Tricky Subject: Praying At The Dinner Table

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t know how to tell a religious woman not to practice her religion when she’s in your home. That seems rude IMHO.

Asking everyone to pray is too much. So I would tell her she can pray on her ownm, but you are not going to participate.

I had Muslim guests over my home. Instead of telling them to check their faith at the door I pointed them East when they needed to pray. These guests did not try to convert or impose their religion on me.

Post # 3
Member
8702 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I don’t know. There’s no real tactful way to say, “Hey. Your religion isn’t welcome here.” Perhaps instead ask her to pray instead of involving everyone else? If I am at someone’s house and they want to pray, I will respectfully bow my head (I am an atheist) but I will not join in. I just want to be polite. If they want to pray in my home that’s fine, but perhaps they should pray quietly to themselves?

Post # 4
Member
320 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

That’s tricky. I would try to talk to her sometime about this issue and let her know your feelings. Would she be open to praying privately to herself? 

Post # 5
Member
5228 posts
Bee Keeper

SprinkleDonut:  This is going to open a can of worms, regardless of how you try to talk to her. If this really bothers you, I would just ask her to pray silently. Speaking as a Christian, I find the “display” piety with your nieces, at your home, that she does not practice in her own manipulative. I don’t think you should forbid her to practice her faith because it will give her a platform to cry victim from. I think the less attention you give to this, the better.

Your story is why I have never forced my daughter to go to church. She goes on her own now as older teenager, because it is something she wants to do, not has to do.

 

Post # 6
Member
1201 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: A very pretty church.

SprinkleDonut:  The tables have turned, your house, your rules. She can indoctrinate your nieces on her own time.

Post # 8
Member
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Columbia, SC

SprinkleDonut:  What religion were you that you were at the church for something 5 days a week?

You can not tell her she can not pray while in your home, unless you want her to never be in your home again. If you had chosen a religon, opposite hers, how would you feel if she told you that you could not pray or whatever it would be?

Post # 9
Member
1201 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: A very pretty church.

SprinkleDonut:  It is.

It sounds like (from what you wrote) that your nieces are not used to saying grace either. When you are eating with people who are, you feel it, there’s a pause, no one is poised over the food… If they were just as ready to chow down that food as you were, that tells you something 😉

This was a power play by your mother, she knows how you feel and she did it in your house. I would encourage being super polite about it, only because Christians love to be ‘persecuted’, but it is your house! She can pray if she wants, but the rest of you can and should be eating as she does. Show your neices that it is good to be polite but not necessary to show extra deference to religion in a non-religious space. You are more than your mother’s daughter in this situation, you are an aunt and a rolemodel.

If that situation were to happen again, where your mum suggests grace I might say “Well, you are of course welcome to pray, but this is not a religious household and we don’t say grace here, so we will be eating as you do it.” *big secular smile* 😀

Post # 10
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Meh, even though she’s actually religious she’s definitely making a show of it specifically for you. The fact that she doesn’t pray at her home before dinner, yet insists on doing it in public at your house speaks volumes. Honestly, just let it happen and don’t let her get a reaction from you. She’s wanting to cause a stir–don’t give her the satisfaction. Just start eating, let her have her moment, and start talking with your husband about how dang good those green beans are.

Post # 11
Member
3200 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

SprinkleDonut:  I think the best way to go about this is to simply take your mother aside one day and say that you respect her desire to say grace before dinner, but if she is going to do so, please do so silently. Politely explain you do not want “grace” to be a part of every meal that you have together. You have to accept that she may get upset and feel offended. That’s totally her right to do so, however, she should also realize she is a guest in your home and if you aren’t comfortable with what she is doing, she should have the tact to stop. We do not say grace in my family–never have, but I have other family members and friends that do. When I am at their home, I bow my head out of respect and join hands, but I am only thinking of the food I am about to eat, not the thanks I should give. Additionally, when they come to our home, they bow their heads silently and say a few words to themselves and move on. If I had a someone come into my home and request we all join hands and say grace I would have to pull them aside and explain that FI is atheist and I am agnostic at best and due to this we do not want our guests to force us to join in in saying grace. I do agree you probably shouldn’t tell her she can’t practice at all–that is borderline rude; however, you do need to tell her to respect your home, your rules because when she is at your house she is technically under your “roof” now.

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