Interfaith marriages

posted 2 weeks ago in Interfaith
Post # 2
Member
137 posts
Blushing bee

At least you’re both Christian! I’m not married yet but I’m in an interfaith relationship. I’m Catholic and my SO is Jewish. We don’t talk about what our future will look like as much as the people around us do. Both our families are pretty religious but neither of us are. We celebrate each others holidays with our respective families, and thats where we’re at right now. How do you feel about raising your children Catholic? Are you and your fiancée both particularly religious? 

Post # 3
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I am protestant Christian and my husband is an athiest. We get along just fine as he defers to me in everything to do about church. We do not and will not have children together and supports how I’m raising my daughter.

 

My first husband was also protestant Christian but a very different type. Imagine Pentecostal and Southern Baptist together.

 

Anyhoo, he and I had WAY more conflict than I would have thought. I was raised by a Biblical scholar and had 18 years of private school education, so I know the Bible. XH went wherever the wind blew. If someone with “authority” or “knowledge” told him something, he was easily swayed and wanted to debate me all the time. He was usually wrong but when I’d prove it he’d just get mad. If I wanted to “agree to disagree” he’d refuse because he wanted to “win.” We are coparenting or daughter and the fights about religion are much less because I refuse to engage. She goes to my church more.

If I had to do it again, choose a man to marry in my youth and raise children with, I’d make sure we were on the same page with religion. Even small issues can become magnified over time.

Post # 4
Member
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - Montsalvat, Victoria

I’m Catholic and my husband is an atheist. He was really supportive going into our relationship and went through the Catholic pre wedding counselling etc with me. We’ve agreed that although I don’t regularly go to church and practice etc our baby will be baptised as Catholic and learn about my faith. 

Post # 5
Member
971 posts
Busy bee

We are a house divided on the topic of religion. Fiancé is Christian and was raised very strict.

i believe it is all nonsense, created to brainwash people that can’t think for themselves.

The kids share my anti religion. Fiancé is welcome to practice and celebrate whatever religious event he chooses. We don’t talk about it. If he wants to go to church, he goes. He would never force me. He also won’t allow religious fanatics to say things to me about my lack of participation. It works for us. We have never fought over religion.

Post # 6
Member
459 posts
Helper bee

The fights about what religion to raise the kids in will cease when you realize that you can’t control the beliefs that your kids eventually choose to embrace. I was raised by two Jewish parents, but I turned out to be Wiccan. Interfaith marriages can work beautifully if both partners respect each other’s beliefs AND respect their children’s beliefs. Marrying someone of the same faith is not a gaurantee that your kids will embrace your religion. You can raise the kids Catholic all you want, but they might grow up and decide they don’t want to be Catholic. You have to be OK with that. Once you’re OK with that, you’ll realize that it doesn’t matter what religion you raise them to be. It’s more important to raise them with good values, like kindness, honesty, integrity, compassion, etc. Those values don’t belong to any religion.

And please don’t let the kids hear you fighting about which religion is better. There’s no harm in teaching children about multiple religions and teaching them to respect ALL faiths. So what if Mommy is Catholic and Daddy is Jewish? One isn’t better than the other, so teach them about both. When it comes to the question of “Which one will they BE?” here’s a radical idea: Let the kids choose. They might choose both. They might choose neither. They might go back and forth or change their mind many times over the years. Nothing wrong with that. They’re growing and learning and exploring and developing opinions and beliefs of their own. They won’t be confused. They won’t lack guidance. As adults, they’ll be glad you didn’t try to force them to follow a certain religious path, and they’ll be better people for being open-minded and respectful of the world’s diversity.

Post # 8
Member
13678 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I am Catholic and Darling Husband is Jewish. We approach both traditions with respect and observe each (he comes to mass with me, we have seders, we light the menorah by our Christmas tree). Our children will be exposed to both, but not forced to choose one or the other. We’ve been on the same page about this since we were dating.

Post # 10
Member
85 posts
Worker bee

I am Christian, and fiancé is Buddhist. We coexist peacefully and respect each other. My Future Mother-In-Law, though,  probably worries the most about it and our unborn children, haha. 

Post # 11
Member
8106 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

RunningBookworm :  I was baptised Catholic but also attended Episcopal churches growing up – I probably identify more with the Episcopal church these dates but I still consider myself a recovering Catholic. My husband is Jewish. The one thing I can say is you need to talk A LOT about how you plan to raise children if you’re interfaith. Take nothing for granted. Decide your hills to die on and what can be compromised. For my husband it was circumcision – if we have a boy that is 100% required and while I probably wouldn’t bother otherwise I respect that it’s important to him and have agreed to it. My husband agreed to baptise our daughter in the Episcopal church but she is being taught both of our religions. Her godmother is Unitarian Universalist and her aunt is Buddhist and they have both been encouraged to share their religions with her. We fully encourage all of the people in her life to educate but not advocate. Our daughter can choose for herself what religions feels right to her as she grows up and neither of us will take offense if it isn’t ours. 

One thing I like about being an interfaith family is that my daughter is learning religious tolerance from the beginning. There is no right or wrong. We celebrate both religions as a family and if there are parts we aren’t comfortable with she sees us respectfully abstain. A perfect example was her baptism – the priest wanted my husband to stand up at the alter with us but fully understood that my husband wouldn’t declare that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior. 

 

Post # 12
Member
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I was raised Catholic and my husband was raised Jewish. In terms of faith, I am more spiritual than he is; but the cultural aspects of Judaism are quite important to my husband. We plan to raise our children Jewish (and have bar/bat mitzvahs), and I am quite fine with that— I believe the Christian and Jewish God is one and the same, and the particular rules of Christianity aren’t important to me. An education and grounding in some sort of moral tradition IS important to me. My husband’s father was born in a refugee camp in 1945 after his father and mother escaped from a Nazi prisoner or war camp and a concentration camp, respectively. Most of his extended family was murdered by the Nazis. Keeping the culture of Judaism alive is incredibly important to my husband, and that makes it important to me too. That being said, my husband and his family are not strict- we don’t keep kosher or follow any particular rules when it comes to day to day living.

We celebrate Christmas with my family most years, and we plan to continue this after we have children. 

If you are marrying a person of a different religion, I think it’s important that both people be somewhat flexible with their religious rules. 

Post # 13
Member
77 posts
Worker bee

RunningBookworm :  Are you both regularly, practicing members? My parents were “religious”. Maternal grandparents/mom Jewish, dads side Christian. Our parents taught us about both growing up but never enforced one. We celebrated both Holidays up until I was like 8 or 9. I think it’s totally possible for you to give your children a Catholic baptism if it’s super important to your husband. Just because you baptism them as Catholic doesn’t mean they have to go to Catholic Church every Sunday and be a Catholic their whole lives. Most children at that age won’t feel forced, they’ll do it because they know it’s important to their parents and will want to do. You can still incorporate your religion and important events. They’ll end up making a choice once their old enough to really understand.

 

And just to add a little light heartedness, while my Jewish grandmother still gives us Hanukkah cards, she does get a “Hanukkah Bush”; it’s a Christmas tree with blue lights and Rabi’s on it. She try’s!

Post # 14
Member
6504 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Dh is a Christian and I am an atheist. We agreed on a lot of things before marriage, but I also ultimately knew that in most relationships it is the woman who has a bigger hand in guiding the children. It is usually the woman who takes the family to church or arranges faith classes or communions or whatever. I knew my Dh would not take initiative in that regard, despite me telling him that I would never stop him from taking the children to church.

So we sent our first to the Christian pre-school Dh attended (as we had agreed. I figured that if Dh turned out so well, then it couldn’t have been so bad), but they told him the story of the Massacre of the Innocents. DS came home frightened and said, “But I’M a little boy.” I told Dh it stopped right there, and I never sent him back. How dare they (there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to tell Biblical stories to four year olds)? We sent him to public school, and I never again took the initiative as far as church services went, so we never went. I had always told Dh that I would never lie to our children about my beliefs (or lack thereof), and the children brought their thoughts and concerns about things they heard (at school, on the news, etc.) to me. 

Our children are self-proclaimed atheists, although they are still young (15, 17, 19). I realize that their beliefs are their own, and I’ve always told them so, but they also know that my beliefs will likely not be swayed without evidence (I am a big believer in the scientific method).

Post # 15
Member
2179 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

My husband’s parents were a mixed religious couple. His mother was Catholic and his dad was Jewish. He went to both services. His family celebrated both cultures. My husband went to all Catholic schools–mostly because they were the best schools in the area. His parents were very open and liked to celebrate lots of cultures. Neither one of them is pushy about religion. 

I was raised Protestant. Neither my husband nor I are really practicing. We’ll go to a service from time to time. We have gone to all kinds of different religious ceremonies–not just within our own cultures. I know my family would prefer we were regular churchgoers at a Protestant church, but I think they’ve pretty much accepted things as they are. 

I think it is really important that you and your fiancé get on the same page with this before you get married. 

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