Ask Margot-Our Bible Study Is Out Of Sync

His and her interest levels in the Good Book differ—a lot. Can they overcome that?

By Margot Carmichael Lester

ear Margot,
The man I'm dating is nice, but he wants me to attend Bible study with him every week. I like going to church with him on Sundays, but I'm not really interested in a deep review of the Bible. I've tried blowing this off casually, but he's becoming more persistent. What should I do?
— Reticent Renee

Dear Renee,
I know how you feel. I once dated a guy who wanted me to take an art history class with him. Now, I like art just fine. In fact, since
You can derive joy from participating with him in something that's important to him.
some of my best friends are artists, and I give to the local art museum; some might even want to call me a patron. But that doesn't mean I'm all that interested in the history of the art I like to look at. So I didn't go to that class even though a very cute guy asked me to. Bible study is an even more serious commitment, and I know that raises the stakes.

A share-with-me solution
So here's what I did in my situation. I suggested he share with me what he learned on our next trip to the museum. That way, I cared a little more about the information because (a) it was in the context of art I liked and something I liked doing, and (b) it was coming from a guy I liked even more. This was the perfect solution because he could take the class and help me learn, and I could avoid taking the class, but still share in my man's love of learning.

I think this plan could work for you, too. Instead of going to Bible study with him, agree to take some time after church on Sunday to talk about the service. He can impart his newfound wisdom to you so you both have a deeper understanding of the Good Book—and each other.

Of course, some folks would say that you should go ahead and go to Bible study because he asked you to and it's something you can do together. After all, you can derive joy from participating with him in something that's important to him. Who knows, you might want him to return the favor at another point in your relationship.

Here's an example of how that works in my life. I love pop music. L.O.V.E. My husband likes it well enough, but an evening going to a club just isn't high on his list of things to do. Of course, it's at the top of mine. So when an act I really dig comes to town, he goes with me.
It's possible he may be using Bible study as a litmus test of your faith.
And not in any grudging way, either. He goes because he likes seeing me have so much fun. And an added benefit to the quality of our relationship is that his willingness to support me in things I enjoy has made me more willing to support him in things he enjoys.

Is this something you think you might be able to do? Can you shift your perspective a bit so that going to Bible study is something you do to support a part of his life that makes him happy? I understand your concern and the nature of your quandary, but I'd like to encourage you to think of this as more of an opportunity than a problem.

What if it doesn't work?
Now, I've just painted two sweetness and light scenarios for you. But the truth is, it may not be about your not wanting to go and all about the way he's after you to do so.

If your guy is pressuring you or making you feel bad for your decision, then there's something afoot and you should talk to him about that—about the way he's treating you, not about Bible study. It's possible he may be using Bible study as a litmus test of your faith and of your willingness to follow his authority. If that's what's going on and you're uncomfortable about it, that's a strong indication that this relationship may not be for you. And if he's going so far as to say that your not going is a deal-breaker, consider the deal broken already and stop seeing him.

No one has the right to pressure you to do something you don't want to do. Nor is it wise to concede just because you're tired of fighting. You — and any guy you're with — deserve better.

Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. Send your faith-based dating questions to
Related Articles

print send feedback subscribe to
What kind of relationship are you looking for?

Marriage—I'm definitely looking for The One.

I'd like a committed, serious relationship, but not marriage.

I want someone to have fun with—I'm not ready to settle down.

Browse singles in your area.
About | Your Privacy | Terms of Use
Contact Us | Advertise with Us | Become an Affiliate

Copyright 2011, L.L.C.

partner sites:  HSN  Citysearch  Evite  Expedia  Hotels  Ticketmaster  ReserveAmerica  Hotwire   LendingTree 
Entertainment  TripAdvisor  CondoSaver  TravelNow  ClassicVacations  LiveDaily  Udate