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Switch to Forum Live View Interfaith marriage..some tough questions
6 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2008 - 7:58PM #1
interfaithmom
Posts: 3
Hello,
I am a Roman Catholic, my husband was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but he has not been a practicing Witness for almost 10 years. His mother, however, is still very devoted to her faith. My husband and I recently had a daughter and we decided (before we even tried to concieve a child) that our children would be raised in my faith since I am still an active member of my religious community and if he chose to return to his then our children would also know that religion. We have moved forward with welcoming our daughter into the Catholic faith by planning a baptism and my mother-in-law has become extremely angry over this decision, to the point where she has stated she will have nothing to do with her son (my husband) or our child if we go through with it. Is this a Witness belief? or an over-reaction? I am trying not to be upset over her response. I want very much for her to be a part of my daughter's life and I don't want her to just walk away from our family. As a Catholic I was raised to believe that there are many religions in this World and that we should respect them all. I am feeling very disrespected by my mother-in-law and I'm just seeking some answers or insight into her thoughts/beliefs.
Thank You!
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2008 - 8:22PM #2
GenesisTilley
Posts: 15
Hello Interfaithmom,
I can relate to what you are going through and I know it's not an easy thing. I'm not sure about Witness beliefs but this is a common reaction to interfaiths families. Maybe you should talk to your husband, make sure you're on the same page. Map out what you plan to say and do. I would confront your mother inlaw and tell her what you plan on doing. The very first thing you have to remember is that YOU are your child's mother. You and your husband are the people that make the decisions for your children until they are old enough to make them for themselves. If you tell that to yourself over and over again, you'll have the cofidents to talk to your mother in-law. If you explain to her that this is you and your husband's decidition to make and she doesn't accept that, then thats her loss and you may need to say that. A lot of the time, they'll just say that to make you have doubts about your decision. Just stick by it and don't give in! If she decides to have nothing to do with your husband and daughter, then she'll be the one missing out on the beauty of watching your daughter grow. Good luck! Keep strong!
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2008 - 11:13PM #3
anotherpaul
Posts: 2,702
[QUOTE=interfaithmom;463215]Hello,
I am a Roman Catholic, my husband was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but he has not been a practicing Witness for almost 10 years. His mother, however, is still very devoted to her faith. My husband and I recently had a daughter and we decided (before we even tried to concieve a child) that our children would be raised in my faith since I am still an active member of my religious community and if he chose to return to his then our children would also know that religion. We have moved forward with welcoming our daughter into the Catholic faith by planning a baptism and my mother-in-law has become extremely angry over this decision, to the point where she has stated she will have nothing to do with her son (my husband) or our child if we go through with it. Is this a Witness belief? or an over-reaction? I am trying not to be upset over her response. I want very much for her to be a part of my daughter's life and I don't want her to just walk away from our family. As a Catholic I was raised to believe that there are many religions in this World and that we should respect them all. I am feeling very disrespected by my mother-in-law and I'm just seeking some answers or insight into her thoughts/beliefs.
Thank You![/QUOTE]

HI,

To a JW it is a bit more serious. On the other hand her reaction is excessive. The child is not making any decision and should not be ignored simply because you and your hubby did. Your hubby has however taken a serious step away from his mother's faith by allowing this, away from his former faith, and that may be why his mother is unhappy. She feels he is not going to return to her faith and this is indicated by the decision regarding his daughter. She may not be able to address his defection, so she places the burden on him through the child.

I would say such is wrong and I have been a JW for over 50 years. Speak to her about her concerns, even tell her she is welcome to let her granddaughter know of her faith and practices. In this way at a later date the child, when grown, can and will make her own choices. By alienating her in this way she cuts off all communication. That is unloving toward the child and you. Now she may have reason to be upset with her son, but not with you or the child.

Be patient and do not turn away from her and after time passes she will probably regret her actions and change.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 01, 2008 - 8:47PM #4
Nomi69
Posts: 6,731
[QUOTE=anotherpaul;463698]HI,

To a JW it is a bit more serious. On the other hand her reaction is excessive. The child is not making any decision and should not be ignored simply because you and your hubby did. Your hubby has however taken a serious step away from his mother's faith by allowing this, away from his former faith, and that may be why his mother is unhappy. She feels he is not going to return to her faith and this is indicated by the decision regarding his daughter. She may not be able to address his defection, so she places the burden on him through the child.

I would say such is wrong and I have been a JW for over 50 years. Speak to her about her concerns, even tell her she is welcome to let her granddaughter know of her faith and practices. In this way at a later date the child, when grown, can and will make her own choices. By alienating her in this way she cuts off all communication. That is unloving toward the child and you. Now she may have reason to be upset with her son, but not with you or the child.

Be patient and do not turn away from her and after time passes she will probably regret her actions and change.[/QUOTE]

I have an only child. I taught him as best I could, what I stood for, and believed. BUT with a father who lived hypocritically before him. it didn't work out as I would have hoped. Sadly, he has chosen to follow his wives, in two marriages, so none of my grandchildren are JW's. I am sure it makes his father happy...but makes me sad. While I did the best possible within my circumstances...it is still disappointing to say the least. BUT I have had no choice but accept it, and hope for the best.  If they want to learn anything from me, they know where to find me. I agree with AP...it requires patience, lots of it. It is always hard when you have such a strong faith yourself(I know from experience)...his mother may see her son's actions as an affront. I know it hurts, but patience and understanding is what is needed here, I would say.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2008 - 1:27PM #5
in(con)sistent
Posts: 1,230
[QUOTE=interfaithmom;463215]Hello,
I am a Roman Catholic, my husband was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but he has not been a practicing Witness for almost 10 years. His mother, however, is still very devoted to her faith. My husband and I recently had a daughter and we decided (before we even tried to concieve a child) that our children would be raised in my faith since I am still an active member of my religious community and if he chose to return to his then our children would also know that religion. We have moved forward with welcoming our daughter into the Catholic faith by planning a baptism and my mother-in-law has become extremely angry over this decision, to the point where she has stated she will have nothing to do with her son (my husband) or our child if we go through with it. Is this a Witness belief? or an over-reaction? I am trying not to be upset over her response. I want very much for her to be a part of my daughter's life and I don't want her to just walk away from our family. As a Catholic I was raised to believe that there are many religions in this World and that we should respect them all. I am feeling very disrespected by my mother-in-law and I'm just seeking some answers or insight into her thoughts/beliefs.
Thank You![/QUOTE]

Before reading any further, ask yourself, "What is the purpose of baptism?" Once you have answered that question, please read this.

BAPTISM has been part of Christianity from its beginning. Jesus himself was baptized, and he directed that others undergo baptism.

If you will soon become a parent, or recently became one, perhaps you have wondered whether your baby should be baptized. Would this be necessary in order for your child to meet God’s approval?

The churches of Christendom have different opinions about this. Some practice infant baptism. But others will baptize only those who are old enough to demonstrate belief in the principles of religion taught by their church.

The Bible is the only dependable source of information about baptism, for it alone is “inspired of God.” (2 Tim. 3:16) Does the Bible advocate baptizing babies?

The earliest references to baptism in the Word of God are related to the activity of John the Baptist. Concerning him, Mark 1:5 states: “All the territory of Judea and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem made their way out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, openly confessing their sins.” This would, of course, require that they be old enough to recognize their sinful state.

Concerning Jesus, we read: “In the course of those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. And immediately on coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being parted.” (Mark 1:9, 10) At that time Jesus was “about thirty years old.”—Luke 3:23.

During his earthly ministry Jesus did not personally baptize anyone. But, under his direction, his disciples baptized quite a number of people. Did they include babies? The Gospel of John reports: “Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John.” (John 4:1) So Jesus had his followers baptize only persons who had already become disciples.

Knowing this helps us to understand Jesus’ command at Matthew 28:19, 20: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” Jesus did not mean to make disciples of people, even infants, by means of baptism. This command clearly means that a person would be baptized only after becoming a disciple.

It was the same after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Those baptized at Pentecost of 33 C.E. had “embraced [the apostle Peter’s] word heartily.” (Acts 2:41) A group of Samaritans who were baptized was made up of “men and women” who had “believed” the Christian message. (Acts 8:12) The Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip baptized was already a worshiper of Jehovah. (Acts 8:27, 38) Of the ones gathered in the house of Cornelius, holy spirit fell upon “those hearing the word” and they were baptized.—Acts 10:44.

In the days of Jesus and his twelve apostles, baptism was performed by complete immersion in water and was a symbol of something that had already taken place in the heart of the one being baptized. For example, John’s baptism was “in symbol of [in token of, The New English Bible] repentance.” (Mark 1:4) Baptisms that the Bible records as taking place after 36 C.E. symbolized the dedication of the individual to do Jehovah’s will. This could not apply to infants.


Ask yourself this, "Am I wanting to get my child baptized because of my feelings or because of what the Bible states?".  That being said, your in-law is not displaying a JW belief. However, she more than likely feels that your decision is not being based on the scriptures, which both of you (you & in-law) should hold higher than your personal feelings.
Who was Jesus? http://www.watchtower.org/e/200612/article_01.htm
Who is Jesus? http://www.watchtower.org/e/20050915/article_01.htm
YOU are my friends if YOU do what I am commanding YOU. (John 15:14)
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2008 - 1:27PM #6
in(con)sistent
Posts: 1,230
[QUOTE=interfaithmom;463215]Hello,
I am a Roman Catholic, my husband was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but he has not been a practicing Witness for almost 10 years. His mother, however, is still very devoted to her faith. My husband and I recently had a daughter and we decided (before we even tried to concieve a child) that our children would be raised in my faith since I am still an active member of my religious community and if he chose to return to his then our children would also know that religion. We have moved forward with welcoming our daughter into the Catholic faith by planning a baptism and my mother-in-law has become extremely angry over this decision, to the point where she has stated she will have nothing to do with her son (my husband) or our child if we go through with it. Is this a Witness belief? or an over-reaction? I am trying not to be upset over her response. I want very much for her to be a part of my daughter's life and I don't want her to just walk away from our family. As a Catholic I was raised to believe that there are many religions in this World and that we should respect them all. I am feeling very disrespected by my mother-in-law and I'm just seeking some answers or insight into her thoughts/beliefs.
Thank You![/QUOTE]

Before reading any further, ask yourself, "What is the purpose of baptism?" Once you have answered that question, please read this.

BAPTISM has been part of Christianity from its beginning. Jesus himself was baptized, and he directed that others undergo baptism.

If you will soon become a parent, or recently became one, perhaps you have wondered whether your baby should be baptized. Would this be necessary in order for your child to meet God’s approval?

The churches of Christendom have different opinions about this. Some practice infant baptism. But others will baptize only those who are old enough to demonstrate belief in the principles of religion taught by their church.

The Bible is the only dependable source of information about baptism, for it alone is “inspired of God.” (2 Tim. 3:16) Does the Bible advocate baptizing babies?

The earliest references to baptism in the Word of God are related to the activity of John the Baptist. Concerning him, Mark 1:5 states: “All the territory of Judea and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem made their way out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, openly confessing their sins.” This would, of course, require that they be old enough to recognize their sinful state.

Concerning Jesus, we read: “In the course of those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. And immediately on coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being parted.” (Mark 1:9, 10) At that time Jesus was “about thirty years old.”—Luke 3:23.

During his earthly ministry Jesus did not personally baptize anyone. But, under his direction, his disciples baptized quite a number of people. Did they include babies? The Gospel of John reports: “Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John.” (John 4:1) So Jesus had his followers baptize only persons who had already become disciples.

Knowing this helps us to understand Jesus’ command at Matthew 28:19, 20: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” Jesus did not mean to make disciples of people, even infants, by means of baptism. This command clearly means that a person would be baptized only after becoming a disciple.

It was the same after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Those baptized at Pentecost of 33 C.E. had “embraced [the apostle Peter’s] word heartily.” (Acts 2:41) A group of Samaritans who were baptized was made up of “men and women” who had “believed” the Christian message. (Acts 8:12) The Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip baptized was already a worshiper of Jehovah. (Acts 8:27, 38) Of the ones gathered in the house of Cornelius, holy spirit fell upon “those hearing the word” and they were baptized.—Acts 10:44.

In the days of Jesus and his twelve apostles, baptism was performed by complete immersion in water and was a symbol of something that had already taken place in the heart of the one being baptized. For example, John’s baptism was “in symbol of [in token of, The New English Bible] repentance.” (Mark 1:4) Baptisms that the Bible records as taking place after 36 C.E. symbolized the dedication of the individual to do Jehovah’s will. This could not apply to infants.


Ask yourself this, "Am I wanting to get my child baptized because of my feelings or because of what the Bible states?".  That being said, your in-law is not displaying a JW belief. However, she more than likely feels that your decision is not being based on the scriptures, which both of you (you & in-law) should hold higher than your personal feelings.
Who was Jesus? http://www.watchtower.org/e/200612/article_01.htm
Who is Jesus? http://www.watchtower.org/e/20050915/article_01.htm
YOU are my friends if YOU do what I am commanding YOU. (John 15:14)
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 20, 2008 - 11:16PM #7
Nomi69
Posts: 6,731
[QUOTE=interfaithmom;463215]Hello,
I am a Roman Catholic, my husband was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but he has not been a practicing Witness for almost 10 years. His mother, however, is still very devoted to her faith. My husband and I recently had a daughter and we decided (before we even tried to concieve a child) that our children would be raised in my faith since I am still an active member of my religious community and if he chose to return to his then our children would also know that religion. We have moved forward with welcoming our daughter into the Catholic faith by planning a baptism and my mother-in-law has become extremely angry over this decision, to the point where she has stated she will have nothing to do with her son (my husband) or our child if we go through with it. Is this a Witness belief? or an over-reaction? I am trying not to be upset over her response. I want very much for her to be a part of my daughter's life and I don't want her to just walk away from our family. As a Catholic I was raised to believe that there are many religions in this World and that we should respect them all. I am feeling very disrespected by my mother-in-law and I'm just seeking some answers or insight into her thoughts/beliefs.
Thank You![/QUOTE]


I have been there. I have tried over and over to be tolerant, but it is hard, when you know the Bible, and what it says about religions in general. She quite possibly feels she is/has lost her son, and now her grandchildren. Well, that happened to me, and it is very heartbreaking. AND because of this departure from what I taught my son to believe, and am only close to several of my older grandchildren. It is sad, but it happens. If you are desiring to keep the MIL as a part of your children's lives...I must tell you it is not likely to be easy.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
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