Some form of catalyst would have had to enable me to realise that there was an alternative to just drifting along, something, or rather someone would need to give me that necessary reason to take that rather large leap of faith (if you pardon the expression). That catalyst came in the form of my now wife…
I met my wife around the time that I had started to really question my life so far in the witness faith. We had been at college together some years before and had “friended” each other on Facebook. She had noticed that I was at that time playing in a local band The Trash5, and wanted to come to a gig, I happened to mention that we had just finished recording an E.P. And asked if she would like a copy, she agreed to pop round to where I was living and pick it up. That evening we spent hours talking about this and that and catching up, we got on so well that we agreed to meet up for a coffee again soon. Neither of us was looking for a relationship at that point but as is so often the case people find love when they aren’t looking for it.
We spent more and more time together and found that we have a lot in common and both thought about many things in the same way. After a good while of seeing each other I came to the realisation that I had to make a choice! This was nothing to do with my wife being against my religion, the contrary was the case. She would have been more than happy for me to have stayed with the religion at the time, as she is religious herself and was brought up in a deeply religious household.
Her parents brought her up the way they felt was best. Her mother is a Methodist and her father is a Catholic, although I now am not religious in any way I can see that a religious upbringing as far as mainstream Christianity is concerned is a good thing. I cannot comment on any other upbringings as I have no experiences regarding this. However, if you look at how my wife and her siblings are as people then her parents did a great job and a religious background cannot be harmful. The harm comes into play if any of it is forced or there are “scary” consequences attached to leaving a faith. Her parents always gave them freedom of choice and have never tried to suppress any study of alternative thinking. They have never told her or her siblings that to read a book by Richard Dawkins or someone who promotes publications not in keeping with biblical teachings would be akin to taking a meal with Satan himself as in my experience! Rather, they have been fair and respectful and taught their children to be the same, so as you can gather from this that she and her family would have been more than happy for me to remain a witness. So what was the driving force behind the need to make this decision?