Religion and Relationships

I was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints. You may have noticed that I’ll link to a verse from the Book of Mormon from time-to-time in my posts here, and that’s because I’m extremely familiar with that particular text. I believe in kingdoms of Heaven, that nobody will go to Hell, and that families can be together forever.  I don’t currently practice the religion, but I still believe a lot of the doctrine.

Natanite was loosely raised in the Lutheran faith and now classifies himself as agnostic.

We’ve had more than one conversation about religion causing all the ills in the world (he’s on the aye side, I’m on the nay side). Sometimes our conversations get heated, we feel strongly about our sides. But we love and respect each other and the beliefs the other have, so we have, in recent years, stopped debating this. We’re not changing each other’s minds.

But with such strong feelings, how do we approach the big questions with our kids? Electric is a very inquisitive 3-year-old (as I suspect other children her age are) and these questions are already coming up. She probably doesn’t realize the weight of the question “Girl, what does that mean?” But I do. I expect any day now she’s going to launch into “Why are we here? How are we here?” These are the questions where religious beliefs can really help us (admittedly imperfectly) to fill in those gaps. But how do you approach that if the parents have different beliefs about the answers to those questions?

I don’t have all the answers (that’s why we’re talking about this), but I think the best thing we can do is to teach respect. Why are we here? We’re here to learn from other people and do our part to make the world a better place.

How do you approach your relationship if you have different faith-based beliefs?

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Rachel Hanson

Rachel is a blogger who writes predominantly about parenting and ways to juggle “having it all,” even though she thinks that phrase is overblown and generally impossible. She also thinks that time management and cutting yourself a little (or a lot of) slack are key to managing all the pieces of your life. Rachel and Nateanite have been married since 2010 and they have two daughters. Electric is three years old and Adorable is 10 months old. You can visit her online home “My Mother Told Me”, see who she’s engaging with Facebook, check out what she’s reading on Twitter, or see her body of work on LinkedIn.

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