Monday, February 07, 2011
The Faith Rules in Marriage
Rob and Celia are having issues about Rob’s disinterest in her faith. Celia accused him of acting bored last Sunday when she had badgered him into attending her church.
“I wasn’t bored,” Rob said. “I was lost, with all the opening and closing of books and standing and sitting and singing and praying”—Rob hated not knowing what he was supposed to do next when everyone around him had learned the choreography, and since Celia as choir director was in the choir loft he was left to figure it out alone. “And I’m never sure what to do at Communion. It changes every week.”
“It doesn’t change every week,” Celia said. “It only changes sometimes on festival days. Usually you just take the bread when the pastor hands it to you and then you dip it”—
“Celia, that’s not my point,” Rob said. “For a long time it seemed like church was just your job and I had as much interest in your job as you had in mine. Now it’s different. You changed the rules.”
Celia paused. “All right. Maybe that’s true,” she said. “I took the choir job not because I particularly cared about church music but because I needed the work. But I’m enjoying my work with the afterschool program so much and that is invigorating my leadership in the music department. I’m learning from Paul about theology and stuff I haven’t ever given much thought, and it’s so exciting to be thinking new things”—
Celia had never mentioned Paul, the pastoral intern she worked with, without her eyes brightening and her voice quickening. It seemed Celia had drawn a line around her life in which her boss fell on the right side while Rob had landed in the wrong.
Rob began to sweat and he stood up. “So what are you saying?” he asked, pacing the floor between the coffee table and the television.
Celia looked confused. “I’m not saying anything”—
“You’re saying you find Paul more interesting than me,” Rob said.
“I didn’t say that,” Celia said. “Rob, please slow down,” and in a moment she had stood up, taken Rob by the hand, and set him down next to her on the sofa. “This isn’t about Paul. It’s about me and stuff I’m learning that I would like to share with you.”
Rob was skeptical that he would be able to keep up with a seminary student when it came to talking about God and theology, and he was not sure he wanted to try. The Bible looked incredibly boring in addition to being strange and confusing. And all that crucifixion stuff was just bizarre, even creepy.
But he could tell Celia was serious, and knew that for the sake of his marriage he at least had to try… something.
“All right,” Rob said.
What happens next?