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Thread: Two faiths combining with children

  1. #1
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    Default Two faiths combining with children

    Are any of you in a relationship with someone of a different faith? Jason and I are both Christian, however I am Protestant and he is Catholic. We agreed to raise the baby both and then have him/her decide when they get older as to which faith fits them best. I agreed to have the baby baptized because that's important to him and his family, in my faith we do baptism after you are saved. I agreed to alternating Sundays but stated that I wouldn't remind him or wake him to go to church on his Sundays. I said it's his responsibility. It's also his responsibility to set up the baptism, CCD classes, and whatever else needs to be done for his religion. One of the things that bothers me is that he doesn't believe in salvation. He believes attending church, giving money, and be a good person gets you to heaven. I believe that while those are great things, they aren't getting you anywhere without salvation. He has made comments that my church is a cult b/c at every service they ask people if they are saved and try to encourage those that are not. I attend a non-denominational Bible church. He thinks its odd that we read straight from the Bible and that even having a Bible is ridiculous b/c that's the priests job to teach you and the Catholic church has special books to read from. I am willing to allow a lot of his faith into the baby's life but I'm worried he's going to crush my religion.



  2. #2
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    Honestly, I really don't know what to suggest. I would think that a child would be very confused with two faiths at home even if they are somewhat related. Salvation is the only way to heaven so I would not want a child to believe anything else. I'll be praying for you and I'm sure that you are praying for your DH's salvation, too. If you are the only one that gets up for church now (and have to wake him) I'd just keep it that way, not wake him up and take the baby to your church. I'd be fine with infant baptism to please him but would make sure that my child knows that s/he isn't going to heaven because s/he was baptized.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  3. #3

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    I definitely think teaching your child two religions will be very confusing. You need to sit down and think about it and discuss it with your husband. You should pick one.
    Becky

  4. #4

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    I don't think teaching two faiths will be confusing; however, I am much less religious than most here. I can see that if your faith is very deep that teaching two faiths might be too difficult.

    I would suggest asking this question somewhere else in which you'll find other families doing something similar. Families do it all the time and handle it well. It would be nice to have some support and advice.

  5. #5
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    Because of the exclusive nature of Christianity (inclusive in that all are invited and welcomed to accept Jesus, exclusive in that He is the only way, no other paths work), it makes it impossible to mesh any other beliefs with it. Families who make it work without clashing either are not Christian (and believe in subjective truth in whatever their faith/worldview is) or have a very loose/liberal idea of what Christianity means. But, as you know, Biblical truths are black and white. We believe in objective truth, which make it very difficult, as you are finding.

    I don't know. You are in a very hard position. He is your husband, and as such, leader of the home. But also remember you are subject to God first, husband second. You are responsible to God to teach the truth to your children.
    As far as your husband, I guess my advice is to pray for him. In 1 Cor. 7, Paul says to stay with an unbelieving spouse (I don't know if you would consider your husband saved/Christian or not, but the verse definitely have to do with spouses of different beliefs). It says "For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?" And in 1 Peter 3:1 it says that husbands can come to faith by watching the behavior (not the words) of their wives.

    You are in the most influential person in your husband's life. The way you act, the way you pray for, the way you love your husband is the most powerful tool God has to show him truth. So I would just encourage you to stay strong in your faith. Don't fight with him about his, don't make it a point to criticize or cause strife about his beliefs. But do stay in the Word yourself, keep on praying, keep going to church, keep teaching your children the truth, and continue to love and serve your husband. You never know...
    My husband was the one that lead me in prayer when I gave my life to Christ. It was just the two of us in the living room. Now THAT is true romance. True love. Maybe someday you will be privileged to do that with your husband!
    Last edited by KC's wifey; 04-04-2013 at 05:29 PM.

  6. #6
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    Thank you girls. When we first got together we brought up the subject of children and he stated that he was "mad at God" because his brother died at age 19 and they were very close, and that he didn't care what faith our kids would be as long as they believed in God. That was three years ago and he hasn't been to church since, except for St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC where he lit a candle while we were sight seeing. Now that I am pregnant, his mother spoke to him about baptizing the baby in a church and he decided that he needs to find a new local one (we live about 45 minutes away from his childhood church and he doesn't want to drive up there). He hasn't even begun looking for one yet. Personally, I would prefer not having the baby go to CCD classes and would rather he/she attend Sunday school every week and Wednesday night Master's Club for kids so learn about Jesus. That's one of our on-going discussions is that he holds Mary so much higher than Jesus and my church doesn't really mention anything about her other than around Christmas time. I will keep going to church and hopefully he will at least attend some events that the kids will be in and maybe the message will reach him.



  7. #7
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    Catholics are Christians.
    It can be done and it's really not all that confusing. My MIL grew up in a family like that. Her family is Lutheran and VERY strong in his faith. At 92, he still attends church a couple of times a week. Her mom was Catholic and strong in her faith. Kids attended both church with mom and dad and eventually decided for themselves.

    Oh maybe you can find a faith that you both go with. That is what my own grandparents did. One was Catholic and one was Baptist and both refused to go to the others. They agreed to attending a Lutheran church as a family.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    Catholics are Christians.
    It can be done and it's really not all that confusing. My MIL grew up in a family like that. Her family is Lutheran and VERY strong in his faith. At 92, he still attends church a couple of times a week. Her mom was Catholic and strong in her faith. Kids attended both church with mom and dad and eventually decided for themselves.

    Oh maybe you can find a faith that you both go with. That is what my own grandparents did. One was Catholic and one was Baptist and both refused to go to the others. They agreed to attending a Lutheran church as a family.
    Thanks I thought about a mixture of faiths but he is very strong in what he believes and when it comes down to it, so am I. Our relationship is great. We just rarely discuss religion or politics (he's a Democrat and I'm a Republican). We did have fun canceling each other out this past election though. lol



  9. #9

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    I agree w/Polly and Jessica. I also would suggest after much prayer to ask if you can sit down with him and share some things out of the bible with him. I would then use a catholic bible (they are available online at biblegateway.com) and look at key scriptures dealing with salvation. They are in the catholic bible as well, which is why I would use it as a starting point because he would probably be more willing to accept it as truth. I will be praying for you. Please KUP.


  10. #10
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    Thank you.



  11. #11

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    I am somewhat in the same position. I am a Christian and my husband doesn't really catorgorize himself as anything. He believes in God and Jesus but he doesn't attend church. I go to church and believe that my children should go. I got my daughter baptized even though he wanted her to be able to chose later in life if she wanted that done or not. She will attend church with me but he believe that when she is older that she should have a say in whether she goes or not and that I shouldn't force her to take my religion and beliefs. So until we get further down the road, we won't really see how any of this plays out.
    It's hard because I want him to go with me and be there as a family but I can't force him to go.
    *Sara-27**Lee-27* 11/21/09 DX with PCOS 05/10



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMPsMom040711 View Post
    I got my daughter baptized even though he wanted her to be able to chose later in life if she wanted that done or not. She will attend church with me but he believe that when she is older that she should have a say in whether she goes or not and that I shouldn't force her to take my religion and beliefs. So until we get further down the road, we won't really see how any of this plays out.
    A former boss of mine grew up in an environment where she was forced to attend, and at the first opportunity she could (graduated early from HS), she went as far away from her parents as she could get. She has a really strained relationship with her parents, her mom in particular (who has more strongly held religious beliefs and is vocal about it, and is therefore the one she blames). You may have to tread lightly, when the time comes.

  13. #13

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    can i ask if you are married or dating? What do your families think of the relationship?(sometimes the extended family can put more pressure for one religion over the other more then the couple) Your two faiths are distinctly different at the core of the belief. So there will be no easy way to go about it. Alternating sundays may seem like a short term solution but would never work well as the child grows and becomes involved in church activities (ie be asked to make it's first communion or attend AWANA's weekly.) You will eventually have to chose one or the other. The best way is for you two to be on the same page spiritually. A lot of decisions you will make with the upbringing of the child will center around your beliefs of scripture and it's influence in the childs life. If you want to chat privately just message me. Both my husband and i are former Catholics. Now bible believing Christians. He became a believe after we met but before we married. I would be happy to share my experiences. (I also have a friend that was Catholic and he was Baptist and they tried integrating their faith for a while. She no longer attends the catholic church and they have found a Christian church they attend together and I can share some of their struggles)

    Brenda

  14. #14

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    I am Catholic and DH is not religious at all. We had our children baptized in the Catholic church. There are many things about Catholicism--and religion generally--that DH and I disagree on (and politics too, LOL!). I guess it really comes down to how much that all matters to you and that is only something you know and can decide. Do I wish DH were Catholic and wanted to go to church etc with me? Yes, because that is how I grew up. But honestly he is a great husband and father and my favorite person to be around so it is fine with me because I wouldn't want to be with anyone else. I am going to let me kids decide what they want to do in terms of religion as they get older and DH and I discussed not trashing each other's beliefs and letting the kids make up their own minds. I knew many families growing up of combined faiths and I think that as long as the spouses set out some guidelines and continue to communicate openly throughout the relationship it can absolutely work out.
    Formerly villagespin


  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone. It's definitely going to be a work in progress but I have faith that we will be able to work. Pants, we aren't married yet. We have been together for a while and live together but haven't officially tied the knot.



  16. #16

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    I was raised Catholic and became protestant as an adult (now attending a non-denominational Bible church like yourself). There can be some sensitivity between Catholic and Protestants which I didn't fully understand for a long time. There are some fundamental differences that should really be addressed because teaching both could be pretty confusing; at some point something may come up where you are teaching things that to the child are in direct conflict with each other. The situation may come up with child wanting to know what, or who, is right/wrong and it will be difficult with some topics. You mentioned a few big ones in your OP.
    The CCD classes are probably going to be a great opportunity for you both to figure out what you will bring to the table. Like Mom22 says, you need to have very open communication about what you are teaching. And pray.

    To be honest though, I would be very, very serious in considering marriage to someone who thought my church was a cult. Those are very strong words. What a difficult situation!

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