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    Religion and Marriage

    By Kristen Houghton     

    Having the same religious and spiritual beliefs are part of criteria many people use when seeking a marriage partner. They feel strongly that the person they are going to marry should have the same traditions and customs, and intensity of belief as they themselves do. For them, it is an integral part of marriage.

    “I actively sought someone who was Jewish because I knew I wanted children and I wanted them raised in a traditional kosher home,” said Dan as he held hands with his wife Michele. “My faith has always been an important part of my life, from childhood to being an adult. It has given me a strong sense of who I am. I wanted a woman who felt the same sense of self, as I did, in her religion.”

    Then there are others who marry someone who is “outside” their religion. Many times they must overcome family opposition to be with the one they love. Sometimes, a future spouse will convert to the other’s religion.

    David became a convert to the Russian Orthodox Church before marrying his wife, Alexa. He had been a Methodist. Alexa did not ask him to convert.

    “I fell in love with the beauty and passion of her religion. She was as surprised as anyone when I told her of my decision. My parents weren’t happy about it, especially my Dad, who is deeply involved his church. But they’ve come to see how happy I am in my beliefs and they respect that.”

    Then there are marriages where both spouses keep their own separate religions, sharing holidays and the traditions that go with them. They respect their spouses’ religious and spiritual beliefs and learn to appreciate the differences and the beauty in both religions.

    “I love lighting the candles at Christmas time. They are reminiscent of the Sabbath candles I light on Friday nights,” said Miriam, a Jewish woman married to Colin, a Roman Catholic man. Our son and daughter are learning about the differences and also the similarities of our beliefs.”

    Certainly couples seeking to get married should discuss what part religion will play in their lives and how important spiritual beliefs are to each one.

    Couples who had married others of the same religion said that they would not have chanced falling in love with someone not of their faith. They had dated only those with the same beliefs. Sometimes opposites attract and sometimes the comfort of familiarity is more attractive.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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