†† When I was a kid my mother found green beans in my socks.I did not like vegetables and found ways to avoid eating them.I hid them in my socks, my napkin, my pockets, down my shirt, under my plate.Imagine my joy when we got a dog!Next to my chair was her favorite place to sit.As I got older I came to like vegetables and began to eat them readily because I wanted to.However, I will admit to still sneaking a bite to the dog now and then.


†† Religion can cause a separation between a Baal Teshuvah and his spouse. While one wants to grow and increase in mitzvoth the other wonít go along.Out of love and respect she will participate but only to a point. There is still a connection but they feel pain because they are going in separate ways.


†† Compounding this the Bal Teshuvah thinks, ďIím doing what G-d wants.I am on the side of RIGHT!ĒHe feels that the spouse MUST follow.He is doing the right thing and she is not.She is wrong.


†† If the religious path is right than G-d is certainly capable of working in the spouseís heart to bring her around without being forced. When the children are young a parent can train them in the way in which they should go1.However, the spouse is not a child, she is an adult. The Baal Teshuvah did not come because he was forced, he came because he got interested and came on his own.†††


††† G-d brought the couple together.He knew that one would become religious at a time when the other did not.It is wrong for one to consider that he married the wrong person and should have married a frum girl.If G-d had wanted him to marry frum, he would have been attracted to frum.This struggle is part of his growth and learning in Judaism.


†† She did not marry a religious Jew.If that was what she wanted she would have been attracted to a religious Jew.That is not what she asked for.The rules were changed on her.This is hard on her.


†† People avoid what is unpleasant and are attracted to what is pleasant.If the attitude and actions of the religious spouse are unpleasant and those are associated with Judaism than she will want to avoid Judaism. Nobody wants to be forced; it is unpleasant. It is a matter of attraction not forcing.Instead, by being appreciative of the things that are done, it makes Judaism something pleasant.


†† What attracted one spouse to G-d and Judaism may have nothing to do with what will attract the other.She may be attracted by something entirely different that is not important to the other.But to her it could be the key.

1. Proverbs 22:6






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