For those who are still seeking the spouse God has intended for them...have you found that a shared faith journey is the most important factor in your relationship? I am speaking in terms of both you and the person with whom you have a relationship being at the same, or a similar point, in your "walk" with the Lord. Of course, I'm not totally discounting the physical aspects of the person, since those add to their attractiveness. But did you find their most attractive aspect to be the fact that they are as deep in the practice of their faith as you are? I'd like to hear your takes!
I think sharing the same faith is a starting point. I have many friends who are more liberal than I am, men friends included, and I would never date them, not because they are not nice people, but because we don't agree about anything to do with faith and how important it is, or politics...they believe anything goes because it's right for them not because it's right in general..but I care about them because they are my friends...we argue on FB all the time but we are still friends. I think here though, it's a starting off point..just because we're both Catholic doesn't mean our personalities will connect...more likely to, but doesn't have to be. I know a lot of my friends dated all different denominations, but in the end they married Catholics. They give me the same advice, but if I did have a family, I wouldn't want there to be mixed messages about who God is. I think the greatest factor is a mix of things..faith, sense of humor, what each finds important, yes attractiveness etc. I think it's a given here since most of us are pretty strict on the faith, or we wouldn't be here. Everyone knows you can go to a secular site and find someone calling themselves Catholic only to realize that they just go on Christmas and Easter and forget it the rest of the year.
I would very much like to be in a relationship with someone who does share my faith journey, someone who will attend Mass with me and attend the "extras" offered by our Church: retreats, days of recollection, Bible studies, etc. If we are called to help each other become the best person we can be (per Matthew Kelly), then walking the same path is truly important.
My former spouse was raised Baptist but called himself agnostic when we met. He was amenable to whatever I chose to do in regard to my faith life and to raising children as Catholics. We did get married in the church as well. But he told me very plainly that I was not to talk to him about religion at all. This was a very difficult, lonely situation. Perhaps if we were able to pray together during our early years of marriage, we might have solved some issues that plagued our relationship.
By the grace of the Holy Spirit, he did begin attending church with me and became Catholic about 8 years into our marriage. What a difference in our family life! Then he became so involved in church activities, especially with the choir, that I was again left alone in the pew at Mass (with the kids, of course).
It warms my heart to see couples sitting together at Mass, holding hands or just giving out vibes that they are still deeply in love. And when they attend church functions (including Bible study) together, that's just icing on the cake!
I would love to have someone by my side who will pray with me at the end of the day, interceeding for friends & family members, thanking God for His many blessings.
Yes I believe shared faith journey is a very important factor, however through my own experience I also realize that just because you had a shared faith journey in the beginning of the relationship does not mean that it will continue. My former spouse and I met in college at a Newman center function. We saw each other regularly at different Newman Center functions, went to the same bible study, and became "friends" first. Overtime we started hanging out after the bible study, just talking about scripture, ect. We prayed together and read scripture together; this was the beginning of a 26 year relationship that ended much differently. By the time we were divorced he had several affairs, was addicted to pornography, and belonged to a Harley "club". Everything needs to be kept into perspective, realizing that at any moment a person can change and there is nothing you can do about it but pray.
I think to share the same faith, and share a number of practices is what I care about.
Not the same total faith "journey."
I have been to Medjugorje, have a Marian devotion, have never been married, did not pursue a religious vocation, have been a liturgical minister, have written a Catholic book....
But my match does not have to be all those things too.
I don't think I am well matched to a recent convert.
But I can see someone who has been devout since childhood, or someone who converted sometime ago, or someone who was not always devout in his practices, but is now, someone who spent time in the seminary (before ordination)....
So I guess I don't think the exact same place and journey is what I am looking for.
Everything needs to be kept into perspective, realizing that at any moment a person can change and there is nothing you can do about it but pray.
I agree with you Joan because what you experienced is similar to my own situation. My former spouse's fall from grace sent shock waves through our church community. All it takes is a moment....