February Fakes: Why I’d date an atheist over a “Christian”

February Fakes

Well this might be one of my most controversial series to date but I think what I’m going to share needs to be said. And I sincerely hope you listen to my heart behind the words I write instead of pulling them apart. Each post on Sunday, in February, will be inspired by a different man I’ve dated. Each, very unique and different individuals. However, all four claimed to be Christians and God was/is an active part of their life. You’ll find Christian noted as their religion on their Facebook profile and you’ll see them in church on Sunday morning. But these four guys had me questioning why I’d rather marry any of my atheist friends over them. The word Christian is in quotes because I’m now convinced these men aren’t Christian at all. It’s not me being judgmental. There’s a reason people are turned off to Christianity and this is part of the problem. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they’ve been hurt by Christians. And I’m not talking about little, petty things that you get over. I’m talking about things that shouldn’t be happening within the body of Christ. I’m talking about things that need to be addressed and not swept under the “we all sin” label. Don’t ever let someone or something put a bad taste for Christianity in your mouth. Look to Christ only. If you encounter any of these types of men, don’t give up on Christian guys- just know you haven’t found a real one yet. While my perspective is from a woman’s standpoint, you can definitely apply this to women who claim to be Christians, as well.

Goals

There are a few goals I have in mind for this series. I want to stress to everyone that claims to be a Christian to really iron out what that means. So often we grow up in a Christian home, go to church every week, and go about our lives. But God desires to be included in every aspect of your life- not just on Sunday mornings. My goal is for you to strengthen your relationship with Christ.

My fear is a lot of people may have had similar experiences to mine. And I must say, if my faith wasn’t as strong as it is and this was what I had to go by to determine whether or not I believed in Christ, I would have walked away years ago. My goal is for you not to walk away. To know that not everyone who says they are a Christian really is. And you don’t have to feel guilty, ashamed, dumb, or naïve because of your own experiences. If you meet people like this, know they are not a Christian and you don’t have to feel bad for “judging” them. That’s a big one. Again, never let another person affect your view of Christ.

These posts are not meant to bash anyone; I’m actually still friends with everyone I’m about to write about. But I want you to see and understand how real these emotions are. I want you to see how they’ve affected me and how they are probably affecting others.

I’ve thought long and hard about this series. There are many scriptures that have backed up my reasoning for these posts. Throughout the month of February I would encourage all of us to really meditate and dwell on what these scriptures mean. And be sure to either check back or subscribe to my blog to get the posts! Next one is February 7th!

*Scriptures and my thoughts for reference

“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”- 1 John 3:9

This scripture used to confuse me, especially each time I sinned. There is a huge difference in being a sinner who sins and being saved and sinning. One is out of character for you and one is your character. Once you get saved and once you watch other people’s lives long enough, you are able to tell the difference.

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” -Gal. 5:16- 24

Just because someone says they are saved, doesn’t mean they are. Are they walking according to the Spirit or are they walking according to the flesh?

22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’” -Luke 13:22-27

The door to heaven is narrow. So many people claim to be Christians but so few really become saved according to the scripture. Watch what they do, not what they say.

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23: 25-28 [Read all of Matthew 23]

All of Matthew 23 is so good! It shows that Jesus knows and sees what you are seeing. You aren’t crazy! It shouldn’t surprise us that we have modern day Pharisees today. And it’s okay to talk about it.

“15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” – Rev 3:15-16

This is probably one of my favorite verses and the one that explains why I get so passionate about this. Ask any of my non-Christian friends how I treat them or what I think of them. I have so much respect for them because what you see is what you get. Such honest, real discussions with a mutual level of respect. However, I can’t have that close or deep of relationship with lukewarm people- people that go back and forth, say one thing and live another. There is no trust there. So while I am friends with these people, the relationships never become deep.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:35

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13

Love. You will see a lot of this absent from the guys I’ve dated. And no matter what all else is said and done, this is the one thing that matters. Real, Christ-like, love.

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3 reasons to keep your options open

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This almost seems like the antithesis of one of my most valued characteristics: loyalty. But that is precisely what I’m saying. I think somewhere along the way we started to blend liking someone, dating, and marriage. Having all of our eggs in one basket, not open to anyone else. Now I know what you might be thinking- what is so wrong with that? Well, here’s my theory of why you should keep your options open:

So you can be yourself

I had recently started talking to someone and I caught myself filtering what I was saying. Like how can I make this not sound like I’m arrogant? I was wondering if what I would say would align with his beliefs. But I was glad I caught myself because I stopped to think about why I was doing that. I realized this was a guy I was interested in, who also liked me, and I didn’t want to mess that up- as if being myself could mess that up. It was then that I told myself there were a couple other guys I was interested in and if for some reason this guy decided not to like me anymore it was okay. I know it can be easier said than done because nobody is fond of rejection. But I wonder if I would have had enough strength to be myself and not care as much if I didn’t have other options.

So you can be honest about what you really want

Do we really want someone we can’t be ourselves around? No. While it may help me keep the guy temporarily, it’s not what I’m looking for long term. The problem with closing yourself off to others is you start settling on things that were important because you think it’s your only option.

“I’m just happy he is going to church with me, it’s okay he isn’t a spiritual leader.”

“She is always rude to people, but she treats me well most of the time.”

“He doesn’t like it if I go out with my friends, but that’s just because he wants to spend time with me.”

“She puts me down in front of others, but I know she doesn’t mean it.”

Do you see what ends up happening here? Of course there will be compromises in any relationship but you should never compromise on major, important things simply because you have no other option.

So you don’t end up with the wrong person

Some people don’t believe you can end up with the wrong person but I do. I’ve seen the impact family members, co-workers, friends make on another person’s life. How much more so a spouse? You have to remember that talking, dating, even engaged are all stages leading up to see if you are ready to make that commitment to one person. You are not married yet. It shouldn’t be scary to think about spending the rest of your life with someone; the thought of spending the rest of your life with them should make you the happiest you’ve ever been.

If you allow yourself to keep your options open, you are more apt to be yourself and keep your priorities straight. It will either allow you to see you’re with someone you shouldn’t be or solidify the relationship to a deeper level, allowing you to appreciate them even more. I firmly believe that we took this approach we’d see a lot less fake people settling only to end up in a divorce and more relationships ending in happily ever after.

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I was afraid to break up with you

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I have yet to meet someone who has enjoyed breaking up with someone. Sometimes someone may feel a sense of relief but the act itself is never fun. Someone always gets hurt. The only way to avoid this is to never date. But we all still date, risks known. Whether we choose to acknowledge or deny those risks is up to us.

I was afraid to break up with you for you. I didn’t know if you could handle it. You had been through a lot and I knew you had let your guard down with me. I didn’t want you to regret that. Our relationship was your life. What would you do if I left? I honestly didn’t know if you were stable enough without me. This is hard to write. I didn’t know it had gotten this far. The same thing that attracted me to you was the same thing that is pulling me away. I can’t mean that much to you. It’s too much pressure. Aside from wondering what will happen to you, I never wanted to hurt you. Ever. While I still think you’re a great guy, it’s possible to be a great guy and just not right for me, right?

I was afraid to break up with you for others. We say do what’s best for you but we all know others are always affected by our actions -by our decisions. It’s never just your life. Our families- so intertwined. So much pressure, so many expectations. What would they think if I broke it off? Could I still be friends with your family? They’ve treated me like I was their own. I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want them to think I was just using you. I don’t want them to think I don’t love you. Because I do love you. I’m just not in love with you.

I was afraid to break up with you for myself. You had become my life. I don’t know if I could do this on my own. I was so scared. What if I don’t find someone better? Who would I talk to if I needed to vent? Who would celebrate with me when I’d graduate? I was so afraid to be alone. Is it bad to say I was afraid you’d hurt me for hurting you? How did it get this far? I was afraid to be with you and afraid to be without you at the same time. This is all too much.

And then I learned the best thing for everyone- you, me, our friends, our families was to break it off. I’ve known all along. Because it’s not fair to you, not fair to me, not fair to our loved ones for me to continue to live a lie. As hard as it is now to be alone, it’s harder being with someone I know isn’t right for me. I’ll have to learn to live without you again. But I can. Sometimes we have to take one step back to take two steps forward.

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