My Faith – My Religion (Part 2) – The Nitty Gritty

Since getting words of encouragement from my post “My Faith – My Religion”, I thought maybe I would continue on and voice my thoughts on the matter. Believe me, the last post was very productive for me and I have been deep in thought over it.

About a week or two ago I told a dear friend that I made up my mind and decided to follow my heart when it comes too religion. I told my friend that Judaism has my heart and that is where I think I need to be.

Just about that time, my DW (Dear Wife) dropped the usual Christmas bombshell on me and wanted me too go too Christmas Eve Communion with her, which is a family tradition. Of course, I dropped a bombshell on her by saying, “Do I really have too.” That really didn’t go over too well. I received the normal deer in the head lights look of, “You’re not Christian anymore.” It did not take me long to realize that I need to change the subject quick because this might get ugly.

Too my DW’s defense, she did marry a Christian man. A fact she uses quit frequently. She is right, I was a Christian when we got married. Although, things do change over time, but I guess for some, it doesn’t.

OK, I have a couple of things that need to be said before I get into the nitty gritty of things. There are two things that I have learned so far though all this religious stuff. Love God and love my neighbor. If any thing, these two define my faith.

The reason I struggle with God is because I want a loving relationship. I am reminded of Jocob wrestling with a divine being and overcoming it. For me, I am wrestling too but have yet to find peace. Although, I might need a Part 3 to explain my thoughts on this because I am not sure I want to address this in this post.

As for loving my neighbor, I have come a long way in this department. When I first repented from my previous religion (Christian Identity), I told God that I am no longer going to hate people. I had a severe hatred of Jews, I repented. I had a severe hatred for the LGBT community, I repented. Lately, I had a negative view of Muslims, I have repented. Believe it or not, lately, I had a negative view of Christians, I have repented. So, I have come a long way and I feel it was the right way to be (for me anyway).

I guess it’s time for the nitty gritty of this post. As I said earlier I love God. Nine years ago, I made a promise to God that I was going to make my marriage work even in the darkest of days. Yes, regardless of how my DW might feel about it, this is my promise that I have a hard time breaking. The past has shown me that God is not interested in allowing me to break that promise either (an interesting story in itself). I think the main reason that I struggle with my religious path is her. In keeping my promise, I have allowed myself to be a doormat. Even though my DW has repeatedly stated that she only wants to be married to a Christian and has thrown the “D” word at me, I am not sure it’s wise for me to pursue my love for Judaism. Yes, it saddens me but I do believe that God wants me to be with my DW.

Reality is, there have been so many obstacles and hurdles on my road to Judaism, and I can not rule out that God had a hand in it. I kind of address this in my post, “Not a Good Week so Far.” Yes, my DW is the biggest stumbling block of them all and just maybe it was meant to be.

This is a difficult post for sure. I love God, my DW, and Judaism. Sadly, they don’t go together that well. If I am honest with myself, what is more important? I believe that God wants my marriage and family to be the most important thing to me. Even my rabbi said that keeping harmony in my family is very important, not for sure but I think it’s a Mitzvah.

In conclusion, this is the real reason that I struggle so much. I am torn between God’s plan for me, if there is such a thing, and the path I want to be on. If that is truly the case, I am loosing.

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11 responses to “My Faith – My Religion (Part 2) – The Nitty Gritty

  1. Thanks again for sharing your pondering and thoughts with us. I enjoy reading it!

  2. I think it’s a Mitzvah
    You are right it is called “shalom bayt”, home peace.
    Very courageous post James on a difficult issue and one where it is difficult to offer advice. I’d suggest putting your thoughts on paper (how much you love your wife and your feelings towards Judaism) emphasizing that the two need not be conflicting.

    • Thanks Ilanadavita! For me, putting both together isn’t conflicting. My DW is the one who finds it conflicting. Yes, she could be more understanding, I dream of that day. Religion is a tricking thing for some I suppose. I guess what I have been trying to convey in this post is that my marriage is more important than what religion I am affiliated with. Because if it wasn’t, I guess I would be single right now.

  3. That’s a very courageous piece of writing, James. I would love to wave a magic wand for you and make it all ‘work’. I admire you for trying to negotiate your way through this difficult part of your relationship with God and your wife.

    • What are you trying to do Rachel, bring me to tears? 😉

      Everything will work out! That is my hope…

      • No, not my intention, my dear friend!

        One of the things that our rabbi encourages during our Shabbat service is to take a few moments at an appropriate point to think of those in need of support and strength. She then lists groups of people as an example – members of the congregation, friends of the comunity, our own friends and family and most importantly, ourselves. You cannot help others, or negotiate difficult times, without remembering who you are, and being true to yourself. No good running yourself ragged supporting others if you forget that you need to eat, drink and sleep too, for example.

        I suspect that somewhere in the Gordian Knot in which you find yourself, you need first of all to know who and what you are, and be comfortable with and supportive of this ‘you’. Only then, can you make the next steps, whatever they may be. Don’t forget, you and your wife have experienced huge and challenging changes in your life – becoming parents twice over (and not in easy circumstances!) is unbelievably disruptive. Give yourself and each other time and space and love.

        I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about…..

      • Sorry for the slow reply, Rachel. Thanks so much for the advice. Yeah, it’s tough deal. xxx

  4. You will find your way…hopefully…to a more serene environment, both at home and within your religious heart. Remember…follow your heart…

    xo

  5. Oops, clicked too fast. Remember…follow your heart…family wise and religiously speaking. You must do what is best for all concerned, including starting with yourself, and on down through your family.

    • Thanks Jewwishes!!! I wonder though, what if following my heart and doing what’s best is something different than my expectations? Maybe my future goals and expectations are too unrealistic. Sadly, I am at a cross roads here. I guess it is between “what I want” and “the needs of my family”. Not much of a choice if I follow my heart.

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