Many, many years ago, I had decided very firmly that I could only marry a Christian.

Even though I was never officially baptised, I grew up a believer. I attended church, Sunday school, youth camps, cell groups, bible camp, bible groups. I’d even worked at a Christian book store and read books upon books about my faith. I did everything a good Christian child was supposed to do, in order to grow up into a good Christian adult.

What changed? I met a staunch Christian man who was far from good. He whittled away at my faith slowly over the course of five years through his largely unChristian deeds. The day I walked out, I left him, and my faith in Christ, behind.

And then I read my first ‘anti Christnovel (I was always very careful with what I read and watched until then). The cracks widened. And although I’ve chosen today to take many of the ‘facts’ with a pinch of salt, it was the first book that made me realise that it was not a sin to question and to doubt, because those were rules made by men, not God. 

I learned that accepting Scripture without question was not only wrong, but unGodly. Jesus himself was an asker, and that he had questioned the old Testament, and even changed it. Isn’t it true, that it is when you still believe after all is said and done, that it truly matters?

This is why I believe.

When I see the majesty of creation.

When I see my children.

When against so many odds, I had found a man who loves me for who I am, and that we have made a life together.

This is what I don’t believe in: Organised religion. I have stopped reading the bible. I don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God, or that he is the son of God. He was a man, a prophet no doubt, enlightened, gifted, a man to be followed and admired and loved.

But nonetheless, just a man.

I still believe in God.

And that is why I still capitalise the ‘G’ in God.

Christians will say that when I married an atheist, my fate is more or less sealed. I am ‘unequally yoked’ and therefore will be unable to keep strong in my faith. So even if I confess all my sins and accept Christ again, unless I get a divorce from this non-believer (for whom no amount of ministering will ever straighten, believe me), even if I never read another book other than the bible in my life again, or spend the rest of my days thinking clean, chaste thoughts and my nights in solemn prayer, even if I lead an existence that is two hymns away from becoming a nun, I will most likely be headed Straight For Hell.

Now how can anybody not see a problem in that? 

Funny story: A friend of Lokes, an atheist, sends his kids to church. Every Sunday, he drops them off and picks them up in the afternoons.

“Why do you do that?” asked Lokes.

His reply?

“Just in case.”

I love my girls more than my own life. However, I do not want them to stop asking questions or to doubt or to accept things flatly.

I do not want my children to believe in Jesus just because they want to go to heaven. I do not want them to go to church or read the bible or lead the straight and narrow simply because they want something in return.

Because I want them to be good, kind people because they want to.

To know that it feels good inside, to be good.

Still, there is no harm in praying. Every night, my kids and I pray to God for health and happiness, for safety and patience.

One night, a few weeks ago, Raeven asked who God was and where He lived.

“He lives in our hearts,” I’d answered.

And I placed her hand against her chest, to feel soft, rhythmic beating. Her eyes widened, and she grinned, her eyes disappearing into her face.