Given the rise of interfaith marriages, it seems whether you are Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Muslim or none of the above, religion is no longer necessarily a pivotal player when it comes to the power of true love.
According to a recent three-year nationwide study entitled, The Spirit of Generation Y, religion simply does not play a huge part in young peoples’ lives these days.
Conducted by the Monash University and the Christian Research Foundation, the survey reveals the religious beliefs and opinions of those born between 1976 and 1990, and found that fewer than half of Australia’s young people actually believe in God.
In some religions however, a shared faith can play an enormous part in dictating if a couple in love should be allowed to take the pledge to spend the rest of their lives together in holy matrimony.
If this all sounds a little serious, it is worth remembering that the common link shared by all of these religions is the emphasis on love and respect in marriage, and beyond “faith or no faith”, the rest is up to you.
Steps to take before you take a leap of faith
- Speak at length to your partner about what their faith means to them, and what they would expect from you if you married – it may have rarely come up before the proposal.
- Find out in detail what marrying into your partner’s faith involves.
- Consider how you would feel if your children were to be brought up in a faith different from your own.
- Consult family or friends in a similar situation, and ask another their experiences.
- Ask close family for their opinions, as they will soon have close ties to your religious in-laws.
- Visit a relevant religious leader and voice any concerns you have. They will be able to give you advice to ensure conversion is the right option for you and offer suggestions to make your conversion as smooth as possible.
- Take into account your partner’s family and get an idea of what they expect of you.
- Educate yourself on the holidays and traditions of your partner’s religion and agree together which ones you and your children will recognise.