Making Inter-Faith Marriages Work

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Inter-Faith Marriages are on a rise nowadays and in a diverse though a (little bit conservative) country like India people are being more open minded in accepting others without paying more attention to their secondary differences . Any kind of marriage need patience , love , harmony and effort to work properly but inter- faith marriages need a tad more awareness. 

The challenge of an interfaith marriage is to create harmony out of differences, mutual respect and love in the midst of ambiguity and paradox. The challenge is to learn to see differences as opportunities and gifts from which each in the couple can learn and which can add richness and diversity to your children’s lives as well. When couples can learn to see holidays or new customs through the eyes of their partners and not only through the lens of their own upbringing they can enrich their own lives and give their children the tools with which to experience different religious traditions in an open and nonjudgmental way. Children who grow up in interfaith families have a right to love and respect and cherish all of their relatives regardless of their individual religious traditions. That is why interfaith parents have a particular responsibility to teach not merely tolerance but nonjudgmental acceptance of the idea that there are many different legitimate paths to experiencing the sacred in our lives. It is important to teach your children that no one religion is the “right” religion with all the others wrong.

Every successful relationship, whether same-faith or inter-faith is a partnership. When parents of inter-faith marriages make decisions together as partners then regardless of which specific decision they might make, their children will receive consistent messages and the emotional stability that such messages invariably create. Only when couples establish what is important to them together will they be able to successfully pass those values down to their children. When parents cannot agree upon how or what to celebrate in their home or even the religious identity of their children they are running the risk of communicating that same ambiguity and spiritual insecurity to their children as well.

I do not think that it is necessary for a couple to decide what will be the “only” religion that their child should follow. One can have the best of both the worlds and be more of a better human than just blindly adhere to either of the faiths . When the child grows up she/he can later decide if they want to give themselves a particular religious identity or whether to want to change it which is absolutely common. Ultimately interfaith couples have both the opportunity and responsibility of creating their own unique religious lifestyle together which requires patience, tolerance, flexibility and an openness to experiencing life in a different way from which they were raised. There is something wonderful about nurturing an attitude of experimentation and openness to new experiences and customs that can allow both parents and children to see themselves as partners on a lifelong journey of spiritual self-discovery. One can let their offspring develop their own sense of religious identity but teach them the best of both worlds . This can be possible only when the parents belonging to different faiths themselves work on their similarities and discuss issues openly and solve them together. Society will always strive to come in our way , but it depends on you what you will choose for your life and deem it to be the best! Good Luck !

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