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If you and your spouse are of different religions, how do you...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
know which one to raise your children under?

We have friends that are both different religions and their children attend both churches and it works really well for them, but in some households this can cause rifts.

How do you decide what to teach your children?

Is it reasonable to expose them to both and let them make their own decisions about their spirituality.
post #2 of 10
We ended up going to my church since for one I was the one who went regulalry and also we live in the hometown I grew up in and the church we go to is the one I grew up in. I think if we were in dh hometown we would be raising in his church.

Dh knows that I still feel pressured from his family that we got married in his faith of churches (well in my area)
he is catholic and I am presbyterian so its not a hug jump. the girls were baptised in my church and dh has also joined my church as well
post #3 of 10
I think this is something that couples should work out before they marry. Very often, people of different faiths marry & think it will be fine, but when the kids come, they both suddenly get very protective of their own faiths. I think they need to decide which one they will raise the kids under, if they are raising a kid with a religion, or they can expose them to both. Of course, if the faiths are very similar, like Catholic and Lutheran, it's not much of a difference, but if you have a Christian & a Jew, then there can be more of a clash. My first husband was Catholic, but he knew that I would not raise children in the church. My DH now is nothing, and we didn't have kids, so that worked out great for us!
post #4 of 10
Honestly, I would have never started dating dh if we didn't share the same religious beliefs.
post #5 of 10
I agree with Calimari. It is definitely something to think of before you marry. In our case, we try to teach the boys freedom of choice when it comes to religion. I don't necessarily follow one denomination, myself.
post #6 of 10
Well, neither one of us is Christian, and neither attends any sort of "service". I guess I'd call myself Buddhist in most of my way of thinking, and DH is more along the Native American slant.

We plan on raising DD with the general ideas most religions send - respect, honesty, caring, humility, and love. When she becomes older, I have a fair bit of knowledge of most religions, and hope to answer whatever questions she has. If she decides on a religion, then I will support her in her decision, no matter what it is. I'm totally fine with her choosing Buddhism, Wicca, Christianity, Atheism, Paganism, etc etc etc.

DH and I have already talked that if she wants to be Christian, she will go to church with my mom.

This was talked about before we even started thinking about kids, before we were married.
post #7 of 10

I thought I would bump this to see if anyone has anything to add.  I am actually struggling with my Mom because she is a devote Catholic and disowned my brother when he switched religions.  Now J is getting married and not having a Catholic priest present at the ceremony to bless the marriage.  I am fine with this--her life, her choices, and I'm not where my mother is in her Catholic beliefs (very extreme).  


In my own marriage, Dh and I were both raised Catholic, but he doesn't attend services. If he had been a different faith, I'm sure we would have discussed it and he would have been fine raising the girls in whatever I thought was best since.


So what helped make your marriage work if the two of you came from different religions?  Was one of you have a stronger faith and that is what you went with?  

post #8 of 10

I think these types of discussions are wicked interesting, it's kind of like peeking through a window to me because I've never really dealt with any of it. (read: I'm totally not helpful)


I'm an athiest, hubby isn't practicing and doesn't consider himself as belonging to a religion but was brought up Catholic and does believe in God, Heaven, Hell, and those larger Catholic cornerstones. He hasn't attended any type of service, refuses to step foot in a church, is angry at God, etc since his father died from a cancerous brain tumor when he was a child (from what I've gathered from my MIL he was extremely sick, extremely quickly, and it was pretty traumatic on dh). One of his first memories is of his Dad in a coffin in a church, so it's a pretty deep rooted pain for him. So, unlike me he does believe in God, just refuses to have anything to do with it. When it comes to the kiddos, they can make up their own mind regarding what they want to believe or identify with. I've brought DS to church services when he expressed interest in going. Hubby and I are both perfectly open to other people's beliefs, other faiths, and I've never knocked a religion. I try to explain reasons behind certain holidays as best I can, try to explain other religions as best I can, and just let them believe what they want to believe or decide on what makes sense for them. The fundamentals of morality, right and wrong, span beyond religion I think.

Edited by Karen1985 - 5/24/12 at 9:35am
post #9 of 10

I'm Pagan/UU, M'ija's dad is Buddhist, the man I was with when she was elem/middle scool ages was Christian.

I exposed her to as many spiritual paths as possible, and encouraged her to choose or create a belief system that worked for her. She went to the temple with her dad, helped him dress his altar, went to the UU church and Pagan gatherings with me. The UU church also did an RE program that included taking the kids to different religious services and venues - they visited a mosque, a synagogue, a Buddhist temple, a Ba'Hai Center, a Catholic mass, and a Methodist church, among others.

M'ija decided that it was more important to just be a good person than to believe in any kind of god, and is an ethical, compassionat atheist, which is fine with both me and her dad. .

post #10 of 10

DH and I really lucked out. When we met, I was 23 - he was 26. I was ex-Catholic/agnostic. He was born into Baptist faith, baptised Lutheran as a toddler, but his mom died when he was 6 and had no religious upbringing after that. He believed in God but no set religion.


We ended up not having kids, so that was never an issue, but we really didn't talk much about politics or religion before we married. We had an awful lot in common and it just seemed that this fell into place for us as well. Over the years I've revisited faith exploration several times & have become a stronger atheist. He moved to deist and now I think he would be comfortable saying he is atheist as well. He has certainly grown less tolerant of religion, as have I, mainly due to religion pushing its way into politics, etc. 


If we had kids, we would not bring them up with any particular faith, but we would try to educate them to what others believe so they have a general understanding.

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