Interfaith relationships?

iBrian

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Is it possible for interfaith relationships to truly flourish?

By that I'm specifically asking about a betrothal of Christian-Muslim, Christian-Jew, Muslim-Jew.

No matter how liberal the opinions of the marriage partners, is it inevitable that such unions would undergo such immense strains because of the fundamental differences in Faith?

Or could difference in Faith even act as a strength?
 
of course it's possible for them to flourish.

whether it is likely for the *children* of such a relationship to continue the faith tradition is a different matter, so in the medium-to-long term you end up (at least in judaism) with a numbers problem. the situation is compounded by the fact that you don't just marry one person (at least in my experience) but an entire family. the problem is not what goes on inside one's head (where faith lives, if you like) but how you *act* on this faith. did you see the programme about the interfaith house that was on ITV last week? this illustrates it extremely well. even within a faith, different levels of observance can be a source of tension.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
I said:
Is it possible for interfaith relationships to truly flourish

Absolutely, though like you said it helps to have a "liberal" stance regarding the unity of religions. Things could get trickier as soon as there are children in the relationship, because only then do some parents really think about which religious beliefs they truly hold dear. They'll take a risk on themselves, but they don't want to risk the soul of the child they love by teaching him/her the spouse's "false" religion.

As a Baha'i, I don't see this becoming an issue with me personally, but if I ever end up marrying a non-Baha'i and having kids I'm sure it will come up.

QG
 
I truely believe it's a shame that people have to feel they need to keep love within the constraints of religeon. Love is too powerful emotion to just simply restrain it within a gender/race/creed. A good friend of mine who is a Muslim was fortunate enough to fall in Love but it was of the unfortunate circumstances that the woman he had fallen for happened to be Hindu.

They both cared for each other very much but due to pressures on both sides of the families they couldn't be together. Now I met this girl and she was lovely and as for my friend you couldn't find a nicer person. He was a good Muslim and never let the hipocrisy of the religeon deter him from believing.

After the desicion was made to never see each other again...he fell into a pit of deppression which as the years wore on he was never able to shake despite counsling, diet changes and even arranging to meet women within his own community he still was very much in Love with the Hindu girl. After many spurted cliches such as there are plenty more fish in the sea or if it's meant to be then she will come back to him but this made him even more dispondent.

After many years of struggling with the realization that he couldn't be with the one he loved he poored what was left of his heart into the work he did. He was a fantastic teacher and a great inspiration for the drive for life. He volunteered at hospitals and looked after his younger sibling.

He decided on his 35 birthday to travel to Uganda (his mothers family originated from there) to teach and help the poor and undeveloped community. After 7 years in Africa he returned without the sparkle in his eye.

He was arranging to meet with some friends when unfortunately he was killed by a drunk driver. He was a man that always put others first and all he wanted was to be with this woman but he couldn't because humans feel the need to segregate each other due to hate or beliefs that are dated. Religeon has managed to take over our lives for 1000's of years yet our society has failed to improve. There is still war, hunger, poverty, ignorance etc.

Despite these flaws he never changed his religeon and now he is gone. I miss him so much as I never got the chance to see him when he arrived back from Africa. Maybe it's time to respecting each others ideas and feelings INCLUDING our son's and daughters as they are our future and the important thing is to keep the message of love and respect; for if their parents were able to do this, his love would not have died in Vain.
 
Personally, I think if people are sufficiently liberal it is not a problem.

Myself, I have some very strong beliefs and a big part of my life is spirituality. However, I think each person should believe whatever resounds with their experience. So I have no feeling of needing a significant other to believe as I do.

As for kids, I would raise any kids the way I was raised- that they should explore any faith they wish and base their decisions on what resonates with their experience of God/the Divine along with careful, honest self-evaluation and analysis of the religions out there. I wouldn't want to raise my kids in any particular religion or worldview- I think it's best that they learn to honor their own experience of the Divine and critically think. I have faith that God loves everyone and is working in every life, and that we each are responsible for our own journey, so I don't tend to worry about others' beliefs much.

I guess I'm just very individualistic- my names says it all!
 
I said:
Is it possible for interfaith relationships to truly flourish?

By that I'm specifically asking about a betrothal of Christian-Muslim, Christian-Jew, Muslim-Jew.

No matter how liberal the opinions of the marriage partners, is it inevitable that such unions would undergo such immense strains because of the fundamental differences in Faith?

Or could difference in Faith even act as a strength?

I've known many inter-faith couples and the ones who are most successful expose their children to the richness of both traditions... Similar to exposing children to different languages when young.

If the parents can appreciate the goodness and truth in each others religions this attitude is also easily inculcated in the children.

- Art
 
I used to think that it was not important that we be equally yoked with our partners.. I always thought that He knew my heart and I could have a relationship with someone that didnt share my beliefs and still retain my relationship with God. I was wrong. It started off ok.. then as time wore on for 10 years my relationship with God slowly went to the wayside as other things became more important. I didnt have that fellowship with my partner.. someone I could count on to keep me on my toes in my faith when I was slacking... and likewise.. Soon things became apparent.. Things that I knew to be wrong in the eyes of my God.. were not so wrong to my partner. Sure we had a physical connection and maybe even a mental connection but we were lacking in a very real thing.. we didnt have a spiritual connection.

As my relationship with God began to grow again...the differences between my partner and I were grossly disproportionate. He began to mock my faith and we argued about it constantly.. I went to my pastor and asked for prayer I wanted my partner to be saved... My pastor who is a wise man.. prayed this... He prayed that my partner either come to know Christ or that God give me the means to leave the relationship with my 2 children.

A year after that prayer.. I was leaving. My heart cleansed of any emotion towards this man.. I had the means to leave.. God had put me in the life of another man that was equally yoked ... where the relationships foundation is Christ... I had found what I was missing from all my other relationships. That spiritual connection.
 
arthra said:
I've known many inter-faith couples and the ones who are most successful expose their children to the richness of both traditions... Similar to exposing children to different languages when young.

If the parents can appreciate the goodness and truth in each others religions this attitude is also easily inculcated in the children.

- Art

I agree with this so much .... exposing children to the richness of many traditions, not just those of the parents, enriches them spiritually and emotionally. In some traditions the way of mother is followed by the children until they become of an age to decide for themselves .... but the children are taught to respect all. he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine
 
Hi all,
I dont think that it is a problem to live in an interfaith marriage or relationship! I am married to a man of a different faith from me. I am a Catholic, hes a Shaman. Ok, so you may wonder how we can manage, but, the truth is, it works out just fine because even if we do it in different ways, we are still worshipping God. He goes into nature to worship the creator or meditates at home, I say the rosary or other prayers and sometimes go to church, so, thats the only difference.

As far as kids go, we dont have any, but, when we do we are going to teach them the both traditions, so, they are going to learn both religons and about others as I am a teacher of religion ( soon anyway).

So, they are going to have the choice of finding their own faith, but, they must know what the faiths are that we each have.
 
My relationship is sort of an interfaith relationship. I myself am baha'i for the most part, my girlfriend at the moment is a muslim. However as you can probably see she isn't that devout (for example she dates a non-muslim like me;)) so that might make a difference. I think a devout christian and a devout muslim will never get a long, seriously they will try to convert each other:D but a moderate monotheistic couple is possible.
 
Hi All,

Being of western background I have been brought up as a christian and my partner is a British Asian who has been brought up as Hindu. We each have a strong understanding and connection with our own faiths but being able to explore each other's faith and strengthened both our own relationship with each other and our relationship with God. The amount of similarities between the Hindu and Christian faiths has re-enforced my own beliefs of one people under 1 god, with different paths towards salvation/enlightment/next life etc etc.

An interfaith relationship is also not easy.....it requires immense patience, respect and understanding of the other person and their beliefs.....it can however be one of the most rewarding relationships to engage with. Anyone who is in an interfaith relationship I commend you...I know how hard it is. Anyone thinking of engaging in an interfaith relationship....good luck and may god be with you.....i hope your relationship with each other and with god is richened.
 
I believe the success or failure of any relationship, relies heavily on individual maturity, secureness in self, and the willingness to look out for the other, first. My wife and I are of different faiths. But we both strive to better ourselves as human beings (which is a strong common bond), and we do not try to trip eachother up, or force conversion to one way of thinking or the other. She comes first before me, and vise versa. One other thing, is that we both believe there is "Something" much greater than us, and we have to answer ultimately for our actions, whether it is to ourselves, our children, our ancestors or our gods.

Since coming here to CR, my awareness and appreciation for all people's beliefs, had increased a 1000 fold. I also note that for the most part, we all get along pretty well, for having so many differences. But what we all have in common far exceeds our differences...

We are searching for something greater than us...

my thoughts.

v/r

Q
 
as the world, religion, and the home is primarily run by men, i believe that in interfaith marriages the woman will get the short end of the stick. that is to say the woman wont be compromising, she will be giving up her religion to the mans.

also, an interesting article i found on the internet:
Vatican's wedding warning
It discourages marriages of Catholics and Muslims


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/15/VATICAN.TMP
 
BlaznFattyz said:
as the world, religion, and the home is primarily run by men, i believe that in interfaith marriages the woman will get the short end of the stick. that is to say the woman wont be compromising, she will be giving up her religion to the mans.

also, an interesting article i found on the internet:
Vatican's wedding warning
It discourages marriages of Catholics and Muslims


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/15/VATICAN.TMP

I agree to a certian extent, most of the cases women are not to hostile with their religion but men (especially muslim men) can be very hostile. Many times some women are forced to give up their religion because the husbands do not want them to, which is not right.

However I cannot speak for all muslim men, perhaps a moderate muslim man is okay but a fundie muslim man will do good only with a fellow muslim woman IMHO.
 
Silverbackman said:
My relationship is sort of an interfaith relationship. I myself am baha'i for the most part, my girlfriend at the moment is a muslim. However as you can probably see she isn't that devout (for example she dates a non-muslim like me;)) so that might make a difference. I think a devout christian and a devout muslim will never get a long, seriously they will try to convert each other:D but a moderate monotheistic couple is possible.
Just so you know.. Islam doesnt allow men and women to 'date' period. Hope you dont go :eek: after reading this.
That last sentence of yours is almost conveying the message that devout=extremist.:mad:
However I cannot speak for all muslim men, perhaps a moderate muslim man is okay but a fundie muslim man will do good only with a fellow muslim woman IMHO
I summarily disagree that interfaith relationships are not possible in devout [1] couples if one of them is a muslim man. and as u said, you cant speak for all muslim men... just maybe for the ones you might know. And there you go again with that word-game of fundie/moderate/devout. Pease write notes with those as to what you mean cause you seem to be applying your own definition of them (which im not familiar with obviously) when you speak.
This is just so that we are on the same page. I dislike for things to be lost in translation.
================
[1] In the case of a Muslim man, it is one who observes his religious teachings in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah
 
BlaznFattyz said:
as the world, religion, and the home is primarily run by men, i believe that in interfaith marriages the woman will get the short end of the stick. that is to say the woman wont be compromising, she will be giving up her religion to the mans.

also, an interesting article i found on the internet:
Vatican's wedding warning
It discourages marriages of Catholics and Muslims


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/15/VATICAN.TMPhttp://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/15/VATICAN.TMPhttp://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/15/VATICAN.TMP

I'm not sure about that. Women lead by example, not by dictate (by your own definition of how things are). A "Godly woman" can't help but reflect that Godliness out by her actions. And people take notice, including and especially the man.

Of course the same goes for a Godly man...so it isn't words or decrees that set the stage for influence, it's actions. ;)

My thoughts.

v/r

Q
 
Quahom1 said:
I'm not sure about that. Women lead by example, not by dictate (by your own definition of how things are). A "Godly woman" can't help but reflect that Godliness out by her actions. And people take notice, including and especially the man.

Of course the same goes for a Godly man...so it isn't words or decrees that set the stage for influence, it's actions. ;)

My thoughts.

v/r

Q

truthful points although i believe very idealistic. it is true that a beautiful flower can bloom in a field, but throw in some weeds and it is overtaken. in america, anyone can be free to choose and practice a religion and it may dictate our reasoning that other countries must enjoy the same freedom. in iraq i do not believe they have the same freedom to choose a different religion than islam and practice it in complete freedom. and in spain, well they ousted all the muslims as best they could, and we all know that government almost completely run by men. so those intermarriages that may have happened never did which they see as a good thing.
again, aside from the uphill battle of setting a good example to an world that does not know Christ. the reality is, people choose what they like, because they want others to like the same thing! it is human nature.
 
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