The topic of religion is a very sensitive one, be it among scholars, friends or family but it becomes even more sensitive when it comes to love – the question is, how important is your partner’s religious background to you?
I’ll start with myself – I’m a very active and practice Catholic and my religion isn’t just a belief system, it is my lifestyle. I was raised by a Catholic mother and a father who didn’t believe in Jesus Christ but for the sake of his family, on Christmas day he’d join in the festivities. Despite their different religions backgrounds, my parents had a wonderful marriage. I guess that’s what influenced me to have dated a Baha’i faith follower.
We almost got married and we had even talked about starting a family. I made it very clear to him that first of all, no matter how much he might try to persuade me or how much he might pray for me, I will never convert to the Baha’i faith and secondly our kids will only be allowed free religion will after they turn 18. It was either this or nothing at all – that’s how important my religion is to me. This didn’t mean that I thought of my religious beliefs as being superior to his but I feared that if I were to leave the Catholic Church, I would lose myself – I would then turn into a wife and mother I didn’t want to be.
You’d ask – why date someone of such different religious beliefs to Catholicism if being Catholic is so important to me – it’s simple, he was raised Catholic and that’s what made me comfortable about him. “What is your religious background?” is not a question I’d ask my prospective partner instead he’ll voluntarily and immediately disclose it himself especially seeing as to how involved I am with my Church.
For me, my partner’s religious background matters a great deal, not because I’m being judgemental or prejudice but because the way a person lives his life in accordance with God or a Higher Power’s teachings is very important. If it happens that I marry out of the Catholic faith, I prefer to date/marry someone of a relative religion to Catholicism or someone who is spiritual, those who believe in the healing powers of nature and those who believe in the sacred mystery of life.
Tolerance, emotional maturity and open mindedness is what is needed in a relationship of two partners with different religious backgrounds. It will also depend on how much an individual values their religion, if you’re a “churchgoer” then you’ll most probably go into any building labelled “church” but if you’re a believer you’ll stick to what you believe in and avoid anyone who might lead you astray.
A relationship is like a dish, religion in this dish is the spice – some spices compliment each other and others can cause sickness when put together. So be careful as to how much spice you put in and what kind is it.