Sometimes when a spouse steps away from the church this can take many forms.
There is no one way. Here a just a few options:
still attend, just don’t believe in the doctrine or certain tenants
stop attending but leave names on records of the church
formal resignation (have name removed from records of the church)
There is no right way to step away from church. For some the choice to resign is best for their mental and emotional health. For others it doesn’t matter at all if their name is still on the records. Everyone is unique.
Here we are going to talk about when a spouse decides to resign and some of the common issues that arise.
Each couple has its own reactions and issues – here we will discuss some things I have seen come up with myself and my clients around resignation.
Resignation can be very sad and challenging for the believing spouse. It seems like their goal of an eternal family is not obtainable. It may feel like the hope that their spouse my come back in now dead.
For the spouse seeking resignation there is often a great deal of concern about their spouse’s reaction and extended family’s reaction. They have lost their church community, will they now loose their family community and marriage community as well? There can be concerns about the children and lessons that their mom or dad is not righteous or as good as their other parent.
This is can be set up for a lot of drama and a lot of stress.
Here are a few things to practice and consider:
Every problem has a solution. This is one of my favorite sayings. When up to our eyeballs in stress and fear we forget this. We think we are the exception. We think this problem does NOT have a solution and that is where we are wrong. I am trained as an attorney and have practices commercial litigation for years. When I was new I would get a case and think – this is a looser, we can’t win. My boss would always say – there is a solution here – and he was right. There was always a solution to the most daunting legal pickle AND there is a solution in your mixed faith marriage. Just like with each case, it may take some work, and getting some help, and getting some advice from a more seasoned attorney, but there is always a solution – always. Are you willing to believe there is a solution and keep looking for it, or are you going to throw in the towel ?
Other people’s experiences and stories are not our own. Unfortunately there are many terrible stories about mixd faith marriages and how they are terrible and full of suffering and unhappy spouses. THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR ALL MIXED FAITH MARRIAGES. There are many non mixed faith marriages that fit this description as well. There are mixed faith marriages that work beautifully and raise wonderful kids. Can you believe that? Does it feel possible? If you practice believing that you will feel better and you will create a better mixed faith marriage.
Fear is a terrible decision maker. Fear is a terrible driver. It speeds and drives on the shoulder and often just ends up in the ditch. LOVE is a much better driver. It never speeds, and always gets you where you want to go.
If you are facing resignation or your spouse is considering resignation and you are freaking out. Its probably a good idea to get some coaching. Reach out and let’s talk and see if coaching will help you and your marriage.