Two Religions. One Marriage. What Happened When A Bapist Married A Seventh Day Adventist

By Lana Moline

As sunset approached each Friday, everything suddenly got quiet in my home. That was strikingly different. I grew up in the Baptist faith. Yet at 29, I married a man who was reared in the Seventh Day Adventist faith.

Well let me backtrack, I didn’t just grow up Baptist, I was born and raised in the church that my father helped to build and my mother was and still is the little hat wearing Sunday School teaching mother of the church. So by proxy, I was active in every facet of the church from singing in the choir to teaching Vacation Bible School and eventually starting an education foundation for the youth. I suppose, just like every other young lady, I dreamed of marrying someone who had a similar background and experiences. I truly never thought about whether denomination would be a consideration in choosing a mate. I will admit now that I took some things for granted. My mother was raised in the Methodist faith yet my father was Baptist. It wasn’t until now that I even thought about how different that must have been for her.

For me, I married a friend, my classmate with whom I graduated high school. That certainly helped me to feel less weirded out about the idea of marrying someone who was not apart of a church I was more familiar with. But there was still the matter of sharing this with my family and facing their reaction. At first I was extremely nervous so while we were still dating, I casually slipped on a dress, nonchalantly joined him for worship service one Saturday and worked it into conversation on Sunday after I attended church with my mother. Her face showed some confusion but I quickly shared how powerful the service had been. That calmed her concerns. Even though this approach worked this time, I knew that eventually I would have to spill it and let my family know. I rationalized with myself comparing everything that was worse. He wasn’t a bank robber, wasn’t evading arrest or a drug kingpin. He was just a guy who loved me, wanted to spend the rest of his life with me who just happened to go to church on a different day. I figured that if I explained it that way, it would go over well and it did.

After I got married, I heard all this buzz about bringing in the Sabbath. At first it felt and looked like a race against time to have everything done before sunset on Friday so that the entire day on Saturday or Sabbath would be devoted to worship. This was easy enough to do in theory but with worship being extremely personal, I desired an authentic experience. So I set out to make Sabbath worship my own and that’s where I saw some of the major differences.

What I love about the Seventh Day Adventist church is that as a world religion, it is extremely organized. My husband held a regional position in youth ministry and we travelled quite a bit during the first year. From a global perspective, I saw hundreds of churches, youth groups and organizations moving and operating by the same guidelines and with the same purpose and specificity in mind. One of the main differences is that the church believes and promotes its health message and the importance of Christian Education consistently. There are many people within the faith who attended church schools from pre-k to graduate school. That was huge for me because as a former baptist, I don’t think I ever considered attending a baptist university. The lesson that I learned from this is the consistency of values. It certainly made me look closely at the choices I was going to make for my children. Another glaring difference was the health message. I had heard that many of our illnesses are caused by the consumption of unhealthy foods so I was open to understanding a better way. I had never been in the company of so many health conscious people in all my life nor had I eaten Veggie Gumbo before now. I must admit that it took some getting use to but considering the quality of my diet now, I wish I had made better choices sooner.

As for fellowship and the social aspect, my girlfriend said it best

when she visited the day I was baptized. She looked at me and said

that her experience there was not any different from other first time

visits. Truth is, I did marry someone who had similar experiences and

background. In my mother’s effort to cook for her son-in-law, she has

also made healthier choices and my entire family adores my

husband. I’m happy to report 11 years later, I would not change a

thing. I relish the fact that as we worship on Sabbath, I unplug from all

my cares and get some much needed rest. Again, I only wish I had

done it sooner.

Lana Moline is a freelance writer and poet who lives in Fort Worth with her husband and three kids. She has been married 11 years and understands that marriage truly is a journey that is sometimes complicated by our own thoughts, perceptions and feelings. Visit her at her blog

29 replies
  1. Jay
    Jay says:

    I would strongly suggest studying the SDA church before converting. They teach that everyone that goes to church on Sunday will have the mark of the best and will soon hunt then down and kill them for worshiping on Saturday. This teaching is nowhere in the bible. It is solely from the their prophet Ellen G. White. I dated a SDA guy for 2 years after hearing him tell me he was fine with me being Catholic….NOT! When it came down to a proposal he told me convert and marry him or I can't marry him. Instead of loving him more, I loved God more and I studied for a year. They may tell you the SDA church is just like any other church but once you are in is when you start seeing how much they relay on EGW visions. Anyone who is thinking of converting to the SDA church need to STUDY before converting.

  2. patience
    patience says:

    Hello Mrs. Moline. Did you find it difficult to adjust to the differences in the SDA beliefs such as what happens at death and the writings of Ellen G. White as being authoritative in the church?

  3. Jessie
    Jessie says:

    Im married to a SDA. I am not sure I would Have married him if I knew what I was getting into. Please TALK before getting into a relationship With a person With different religión. You May think is The same God n it Will not make a difference but it Will. I Have been married For 9 years now and we are still struggling With religion. It has been The reason we thought about separating several times. Of course there is always personality and relatives involvment. So, i guess it depends on that a lot.

  4. John Thomas
    John Thomas says:

    I met an amazing woman that is a SDA. I’ve visited her church on a Saturday and service was nice. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. I was advised by one of my Baptist mentors that I need to take the lead as the potential priest in the home and not convert to her religion. He said that if I did that I would be following her the rest of my life and it could mess up the man as the leader situation. Please share your thoughts with me on that. Did you join your husbands church for any of those reasons or was it b/c you wanted to solely b/c you enjoyed the service. Also, I’m moving to her city, so going to my home church is not an option.

    • Shakina
      Shakina says:

      I believe that you must follow your heart b/c God may be leading you to her church and it may be there that you get your greatest blessing yet. Secondly if you enjoy the services there is nothing wrong with you going there.

  5. patience
    patience says:

    Hello. I just read this article and found it quite amazing. I am is a situation where the guy I’m interested in is SDA and I was raised baptist. We have attend each other’s church and I’m thinking of possibly joining as the relationship becomes serious. Is there any advice you can offer me to make my transition successful?

    • Lana Moline
      Lana Moline says:

      The best and only advice I will give is to PRAY! Should God reveal that this is the man He intends that you be with, He will reveal how to proceed. I prayed about everything and actually I think that was the point of it all. Remember, God desires all of our attention and sometimes He uses our circumstances to get us there. If things were any different for me, I can not say that I would have prayed as much as I did. Trust me, I was and still am a praying sistah! Thanks for reading!
      My recent post My Word Is SPEAK

  6. A.
    A. says:

    Hello, I was looking for advice and i came across your story. Its beautiful, well written and inspiring. The reason i needed some advice is because i met a guy who wants to be in a relationship with me. He is Baptist and I am SDA. Since we are both believers, there Shouldn’t be a problem, Right? Wrong. There are 2 types of Baptists, those who worship on Sunday and those who worship on Saturday. I think I want be in a relationship with him, but if he worships on Sunday and asks me to leave my faith, that is something I cannot do. Your story gives me hope. We haven’t talked about this yet, but he feels that God may want us to be together. and my prayer is if The Lord wants this to happen, it will happen. Thank you for writing about your experiences, please dont stop.

    • Lana Moline
      Lana Moline says:

      Thank you for your kind words. You are correct to seek God on this. He will show you clearly how to proceed.
      My recent post My Word Is SPEAK

  7. @dany0201
    @dany0201 says:

    I don't even know how I ended up on this post… I googled interfaith marriage in this was just one of the link so I click on since I am dealing with this right now. My girlfriend thinks that the only way that our marriage is going to work is if one of us join the other… I am 7th day and she is baptist. She says that she isn't joining me ever… therefore our only hope is for me to join her… which I won't because I believe it can work as long as we respect each other's beliefs… what should I do?

    • A.
      A. says:

      I really think you should pray about this. If God wants you two to be with each other, it will happen regardless of the obstacles. Im young and maybe I don’t truly understand these things, but I firmly believe this. I hope I was able to offer you some help. Good luck:)

      • @dany0201
        @dany0201 says:

        Thank you for at least trying to say something.. I mean, you actually said the greatest thing that anyone could say "Pray About It".. well, keep me in your prayers! anyway, we both have been praying really hard and honestly about this situation… I find peace and I am comfortable enough to accept that we both could practice our faith…. but she is not. she is pushing for us to merge pretending it is for our family and prospect children's sake. Don't get me wrong, I think it is best that two a family practice the same rituals, but that does not mean anything else cannot work… I am frustrated… get so close to telling her that I am leaving etc… our relationship is being held by just a thread(emotions)…

  8. JoJo
    JoJo says:

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year and although marriage is not around the corner we have been talking rather seriously about how to go about our difference in religion? I was born baptist and have dreams of taking my kids to sunday school and VBS, he is SDA and has dreams of taking his kids to church on Sat. This has been a difficult conversation for the both of us and although we would both prefer to avoid it we know how important it is to talk about and pray about. How do we approach this? We both agree that it doesnt make sense for our faith in God and the day we choose to worship Him should separate such an amazing partnership and such an intense love. But we both want our future family to function as a unit. How do we go about dealing with this? What are some of the realities that we must talk about? I love him, he loves me but we both know that God comes first!

    • Lana Moline
      Lana Moline says:

      This is definitely a conversation that must be facilitated by Christ. The easy thing in this scenario for me is that my husband did not push or force, he simply invited me to church. His relationship with Christ is real and that makes a huge difference. I was happy to "submit" and join the SDA church. He is a wonderful covering. God is good!

  9. Jane
    Jane says:

    So glad I ran across your post! I am baptist and have been in a relationship for a year and a half with a wonderful man who is Seventh Day Adventist. However I have yet to visit his church and he's good to attend one Sabbath out of the month himself. Although we're not engaged our relationship is headed in the direction of marriage. He has asked me if I would be willing to become Seventh Day Adventist when we marry. I am open and willing to learning more about it but how am I supposed to take him seriously if he's not observing each Sabbath himself?

    • lanamolinespeaks
      lanamolinespeaks says:

      I'm glad you gave us a read myself! It's a great thing that the two of you are already sharing your faith with one another. That sounds like the beginning of a wonderful foundation. God's timing is perfect. Pray much!
      My recent post Party Over Here!

  10. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi Lana,

    Great post! It's funny how I 'stumbled' across this topic while looking through the new topics posted. When I saw the title, I was worried as to what the post would say.

    I am a Seventh-day Adventist (correct spelling) and I am seeing a man who is Baptist, however, he's accepted my faith and has been open to learning more about why we do what we do. I have been Adventist for nine years now and, you are correct, the health message is highly touted. I love the fact that he desires to learn what it is that I have to share.

    Keep them coming!

    • lanasuccess4kids
      lanasuccess4kids says:

      I pray God blesses your relationship Renee.

  11. Betty
    Betty says:

    My parents were Baptist then SDA and Baptist. The children were the same. Dad like the SDA's but would not leave his Baptist church. Mom loved the SDA message and taught the children to as well. There was a lot of strife in our household, mom left the SDA and went back Baptist for a while. The children had to follow mom.

    The Bible does tell us to be not unequally yoked, and marriage is a yoke.
    The girls are grown now, one married to a SDA pastor, the other one ready for her 8th husband.

  12. Robert K
    Robert K says:

    Can you share a little bit about why you decided to join the 7th Day Adventist church instead of him becoming baptist? What were the types of conversations you had as you discussed how you wanted to set up your family spiritually?

    • lanasuccess4kids
      lanasuccess4kids says:

      Robert, I appreciate your question. As a wife, rib and helpmeet, it was my desire to be on one accord with my husband and I knew that God would honor that. FOR ME, I used the bible as MY guide and I sincerely accept my husband's role as my spiritual covering. Now, it's easy for me to do because he is truly a man of God. We did talk quite a bit about raising our family. We teach our kids to respect everyone's choice in religion and that the most important thing is for them to have their own spiritual relationship and not regulate anyone else's. It was with MUCH PRAYER that I entered the relationship. I trust the God in him.

      • Nichole
        Nichole says:

        Beautiful reply…

  13. Ranissa
    Ranissa says:

    Marrying someone of a different religion is so hard. I've been there and done that. It didn't work out. But then again we had a whole lot of other issues too.

  14. Briana @ 20&Engaged
    Briana @ 20&Engaged says:

    Great post! I grew up missionary baptist and my husband grew up primitive baptist, and it's more different than I thought, and has taken some getting used to. We haven't discussed how we're going to raise our future children, and I have yet to join his church (even after going for 3 years alongside him) but I'll consider it.
    My recent post Career Goal: Marriage Counselor

  15. Vincent P
    Vincent P says:

    This is a great article. I grew up in the baptist faith and I too had to learn about the Adventist way of life and worship so I kinda know how you feel. Keep up the good work sis.

    • Nichole
      Nichole says:

      We've been blessed! Lana thank you for sharing your story! Love you Sis!!

  16. Lisa H
    Lisa H says:

    This is awsome! Thank you for sharing! =) Love ya Sis!!!

  17. juliehayes01
    juliehayes01 says:

    Different religion should not be a hindrance on a marriage, both partners should respect each others beliefs to have harmonious relationship.
    My recent post ?????

    • Eunice
      Eunice says:

      Very nice and interesting article. Keep them coming. My husband's grandmother was 7 Day Adventist so I learned a little from her. I learned a little more from you today. Cousin Eunice

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