Religious Differences in the Home

Faith should bring people together, not cause separation, yet when people of different religious backgrounds and persuasions get married, sometimes it causes a rift in a marriage. Is there any way to reconcile the differences in religion, or at least find a measure of peace and unity in the home?

Christians are advised in the Bible to not be “unequally yoked” one to another. Many believe that means not marry someone who is not of the same religion or denomination. However, if that counsel wasn’t heeded or understood when you chose your mate, fear not. It doesn’t mean you can’t find a fair compromise and sense of unity among the differences you and your spouse share.

The number one way to get along in your marriage, when religious differences are present, is to first learn to tolerate the differences with respect. You may not believe the exact same way, but if you love a person, you’ll tolerate them and what they choose to believe. To tolerate is different than full acceptance. You may not accept what they believe, but because you love them, you choose to accept them.

Be open to learning about what they believe and why. Once again, though you may not fully understand their faith or belief system, at least attempt to find an interest in what they believe. Provide them the same openness and share your beliefs and faith with them. If both of you are Christians, but come from different denominations, at least you have the basic foundation of Christ as your point of belief. If you’re a Christian and your mate is a Jew, Muslim, or some other non-Christian faith, the challenges may be greater. Try to learn about their traditions, their yearly feast days, and any other customs that are different from your own.

If you plan to have children, hopefully you’ve already discussed in which religion the child will be taught. If you haven’t yet discussed it, better get started. It might be tough reaching a satisfying compromise, but with both people keeping the child’s best interests in mind, it shouldn’t be impossible.