I am presently (and as far I am concerned permanently) involved in a mixed relationship; I am an atheist (and rather open about it) and she is a Christian who absolutely believes in the coming Rapture. We talk about religion often and our discussions have always been civil, respectful, and honest in intent; to better understand each other, our thinking, our personalities, etc. When the time is right, we will get married, we both know that and we are both aching for that day. But why bring this up?
Oftentimes when speaking/debating those of faith, one of the challenges put to the atheist surrounds the need and existence of love in an atheistic world view. I am sure many of us have run into this line of argument and know the logical fallacies that those of faith apply when trying to typify atheists. However, no matter the world view the definition of love is highly subjective. Which brings me to the point.
My girlfriend and I were discussing the Rapture and she was explaining the process of how those of true faith and acceptance of God/Jesus would be taken directly to heaven and that those who were not taken would endure seven years of toils, etc. Of course, she believes she would be among those "taken". It is obvious that I am not well versed in the Rapture and my intent is not to get into a debate about it in anyway. What is important is that she believes that she would be among those taken and her worry is that I would not (again, for obvious reasons.) So I asked her this question: if given the choice of being taken or staying to be with me, enduring whatever was to come and sharing my fate would she stay? She said yes, that she would choose to stay with me.
She truly believes that this will eventually happen (though not necessarily in our lifetimes.) I cannot help but feel confident in her love for me; in accordance with her beliefs, she would be choosing me over an eternity in paradise. For her, I cannot conceive of a greater sacrifice. To me, that is the ultimate statement of love, affection, caring, and selflessness. To me it was all the proof I needed that she loved me.
I am wondering about those of you who are in similar situations, if there were any points in your relationships when you knew that despite your disparate views on religion you knew that they were the one? That they would forgo something so sacred to them simply for you? Perhaps this is a non-starter for most, perhaps it comes off as off-putting, but I'd like to think that perhaps this little story can act as a beacon of hope for those who find symmetry with my situation.