Parable on Faith and Doubt


Imagine a couple that is considering getting married, Jack and Jill. They have been dating for years. Jack and Jill come from different family backgrounds. Jill comes from a family with abusive parents that had a dysfunctional marriage. This has made her skeptical about her ability to have a healthy marriage. She wonders if a healthy marriage is even possible at all. She is worried about the damage she might do to Jack when they get into a fight. If they were ever to have kids, she worries about the damage she might do to her kids. She has grave doubts their ability to make it.

When Jack finally proposed to Jill, it took her 7 days to respond to him with a yes, and when she did she was very hesitant. She says yes, but it’s conditional. She will only marry Jack if he agrees to see a counselor for the first year of their marriage. She will only marry him if he agrees to join a couples small group. She only agrees to marry him if he will read 12 pre-marital advice books before planning the wedding. She says yes, but it’s conditional. She’s worried. On her own, she has serious and significant doubts, but she moves forward with trepidation.

Jack is mad. He feels maligned and insulted. How can she have so little faith in their relationship? How can she believe so little in what they’ve got going on between them? He is mad because he feels Jill doesn’t believe in him. There is no doubt in Jack’s mind that they are going to have a great marriage. He believes in the relationship. He has strong faith that they will be successful, and so he doesn’t see the need for counseling. He thinks reading the books is a waste of time. He is annoyed that Jill has so little faith and so much doubt, and he wonders aloud why she couldn’t be more like him and trust in the love that they have for each other.

But I wonder, who really has more faith? The one who is a realist, or the one who is delusional? Who has a healthier faith, the one with humility or the one with pride? Who is the one with real faith, the one willing to work on her honest doubts or the one who is blind to the real struggles in front of him?

Originally used in a sermon preached at New City Covenant Church on February 7, 2010.


One response to “Parable on Faith and Doubt”

  1. It’s a good question and I have no idea. What’s the answer?