married the woman he divorced me for. Your article is very touching and it pointed out a pattern that mimics the one I had with my ex throughout dating. I could take the story further for you if you had not ended the relationship. You get married and it gets worse. You lose more of yourself because you feel torn. The guilt sets in and deepends. Other things become your gods and you both are broken. You hit bototm, he hits bottom. He abandons you and runs to the arms of another woman, a longtime friend of his and a trusted friend of yours. You divorce, are lost and must grapple with the guilt. But wait, there’s hope. You realize in your emptiness and hurting that there is only ONE who can fulfill you, satisfy your every need and want. There is only ONE who can bring that contentment and joy and it is our heavenly Father. That hurt was by far the hardest thing I hope I ever have to endure but in the end, it showed me the gospel in an entirely new light. I spent a year in singlehood, learning, loving God, serving Him as he allowed my hurt to bring Him glory and help others. I then met a wonderful man of God and the Lord told me, “Crystal, it’s time, but be obedient.” We made a commitment before the Lord, to remain pure, to pray together (not just mealtimes but really pray and seek the Lord together), to read recommended Christian devotionals in addition to our Bible, to be intentional and God seeking in our relationship and to always realize that above all, all things, even our relationship, is to be used for the glory of the Almighty. You see, God is a God of second and thirty and seventy times seven chances. I thank the Lord for the lessons I learned in my past. I thank Him for drawing me close to Him for establishing a personal connection with him that is beyond explanation. I thank Him for allowing me to pray for my husband and his new wife (that he left me for) on their wedding day as they eloped. I pray that although she is of a different (Hindu) faith, that they will find the Lord, that they will raise their child in the ways of the Lord and that above all, every hurt, every happiness, every emotion and every life brings glory to the Lord and healing to the lost.

  • Lorilee Demeterio

    Worth reading. A living witness of how we as individual professing christian should really obey, love and serve GOD. I am truly blessed by such testimony. To GOD be all the GLORY!

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  • Heather E. Carrillo

    Thank you for sharing this story! It’s so important for other young people to hear this! Just as you said, other Christians weren’t telling you you oughtn’t to be marrying someone who isn’t a believer. This is so so SO important, and it gets ignored far too much. You are such a brave woman and I thank God for you.

  • David Ross

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your article and that you were able to be guided by your faith to come to your decision.
    I am sure that the God approved right person will be put in front of you.

    Thanks again


  • Evie Schwartzbauer

    This story reminded me so much of mine! Except I knew what I was doing was not right all along but I put it in the back of my mind. You sound like me before God gave me my husband! Yes, that’s right! Hopefully this time right now will be worth it- it was for me! I know God gave me him because our relationship started with God and flourishes in Him, through him & due to Him! He loves God more than me & that’s the way it should be! God was so gracious to me because I chose him over my boyfriend of 3 years (who had a ring). Keep up your faith and keep growing in Christ! Thanks for your testimony!

  • rich

    two simple words: Thank you.

    I’m praying the Lord will redeem the pain you’ve experienced not only for you personally but also through using it to keep other young women from having to go through it themselves.

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  • Jeffie M.

    Beautiful and well said! I went through a similar experience and God held me through it all. A year later, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life and God is the one responsible. Obedience to Him may be challenging but it is always worth it. God bless!

  • Heather E. Carrillo

    Got a nasty follow up comment that I hope the author never sees. I hope this comment space gets closed very soon.

    You did the right thing! And I think it’s very courageous that you share your story. Jesus Christ really transformed your heart. You loved Him first, which is the only way to truly love others.

  • Alicia

    You have made the “brave” choice, but not many women would do that. A Missionary lady told me that right after I broke up with a guy several years ago for similar reasons. You are so right that a guy who might “believe” in God but has to be coaxed into prayer and relationship with God instead of leading those things is not the one you need!

  • Gail

    As the mother of two daughters who thought they would be married by now, and who also made the commitment to sexually “wait” several years ago, I am blessed with encouragement by your article. Thank you for sharing your journey. I pray constantly to God regarding their mates, but I also pray that God would be their greatest desire. He blesses me to see from time to time how He is drawing them closer and closer to Him…sometimes quite obviously as a result of their lonliness and the discipline that’s required to live counter culturally. I also have my own desire to have son-in-laws and to see my daughters happy in the fulfillment of being mothers and wives. I am certain that God is using this time of “waiting” to draw me closer to Him as well. God is faithful and His love is unfailing. Rather than acting for the sake of convenience and immediate comfort, I count it a privilege and a blessing to wait…even as my daughters wait… for His perfect timing and His sovereign plan.

  • MIke

    I love the response of the pastor in your story. Instead of extending condemnation, he extended grace. He allowed the Holy Spirit to convict and change your heart. He pointed you in the right direction and offered the help and support you needed.

  • Nancy

    I know it may not seem that way now in the midst of your pain, but believe me, it is better to figure this out before marriage than it is to face it after 16 years of trying to be your husband’s Holy Spirit. There is no guarantee that he would ever follow God, and then you’d be left to pick up the pieces of your family when he decided to go his on way and search for “happiness”. TRUST.

  • Ken

    Wonderful article. I was single for many years, and people kept telling me I “just hadn’t met the right woman.” After a while, that began to sound rather cliched. Still, they were right. I was 37 years old before I met my wife, and she waited a long time to meet the right man. We’ve been happily married for almost six years.

    I say this to encourage you to hang in there, and don’t settle for less than God’s best. The right person is definitely worth the wait!

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  • Nisheena Qunaa

    Hi M. Connor,

    Your blog really blessed. I’m happy to see women of God make a decision to be obedient to God and trust God with everything. Use the examples in the bible for those who trusted in God’s word – Ruth, Joseph, & countless more – and received a MIGHTY harvest because of their faithfulness. God ALWAYS keeps His promise ( ) so stay encouraged and know that God will present you to you husband in due season. While you are single, use this time to build yourself as a women of God, a wife, and a mother.

    Stay blessed!

    PS – If ever you need some encouragement, there is a women’s group that I am a part of that meets every month to discuss real life issue facing women of God. We can be found at . :-)

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  • Lorri Wenderski

    Dear Sister In Christ,

    While, my story is a bit different. I met a wonderful man of God who for the the first 8 months of our relationship was a Godly servant who encouraged me in my relationship with the Lord and my ministry. I had always been the women who was satisfied with my singleness and in my relationship with the Lord. Then, 8 months into our relationship, after he told me he loved me and said he was going to ask me to marry him. We had worked hard for our relationship to honor and glorify the Lord. We had not even kissed until 8 months into our relationship. There was no premarital sex or inappropriate physical relationship. Then, he walked away from the Lord and began a pattern that would last for the next several years. He would walk away from the Lord, I would break up with him and try to encourage him to repent, he would repent and say he returned to the Lord, we would get back together after him meeting with my spiritual dad and getting his approval only to find that he never really did repent and there was no change. Finally, after years of going through this I broke up with him for the final time. Now, I find myself 40 and still desiring marriage with no way at this time of fulfilling that desire. I trust that God has a greater plan for me and that He will finish what he has begun. Thank you for this article, as even though are stories are different, they are also very similar and help me to know I am not alone. As a Biblical Counselor, I know all too well the consequences of women marrying unbelievers. I know what it was like to almost be engaged a man who claimed to be a believer only to find he most likely was not. I avoided so much heartache but still wonder what my life would have been like had my ex-boyfriend continued on in his relationship with the Lord. I pray that this article stops other women from entering into unequally yoked marriages. I know one thing that would stop some of these marriages from occuring would be churches requiring premarital counseling before marriage and also the couple allowing seasons of time to reveal character. If I would have married my ex-boyfriend during our first 8 months when he was living and claiming to be a Christian I would be in an unequally yoked marriage right now. While, the author mentions some good resources I want to mention two great books about dating, Biblical relationships and those considering marriage which I have used in counseling and used in my own situation. The first is “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred” by Carolyn McCulley. It gives great counsel to bring community into the relationship as well as clear Biblical guidelines of courting relationships. Another great resource is a little booklet called “Pre-Engagement: 5 Questions to Ask Yourselves” by David Powlison & John Yenchko. I pray that we all find God’s will for our lives and fullness and the abundant life in Him whether that means marriage or singleness.

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  • Mark

    Hello, I just want you to listen to the experience of someone on the other side. My partner is a christian and I am not. I never wished to change her beliefs and I accepted her beliefs as a part of the woman I loved. After meeting in the UK, I returned to Australia. At this time she said she had a problem with me being an agnostic but after talking she said she wanted to give us a chance and I moved to the UK permanently to be with her.
    However, she later said that what she meant by give us a chance was to give me a chance to change. Today, after asking her if we can have a long term relationship if my beliefs don’t change, she said no and we separated.
    She said that I was the kindest, most loving person she knew. She said that she thinks she will never meet anyone like me. Our relationship was good and loving. But she said she cannot be “unequally yoked”
    All of you will think she is right to do this. That is your belief and that is fine. However, the human cost of this is that a person who only treated his partner with love is no longer with that partner, who also loved him.
    I just wanted you to think about the effect such a belief has on the other person in this relationship.

    • Wanda Zippler

      I am sorry for your current heartache. I am a Christian who became a Christian after I had already married an atheist. I know it is hard losing someone you love, but I speak from experience when I tell you it is even harder being married to someone with a different worldview. For 20 years we have been battling about the best way to raise our child. I have had to deal with his treating me with no respect, and so many other issues. She handled this the wrong way, but in the long run I fully believe people are happier when they have a spouse whose goals are similar to theirs. If you had gotten married your marriage would have been a colossal tug-of-war, with no winners.

  • H

    I love this article, because it describes so many women so well – thank God that you were given such bold conviction in ending it.
    I also ended a sexual r/ship with a nonbeliever man I wanted to marry and vice versa. Many times we tried to stop the sexual acts because I’d be convicted but it was a cycle because he’d only say he’d stop and ‘see how things went’ (ie break up or keep having sex). I knew that even if the sex issue was resolved and we just got married then it wouldn’t have been the r/ship God had intended for me either..and I can’t just brush past sins under the carpet like that and expect to build a strong and God-honouring marriage from that foundation. And he was visiting church less and less with me, and wanting me to put him above church – I knew all these problems would be magnified x100 if we got married and had kids. In a way, it would’ve been selfish for me to keep going in a relationship I knew was for merely selfish pleasures (feeling loved and having that intimacy).

    God gave me the strength and courage to end that relationship, but I did it not without doubt or even trying to go back a few times. But God has burnt that bridge now.. pray that more women/men will have courage like you! God bless.

  • Leanne

    Marcy, I am so happy that you are happy. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve learned the same thing over the years that God answers prayers just not always in the way we expect them to be answered. I hope you have an amazing wedding day and a wonderful future ahead of you.

  • Heather

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. When God saved me, I was in a relationship that I knew had to end. We had known each other for 4 years, and we spent a lot of time together. He wanted to work for a living, I wanted to take care of him. He wanted to be independent, I wanted him to depend on me. I was pretty feministic and totally independent, working on a degree and working full time and “doing it all, paying my way, didn’t need no man” – the modern woman’s mantra. Once I started attending church, and the small church family there realized what type of situation I was in, and urged me to stop seeing this guy, and realizing that they were right, I knew I had to end it. Not only was the relationship unhealthy, but there was the sexual temptation there that I knew I just could not live with and continue to obey Jesus. When I broke it off, I still loved him so much.. He wasn’t interested in the Gospel but only in drinking excessively(not good) and working(which isn’t bad, lol). He wasn’t interested in me other than whatever warped relationship we had going on. He went to jail the night that I broke it off with him. During that time I shared the Gospel with him through letters and prayed for him every single night and begged God to change and save Him, and for God to help me to have the right motives in doing so – not just so we could be together, but because I cared for His soul, and where He would spend eternity. He didn’t start changing even in his letters until after about 3 months of being there. God changed him – He saved him and gave him a new heart. He hasn’t touched alcohol since his release from jail, and no longer enjoys all the stuff he used to enjoy. And now we have been married for almost a year, and living completely new lives in Jesus Christ. When we think about how our lives would have continued had God not intervened, it is just a very sad thought. So we are thankful, that God’s Gospel has pierced our hearts and that He saved us from His wrath for sinners like us by the atoning blood of Christ! We are now both growing by God’s hand in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. If I had heard that story before, I would have said it was impossible for a guy like him or woman like me to change. But with God all things are possible. Jesus’ blood and sacrifice is sufficient for any sinner.