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Marriage and Family Bahá'í teachings on marriage call it a fortress for well-being and salvation and place marriage and the family as the foundation of the structure of human society.


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Old 10-29-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy Interfaith Families

Hi everybody,
I am new here. I've been a registered Baha'i for two years but have only been to one devotional, and so I haven't met many other Baha'is in person.
My question is in regards to familial harmony. I am married with a two year old daughter. My wife is Jewish and we had agreed before we got married that we would raise our children Jewish, because according to Jewish law they are. My question is if anybody else is in this same boat, or one like it, and how do you navigate? How do you relate to your children that you are different religions? How do you celebrate holidays? What holidays? My mother is Catholic and my father is Muslim, but we were raised Catholic and my father never really had anything to do with religion, he left that to my mom. How do I handle my wife not exactly excited about me being a Baha'i?
Is anyone out there familiar with stuff like this?
Any advice or even just your thoughts and stuff so I know that there are others out there would be awesome!
 
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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From: California
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Issues of raising children in the Faith..

msabani,

Thanks for your post and I apologize for not responding earlier..

I am responding to you only as a individual Baha'i.

Inter-faith marriages are quite common among Baha'is. I know of Muslim-Baha'i and Sikh-Baha'i as well s of course Christian-Baha'i couples..

As to marriage this is how it's supposed to work..

We Baha'is can marry a person of any faith ... however to marry there must be a recognition of Baha'i law..that being, that the parents of each spouse are supposed to consent to the marriage.

A Spiritual Assembly is supposed to consult with the couple and see that Baha'i law is observed.

A Baha'i service is supposed to occur on the same day but at a different location from the service of the other religion..

A Baha'i is not supposed to agree to allow the mutual children of the marriage to be raised in the other religion... We are supposed to agree that the children can be exposed to a variety of spiritual approaches.

At the age of fifteen the children can choose if they wish to declare their faith in Baha'u'llah...

So from your post I gather that either you were uninformed when you married that you were not supposed to agree to raising your children in the Jewish religion or maybe you became a Baha'i after you married. but in any event the basic rule for Baha'is is what I described above.

You are free of course to discuss these issues in more detail with a Spiritual Assembly nearest where you live..

As to holidays Baha'i children can particpate in the observances of the other religion as long as it's clear they are still Baha'is.. So my children had Christmas because my wifes family was Christian but they also had Ayyam-i-Ha and her parents came over to our place for that so that's how it worked in my family.

Last edited by arthra; 11-02-2009 at 06:40 PM.
 
Old 11-23-2009, 06:31 AM   #3
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Joined: Nov 2009
From: Moldova
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by msabani View Post
My question is if anybody else is in this same boat, or one like it, and how do you navigate? How do you relate to your children that you are different religions? How do you celebrate holidays? What holidays?
How do I handle my wife not exactly excited about me being a Baha'i?
Is anyone out there familiar with stuff like this?
I hope smb with similar experience will write soon, till then may I share just few ideas

1) In any situation we can pray. this really helps a lot.
2) read about Baha'i consultation and about Baha'i family consultation. Step by step try to consult with your wife and kindly teach her to consult about every little thing. This is the key to any problem solving.
3) do you know Jewish culture and religion a little bit? Show sincere interest and respect.

/*I could write volumes on each point, just let me know */


God bless you and your family
 
Old 03-11-2014, 09:19 AM   #4
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Joined: Nov 2013
From: Toronto
Posts: 27
I recommend to read guidance on family and deepen your knowledge on family rather than focusing on inter-faith topics, even though your case is quite relevant to interfaith cases.

Light of guidance:
Lights of Guidance

Focus more on how to build unity and justice in the family, agreeing to the difference. Your behavior would be the best teaching of Baha'i Faith. Regarding children, you need to educate them as possible and they will make their own decision at 15 years old.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 08:46 AM   #5
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Joined: Oct 2011
From: Quilimari,Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msabani View Post
Hi everybody,
I am new here. I've been a registered Baha'i for two years but have only been to one devotional, and so I haven't met many other Baha'is in person.
My question is in regards to familial harmony. I am married with a two year old daughter. My wife is Jewish and we had agreed before we got married that we would raise our children Jewish, because according to Jewish law they are. My question is if anybody else is in this same boat, or one like it, and how do you navigate? How do you relate to your children that you are different religions? How do you celebrate holidays? What holidays? My mother is Catholic and my father is Muslim, but we were raised Catholic and my father never really had anything to do with religion, he left that to my mom. How do I handle my wife not exactly excited about me being a Baha'i?
Is anyone out there familiar with stuff like this?
Any advice or even just your thoughts and stuff so I know that there are others out there would be awesome!
Dear friend
I assume that you were married before you became a Baha'i. Is this correct, if so, many of the Baha'i laws of marriage I believe would not apply to you. As regards parents concent etc.
Your marriage being accepted as is, by Baha'i institutions.

My best advise is consult with your local assembly on these matters hopefully they will be mature enough to answer lovingly and correctly.

Remember always as a Baha'i love and unity is the main law regarding your marriage, so of course identify as Baha'i, but participate, with you wife in her celebrations etc.
BEST WISHES TO YOU.

Last edited by BlinkeyBill; 03-12-2014 at 08:49 AM. Reason: add text
 
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