Core Beliefs, Faith and Marriage
Core beliefs are our deeply held beliefs about life, about what’s right and wrong, and what is important to us.
Unconsciously or consciously, they guide our behavior and our decision-making. These beliefs can stem from a religious, spiritual or cultural framework, but no matter where they come from, our core beliefs can and do have a profound impact on our marriages. When people have strong spiritual perspectives or faith backgrounds, then their core values are intertwined with their spiritual values. Their world view is shaped by their faith perspective
Having similar core beliefs generally leads to the enhancement of a relationship.
If we share the same faith or the same core values, a sense of respect and security is fortified in a couple, and sharing common religious and spiritual practices can contribute to strengthening marriage and family life. It can also increase our resilience to stress, and boost our personal happiness and health. And since all couples need social support, involvement in a faith community can provide this as well.
When a couple shares a spiritual perspective, it means that they share similar ideals, values, and often dedication to some higher good beyond themselves. This common perspective could be spiritual in the religious sense, but it could also be expressed in a dedication to a political belief, charity, mentoring, or raising children.
While spiritual closeness is a deeply desired goal for many couples, it is also a very common challenge.
In fact, many couples struggle to find a shared way to relate to God or to nurture their spirituality together, even when they share the same faith or core values. This is because faith and spirituality are very personal, and couples often discover that they have very different and sometimes conflicting faith styles. This happens even when we share a common faith, we usually express it in our own unique ways.
And when the differences emerge, we can slip into judgment if we're not careful. This is not because we're intolerant, but simply because unconsciously we believe that our way is the best way.
To counteract this tendency, it helps to remember that there are many paths to spiritual growth and all of them are valid. Some people feel God in nature, and some through the intellect or scripture. Others are inspired while in prayer or meditation and some feel God more while caring for others or by participating in spiritual traditions.
Different spiritual styles work for different types of people, and it’s highly likely that our partners will experience the divine in very different ways than we do. And even if we don’t have differences now, we can expect that one or both of us will change our beliefs or the way we express them, at some point in our lives.
For these reasons, couples need to practice appreciating and honoring how their partners express their unique spirituality.
Rather than criticism, we want to shift our focus onto what we have in common, and then look for ways to express our spiritual values together as a couple. We can serve at a food bank together or join a community garden. And if we can’t find common ground, we can at least practice being proud of our partners in their efforts to grow and contribute centered on their core values.
Let’s strive to honor and foster respect each other.
Putting each other down because we express our core values and spirituality in different ways is not very spiritual!