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Old 05-10-2018, 03:12 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Joined: May 2018
From: US
Posts: 14
Hi everyone

Hi, I come from a Christian background but I really do believe that Baha'u'llah is the current Manifestation of God. Due to family issues I have not officially declared it. This is because my wife has told me that if I do she would divorce me, meaning if I officially became a Baha'i she would end the marriage. I asked her that question as a hypothetical and she said she would divorce me. Therefore, she doesn't know that I do believe what I have stated above, because if she did, I am afraid that would be the end of our marriage. She is a fundamentalist Christian and is very active in the church. Unfortunately this is not the best of worlds, because I have to keep my new found faith a secret, and that really bothers me inside. However, my marriage is very important to me, and we have three children. I fell in love with the Baha'i Faith reading the Writings of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha. Glad to be part of the forum. Hope to learn more things about the faith by participating in this community.



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Old 05-10-2018, 06:05 PM   #2
Just a member
 
Romane's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by raf1467rh View Post
Hi, ...
Good morning most dear friend.

First, a bright and shining welcome to this forum, and likewise to your acceptance of Baha'u'llah as the Messenger of God for this Day.

I speak only personally - there is no authority in what I say - but I believe you have made the right decision. As you delve deeper into the Baha'i Writings, you will come to appreciate in a greater sense the vital importance of the family. It is the family that forms the basis of society, and if the family collapses, so does society, a fact which we are sadly and painfully seeing and experiencing in the world (at least, the Western world, my experience is not in other social orders) in this day.

Despite being now able to see the truths and untruths in your wife's beliefs, you are still in a position to encourage her, and to, most gently, most carefully, most lovingly, most acceptingly of her own position, by example demonstrate and explain the truths of Christ's message and allow her to see, on her own, the untruths which millennia of blind imitation have imposed upon the followers of that Essence of Love, Jesus Christ.

It is not that you have left Christ behind. It is that you have recognised the fulfillment of the Message of Christ and embraced that fulfillment. This is most clearly not understood by her.

By encouraging your family to good, by abiding by the truths of True Faith, by accepting as-is your wife and her beliefs, by exemplifying as well as possible the spiritual qualities which every Messenger of God strove to inculcate, you can be a strong positive influence in your family - not by word but by deed - toward righteousness and uprightness. And in doing thus, you can quite rightfully consider yourself as an active Baha'i. And if your family becomes and behaves more Christlike, then, as 'Abdu'l-Baha states, a Christian who behaves as Christ would have them, is a Baha'i.

And who can tell the future? Who can tell the results of your deeds? It is, with prayer, with love, with careful attention, but most importantly by your deeds, that may allow one day your wife to open her eyes and come to recognise the Truth of Baha'u'llah - for you cannot open her eyes to wakefulness after a period of sleep, only she can do that.

And what is the more important - the heart and the spirit, or attachments to things of this world?

With my love and my most warm greetings

Romane
 
Old 05-11-2018, 10:32 AM   #3
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Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by raf1467rh View Post
Unfortunately this is not the best of worlds, because I have to keep my new found faith a secret, and that really bothers me inside. However, my marriage is very important to me, and we have three children. I fell in love with the Baha'i Faith reading the Writings of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha. Glad to be part of the forum. Hope to learn more things about the faith by participating in this community.
Sounds like you made the best choice you could with the given circumstances. Putting the interests of your children before your own is a very admirable and noble thing to do, as that's the first and foremost duty to any parent.

Welcome.
 
Old 05-11-2018, 11:17 AM   #4
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becky's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
Posts: 823
Quote:
Originally Posted by raf1467rh View Post
Hi, I come from a Christian background but I really do believe that Baha'u'llah is the current Manifestation of God. Due to family issues I have not officially declared it. This is because my wife has told me that if I do she would divorce me, meaning if I officially became a Baha'i she would end the marriage. I asked her that question as a hypothetical and she said she would divorce me. Therefore, she doesn't know that I do believe what I have stated above, because if she did, I am afraid that would be the end of our marriage. She is a fundamentalist Christian and is very active in the church. Unfortunately this is not the best of worlds, because I have to keep my new found faith a secret, and that really bothers me inside. However, my marriage is very important to me, and we have three children. I fell in love with the Baha'i Faith reading the Writings of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha. Glad to be part of the forum. Hope to learn more things about the faith by participating in this community.



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A very warm Baha'i welcome to you! I too am from a Christian background and becoming a Baha'i has helped me to understand that faith better. My husband is Methodist and has no interest in making any changes. He believes in God, and that was what was important to me when we met. You are in the unique position of truly understanding the Christian religion as envisioned by Christ. This will probably make it easier to understand and love your wife even though she has been unable to recognize the Word of God has come yet again, just as Jesus said. Whether she is or is not able to recognize Baha'u'llah shouldn't preclude your having a loving and fulfilling home life. I am glad you found the forums, wise and loving people can be found here. As well as those of us who are not so wise, just loving.

Loving Baha'i regards,
Becky
 
Old 05-11-2018, 12:16 PM   #5
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,277
Welcome to the Forum, great to have you here.

At this link there is a good PDF that can be downloaded with advice from the writings about 'When your spouse is not a Baha'i'


Baha'i Faith Marriage

Scroll down the page a bit and it can be found.

Look forward to hearing from you and having a chat.

Regards Tony
 
Old 05-26-2018, 07:50 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Joined: May 2018
From: US
Posts: 14
Hi friends,

Thank you all for your great encouragement. I look forward to participating more with you all on this forum, and learning along with everyone more about the Baha'i Faith.

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Old 05-29-2018, 04:08 PM   #7
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Earth's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Earth
Posts: 163
Greetings Raf,

Welcome to the Forum and thank you for sharing your story.

Issues like these are actually more common than you might realise, so try to understand that you are not alone. The people that I know tend to address the matter rather like the way you are doing, but some choose to take a different path. I do not believe that there is a right or wrong answer here because within the Bahá’í Faith we are taught that marriage is a “Fortress of Wellbeing.” So what might be right for one married couple might not be right for another. As strange as it might appear the same issues can transpire within Bahá’í marriages too. This can be when one partner chooses to leave the Bahá’í Faith and either they or their spouse chooses to make similar demands upon the other. Therefore try to see that some Bahá’ís can view matters just like your wife too. By looking at it like this hopefully you can begin to see that your wife is not anymore different to some Bahá’ís. I tend to think this offers a much more healthy basis from which to begin. The human condition is an interesting one and we are all prone to the fallacies, illusions and insecurities that come with life. This is why we all need to nurture a sin veiled eye, especially for those that are close to us.

As you appear to be troubled by this matter, might I suggest that you consider contacting the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly within your country and explain this issue to them. You can request that prayers are said for your family and yourself within the Holy Shrines. You do not need to be formally enrolled as a member of the Bahá’í Faith in order to partake of its spiritual bounties. Just notifying the National Spiritual Assembly of your intent and the obstacles currently in your way will suffice and it will also help to relieve some of your spiritual suffering. Any communication with a Bahá’í Institution will remain confidential if you request it. Therefore you can stipulate how you would wish to contact them or how they might contact you, if you feel either is suitable. They will honour your requests. Some people that I know simply arrange to phone a person designated by the National Spiritual Assembly when they feel they need any support or advice. What I am trying to help you understand here is that trustees of Bahá’í National Spiritual Assemblies are much better informed about the realities that transpire within families than some might care to imagine. They understand all too well that some people cannot make a formal declaration. Indeed you do not need to make a formal declaration to become a Bahá’í because it is a matter of conscience between God and yourself. The only reason a person makes a declaration is to become a member of the Bahá’í Faith. The word Bahá’í, like Christian, is public domain and because of this anyone can choose to become a Bahá’í without formally joining the Bahá’í Faith. Most people in such a situation consider themselves independent Bahá’ís.

The one issue that you might wish to reflect upon is what will happen should you pass away before having the opportunity to discuss your spiritual values with your children. This can be easily remedied through making a suitable will and testament that is sensitive to all members of your family. It should grant them an opportunity to recognise you for who you really are and why you valued your family over making a formal declaration. So if you wish your belief to remain confidential, then do consider taking some advice in this matter. There is very little literature about such situations, but one award winning book of fiction focused on children coming to terms with a secret issue about one of their parents they knew nothing about. This is The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. While it was about a short love affair that allowed their mother to keep her family together, it nevertheless conveyed the challenges faced by the children who knew nothing about a concealed side of their mother and they had to work it out for themselves. So you might like to refresh yourself with the book or the movie and think how your children might react should they learn that you would like a special burial requests too. Like it or not in the full course of time everything becomes revealed. This is why it is worth making arrangements to protect your integrity in the eyes of your children.

Bahá’u’lláh has offered a prayer that fits with your unique circumstances. It is a prayer that is endowed with special powers. It is simple called The Long Healing Prayer. The copy that is linked here is an audio chant from Nancy Ward. Personally I consider this one of the best renditions available within the English language. It lasts for over twenty minutes. So it is best partaken of when you have the enough time for yourself



No power in this world can separate a sincere believer from the Beloved if they choose to be seated at the Table with Him.

Welcome to the Table.

Earth

Last edited by Earth; 05-29-2018 at 04:11 PM.
 
Old 05-30-2018, 06:46 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Joined: May 2018
From: US
Posts: 14
Thanks Earth. Your suggestions are very helpful and encouraging.

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Old 06-03-2018, 12:23 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Pete in Panama's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2012
From: Panama
Posts: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by raf1467rh View Post
...She is a fundamentalist Christian...
--then you and your wife still agree on the important religious beliefs.

There's a great book on talking w/ Christians and what we have in common called "The Resurrection of all Mankind" (link here for free download). For some reason it skipped all the prophesies from Mathew 24 to Daniel 8 & 9, for me they just seemed overpowering.

Do let me know if you'd like more info.
 
Old 06-03-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Pete in Panama's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2012
From: Panama
Posts: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
...At this link there is a good PDF that can be downloaded...
Thanks! [downloaded/reading]
 
Old 06-08-2018, 07:25 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Joined: May 2018
From: US
Posts: 14
Thanks for the link for this book Pete.

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