How to deal with religious differences in a relationship

How to Successfully Handle Religious Differences with Your Spouse | hitched

how to deal with religious differences in a relationship

A strong religious foundation can also sustain relationships through dark Religious differences don't always spell doom for relationships, but. Advice on How to Handle Religious Differences In Relationships. Tips for Maintaining a Relationship with Someone who Practices a Different. Your partner and you don t belong to the same faith? Keep these tips handy to prevent any differences from arising in future.

And your question is a great one!

how to deal with religious differences in a relationship

In fact, here is another Spiritual Conundrum submitted on the very same day by a reader named Confused: Yet I feel like we are so far apart spiritually when we are so close in every other way.

What do I do? A century or two ago, most people lived in places where almost everyone around them was the same religion. Today, we live in a global society where people commonly meet—and fall in love with—others who come from different religious backgrounds. This creates challenges that only a few of our great-grandparents had to face. Every situation is unique. For some couples, having different religious beliefs may be no problem at all.

For others, it may indeed doom the relationship. An interfaith wedding ceremony Image courtesy of: The Wedding Yentas I can offer some thoughts that may help those who are facing this issue to get some handle on it. But in the end, it is a very personal decision. Only you are in your shoes, and only you can decide whether or how to continue in a relationship in which the two of you do not share the same religious beliefs. Many, though not all, religions prohibit or heavily discourage interfaith marriages.

These prohibitions are usually based on two dangers: Dealing with the first danger is even more complicated. And yet, despite both religious and social strictures, interfaith marriages have become increasingly common in recent decades. The Old Testament on interfaith marriage Judaism and Christianity are among the religions that prohibit or heavily discourage their members from marrying outside the faith—though in modern times this applies much more to their conservative wings than to their liberal wings.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you. Do not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for that would turn away your children from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.

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This was the downfall of the famous King Solomon: King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Among his wives were seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not completely follow the Lord, as his father David had done. Here are some of the most prominent examples: Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, married the daughter of an Egyptian priest. She was the mother of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were the patriarchs of two of the twelve tribes of Israel. The story is told in the book of Ruth. Why were these marriages to non-Israelites accepted despite the general prohibition on marrying foreigners who did not follow the God of the Israelites?

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In the case of Ruth, she accepted the God of the Israelites see Ruth 1: However, these two men were pillars of their faith, so clearly their foreign wives did not pull them away from their religion. Here are the key passages from his letters: A wife is bound as long as her husband lives. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord.

Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God. Further, that passage from 2 Corinthians is not the end of the story.

In his other letter to the Corinthians Paul talks about existing marriages of Christians to non-Christians: To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—that if any believer has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.

For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. It is to peace that God has called you. Wife, for all you know, you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife.

As in the Old Testament, the main issue seems to be whether the non-believer pulls the believer away from his or her faith. Summing up the Bible on interfaith marriage From a Biblical perspective then, this is the big question to ask when considering whether to marry someone who has a different faith, or who has no faith at all: Will marrying this person pull me away from my faith?

Will marrying him or her pull me away from believing in God and following God in my everyday life? The Bible itself presents us with a complex mixture of prohibitions against interfaith marriages, acceptance of interfaith marriage under some circumstances, major figures such as Solomon who violated that prohibition and were pulled away from God, and other major figures such as Joseph and Moses who married foreign wives and continued steady in their faith in God.

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In short, the Bible presents us with the pluses and minuses of interfaith marriage, and requires us to use our judgment in considering whether to marry someone who does not share our faith.

And the primary issue from a Biblical perspective is whether this marriage will help or hurt our faith in God. How important is your faith to you? For some people, religious faith is a major part of their lives. For others, it is more of a side issue. How important is it to you that your partner shares your faith? These are questions you and your partner must ask yourselves if you do not share the same faith. Crohn says that this is OK. Doing so allows a greater understanding of your partner.

For instance, you might attend church or synagogue with your partner. Share your histories with each other. Instead of forcing a decision e. Not only does this take the pressure off, but it gives couples the opportunity to get to know each other better. Today, there are many courses for relationships, which can help couples resolve a variety of issues. One place to look is www.

Crohn cautions readers to be discerning consumers and to look for courses that are skills-based, time-limited and inexpensive. View therapy as preventative. Couples typically wait until their relationship has significantly suffered to seek counseling.

how to deal with religious differences in a relationship

Crohn encourages readers to see a therapist before getting to this place. He suggests interviewing the therapist to make sure that they specialize in your concerns.

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You can learn more about psychologist and couples specialist Joel Crohn, Ph. D, at his website. He practices in the Los Angeles area, where he also teaches in a family medicine residency program.

You can learn more about psychology-related careers in health care here. She blogs regularly about body and self-image issues on her own blog, Weightlessand about creativity on her second blog Make a Mess.