For about a month or so my girlfriend and I have been reading this book titled The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. The book records an accredited journalist's research for the potential evidence in the universe for an intelligent designer, namely to seek the relevance for metaphysical belief, especially Christianity.
I don't want to get into an amount of detail she will be opposed to having exposed on the internet, but Martha (this is not my girlfriend's real name, but I feel she'd rather not have me use it for this post) has been an atheist for about a year after a falling out with the Christian beliefs she was raised on, and currently holds her belief not because she feels God has been disproved, but rather she does not see the proof of God in majority or entirety.
As you may guess, we are polar opposites on this issue. Granted, I've been looking into science's explanations for the origin of the universe and the origin of life for 3ish years (I've been a devoted follower of Christ since I was 13, though I can say I've believed in Him since I can first remember) and have come to the understanding that the evidence for the existence of everything spells out "D-E-S-I-G-N" (but replace the English characters with physics, cosmology, biology, and slews of other fields of science).
We didn't really think of the implications this would take on our romantic relationship when it first began. We'd been friends for almost 4 years, so that was the only mutual foundation we built our progression upon. For someone with such convictions as I, this was a decision that left the most critical of disagreements unaddressed and neglected, creating distance between her and I, and between God and I.
After many arguments, some which have compromised the entirety of our relationship, we've decided to make a forward investigation to reveal the truth. She feels God has not been proved to her; it is a sincere desire, a need, in my heart and a command from the Lord to spread the true Gospel. I've found evidence for the existence of an intelligent creator I cannot refute; naturalistic theories such as Darwinism and game changers like Nihilism have all been proven false to me, while design continually garners more evidence. We've decided to let the evidence speak for itself, removing as much bias as possible from interpretation. While it may seem that this is a incredible task to present to two philosophically inquisitive adolescents, it is a journey we feel necessary to embark on, a journey who's discoveries will dictate our individual lifestyles thoroughly.
Now that you have that in mind, I want to say I feel I've done a terrible job guiding her through my interpretations of evidence she has just recently pondered while I've had around 3 years to consider and ask questions about. While I am in awe of the complex microbiological mechanisms that began to work in our cells during the origin of life, I honestly haven't a clue what that means to her. We talk about the evidences revealed to us in the book, such as the Cambrian Explosion, but she remains conceded to her notion because she wants to see all of the evidence for intelligent design that she can realistically consider, as well as the opposing perspectives, the non-theists, and how they view the evidence.
And yet, while she's making a very thoughtful decision by waiting to analyze the evidences as a whole, I'm ignorantly putting pressure on her to make a concerete conclusion based on a few pieces of evidence that she's had less than 2 months to process. I realized my negative influence after reading what historian and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer had to say about attributing the evidence of God to being an idol of the mind or of science:
"So exploring the scientific and historical evidence for God is not only a cognitive exercise, but it's an act of worship for me. It's a way of giving the Creator the credit and honor and glory that are due to him. To attribute creation to a mere natural process is a form of idolatry to which we're all prone. I don't judge my naturalistic colleagues for being prone to that. That's how I'm constituted as well. All of us have a tendency to minimize God, to think and behave as if we weren't really immersed in his creation and that we aren't ourselves the product of his unimaginable creative power."
What I've been doing is straight-up judgement against her undecided disposition. I need to grasp some amount of empathy for her disposition. I mean, if I were in her shoes I'd not want to make a decision either, I'd want answers to the questions which fuel my skepticism. She has a lot of unanswered questions; mine have all been answered and somewhat forgotten. I'm in the "worshipping the Creator of all conceivable existence within the universe" stage, she's in the "I haven't seen enough to be sure of any sort of intelligent designer" stage. I haven't been mindful of that, and I need to be. It'd be ignorant and arrogant to continue hanging my "I know the truth" notion over her.