While most celebrity couples seem to run right out and get married as soon as someone accidentally gets pregnant, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden have kept their relationship status quo. Though they’ve long been rumored to be kind of/sort of engaged, they’ve yet to announce anything official, and it doesn’t appear that they have any concrete wedding plans.
It often seems like the pair isn’t quite certain of their union. To be sure, Nicole has had a very rebellious past, whereas Joel has lived a life a bit more on the straight and narrow, despite being a musician. Before Nicole, Joel dated Hillary Duff for a long time. That’s quite a leap, in terms of different personalities.
The National Enquirer says the holdup is Nicole’s lack of religion. Joel wants her to convert to Christianity before they get married. And it sounds like he doesn’t want it just as a formality, but truly wants her to find God and faith before he commits to spending the rest of his life with her.
“Joel is determined not to marry Nicole until she asks forgiveness for her sins and is willing to raise little Harlow with the same religious upbringing that he had,” a source told The Enquirer. “Joel may look like a rebel, but the truth is he is an old-fashioned conservative guy with hardcore Christian beliefs.
“… The Bible is a big part of his life – so much so that he has a tattoo of Jesus and a Sacred Heart on his arms. Joel went to church regularly as a kid and he believes that God has made him what he is today. He has seen all the problems that spoiled Hollywood children like Nicole encountered, and is determined to prevent Harlow from being the stereotypical Beverly Hills brat.”
In an attempt to break from her checkered past of rehab stints, drunk driving and drug arrests, Nicole has already begun her spiritual transformation, says a close friend. And insiders say she couldn’t be happier. “It looks like Nicole is on the way to fully embracing Joel’s religious beliefs,” said the friend. “She knows how great her life has become thanks to him.”
As The Enquirer reported last week, Nicole has had trouble coping with the stress of motherhood. “Joel thinks God will be the ultimate answer to her problems,” continued the source…. “As much as Joel loves Nicole, and is dedicated to being her rock, he feels like their marriage would never work unless they are on the same page with their religious beliefs,” added the source. “Bottom line, he wants a Christian family.”
[From the National Enquirer, June 16, 2008, print ed.]
The Enquirer makes it sound like Nicole Richie is alright with converting, but it also sounds like Joel is putting a lot of pressure on her. That’s not exactly the best way to find true faith – that’s something a person has to come to on their own terms. It does seem like Joel has been nothing but a good influence on Nicole – but I’m still not completely convinced that she’s appreciative of that influence.
It often seems like she’s not ready to settle down yet – especially given the many reports that she’s having trouble adjusting to motherhood and not going out and partying as much. It seems like a lot of things have changed super fast in Nicole’s life, and probably earlier than she had planned. Hopefully she’ll be able to figure out what’s best for her family.
Here’s Nicole and Joel out for a stroll with baby Harlow on May 20th. Images thanks to Splash.