What do you do if you get to a point in your marriage that you don’t like the same church?
Something is said, something happens either in the church or at home and suddenly one of you is no longer comfortable at your church. Sometimes the reasons are easily definable – doctrinal, not feeling “fed”, hurt feelings, money concerns. But other times, it may not be so clear – “I just don’t like that church anymore.”, or “Something just is not right.”. In either case, when a husband and wife don’t like the same church, it is a real problem. It has the capacity to pull a husband and wife in opposite directions and put strain on the entire family.
My wife and I have been through this a couple different times at different times of our dating and married life experiences. And honestly, some couples are able to manage going to separate churches for years. But I think generally speaking the disconnection and distance that worshipping separately brings to a family, is something that needs to be taken very seriously.
Getting to Solutions:
Prayer. The first thing has to be prayer. Far different from just a preference of whether the music is how we like it or not, we are talking about our walk with the Lord. The last thing I would think any of us would want to do is to force our spouse to attend a church where they are not being fed or connecting with God. On the other hand, going to separate churches is not desirable.
So the first move has to be going to God in prayer. I would suggest that we not just pray for a service or pastor that we like, but pray that God would place us where He wants and needs us to be as a family. Because, beyond just what we want in a service, has to be the recognition and alignment with what God wants for us. That just might mean that one or both the husband or wife, have to make some sacrifices.
What’s Important. An outgrowth of prayer is understanding what is important to us. We have to consider this both from what is important to us in a church and what is important to our family. Also, check out How to Find (Are You in) The Right Church For Your Family
Talk with your Pastor. Schedule time to talk to your Pastor or church leadership. Pastor’s are used to dealing with people and they are well aware that every person in the pews is not happy. Most Pastor’s have a certain level of acceptance of the fact that people will leave for different reasons. It’s OK.
But sometimes a good clear the air conversation goes along way both for you and the Pastor. Tell them how you feel – it makes you feel better to get it off of your chest, it educates the Pastor as to how people feel and it may give your family peace.
Talk With Each Other. Be honest about how you feel about your church experience and work together to find solutions. Value and listen to each other’s feelings and needs. It is an enormous strain on the relationship but if we don’t turn on each other and value each other, God will present a solution.
There are no cooking cutter answers, but as we listen to God through prayer, air our feelings with each other and our Pastor, we pray that God will lead us to a decision that is best for our family. How about you EYM, have you and your spouse ever expressed wanting to or actually attended a different church? Do you agree or disagree that it impacts a marriage relationship?