Interfaith Marriage

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Interfaith marriages are prominent throughout the world, whether it is a Christian/Jewish marriage, a Buddhist/Hindu marriage, or any other blend of two different faiths. In an interfaith marriage, divergent religions join together and create a family; both parents put in their doses of what they grew up with and traditions they are accustomed to. This kind of marriage develops a lifestyle where it is allowed, and even encouraged, to speak one’s mind and explore other beliefs. It creates a warm, flexible environment where change and discussion is welcomed. Interfaith marriage can lead to a greater understanding among religions and an enriched family life.
By bringing both cultures into the family, a couple that consists of two different faiths can better educate children and each other on the different aspects of each religion. When one of the spouses in an interfaith marriage is not as religious, the marriage is more likely to survive than when both are extremely observant (www.religioustolerance.com). This allows room for the children to explore their own beliefs, without the parents disagreeing over what they each believe to be the truth. From their own upbringings, both parents can teach the children about their beliefs based on what they grew up with (www.religioustolerance.com). This gives the children a more expansive understanding about two different religions, therefore augmenting their knowledge about the world around them. Children in a single-faith marriage grow up in a household that teaches one specific belief, rather than exploring different customs (www. dlerner01.typepad.com). In an interfaith marriage, children become aware of different cultures early on and are more likely to tolerate other religions.
A family that is formed by two different faiths creates a fulfilling atmosphere and a strong base to build family values. Because most religions do not celebrate the same holidays, there is not any conflict around whose side of the family to visit. For example, in a Christian/Jewish marriage, the Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations are observed on separate days (www.dlerner01.typepad.com). As a result, the amount of arguing is decreased, creating a more pleasant and stable place for everyone. When two spouses from different faiths decide to bring their children up a certain way, they make a commitment to each other and to their sons and daughters. The determination and will to change in order to compromise has the power to unite a family and bring them closer. Additionally, early on, the couple must decide which traditions to continue and how to deal with the aspects of church and holidays (www.interfaithfamily.com). This strengthens the couple, teaching them how to adjust to family life, and how to meet halfway in a tough situation.
Because of the contrasting faiths, some say that interfaith marriages are more likely to lead to divorce and conflict within the family. However, due to the mixture of traditions and cultures, everyone in the family becomes more knowledgeable about other religions in the world. Furthermore, the couple becomes better acquainted with each other’s past, allowing each to know more about the other’s background. A family that consists of a single-faith marriage solely depends on their own religion. Consequently, the children are more likely to become defined by their religion, rather than branching out and accepting the beliefs of others.
Within an interfaith marriage, freedom of speech and belief is encouraged. But more than encouraged, the ability to speak one’s mind is essential for the marriage and family to remain healthy. The whole idea of an interfaith marriage is two people, who have fallen in love, working together to form a family that consists of both backgrounds. If the family is not loose and welcoming to other religions, the point of compromise is futile. Interfaith marriage delivers a message that challenges popular beliefs that religion is the most important thing. Sometimes love steps in and distracts the couple. Sometimes love demands a compromise. A compromise that introduces a world filled with exciting unknowns. A compromise called interfaith marriage.





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Formerly Confuzzled said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm

When I read your response a while ago, I was at a loss for words. I didn't respond because I realized that reasoning with you would be like reasoning with a wall. However I recently realized that my silence may have implied that I somewhat agreed with what you wrote- which is totally not the case. I am therefore going to try to attempt gathering my thoughts and presenting them in the politest, most politically correct way that I can.

You write about your religious background and educat... (more »)

 
thewriteidea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm
I have said everything I needed to say about the matter. Thanks for your opinion.
 
Confuzzelled said...
Jan. 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm
Although you have made a lot of interesting thought-provoking points, I disagree entirely. You are writing on the premise that religion is a cultural thing, not a basis of belief. If it were merely a matter of culture, interfaith marriages would be a wonderful thing. But if you believe that religion is way of life and comes with an entire belief system, marrying someone from a different faith shows you are someone who compromises on your beliefs; something that is certainly not commendable.
 
thewriteidea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Thanks, I always love hearing from the other perspective. However, as I stated in the article, the people whom I was mainly talking about were couples who weren't as religious, who could therefore be more willing than others to accept an interfaith marriage.

I am brought up in an interfaith marriage where neither of my parents are very religious, but religious enough for me to understand both sides of the religion and then consequently choose where I'd like to be.

That's just my... (more »)

 
Still Confuzzelled replied...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm
Sorry, I guess I am so passionate about this subject (both of my parents are very religious and belong to the same religion, in case you couldn't tell:-)) and was so eager to respond, I didn't read your article throughly. I still disagree, though. If the parents aren't religious, it should not be called an interfaith marriage. The word "faith" implies a belief. If a person is not religious, there is nothing that he specifically believes in and there is no faith involved. In my opin... (more »)
 
thewriteidea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

No, there is definitely still faith. For example, my father is Jewish and my mother is Christian. As a result, I was brought up in a Jewish household where I go to Sunday school, learn Hebrew, and am bat mitzvah-ed. Additionally, I still celebrate Christmas and Easter in order to spend time with my mom's family. My dad is more religious than my mom, which is why he pushed harder for my sister and I to be raised in a Jewish household.

As a result of my parents being so loose abou... (more »)

 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm
You brought up a considerable number of good points and your argument is unquestionably reasonable. I hold the same stance as you and am delighted to encounter your wisdom about the matter.
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm
I have, as well, found that children brought up in families with parents of different faiths have more insight into their religion. Thank you for writing this complelling and intellectual article.
 
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