Interfaith Marriage

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Interfaith Marriage

Postby Wonderful Electric » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:49 am

I am finding that after 6 years of being with my wife, we are now entering a phase of having an interfaith marriage. I hear this situation is becoming more common. I am an atheist, she’s now an evangelical born again Christian, and we have a 4 year old child getting dragged into this too. Anyone else have a situation like this? She says she expects nothing of me, but I know the tension can grow. Does being a good husband mean abandoning my principles and letting my child get indoctrinated?
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Gusto10 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:35 am

I do think that considering the age of your child, I would say he is to young. I would wait till he is 6 or so. Even though I'm an atheist also, I do think that given the perspective of history, old law systems (Egyptian, Israelian/jewish and Roman), early migrations and clarifications of matters not understood otherwise is a part of our culture, so letting your kid sniff Christianity. Furthermore to bring up a child it's the responsibility of both of you. Haven't the two of you discussed this before having a child?
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Jim » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:22 pm

Here is the teaching your wife will hear
1 Peter 3:1-4 wrote:In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands. Then,1 even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live, when they see your pure and reverent conduct. Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes – but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight

Can you live with a submissive wife?

The atheist faith stresses reason. If you teach your child sound reasoning, don't worry.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Wonderful Electric » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:06 pm

Gusto10 wrote:I do think that considering the age of your child, I would say he is to young. I would wait till he is 6 or so. Even though I'm an atheist also, I do think that given the perspective of history, old law systems (Egyptian, Israelian/jewish and Roman), early migrations and clarifications of matters not understood otherwise is a part of our culture, so letting your kid sniff Christianity. Furthermore to bring up a child it's the responsibility of both of you. Haven't the two of you discussed this before having a child?


We did discuss this and agreed the choice will be made by the child. The problem I have is that the choice was made by her (our child) by her asking from the child seat in our car, “what building is that next to our house? I want to go there.”
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby crfriend » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:21 pm

Gusto10 wrote:I would wait till he is 6 or so.

I'd hold off until the individual is eighteen or the local age of majority. At six, the human mind is still in the process of wiring itself so rational thought is possible. This is precisely why indoctrination starts with the youngest; it sticks that way even if there is no rational explanation for it.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby beachlion » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:57 pm

My paternal grandfather was a Lutheran Protestant. He always said that he would not force a belief or religion on his children. When they are old and wise enough, they can decide for themselves was his point of view. As far as I know only one daughter became Catholic because she wanted to marry a Catholic man. I'm a atheïst but I respect everybody who has a religion and lives in the spirit of that religion.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby oldsalt1 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:51 pm

Wonderful Electric wrote:I am finding that after 6 years of being with my wife, we are now entering a phase of having an interfaith marriage. I hear this situation is becoming more common. I am an atheist, she’s now an evangelical born again Christian, and we have a 4 year old child getting dragged into this too. Anyone else have a situation like this? She says she expects nothing of me, but I know the tension can grow. Does being a good husband mean abandoning my principles and letting my child get indoctrinated?



Interfaith marriage. I think you go a little past that that . You could not find two more opposing views. if you tried. The Idea of letting the child make his own decision is a total farce. What is he going to do one day wake up and discover the true meaning of things. . He is going to make his decision based on what he sees around him . and to a great extent that means observing what his parents are doing.

The hardest thing is trying to present the child with an unbiased set of Ideas that he can choose from .

Unfortunately you choice of terms stating that any religious input is the result of you "abandoning your principles and his being indoctrinated"does not present the picture of an even playing field.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Kirbstone » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:49 pm

A big subject, this. To get any point across really well would require very long posts.

The relatively recent film 'The life of Pi' which became popular World-wide, initially depicts the early life of the Protagonist, growing up as a child in India, where his parents kept a zoo.
At age about 12 he visits several local disparate religious establishments, seeking out that one which he could best identify with. He was twelve then and much better equipped to rationalize & choose than a six-year-old.

From our own experience, the religion 'given' one's children when very young isn't necessarily practiced by them at all when they reach adulthood and meet spouses &c. So much for 'indoctrination' !

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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Caultron » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:59 pm

Wonderful Electric wrote:I am finding that after 6 years of being with my wife, we are now entering a phase of having an interfaith marriage. I hear this situation is becoming more common. I am an atheist, she’s now an evangelical born again Christian, and we have a 4 year old child getting dragged into this too. Anyone else have a situation like this? She says she expects nothing of me, but I know the tension can grow. Does being a good husband mean abandoning my principles and letting my child get indoctrinated?

This is a personal decision only you and your wife can make.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Fred in Skirts » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:19 pm

Wonderful Electric wrote:I am finding that after 6 years of being with my wife, we are now entering a phase of having an interfaith marriage. I hear this situation is becoming more common. I am an atheist, she’s now an evangelical born again Christian, and we have a 4 year old child getting dragged into this too. Anyone else have a situation like this? She says she expects nothing of me, but I know the tension can grow. Does being a good husband mean abandoning my principles and letting my child get indoctrinated?

It sounds like the conversion to Christian is a recent change. If it is, then you are worried your child will not be an atheist. Since the child is only 4 do nothing. Do not worry about indoctrination either way, your child will end up doing what ever he or she wants when grown up. If you are worried about abandoning "YOUR" principles and not your wifes I see this marriage in big trouble. You two should be sitting down and talking and not worrying about what your child will become. It seems that you think it should be your beliefs that the child should be indoctrinated in period.
Teach both when the child is older say about 13 or 14. Then it will be up to the child to decide.

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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Wonderful Electric » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:00 pm

Thanks everyone for the great input. My wife has never asked me to abandon my principles but I am worried that there will be growing pressure to do it. The church is an Assembly of God denomination and I was told by a friend who is an ordained minister that they do not take kindly to non-believers. I was raised Catholic many many years ago in my childhood but I do not understand all the differences with the dozens of denominations.

As for our four year old child, I agree that she was not presented enough choices. It’s foolish of me to think that she will turn into some vision of what I believe. I want to remain optimistic. There is a Unitarian interfaith church in my area and that is something I can live with. They probably won’t have the same amount of money and resources that this church has. It may be hard to leave because we live in a garbage school district and they run a very good elementary school.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Wonderful Electric » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:05 pm

When we went to the service, there was an incident that didn’t sit well with me. Am I being too critical?

The minister had a lesson about tithes. He said that Jesus spoke more about money than salvation (I would want to verify that). Then it was about his family and he knows how hard it is living in the sf Bay Area (true). Next he said, and I am paraphrasing, “tithe, please, any amount, and build up to the full 10% even though it looks like we don’t need it.” This church is 50,000 square feet and has audio/video equipment in nearly every room, with keycard doors, live streaming for the service, WiFi throughout, and private security to protect the ministers. In the final word, he said the budget for the year was already settled, so they don’t need more right now. But if we choose, there was a 90 day money back guarantee that if we did tithe, the lord will favor us within that time period. He then told us the story of an anonymous woman from this congregation, “whose name is immaterial, it doesn’t matter,” who said that when she tithed here, she received two checks for money from two different strangers. Is this also the prosperity gospel that I’ve heard of?
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby oldsalt1 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:13 pm

I don't think that your daughter is going to make any life changing decisions in the next few years . Relax take advantage of the best education source that is available to her. Just going with the flow will probably allow her to make her own decisions in time. If you try to impose your ideas especially with the influences that are around you will only build resistance to your way of thinking.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Wonderful Electric » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:53 pm

Kirbstone wrote:A big subject, this. To get any point across really well would require very long posts.

The relatively recent film 'The life of Pi' which became popular World-wide, initially depicts the early life of the Protagonist, growing up as a child in India, where his parents kept a zoo.
At age about 12 he visits several local disparate religious establishments, seeking out that one which he could best identify with. He was twelve then and much better equipped to rationalize & choose than a six-year-old.

From our own experience, the religion 'given' one's children when very young isn't necessarily practiced by them at all when they reach adulthood and meet spouses &c. So much for 'indoctrination' !

Tom

This is the way I want my child to think. I would want her to be aware of all the diversity we have in the world. I read the book and saw the movie, and I was disappointed but not surprised that the movie did not have any of the spiritual exploration aspects.
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Re: Interfaith Marriage

Postby Jim » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:33 am

Wonderful Electric wrote:Was this also the prosperity gospel that I’ve heard of?

Yes. Many Christians think it heretical.

I bet your wife would be happy to read the Bible with you; she might well come to see compassion for the poor, not prosperity for oneself, is the message.
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