I actually have a genuine frustration I’m struggling with right now and I have no idea what path to follow. So, I like this guy. We’ve been close friends for years, but I’m Baptist and he’s Catholic. We both have pretty much the same beliefs in God and Jesus, and both strive to follow Christ, but my parents tell me that there’s such a big difference between the Baptist and Catholic religions that it wouldn’t be right for us to get together. Would it be wrong if I told him I like him? Because I’m kind of starting to think he likes me back, and I don’t know what to do or if it would be wrong. I mean, we’re not serious or anything, it’s just a crush, but I don’t want to take it any further if I’m not 100% certain that it’s going to be okay with God.
Girl, this is one tough position to be in!
Scripture is clear about not being yoked with unbelievers, but both Catholics and Baptists are believers, right? And when it comes to two different Christian faiths, I feel that it can work out, but only if you come together in unity regarding your faith. But what does that mean?
Your parents are correct. While some Christian denominations have few differences in their beliefs, Baptists and Catholics are way different. And if both you and your crush are strong in your faiths, this could cause conflict. Baptists and Catholics share some similarities, such as the Trinity and salvation through grace alone, but they differ when it comes to baptism, communion, confession, and so many other things. And all these issues would affect marriage. For example, it puts into question the church you get married in, the church you attend on Sundays, the way you bring up your children, the schools they may go to and so on.
The reality is that in order to make this work, someone has to sacrifice their faith for a future spouse. Are you willing to do that? Is he? Or will you both become indifferent toward your own faiths just so it doesn’t cause conflict in your relationship? These are things you need to think about before “taking it further” with anyone of a different denomination. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that it couldn’t work. People do it all the time…but with a lot of sacrifice.
Anyway, here’s what I think you should do.
- Determine what kind of relationship you’re looking for and if you’re ready for it. Dating should be the first phase in meeting your spouse. Anything less is just a complicated situation that usually ends with someone getting hurt.
- Learn more about the Catholic faith. Doing so will give you a better understanding of the differences between your faith and his. Catholicscomehome.com is a great resource for learning more about Catholicism.
- Understand that within a marriage, spouses should be united in their decisions, and faith plays a huge role in these decisions.
- If you’re still interested and you think you could make it work, discuss it further with your parents. They will likely offer you insight about the situation in a way you may not have considered.
- Learn more about your crush and his faith. How important is it to him?
- Take your time. You’re still young, so you should really take the time to know your crush better before considering taking a friendship further. This applies even if you and he were the same denomination!
Good luck and God bless!
Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!