The boyfriend, about to become an ex-boyfriend, said it. He had not broached the topic before. It was clear that he did not want to now. His own faith was complete, as his minister told him so. He belonged to a true church, unlike so many around us in the world today. He liked his girlfriend, but she belonged to one of those other pseudo-churches, and one that was so liberal that it no longer preached The Bible, or at least that is what his church said.
He doesn’t know what made him say it. Maybe he could begin to change her step by step until finally she would be completely acceptable. Maybe he could win her over. You can do that sometimes, his minister had said. You can pave the way for an unbeliever by showing them the right way, but you must beware of being yoked to one who will draw you away.
The words clarified the situation for her. She had thought long and hard about her faith, and she knew she was not done thinking or believing. The God she would trust was not just “some kind of God” but one who encouraged such pondering and wondering, one who did not provide just a set of simple answers, and one who did not reside in a few authoritarian leaders or absolute positions.
He didn’t know how much he had blown it until he saw her face. She was hurt and disappointed that he thought so little of her, that she might be satisfied with just “some kind of god,” as if she were as pagan as the polytheists in the ancient world. As if she would settle for something less than he would, and he had to take her by the hand and lead her. As if he thought he knew something special but could not trust himself to share it. She would never be his equal, and she would defend herself and “her kind of god” against him. Her resistance showed in her stubborn, hardening expression.
He wished he hadn’t said it. He could have let things go on as they had been, going their own way, each to the church of their choice. They wouldn’t have to talk about it for a long time. He could have been comfortable with that, because they enjoyed each other when they were together, which was not all of the time.