Surviving Religious Differences in Marriage

in Interfaith Marriage


While hubby and I were assessing our life together for 16 years, we realized how much we have grown together in our marriage despite our opposing religious views when we tied the knot. We didn’t have my wished church wedding as belonged to different church denominations. The good thing was, we decided prior to marriage which church our kids would follow later. And it was carried on throughout the marriage although with some conflicts still knowing our differing religious backgrounds and orientations.

Things were not easy for both of us having different faith. Issues surfaced such as in terms of vices, food, day of worship especially rearing our children. Off-beat marriage in terms of faith was little by little hurting us, tearing us apart within our first 7 years of marriage and I remembered my parents’ admonition not to be equally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). How did we survive this crucial stage in our marriage?

God wonderfully works in ways we can never imagine. In our marriage, He let us go through the extremely hot furnace for us to be purified like gold to bring out its best luster.

Who would like unresolved conflicts leading to pains and vicious bickering in any relationship? So we need to prayerfully work them out.

I never gave up praying for God’s intervention claiming my husband’s promise before marriage that he would join me in my church when we’re married. But one, two, three, four, five years had passed still nothing happened.

There were times that he would just drop us off at the church on Sabbath day then he would go play basketball games with his friends that would later lead to a drinking spree. Sometimes, he would go home late at night smelling alcohol and cigarettes.

I was, of course, very unhappy as my dream of an ideal family going to church and praying and worshipping together as husband and wife with our kids didn’t come true. What more for a head of the family exemplifying or modelling to his own children the right way to go if he himself did not possess the right practices and values he should pass on? I was totally devastated with the agony I was going through no matter how I tried hard to be happy.

BUT I never gave up! I continued praying and being patient, hoping that one day, God would perform a miracle to change him. And HE did although with a high price. As I said, we had to suffer first. So I got reminded of the Biblical principle that yes, your sin will be forgiven but you must suffer the consequences.

A very strong storm hit our marriage. It was when both of us decided after a long brainstorming that I had to leave my dear family to look for better opportunities abroad, with my husband vowing to be faithful and to join me later. Not bearing my absence as it was his first time not having me around for so long, he sought relief (pleasure?!) with another girl. It was the most trying situation in my life we even attempted to part ways but I thank God that after the storm, the skies turned blue and the sun shone through us brightly.

In short, after causing me that terrible pain, he decided to be baptized. But that was after he had left all his vices behind including smoking, drinking alcohol and womanizing.

God really changed him. Now, he is a more loving and caring husband to me and a father to his 3 children. I give back all the glory to God because my wish for a family that prays and worships God together has come true, after 7 long years. Our conflicts about childrearing have been ironed out because now we share common beliefs and values we want to pass on to our precious gems.

This is a guest post contributed by one of our offbeat readers.

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