Inter-Faith Marriages. Can They Work Out? What Do You Think?
Inter-Faith Marriages. Can They Work Out? What Do You Think?
Are you in one? I was just sitting here thinking about a talk me and my husband had at dinner and decided to blog about it.
I was born into a Catholic family, but soon after, my mother ‘turned’ Christian. (Don’t ask, we aren’t clear about how it all happened, but I was very young when it did.)
My father didn’t seem to care very much, despite his heavy Italian/Catholic background, and hence, I was baptised Catholic but raised 100% Christian. Went to a Christan school…the whole shebang, and I’m proud to be one to this day, however, I married a man who is a die hard Catholic.
It never affected a thing until we had children together. We got married in a hall, so no issues there really. Christenings, communions, confession (Isn’t that just on TV? Um, no.) Religion, confirmations? Things I didn’t know too much about.
In my youth I was secretly envious of all of my Catholic friends who got to have all of these celebrations, including money, gifts, and of course getting to pick an extra name. ‘How cool’, I thought. I didn’t see any other differences between us at the time. Being Catholic just looked like more fun to a kid, but it just wasn’t who I was, and that was fine. It certainly didn’t affect my friendships.
All I thought as I grew up along the way, and still really all I think now is, ‘Hey you believe in God, you believe that Jesus died for our sins..you believe in heaven and hell…The biggies. Alright then.’ If you are reading this and you don’t, that is fine to, I love you all no matter what you believe, because I’m Shelly…lover of mankind. I have gotten more open minded, the older I have become.
I’m just saying to me, there isn’t much of a difference between us, and he’s given me the best love of my entire life. He’s my angel. So it never bothered me, at all. I know God sent him to me, and that is really all that matters. If you knew my history with men, you would surely agree. He’s my destiny, case closed. In fact, that is our wedding song, by Jim Brickman. 😆
I know nothing about saints, rosary beads and confession. I don’t know about religion yet, but my daughter will start next year. I am willing to go through it with an open mind, and respect for my husband, and let my girls be raised in his faith. It doesn’t change me, and when they get older, they can choose what they want to be. Inevitably, in the end, our final religion, becomes our choice, in the long run. No one can ‘make us’ into something we don’t want to be.
I pray to God at night for forgiveness of my sins, but have occasionally stepped into a nearby Catholic Church to light candles for my son. I have zero problem with it, and find it very soothing to do so. I don’t know, it just doesn’t matter to me. Different style churches, some different beliefs, but the underlying ones…the most important ones of all, are the same, really. (In ours anyways).
I’m not insanely religious, meaning, I don’t make it to church every week like I used to, but then again, it is harder now, plus, my husband works nights including Saturday. I curse on occasion…It happens. But I love God and I believe he knows all of our hearts, regardless. That is more important then any label, to me…Our hearts, how we live, how we treat others, and what God sees in us. That is key! I don’t think God judges us on our church attendance, or a slip of the tongue, but who we are inside.
It does matter more to my husband as he is very Catholic, that he’d like his children raised that way, and if that means a lot to him, I’m all for it. He didn’t really have to ask at all, I just saw it, and was fine with it. As long as my children aren’t worshiping Satan, and are raised in love and God, I see no reason to fight religion with him. As he likes to say, ‘They are close enough.’
Ok..whatever that means, but there are differences in all religions, even if some are more dramatic then others, just depends on if you are willing to be with somebody outside of your own religion and how you deal with it, especially when it comes to your extended family and your children. My mother is a completely different story. SHE is bothered by it, yet she was once Catholic herself.
She was super pissed (Pardon me Lord, but that is the only word that truly describes it), when we said we were christening our 1st daughter 5+ years ago, in the Catholic Church, and our twins back in May. I was christened Catholic then somehow she turned and made us Christians, which my husband still debates me that it means I am truly Catholic, but I only have known myself to be Christian, but again..I believe in God, I pray..who cares about the actual label.
She wanted them blessed in a Christian Church and put up a big fuss. She did show up. (Drank an awful lot of wine at the after party though.) Why should it matter? These aren’t even her children? Family is weird sometimes. I’d really just want my children to find happiness, honestly.
My best friend was raised Catholic. Her husband ironically, they hated each other throughout high school but managed to fall in love, and man oh man were the parents up in arms. His family was Jewish. VERY Jewish and wanted him to date a Jewish woman only, and simply hated her.
Ended up they had a Jewish wedding, I guess to appease the parents of the groom, which I would do also..no biggie if I were in love enough, to me it’s just simply some different traditions and beliefs, it can still work out, but that is MY feelings. Others may feel differently, and that’s ok to.
They are still happily married after 12 years and 3 children, and raise their children with a mixture of both belief systems, quite effectively, from my outside view. The parents have learned to accept and love her…yes, but it took A LOT of time!
The guy I dated before my husband was Jewish. I thought nothing about it. (Mom didn’t know. It just never came up, nor got serious enough to matter, anyhow.) I went to a family occasion where odd (to me) foods I wasn’t used to, were served, and they read from a book, nothing bizarre, and his religion had no bearing on how things went with us. His wandering eye, now that was something I couldn’t as easily get passed.
But seriously, I respect anyone’s and everyone’s religion. Who is it for me to say, ‘ I am better then you, or my religion is better then yours?’ Love is love..however, what if I met a man who had no beliefs at all? Well, for certain I would never date someone into devil worship and stuff of that world. Again, not saying I’m better then anybody, it’s just a personal choice that in that case, I can say definitively, ‘Not happening.’
Again, somebody who has no beliefs at all? Hard to say. I guess no one really knows for sure until they cross that bridge. I could say no now, but what if I fell really crazy in love, (past I’m speaking of, no worries hubby), and it just happened that way? Would that have caused some issues? I could foresee that it might. I know changing somebody doesn’t work, so never even try that ladies, not in ANYTHING, with ANY man. 😆 They think we are stubborn…HA, I say!
Does love truly conquer all in the end, I guess I’m saying? I’d say most of the time yes, but I guess in any inter-faith marriage you got to be willing to bend, work as a team to come up with a game plan that suits you and your family the best, and do the one thing that is a must in every marriage in order to make things work…COMPROMISE!
If it doesn’t work out, there may have been other issues that went along with it. You just never know. What is your take on the subject? Have any personal stories to share?
‘I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family.’ – Barney
Good night folks! 😀
(I ponder too much in the late evenings.)