When my husband and I met, we had very similar religious views and were both Protestant. I didn’t know that my husband had been raised as a Catholic until after we had our son. At that time, my husband confessed to me that he wanted to return to his Catholic roots and that he also wanted our son to be raised Catholic.
I was somewhat shocked because I hadn’t even known about his Catholic upbringing, but we got through the transition. He and my son are now Catholic and I am still Protestant. My children from my first marriage are also still Protestant. Perhaps you are in a similar position with your mate and you are wondering how to find a workable solution to your issues.
Respect is so important! There is no need to “bash” your mate’s religion or make sarcastic digs about his or her beliefs. There is also no need to try to evangalize your mate or win her over to your ideological beliefs. Even if you disagree strongly on a particular religious belief, avoid heated discussions about the issue in front of your children. Actually, it is probably best to avoid heated discussions even amongst each other about religious issues. In other words, agree to disagree.
Present a United Front If Possible
In our case, the united front is semi-united, but it works. We attend two services each week. My husband, my son, and I attend the Catholic church where my husband is a member on a Friday or Saturday for services. Our entire family attends our Protestant church on a Sunday.
Why is our approach semi-united? When you have a blended family, religious issues can be even more complex than they already are normally. For example, my older children have a father who is Protestant with strong doctrinal beliefs. Because both their biological father and I share similar religious beliefs, and because of the legal issues that would be raised should a change in their beliefs take place, we haven’t asked them to attend the Catholic church services with us. This compromise is far from perfect, but it works for the time being.
Accept Your Children’s Wishes
My husband and I both acknowledge that one day, our son will choose for himself which religion he wants to follow. We both have agreed to accept his wishes when he makes that decision. We’ve also both admitted that it may be very hard to accept his decision–especially if he feels that he’s not inclined to follow the teachings of either of our religions!
Do you have a dual religion household? What tips do you have that may help other families in your situation?