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How to Raise a Child With Multi- Religious Parents

Updated on May 9, 2011

In today's society, it isn't as stress to marry of your own religion, at least as it once was. Although, many Catholic parents want their children to marry Catholic, and Jewish parents want their children to marry Jewish.

It's just not always the case. You can't help who you fall in love with, whether it's someone of the same practiced religion or another.

But, what do you do when you decide to have kids? How do you raise them? Jewish? Catholic? Christian? Hindu? Or whatever religion you may practice?

You may keep your religious beliefs and your partner may keep his, but do you want your children to practice your beliefs or your spouses?

Religious Practices

Because different religions practice different diets, traditions, and hold different beliefs towards God, it can be hard to decide how your family will run and how you will raise children.

Do you convert to Judaism? Do you make your spouse convert to Catholicism? Or do you just choose another religion to practice?

The holidays are different. The practices are different.

The basic beliefs of Judaism are that there is one and only single, omniscient transcendent God who created the universe and governs it. According to Jewish beliefs, God established a covenant with the Israelites and revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. Traditionally, the study and practice of Judaism includes the observance and study of God's laws, the Torah.

The basic beliefs of Christianity are that there is on God who created the universe. He is the father of Jesus Christ. The religious believes are centered around the teachings of Jesus as he was presented in the New Testament.

Raising a Family

There are pretty much only two options when you and your spouse practice different religions.

  1. One of you choose to convert to the other religion.
  2. You make compromises and find ways to practice the more important elements of both religions.

No matter what religions you and you partner are there is always room to convert or to make compromises. So, it's up to you and your spouse to decide how to raise your family.

In many cases, if you or your spouse is going to convert, the conversion is done prior to marriage, which means that you and your spouse will both practice the same religion, and so you will raise your children in the religion.

When you convert to a different religion, you will need to contact people in that community and the rabbi, priest, father or the highest position in the church to find out the "rules" and steps of how to convert over.

Otherwise, couples make compromises. I find more couples make compromises in regards to practicing religion versus convert.

Making Compromises

When making compromises towards raising your children in a practiced religion, you may consider some of the following compromises.

  • Practice both Hanukah and Christmas.
  • Practice Easter, as it is an important Christian holiday.
  • Consider making trips to the Synagogue, Confessions, and equivalent of church for the religion.
  • For religions that offer Saturday church sessions, you may consider going Saturday church, but then Sunday church, as well.

As for diets, the Jewish diet is a little more constrained, so when raising children, you may consider a limited Jewish diet until they are older and can choose what they want to eat.

As, I am not fluent, by any means, in the practices of the different religions, you and your spouse will need to get together and make your own compromises.

Try to include the major holidays in both religions.

If you have any other suggestions, please add them below.

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    • Software - Photos profile image

      Software - Photos 

      8 years ago from Canada

      "You can't help who you fall in love with" is itself a religious idea, and immediately makes you incompatible with the worldviews of many would-be spouses. It is the western no-name religion that calls itself "secular" which asserts that "love" is a hole you trip into. No wonder so many are tripping right back out. If you cannot help falling in love, then you also cannot help falling out of love.

      But love is rather a choice to commit, in contrast to a sexual urge that you "cannot help."

      Interestingly, you do offer that somebody can "choose to convert" to another religion... that's a wild thought -- can I devote myself to fundamental beliefs about who I am and why I am here and about the Holy God and what He expects, and then 'choose' to convert to something that I know my former God would utterly despise if I indeed had any conviction prior to "tripping into love" with some random person of different fundamental beliefs? Yes, this is possible if I am a fart blowing around in the wind without any Rock for my feet to stand upon, without convictions or knowledge of things that matter, or regard unto them, and so it is that your article is great advice for this kind if it were somehow beneficial to remain in this unhealthy condition.

      If you were wise, would you not rather teach the things that matter most instead of how to reconcile potential rock-solid truth with some other hostile disposition? You have started with a lunatic assumption: that the answers to the big questions do not really matter. Hence, for you, it matters more how, for example, angels might co-exist in the playground of life with demons.

      You speak about "practices" and "diets." That's handy, but what we believe pervades every aspect of our life -- it is our life. We might mince our practices and diets together, and ignore the more fundamental differences, but this is no union at all; this is no marriage -- no coming together as one in love.

      You have implied that it's not a big problem to start a family with somebody who stands for an entirely different worldview, and that the cure is simply to avoid having a full relationship with them.

      The first is bad advice for anybody (along with the suggestion that "you can't help it" anyway), and the latter is even worse. In summary, you are saying: "don't worry about choosing to marry somebody who you only suspect you might love and who comes from a different planet, and when you do, simply avoid fully engaging the relationship, thus fulfilling the cycle of a perverted and vain marriage that will likely end in divorce soon anyway."

      You really aren't helping anybody. If you are so convicted to be a teacher of men and women, then discern whether your teachings are leading people unto benefits, or unto deeper wickedness, foolishness, vanity, and ultimately the judgment of God. Why do you think that your existence is a joke and you can spew without concern or regard for what you are saying? Do you not know that we all must give an account for every idle word we speak?

    • brightforyou profile image

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Very good advice ~ thanks for sharing!

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 

      10 years ago from United States

      Whitney,

      This is great advice. While I have not been faced with this delimma, I do know of those who have and it is possible to teach both religeons to your children as they get older and let them decide as they can what practices they prefer. Excellent hub!

      Bonnie

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