Religion can be a touchy issue, especially when it comes to love. Interfaith marriages are also on the rise, with a third of marriages over the last 10 years being between people of different religions. When two people of different religions start dating, there can be many issues. However, with respect and patience, there can be a way to bridge the divide.
Nekeisha Michelle Kee, who is also a matchmaker, knows about loving someone of a different faith. She is Christian and her husband is a Muslim. "Religions may not align but your spirituality can,"she told Insider magazine. "Being married five years, we have been able to define what the culture is in our home."
Respect each other’s differences.
It’s important to not only respect each others’ religious differences, but also to be inclusive as well. Kee and her husband pray together, but incorporate their individual beliefs in their lives as well. "When we pray together, we both take time to end our prayer in our own sacred way," Kee said. "We include each other on spiritual awakenings and discuss the meaning and implications from our own interpretation."
Celebrate each other’s religious rituals.
There are ways to be true to your faith and still celebrate your partner’s faith as well. "We agree to participate (in each others’ religious rituals) on specific occasions," Kee said. "Our goal is to try to go to church at least twice a month as a family and I agree to observe the annual Ramadan with him." Kee often celebrates Ramadan with her husband in an attempt to respect his faith. There are also many celebrations that can be combined, like Chrismakkah, the combination of Christmas and Hannukkah. Celebrating each others’ religious holidays will help bridge the religious divide and increase respect for each others’ faiths.
Always listen to each other.
There may be opposition to the interfaith relationship from family members. You and your partner may have doubts yourselves about how an interfaith relationship could work. Be sure to listen to each others’ concerns about your religious differences.
Kee said that she listens to her husband and God when she feels conflicted. "When I need guidance and prayer, I listen to him as my husband. He always directs me back to faith in God Almighty," said Kee. "I do the same for him and we address Him as God in our home. We believe that we serve two different purposes for the sake of making our humanity as husband and wife work. Being unequally yoked is when you are trying to be together, but can’t agree. We agree and our love works!"
When you and your partner are of different religious faiths, there can be several adjustments to make. However, with faith, patience, and open communication, love can truly conquer any obstacle that comes up in a relationship.
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