I’m a Chinese student in an international school. I’m befriended with a white girl and I want to go out with her.
The thing is, she is Christian and she is very serious about her religion, like she goes to church every Sunday with her family and believes in God. And I am an atheist. She said she makes friends with other people regardless of their religion. But I wonder if it’s a different case when it comes to relationships. I don’t really want anyone of us to change belief, it’s hard to do that.
As many Chinese are atheist, agnostic or Buddhist, do you think that religion comes in the way of a relationship between Chinese men and Western women? And what should I do in my case?
If she’s very serious about her religion, you might have some serious problems being anything more than a friend.
Many Christians rank their relationship with God as one of the most important things in their lives, so it’s not surprising they often prefer to love within their religion (ever heard the phrase, “the family who prays together stays together”?). In some cases, it’s a requirement:
Some churches forbid interfaith marriage, drawing from 2 Corinthians 6:14, and in some cases Deuteronomy 7:3.
I know a Chinese man, also an atheist, who started dating a white Christian from the US earlier this year. They lasted only a few weeks before she had this “divine realization” — she just couldn’t commit to anyone who didn’t share her beliefs. If she’s that kind of girl, not even Lao Tianye — China’s father of heaven — can help you.
Some others believe that anyone has the freedom to choose her or his partner for life, and that love has no boundaries. This attitude is found most often among those who may be identified as progressive or liberal Christians. It is supported by 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 with the central sentence: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband.”
Yes, it does happen, as all of the Christian-Atheist and Christian-Buddhist couples will tell you. But, clearly, it takes a certain Christian to embrace that relationship — someone who considers the person and the love they share more important than religion.
Is she that person? Who knows, but there are ways to find out. For example, you might say, “hey, the other day I found this really interesting website about Christians and atheists dating. Have you ever heard of that?”
Then pray…er…cross your fingers for good luck. 😉
What do you think?
Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China/Chinese culture (or Western culture)? Every Friday, I answer questions on my blog. Send me your question today.