Handling religious differences in your marriage

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Today, it is common to see the union of 2 people from different religious background. In fact, these marriages have been quite successful and fruitful. Here are some guidelines to help tide over the difficult times and remind you of the greater cause.

second marriage

“Different religious beliefs make for bad company.” This is a quote I read from a Hillel Mailing List.  In marriage, the issue of religion is crucial to ensure that it lasts a lifetime. Families have broken up due to incompatibility in religious beliefs.

Often, religion has been credited as a yardstick for the success of a marriage. However, this is not always applicable to every situation.

Today, it is common to see the union of 2 people from different religious background.  In fact, these marriages have been quite successful and fruitful.

My relationship with my husband is an example.  I married a man from a religious group different from mine. He is not just simply a believer but a former seminarian who studied for 9 years to become a priest. Since, I belong to the protestant group, having a relationship with him can be difficult and oftentimes, we would end up arguing about our religious differences. There had been struggles but  we have talked about our situation and agreed on some guidelines so our relationship can thrive despite the differences in our religious beliefs.

And, this is what I want to share with you.

First, acknowledge that your partner has a different set of religious beliefs.

This is the beginning of understanding your partner. Once you accept this reality, there is no point of arguing as to which belief is superior. Respect your partner’s religious point of view. In as much as your point of view needs to be respected, you have to consider your partner’s ideas and his/her religious views.

You need to respond to his/her needs based on his/her religious beliefs but of course, not at the expense of your own religious practices.

Second, don’t attempt to convince your partner to follow your religious convictions.

In building an authentic marital relationship, you need not convince your partner to follow your  religious beliefs. In fact, it does not guarantee that when you have the same faith, your marital relationship is assured to stand for a lifetime. You need to live with your faith and allow him/her to live with his/her religious practices.

Third, your marital commitment is based on love and not on your religious convictions.

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