You've heard the sayings: "The Couple That Prays Together, Stays Together" or "If God Doesn't Lead Your Relationship, Then Your Relationship Will Fail."

Do you believe that? If a couple isn't religious or the purpose of the relationship isn't ultimately to get married, then is the relationship doomed to fail? This thread is inspired by a recent discussion that I had with another poster that went awry and also a question that is often asked by men who feel they are ready to settle down. That's right ladies!, you know the question that men ask: Are you a God-fearing, church-going woman? In fact, I was recently asked this question by a man who said that he was "looking for a good woman." To him, a "good woman" was someone who attends church regularly.

What do you think? Is sprituality or religion important in a relationship?
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
What do you think? Is sprituality or religion important in a relationship?

I think spirituality is important to all aspects of life. But organized religion?... not so much.

I think the idea behind the saying, "The family that prays together, stays together." is sound. Any person who carries a spiritual vacumme will always have trouble supporting their family physically, mentally, finantually, and spiritually. However, my own experience has taught me that there is no lack of spiritual emptiness in organized religion. I seems to me that both men and women that have religious requirements of those they are looking to settle down with are looking for a short-cut... as if a potential mate who attends church regularly is guaranteed to have sharp spiritual focus and strong family values. This is certainly not the case though, as they are certain to discover eventually.

Personally... I don't seek out women who are active in the church, but I don't avoid them either. My filtering process remains the same regardless of religious orientation.

But then... that's just me... and I'm just one guy. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I seems to me that both men and women that have religious requirements of those they are looking to settle down with are looking for a short-cut... as if a potential mate who attends church regularly is guaranteed to have sharp spiritual focus and strong family values. This is certainly not the case though, as they are certain to discover eventually.


THANK YOU! I agree. Excellent point.

quote:
Personally... I don't seek out women who are active in the church, but I don't avoid them either. My filtering process remains the same regardless of religious orientation.


Ok, so what do you think about the concept of a couple being "evenly yolked?" Meaning, the couple shares the same values and religious beliefs? Do you believe that in order to find the most suitable partner, one must limit himself or herself to seeking relationships with members of "a community" that share the same values and beliefs??? In other words, do you believe Christians must marry Christians, Buddhists must marry Buddhists, Mormons must marry Mormons, and Muslims must marry Muslims???
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Ok, so what do you think about the concept of a couple being "evenly yolked?" Meaning, the couple shares the same values and religious beliefs? Do you believe that in order to find the most suitable partner, one must limit himself or herself to seeking relationships with members of "a community" that share the same values and beliefs??? In other words, do you believe Christians must marry Christians, Buddhists must marry Buddhists, Mormons must marry Mormons, and Muslims must marry Muslims???

Not at all.

Having studied all these religions in depth, I can say with confidence that in the final analysis they are not all that different. If the couple has a healthy spiritual attitude they will realize that the particulars and specifics of their different religions are ultimately superficial, and that same attitude will make building close relationships with other people of any religion easier... not harder.

See... in the end, spirituality is a path that each of us walks alone. Religious practices, whether practiced alone or in groups, are designed to strengthen the individual's connection to God. So, even if a couple has different practices (in essence... different spiritual paths), it should make no difference so long as said practices are doing what they are supposed to do... which is highten the practitioner's spiritual awareness.
Peace...



quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
You've heard the sayings: "The Couple That Prays Together, Stays Together" or "If God Doesn't Lead Your Relationship, Then Your Relationship Will Fail."

Do you believe that? If a couple isn't religious or the purpose of the relationship isn't ultimately to get married, then is the relationship doomed to fail? This thread is inspired by a recent discussion that I had with another poster that went awry and also a question that is often asked by men who feel they are ready to settle down. That's right ladies!, you know the question that men ask: Are you a God-fearing, church-going woman? In fact, I was recently asked this question by a man who said that he was "looking for a good woman." To him, a "good woman" was someone who attends church regularly.

What do you think? Is sprituality or religion important in a relationship?


I do not think that a couple requires God as a mediator when falling in love, however, they will certainly need Him to hold love.

Relationships colloapse in many instances because there is no established device for conflict resolution. Each side approaches problems with their own views and oftimes these views do not coincide.

A commonality in religious thought provides the basis and direction for a relationship..Religion can act as a unifying force, and mediator.



Whirling Moat
I'll respond in a more personal manner because this issue has been one of the main stumbling blocks in my past relationships/dating scenarios. I personally have no problem dating anyone of any religion as long as they are spiritual, for the same reasons that Black Viking pointed out. I can't say it is the same the other way around though.

I have run into situations where the person I am dating claims to be open minded ect. and then as soon as there is a conflict, what Saracen pointed out(no established device for conflict resolution) rears it's ugly head, and the attacks against my spiritual path begin.

Either the base we come from is totally different, which causes problems but is resolvable, or more frequently, their former claim for open mindedness towards spirituality tanks, and I am attacked for not being from their spiritual grouping/path(I never return such attacks). This shuts me down quite a bit. IMO, it is almost the equivalent of a European person attacking an African during an argument by using the N-word or other racially derogatory names. It's a deal breaker, the ultimate form of disrespect.

I've tended to avoid inter-religious dating because of this, which is probably why I haven't had too many dates as of late. It's too bad, I have this huge crush on a brother from the local NOI.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I think spirituality is important to all aspects of life. Any person who carries a spiritual vacumme will always have trouble supporting their family physically, mentally, finantually, and spiritually.


Brother Viking, why do you believe spirituality is important to all aspects of life, and to relationships in particular? Also, please describe those people who, in your mind, live in a "spiritual vacuum." Are you talking about atheists, perhpas??? Can we honestly say that those who do not believe in a "God" have trouble supporting their families mentally and physically, and financially?!? That's a blanketed generalizaation, don't you think?
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quote:
Originally posted by Saracen:
I do not think that a couple requires God as a mediator when falling in love, however, they will certainly need Him to hold love.

Relationships colloapse in many instances because there is no established device for conflict resolution. Each side approaches problems with their own views and oftimes these views do not coincide.

A commonality in religious thought provides the basis and direction for a relationship..Religion can act as a unifying force, and mediator.


With the exception of those who perform visible roles in the church (e.g., ministers, pastors, deacons, etc.), religion plays a very insignificant role in the daily lives of most people in this country. Compared to activities involving education, career, children, marriage, and fianances, religious activities, such as praying, attending places of worship, reading holy scriptures, etc. accounts for a very small portion of people's time of day. Therefore, I don't think two people who are interested in establishing a relationship (IN THIS COUNTRY) need to share the same religious background, because religion and spirituality is not that important to people here.

Sharing the same values, however, is important. If I, for example, believe that it is important to pay bills as soon as they arrive, but my spouse believes that he doesn't need to pay bills until he receives a bill reminder in the mail, then he and I are experiencing a conflict in values. I think conflicting values is more of a threat to relationships than are religious differences.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I think spirituality is important to all aspects of life. Any person who carries a spiritual vacumme will always have trouble supporting their family physically, mentally, finantually, and spiritually.


Brother Viking, I want to zero in on this part of first response. Why do you believe spirituality is important to all aspects of life, and to relationships in particular?

Spirituality is important to all aspects of life because it's a reflection of your connection to all things... a representation of our ability to see outside of ourselves. It's this ability that allows us to see our role in the grand scheme of things more clearly. In relationships in particular, this ability strengthens the bonds between people by reducing the effects of fear, doubt, axiety, and competition.

quote:
Also, please describe those people who, in your mind, live in a "spiritual vacuum." Are you talking about atheists???

Yes and no. Every true athiest I've ever known fits what I consider to be "spiritually empty", but many people claim to be atheists when they aren't. They only call themselves that because they are at a loss for any other way to describe themselves.

People who live in a spiritual vacume are people who have no concept of a force greater than themselves. Therefore, the interconnectedness of the people, places, and forces around them are lost on them. They see themselves as isolated from these things, and the world appears as a random clashing of wills.

quote:
Can we honestly say that those who do not believe in a "God" have trouble supporting their families mentally and physically, and financially?!?

That depends on your definition of a "God". But, using my own definition... yes, I can honestly say that. Spritually empty people have a very difficult time doing these things, because they are stuck on the idea that it's all about them... that if they can't do it then it can't happen. This is always coupled with an unfair and biased perception of their own abilities. For anyone to fill their role in the family, they must first be able to recognize what that role is... and what it is not. To do that, they must see what is within their control... and what is not.

And therein lies the catch-22... To know that a given thing can be accomplished through me just doing my part (no matter how small, even though I can't do it all myself) requires... faith.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
I have run into situations where the person I am dating claims to be open minded ect. and then as soon as there is a conflict, what Saracen pointed out(no established device for conflict resolution) rears it's ugly head, and the attacks against my spiritual path begin.


Unlike Brother Saracen, I don't think one needs to be spiritual or religious in order to utilize a device for conflict resolution. There are many sources of information available that teaches people how to effectively communicate and handle conflicts. Thus, you don't necessarily have to be religious to know how to relate to people. Now, because you do consider yourself a very spiritual person Sister Oshun, religious compatiblity between you and your spouse is important.

When it comes to an ideal mate, religious compatability doesn't rank as high for me, however, because I don't claim a religion. I do know that I do NOT want anyone in my life who associates himself with any religion or spriritually-based organization that promotes proseltyization (saving the world from "sin"), truth-claiming, or universalism.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I think spirituality is important to all aspects of life. Any person who carries a spiritual vacumme will always have trouble supporting their family physically, mentally, finantually, and spiritually.


Brother Viking, I want to zero in on this part of first response. Why do you believe spirituality is important to all aspects of life, and to relationships in particular?

Spirituality is important to all aspects of life because it's a reflection of your connection to all things... a representation of our ability to see outside of ourselves. It's this ability that allows us to see our role in the grand scheme of things more clearly. In relationships in particular, this ability strengthens the bonds between people by reducing the effects of fear, doubt, axiety, and competition.

quote:
Also, please describe those people who, in your mind, live in a "spiritual vacuum." Are you talking about atheists???

Yes and no. Every true athiest I've ever known fits what I consider to be "spiritually empty", but many people claim to be atheists when they aren't. They only call themselves that because they are at a loss for any other way to describe themselves.

People who live in a spiritual vacume are people who have no concept of a force greater than themselves. Therefore, the interconnectedness of the people, places, and forces around them are lost on them. They see themselves as isolated from these things, and the world appears as a random clashing of wills.

quote:
Can we honestly say that those who do not believe in a "God" have trouble supporting their families mentally and physically, and financially?!?

That depends on your definition of a "God". But, using my own definition... yes, I can honestly say that. Spritually empty people have a very difficult time doing these things, because they are stuck on the idea that it's all about them... that if they can't do it then it can't happen. This is always coupled with an unfair and biased perception of their own abilities. For anyone to fill their role in the family, they must first be able to recognize what that role is... and what it is not. To do that, they must see what is within their control... and what is not.

And therein lies the catch-22... To know that a given thing can be accomplished through me just doing my part (no matter how small, even though I can't do it all myself) requires... faith.


Thanks for responding! I'm not sure how I want to respond yet, so I'll just say thank you for now. Smile
I am a Christian, rarely go to church, but I like to say grace before meals and I talk to Jesus regularly. I want the men I date to have a belief system, similar to mine, I have dated Muslims, so dating outside my relgion is not a problem. The guy who I dated the longest, he and I would pray together and read the bible together. The relationship ultimately ended as it should have because we were not a good match for other reasons, but that is one aspect that I enjoyed. It was one area that we had in common, and it for me added value to the relationship.
quote:
Originally posted by Nikcara:
I am a Christian, rarely go to church, but I like to say grace before meals and I talk to Jesus regularly. I want the men I date to have a belief system, similar to mine, I have dated Muslims, so dating outside my relgion is not a problem. The guy who I dated the longest, he and I would pray together and read the bible together. The relationship ultimately ended as it should have because we were not a good match for other reasons, but that is one aspect that I enjoyed. It was one area that we had in common, and it for me added value to the relationship.


Sister, your belief system is to say grace before meals and talk to Jesus. That's not really a belief system. What you're describing are religious activities. This response confirms my point. Most people in this country are not fully committed to a religion. They only say they are because it's expected of them and they don't want people to think they are amoral or don't believe in "God." However, my position is that you don't need to claim a religion or "belief system" in order to live a positive and productive life. You need VALUES, most definitely. But you don't need to hyprocritically connect yourself to a religion just to satisfy the expectations of the members of this society nor should fear of "going to hell" motivate you to do the same. As one pastor said to me, "Either you're all right, or you're not right at all."
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Saracen:
I do not think that a couple requires God as a mediator when falling in love, however, they will certainly need Him to hold love.

Relationships colloapse in many instances because there is no established device for conflict resolution. Each side approaches problems with their own views and oftimes these views do not coincide.

A commonality in religious thought provides the basis and direction for a relationship..Religion can act as a unifying force, and mediator.


With the exception of those who perform visible roles in the church (e.g., ministers, pastors, deacons, etc.), religion plays a very insignificant role in the daily lives of most people in this country. Compared to activities involving education, career, children, marriage, and fianances, religious activities, such as praying, attending places of worship, reading holy scriptures, etc. accounts for a very small portion of people's time of day. Therefore, I don't think two people who are interested in establishing a relationship (IN THIS COUNTRY) need to share the same religious background, because religion and spirituality is not that important to people here.


I know this was directed to Saracen... but if you will allow my comment....

The essential purpose of religion exists as the basis of morality and ethics...

this is different than what it has become, which is a separate form of ritual resting lightly on the foundation of values while dispensing sporadic wisdom to real life social situations...

This society's mindset is built upon the theory of separateness... religion over here.. husband at work... wife at home or her job... children at school... faith over here.. morality over there... and a life lived juggling all of these things..

our ancestors did not practice a religion that separated social reality from spiritual wisdom... morality and ethics and religion were one in the same....

onlookers or those who are spiritualy immature looked upon our societies and relegated them to ritual and worship... and hence most religion today is simply "worship" religion in its true form is not simply a book... a building ... or professed beliefs... it is a serious spiritual and social developmental science that is not separate or devoid from life... life is the developmental path and test of these things....

values are derived from the processes of understanding through a religious study that encompasses reflections of social interactions and self reflective character development within these environments...

what we see today is a degeneration of this...

when we separate values from a higher purpose and design for human interactions we get an individualized predeliction that we impose upon one another... this may or may not be accepted by our partner... when conflict arises neither is beholden to a higher standard based off of original design... but one that is based off of "opinions" "feelings" "beliefs"... one that may be perceived as "tastes"..
when two people come together under the same religion they are beholden to a standard higher than their moral relativity or moral individual prism... they are both held to a higher standard of design that they both submit to....

the values, morality and ethics we hold come forth from a higher plan... and design for humanity it is not limited to our current understanding of life depending upon the latest psychosocial theory or climate...

from this the two walk together on a journey....

We must strive for this.... our lives are not haphazardly in existence... with no thought or conscience given to its meaning and purpose...




quote:
Sharing the same values, however, is important. If I, for example, believe that it is important to pay bills as soon as they arrive, but my spouse believes that he doesn't need to pay bills until he receives a bill reminder in the mail, then he and I are experiencing a conflict in values. I think conflicting values is more of a threat to relationships than are religious differences.


values come from religion.... values separate from religion are simply the proclivity of the individual..


religion gives birth to values... they must be beholden to something greater than this... and that is design...

in the above example.... when Allah tells us that men are the maintainers of women.... bills are automatically the domain of the husband.... it is his responsibility to ensure the maintainance of the household.. while the management of the household is for the wife.... each has a role... and it can be deferred to...

the design is husband as protector and provider { though in a myriad of ways not just in everyday living.... } but on this plane of existence it manifests itself as such... the woman or man may value each other's role.. but the design is what they adhere to...
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
You've heard the sayings: "The Couple That Prays Together, Stays Together" or "If God Doesn't Lead Your Relationship, Then Your Relationship Will Fail."

Do you believe that?
What do you think? Is sprituality or religion important in a relationship?


quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

Sister, your belief system is to say grace before meals and talk to Jesus. That's not really a belief system. ."


Rowe- I responded to the questions as posed. Dating a man with a similar faith to me is important to me. However, had I known that my faith or someone's: classification of it, perception of its depth, let alone its existence were part of the inquiry I would not have partisipated. I will not defend the way I practice my faith to you or anyone.

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

What you're describing are religious activities. This response confirms my point. Most people in this country are not fully committed to a religion. They only say they are because it's expected of them and they don't want people to think they are amoral or don't believe in "God."


You basis for this sweeping statment is my response? As to the part regarding me, if you do not know by my prior posts in this site, I could care less what people think of me. I care about what people think when they pay my bills, my employee, my mortgage, my malpractice insurance or anything else for me. Wow, is all I can say, if your perception of one person's response can be used for most of the 300 million + people in the USA.


quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

However, my position is that you don't need to claim a religion or "belief system" in order to live a positive and productive life. You need VALUES, most definitely.


It is fine that you don't need to claim a religion or "belief system" in order to live a positive and productive life. I however was not claiming anything, I was stating facts in my life that were part of my answer to the questions posed.
quote:
Originally posted by Nikcara:
I have dated Muslims, so dating outside my relgion is not a problem.


Just an FYI... Muslims don't (or should not)date....

Helpful article ( I agree with enough of it to post):

Islam prohibits dating
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

Sharing the same values, however, is important. If I, for example, believe that it is important to pay bills as soon as they arrive, but my spouse believes that he doesn't need to pay bills until he receives a bill reminder in the mail, then he and I are experiencing a conflict in values. I think conflicting values is more of a threat to relationships than are religious differences.


yeah

I think that sharing values is alot more important than sharing a religion or sharing religious belief.
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
Our ancestors did not practice a religion that separated social reality from spiritual wisdom... morality and ethics and religion were one in the same.


Now we're getting somewhere is this discussion. What you've said here is true. Although some societies were more religious than others, indeed "religion" (spirituality) was everything to our ancestors.

quote:
Values are derived from the processes of understanding through a religious study that encompasses reflections of social interactions and self reflective character development within these environments...what we see today is a degeneration of this...


Not sure if I agree with this, but I'll continue reading.

quote:
When we separate values from a higher purpose and design for human interactions we get an individualized predeliction that we impose upon one another... this may or may not be accepted by our partner... when conflict arises neither is beholden to a higher standard based off of original design...


Be specific. To which "original design" are you referring? The original design that you've accepted? And exactly what is so "individualized" about having respect for yourself and respect for others, showing kindness and favor, having integrity and being honest, helping someone who needs your mercy, etc. I mean, these are basic, universal principles that anyone, regardless of their cultural and/or religious background can appreciate. And unless you subscribe to the belief that we are "natural-born sinners," then I don't think these principles need to be cultivated under the direction of any one specific religion.

quote:
When two people come together under the same religion they are beholden to a standard higher than their moral relativity or moral individual prism... they are both held to a higher standard of design that they both submit to....from this the two walk together on a journey....


Here is a dose of reality for you: WE LIVE IN A PLURALISTIC SOCIETY that comprises of people coming from a myriad of culturally- and religiously-diverse backgrounds. What do you think are the odds of two people in THIS society, as it exists TODAY, not thousands of years ago, sharing the same religion and background? You know, some of us desparetly need to get with what is happening in the present-day. This is why, rather than truth-claiming and imposing our religious beliefs on one another, we need to to simply promote universal principles and character-building. It works at my school. Rather than teaching our students about a specific religion (which is against the law), our school emphasizes the importance of character and having values. Our students are well-behaved, they show respect for themselves, their adminstrative staff and teachers, and others, and they will carry these values with them for the rest of their lives.

I also want to mention here that religion has proven to have absolutely no relevance to the lives of the majority of the people who claim one in this country. On every street corner, there is a church, and in that church are religious people, who after church service is over, forget whatever they learned and behave in ways that directly conflicts with what is taught. RELIGION is also incredibly divisive and is in fact probably the source of the world's greatest corruption.

quote:
values come from religion.... values separate from religion are simply the proclivity of the individual..


Values may come from religion, but they certainly do not come from any one specific religion. Therefore, young people, as well as adults, can develop these values without claiming a religion, and they shouldn't have to. I won't address the rest of your statement, because clearly, your perspective is heavily influenced by your religious background and also an antiquated notion of reality. The truth is, we do not live in a secluded Muslim society. THIS IS AMERICA, and in America, both men AND women are providers. The women in America are not walking around, completely disguised from head to foot, waiting for a male provider and/or father-figure in the form of a "husband" to feed them and provide them with shelter. American women are well-educated, intelligent, confident, and can provide for themselves. Now, you may not like the way this society functions, but that is the way it is. And eventually, you, as well as the rest of us, will need to develop a comprehensive value system that is more inclusive and respectful of the DIFFERENCES that exists in our world and the dramatic changes that our world is making.
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quote:
Originally posted by Nikcara:
As to the part regarding me, if you do not know by my prior posts in this site, I could care less what people think of me. I care about what people think when they pay my bills, my employee, my mortgage, my malpractice insurance...


Ok, ok, hold on sister! You can keep the neck still and put down the pointing finger! Smile I apologize if it seems as if I am attacking your belief system, religious beliefs, or what have you. This is certainly not my intention. I'm just trying to get an understanding of why some people feel sprirituality, specifically religion, is important in relationships. If my statements about the MAJORITY of America doesn't apply to use, then by all means, ignore it and address those statements to which you can relate.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Ok, ok, hold on sister! You can keep the neck still and put down the pointing finger! Smile
Gee Rowe that was never the case.

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Let me first apologize if it seems as if I am attacking your belief system, religious beliefs, or what have you. This is certainly not my intention.
I call a spade, a spade. You did not seem to do anything, you did it as intended and I called you on it because you were wrong.

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
I'm just trying to get an understanding of why some people feel sprirituality, specifically religion, is important in relationships.
Please reread my original post, or rather let me sum it up. I take comfort in dating men who believe in God, indeed someone explained my position more succinctly and more eloquently than I did:

quote:
Originally posted by Saracen:
I do not think that a couple requires God as a mediator when falling in love, however, they will certainly need Him to hold love.
Relationships colloapse in many instances because there is no established device for conflict resolution. Each side approaches problems with their own views and oftimes these views do not coincide.
A commonality in religious thought provides the basis and direction for a relationship..Religion can act as a unifying force, and mediator.
yeah rock

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
If my statements about the MAJORITY of America doesn't apply to use, then by all means, ignore it and address those statements to which you can relate.


I have done so, thrice now. Perhaps, if you would stop judging people for thier beliefs you will see that there are many ways to be moral and principled without putting down what other people believe. Whether you have a relationship with God or not, it does not change the fact that other people do, they believe that having a spiritual basis aids their relationship. I am for any behavior, belief or practice that helps people be good to one another in thier romantic relationship since dysfuntion in so prevalent especially in our community.

IMHO, what that man said to you, the one who was looking for a good woman and had such a limited definition was not worth your time. You should never consider settling down with him because you would be doing just that settling for someone beneath you for no good reason. Your spouse should inspire you to reach your greatest heights,he should be the wind beneath your wings as your are to him. He should not lead you to the valley of mere existence.
quote:
Originally posted by Nikcara:
Perhaps, if you would stop judging people for thier beliefs you will see that there are many ways to be moral and principled without putting down what other people believe.


Bingo! This is the exact point that I am emphasizing. There are other ways to cultivate values, morals, and principles, besides claiming a religion. Can we at least come to an agreement on that point? And who have I judged? Because I differentiated between a belief system and routine religious activities, I have judged you? Because I am stressing the very same point that you are now, I am judging others? I want to know what makes my argument any different from yours? Could the difference be that my argument goes against the norm, goes against what the majority of this thread's responders have said?

quote:
IMHO, the one who was looking for a good woman and had such a limited definition was not worth your time.


Agreed. I can't stand people who cannot think outside the box.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
You've heard the sayings: "The Couple That Prays Together, Stays Together" or "If God Doesn't Lead Your Relationship, Then Your Relationship Will Fail."

Do you believe that? If a couple isn't religious or the purpose of the relationship isn't ultimately to get married, then is the relationship doomed to fail? This thread is inspired by a recent discussion that I had with another poster that went awry and also a question that is often asked by men who feel they are ready to settle down. That's right ladies!, you know the question that men ask: Are you a God-fearing, church-going woman? In fact, I was recently asked this question by a man who said that he was "looking for a good woman." To him, a "good woman" was someone who attends church regularly.

What do you think? Is sprituality or religion important in a relationship?


I'm curious... how are you defining "successful relationship"? Do you have in mind an example of a relationship you'd consider "successful," but that nevertheless ended? To me, a successful relationship is one in which the couple continuously grows together, jointly and severally (as a couple and as individuals), while enjoying life together along the way. To me, that implies a certain permanence. And that would then usually (but I guess not necessarily) be consummated by marriage.

Anyway, with that in mind, what I believe is that both people in a relationship should be on similar LEVELS of spirituality. Meaning that the level of importance they place on their spirituality, and the amount of time and activity they devote to spiritual pursuits, should be similar. It doesn't mean you have to have the same beliefs; just the same level of belief, and the same level of importance assigned to it. The more important spirituality is to one life, the more important it should be to the other person.

Of course, I suspect that as this spirituality crosses into "religion," it will be difficult for highly religious people of different faiths to have a successful relationship. I doubt a Muslim fundie could succeed with a Baptist fundie.

Wow, if I'm right (and with my lovelife history, that admittedly remains to be seen, lol ) then that's just one more of the many empowering, freedom-enhancing benefits to non-dogmatic spiritual enlightenment.

Hello, Rowe... eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

Bingo! This is the exact point that I am emphasizing. There are other ways to cultivate values, morals, and principles, besides claiming a religion. Can we at least come to an agreement on that point? .


Rowe: When I responded to this post, I did so from the vantage point of what I believed was shared experience. I have had guys ask me that same stupid question too. I did not state that I am a Christian to say, I was the "good woman" the guy was talking about, I said it because although I am a Christian, I do not go to church, which is part of his [their]requirement.

But the fact that there are other ways to cultivate values, morals and principles was never your question, at least not what I read it originally. I was responding to:

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
You've heard the sayings: "The Couple That Prays Together, Stays Together" or "If God Doesn't Lead Your Relationship, Then Your Relationship Will Fail."

Do you believe that? What do you think? Is sprituality or religion important in a relationship?


My answer continues to be yes because, spirituality is important to me.

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

And who have I judged? Because I differentiated between a belief system and routine religious activities, I have judged you?



quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Sister, your belief system is to say grace before meals and talk to Jesus. That's not really a belief system. What you're describing are religious activities.


Yes, Rowe, the statement directly above is a judgment you made. As I stated before I am not going to defend the way I practice my faith.


quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Because I am stressing the very same point that you are now, I am judging others? I want to know what makes my argument any different from yours? Could the difference be that my argument goes against the norm, goes against what the majority of this thread's responders have said?


I am not stressing anything new now, my position has been consistent. I go against the norm most of the time on this site, and I have no problem with your arguments, you are free to do as you will, but I answered the questions asked by saying that yes, spirituality was important to me, I want my man to be a spiritual being, but not that a specific religion because, I will date and or marry non-Christians.

quote:
IMHO, the one who was looking for a good woman and had such a limited definition was not worth your time.


Agreed. I can't stand people who cannot think outside the box.[/QUOTE] On this issue we agree completely.

I think that our miscommunication came from the fact that I answered the question asked in a way that was too direct. It has happened to me so often that some have called me incendiary. That too is a judgment, but my point is if your ture question is "Can a relationship thrive without a religious or spiritual basis?" Then my answer to that is yes, I think as long as people are good to their partner no matter the source of that goodness, the relationship can move forward and even result in marriage.
quote:
Originally posted by Nikcara:
I think as long as people are good to their partner no matter the source of that goodness, the relationship can move forward and even result in marriage.


Agreed. Thank your for participating.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
I believe is that both people in a relationship should be on similar LEVELS of spirituality. Meaning that the level of importance they place on their spirituality, and the amount of time and activity they devote to spiritual pursuits, should be similar. Of course, I suspect that as this spirituality crosses into "religion," it will be difficult for highly religious people of different faiths to have a successful relationship.


I can appreciate that response. Your response is similar to the response I gave to Sister Oshun, who described her experiences with people that did not share her depth of spirituality. Listen, my purpose for starting this thread was not to challenge or ruin people's religous beliefs, but to get people to see that one does not have to be terribly religious in order to have a fulfilling and long-lasting relationship. My parents aren't religious, and they have been together for more than 30 years. My Dad says grace before he eats a meal, but like most people, this is the result of a habit that he has learned since he was young. He doesn't even say anything, he just bows his head and closes his eyes. Again, most of us in this society (AND I'M NOT BLAMING OR JUDGING ANYONE) are not that religious. And I think that it is not because we do not want to be good people, but because many of the rules and moral standards upheld by Western religions, such as Islam and Christianity are not relevant to lives of people that are living today.

It is completely unrealistic, for example, to expect people existing in our society to abstain from dating or engaging in pre-marital sex until they are married when many of us are waiting 30, 40, 50 years to get married. Do you know how old my eldest sister was before she got married??? Forty years old. In times past, that would have been considered a disgrace and she would have been considered elderly, much too old to get married and have children. But that is how long it took her to find a suitable husband who shared her values.

The reality is, no one is arranging marriages anymore and people are not getting married shortly after reaching puberty, like they did in the past. We live in a DIFFERENT time and place and our society is rapidly changing. Unfortunately, however, religion is not making these changes with us. And that is why people do not take religion seriously and cannot fully commit themselves to religion.
quote:
Originally posted by Nikcara:
I think as long as people are good to their partner no matter the source of that goodness, the relationship can move forward and even result in marriage.


yeah

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