"Maybe we should stop before we both say something we are going to regret." Sarah calmly suggested, trying her best to de-escalate the suddenly out-of-control situation.
"Yeah, maybe we should!" Phil shouted over his shoulder as he headed out the door, giving it a mighty slam emphasizing his position on the subject.
Sarah crumbled to her knees and allowed her tears to flow unchecked. Wrapping her arms around herself, she sat and cried until no more tears would come and then using the sleeves of her college hoodie, she wiped the dampness from her face and stood. Feeling completely spent, Sarah made her way over to her desk and collapsed into her chair. Sarah took out her bible and slowly began to flip through the pages, hunting the elusive answer to the problems facing her future with Phil.
They had been together for a year now and became engaged three months ago. It wasn't until the engagement that the differences in their beliefs became an issue. Sarah was a Christian who loved living her faith, while Phil wanted no part of it.
Sarah had her heart set on a church wedding, officiated by the same man that baptized her as a new believer. Phil was fine with the church wedding and preacher, but was refusing to meet Pastor Mike's request of pre-marital counseling. Sarah was deeply concerned over Phil's non-belief, for she knew, biblically speaking, that couples should be on the same page where their beliefs were concerned. They had had some pretty awful arguments over the whole thing, but Sarah refused to give up.
Sarah spent the next couple of hours studying the scriptures and in prayer. She was beginning to feel she was getting nowhere when her phone rang. It was Phil.
"Hello." She answered, her voice shaking nervously.
"Sarah, I'm sorry. I know this means a lot to you and I have been acting like a jerk." Sarah could tell by the rasp in his voice that he had been crying. "Please, call Pastor Mike and see if he can meet with us tonight. I need to get some things off my chest things that I have been holding back. Things that I know if I don't let go of, I'm going to end up losing you. Call him, okay?"
"Okay, I'll call him right now." Sarah hung up the phone, hope rising in her soul. She found Pastor Mike's number, and hit send and they agreed to meet in one hour at the church. Sarah then called Phil to let him know.
Sarah began to pace the floor, scared to death of what Phil was going to say. Out of nowhere, a peace settled around her and she knew somehow, everything was going to be all right. She took a deep breath, grabbed her purse and headed for the door.
Once at the church, Phil began to tell Sarah and Pastor Mike the horrid details of his life. Sarah knew Phil didn't have the best of childhoods, but through his sobs, he painted a picture of abuse that was unbelievable. The abuse came from the hands of Phil's father, an ordained minister. This abuse, by someone who was supposed to be such a Godly man, is why Phil felt the way he did about the church. It all made sense to Sarah now!
"Phil, I wish you had shared this with me sooner." Sarah cried as she tenderly wiped away Phil's tears.
"So do I, Sarah. I am so sorry . . . for everything."
"It's okay, baby. Now that it's out in the open, we can deal with it."
Pastor Mike placed a hand on Phil's shoulder. "She's right, Phil. I hope you understand that the sins of you father shouldn't be held against the rest of God's people."
"Yes, I know. I am ready to give this burden to God now. I can't, and don't want to carry it anymore."
"Have you ever been saved?"
"No, I haven't, but I want to be."
Pastor Mike read to Phil out of Romans, explaining each step to salvation. Within the hour, Sarah and Pastor Mike watched in awe, as Phil became a new man in Christ. Phil and Sarah made a new commitment not only to each other that night, but to God as well.
Six months later, Sarah got the church wedding of her dreams . . . to a strong, confident and faithful man of God.