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6 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2008 - 3:37PM #1
ChefCristy
Posts: 2
I came here for answers, I really hope somebody can help....

I am a practicing Catholic and I am getting married to a baptized Jehovah's Witness. Before we met, he had been falling away from the congregation with his activity and attendance in meetings becoming less and less frequent as our relationship deepened. Right now he doesn't regularly attend meetings, he doesn't go out and preach, and he only attends the memorial and one assembly a year. I feel that he only does these things, however few they are, to appease his family. It is ok with me, all I wish is to keep the peace with them.
I feel like there will be a dark cloud over our whole wedding process. That dark cloud is his family. We plan on having a non-denominational ceremony held outdoors by a lake. The officiant of the ceremony will be non-denominational as well. When we told his parents that we would be getting married, (after 7 years of dating), they seemed happy and welcomed me into the family and told me they loved me and they knew I would take good care of their son. Now there are questions arising within the family about them even attending our wedding. My fiance's father is an elder. Will he get in trouble? be disfellowshipped? have his privileges taken away? be demoted? if he attends our wedding ceremony and reception? All that we ask is for them all to be there. We are not asking for participation. We just want them to attend and help us celebrate our love. His cousin is a staunch JW. She invited us to her wedding. I drove myself crazy shopping for a dress, shopping for their gift, I sent my RSVP the day after we received the invitation, and  now she has the nerve to tell my fiance's brother, without hearing a single detail about our wedding, that she most likely will not be attending because she doesn't approve of how we're getting married (ie. not in a kingdom hall). I want to know if there are any real consequences that these JW's will have to deal with if they attend our wedding. Even though they say that accept me and love me will that not stop them from "boycotting" our wedding? What's the deal? Please help, thank you.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2008 - 5:44PM #2
Bimp5
Posts: 51
Hello ChefCristy,

I am sorry to hear about the situation you are in, especially when this should be a Joyful occassion. As JW's your fiance's family will no doubt show you love and welcome you into the family. Love is an identifying mark of JW's. However they are probably really  concerned with their son being unevenly yoked. Meaning that he is marrying someone outside the faith which is going against what the bible teaches at  2 Corinthians 6:14.  Another probable concern for the family may be the fact that his meeting and field service attendance have slowed down. This could be a cause of spiritual concern from his family's view point. Attending your wedding should be a matter of personal choice for his family members as long as everything is in harmony with bible teachings. However since he is becoming unevenly yoked that may be cause for some of his family members not to attend. I don't believe it is something that could cause his family members to be disfellowshipped. I would suggest talking with your fiance or maybe even you, him and his parents so that you all would be able to clear the air so to speak. They would be able to tell you what reservations they have about the marriage and most likely they would be bible based and you and he would be able to express your concerns about wanting his family to attend or even be a part of the wedding.  I apologize if I did not provide what you were looking for but I hope this helps in some way.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2008 - 10:30PM #3
PassingTheTest
Posts: 1,144
Hi Cristy,
[QUOTE=ChefCristy;885991]I came here for answers, I really hope somebody can help....

I am a practicing Catholic and I am getting married to a baptized Jehovah's Witness. Before we met, he had been falling away from the congregation with his activity and attendance in meetings becoming less and less frequent as our relationship deepened. Right now he doesn't regularly attend meetings, he doesn't go out and preach, and he only attends the memorial and one assembly a year. I feel that he only does these things, however few they are, to appease his family. It is ok with me, all I wish is to keep the peace with them.
I feel like there will be a dark cloud over our whole wedding process. That dark cloud is his family. We plan on having a non-denominational ceremony held outdoors by a lake. The officiant of the ceremony will be non-denominational as well. When we told his parents that we would be getting married, (after 7 years of dating), they seemed happy and welcomed me into the family and told me they loved me and they knew I would take good care of their son. Now there are questions arising within the family about them even attending our wedding. My fiance's father is an elder. Will he get in trouble? be disfellowshipped? have his privileges taken away? be demoted? if he attends our wedding ceremony and reception? All that we ask is for them all to be there. We are not asking for participation. We just want them to attend and help us celebrate our love. His cousin is a staunch JW. She invited us to her wedding. I drove myself crazy shopping for a dress, shopping for their gift, I sent my RSVP the day after we received the invitation, and  now she has the nerve to tell my fiance's brother, without hearing a single detail about our wedding, that she most likely will not be attending because she doesn't approve of how we're getting married (ie. not in a kingdom hall). I want to know if there are any real consequences that these JW's will have to deal with if they attend our wedding. Even though they say that accept me and love me will that not stop them from "boycotting" our wedding? What's the deal? Please help, thank you.[/QUOTE]
I am sorry to hear about your situation.  You have to ask yourself some tough questions:
- If he attended all the meetings and performed all the door-to-door work that was required, would you still be attracted to him?

- If your fiance completely broke away from the JWs, would you be able to deal with his family and friends completely shunning him, avoiding all contact as much as possible, having them not seeing your children, and having them blame you for his "falling away from the truth" when you do come into any form of contact with his family?

- If your fiance completely broke away from the JWs, would you be able to deal with his constant fears and guilt?

- If you get married and years later he becomes a full time practicing JW and this causes friction between you two that leads to divorce, are you able to handle your future children being faught over tooth and nail for custody and maybe having to see your children being forced to be raise in the JW church?

- If you get married, and your future in-laws realize their loving affections toward you are not bringing you into the JWs, are you prepared for their love to stop and have them treat you like the babysitter?

- Are you prepared to here a lot of Catholic bashing from his family members?  (The Catholic Church is the "Harlot riding the wild beast"...)

There is a lot more at stake than just having his parents attend your wedding...  I am teaching my children about high maintenance spouces and low maintenance spouces.  A mixed marriage involving a second generation JW is going to be extremely high maintenance, unless you become one of them.  Then you relationship with your family becomes very high maintenance...

Think it over carefully...

I was raised in a mixed (JW - Catholic) family...  I do not care how much you love each other, you will cheat your children out of any normal life.  Your children will eventually have to choose one parent over another, they will be caught in the middle of disagreements, they will be seen as "those poor children" if they do go to the Kingdom Hall...  You will have one parent sneaking them a birthday gift and the other parent completely ignoring them on that day.  You will have one parent buy you something for Christmas, and the other parent resenting the gift that was bought and eventually finding the gift in the trash.  Your children will have a tough time bonding with other children for fear of displeasing one parent or the other.  And in the end some of your children will grow up and see the real truth and know it is not in the JW church.  And some of your children will grow up and become JWs and have little contact with you because you are a bad influence.

You have a tough choice to make Cristy...  I will pray for you...

Peace,
Bob
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 11:28AM #4
Bimp5
Posts: 51
Has there been any updates on your situation? I do hope that things can work out for the best for you. Please let us know how things are going.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2008 - 8:30AM #5
Newtonian
Posts: 11,973
[QUOTE=ChefCristy;885991]I came here for answers, I really hope somebody can help....

I am a practicing Catholic and I am getting married to a baptized Jehovah's Witness. Before we met, he had been falling away from the congregation with his activity and attendance in meetings becoming less and less frequent as our relationship deepened. Right now he doesn't regularly attend meetings, he doesn't go out and preach, and he only attends the memorial and one assembly a year. I feel that he only does these things, however few they are, to appease his family. It is ok with me, all I wish is to keep the peace with them.
I feel like there will be a dark cloud over our whole wedding process. That dark cloud is his family. We plan on having a non-denominational ceremony held outdoors by a lake. The officiant of the ceremony will be non-denominational as well. When we told his parents that we would be getting married, (after 7 years of dating), they seemed happy and welcomed me into the family and told me they loved me and they knew I would take good care of their son. Now there are questions arising within the family about them even attending our wedding. My fiance's father is an elder. Will he get in trouble? be disfellowshipped? have his privileges taken away? be demoted? if he attends our wedding ceremony and reception? All that we ask is for them all to be there. We are not asking for participation. We just want them to attend and help us celebrate our love. His cousin is a staunch JW. She invited us to her wedding. I drove myself crazy shopping for a dress, shopping for their gift, I sent my RSVP the day after we received the invitation, and  now she has the nerve to tell my fiance's brother, without hearing a single detail about our wedding, that she most likely will not be attending because she doesn't approve of how we're getting married (ie. not in a kingdom hall). I want to know if there are any real consequences that these JW's will have to deal with if they attend our wedding. Even though they say that accept me and love me will that not stop them from "boycotting" our wedding? What's the deal? Please help, thank you.[/QUOTE]

Bimp is correct.  My wife and I attended her nephew's wedding 2 years ago - also in a beautiful outdoor setting.  He and his wife are not Jehovah's Witnesses - his mom (my sister in law) and father used to study and attend meetings but are currently inactive and not baptized.  We attended out of love for them and our card to them included two Scriptures about love:

(Song of Solomon 8:6-7) . . .“Place me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; because love is as strong as death is, insistence on exclusive devotion is as unyielding as She′ol is. Its blazings are the blazings of a fire, the flame of Jah. 7 Many waters themselves are not able to extinguish love, nor can rivers themselves wash it away. If a man would give all the valuable things of his house for love, persons would positively despise them.”

(Colossians 3:14)  [Love] is a perfect bond of union. . .

Ruth was in the same position as you - she was not a worshipper of Jehovah and she married Mahlon who was apparently a worshipper of Jehovah and son of Elimelech and Naomi who were faithful worshippers of Jehovah.  She showed loving kindness to Mahlon as we hope you do toward your fiancee.

In time Naomi's husband and 2 sons took sick and died and Naomi returned to Israel from Moab- her daughters and law stuck with her - note they were good wives and women although they were not worshippers of Jehovah - not your typical Moabites.

Note how we know Ruth (and also Orpah) showed loving kindness while unevenly yoked with their husbands:

(Ruth 1:3-10) . . .In time E·lim′e·lech the husband of Na′o·mi died, so that she remained with her two sons. 4 Later the men took wives for themselves, Mo′ab·ite women. The name of the one was Or′pah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they went on dwelling there for about ten years. 5 In time the two of them, Mah′lon and Chil′i·on, also died, so that the woman remained without her two children and her husband. 6 And she proceeded to get up with her daughters-in-law and to return from the fields of Mo′ab, for she had heard in the field of Mo′ab that Jehovah had turned his attention to his people by giving them bread. 7 And she went her way out from the place where she had continued, and both of her daughters-in-law were with her, and they kept walking on the road to return to the land of Judah. 8 Finally Na′o·mi said to both of her daughters-in-law: “Go, return, each one to the house of her mother. May Jehovah exercise loving-kindness toward YOU, just as YOU have exercised it toward the men now dead and toward me. 9 May Jehovah make a gift to YOU, and do YOU find a resting-place each one in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they began to raise their voices and weep. 10 And they kept saying to her: “No, but with you we shall return to your people.”

You will note that Naomi loved her unbelieving daughters-in-law and prayed for them to have loving kindness from Jehovah and thanking them for the loving kindness they showed to her and her two sons who likely needed much care before dying.

I hope that you have opportunity to share this Bible account with them or at least the thought behind it and that you can have a good loving bond with them like Naomi had with Ruth:

(Ruth 1:14-17) . . .At that they raised their voices and wept some more, after which Or′pah kissed her mother-in-law. As for Ruth, she stuck with her. 15 So she said: “Look! Your widowed sister-in-law has returned to her people and her gods. Return with your widowed sister-in-law.” 16 And Ruth proceeded to say: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you; for where you go I shall go, and where you spend the night I shall spend the night. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I shall die, and there is where I shall be buried. May Jehovah do so to me and add to it if anything but death should make a separation between me and you.”
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2008 - 8:44AM #6
Newtonian
Posts: 11,973
Passing the Test - You are obviously not one of Jehovah's Witnesses nor do you love us like Ruth and Orpah did - please consider what the Bible actually teaches, most importantly the love from Jehovah which this family needs to have good, loving relationships - it is sad how negative your post was!

You have also misrepresented our beliefs and practices - you should read the book of Ruth and learn what the Bible teaches about love for family members who are not Jehovah's Witnesses.

What a terrible post!
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2008 - 12:46PM #7
Bimp5
Posts: 51
[QUOTE=Newtonian;899140]Bimp is correct.  My wife and I attended her nephew's wedding 2 years ago - also in a beautiful outdoor setting.  He and his wife are not Jehovah's Witnesses - his mom (my sister in law) and father used to study and attend meetings but are currently inactive and not baptized.  We attended out of love for them and our card to them included two Scriptures about love:

(Song of Solomon 8:6-7) . . .“Place me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; because love is as strong as death is, insistence on exclusive devotion is as unyielding as She′ol is. Its blazings are the blazings of a fire, the flame of Jah. 7 Many waters themselves are not able to extinguish love, nor can rivers themselves wash it away. If a man would give all the valuable things of his house for love, persons would positively despise them.”

(Colossians 3:14)  [Love] is a perfect bond of union. . .

Ruth was in the same position as you - she was not a worshipper of Jehovah and she married Mahlon who was apparently a worshipper of Jehovah and son of Elimelech and Naomi who were faithful worshippers of Jehovah.  She showed loving kindness to Mahlon as we hope you do toward your fiancee.

In time Naomi's husband and 2 sons took sick and died and Naomi returned to Israel from Moab- her daughters and law stuck with her - note they were good wives and women although they were not worshippers of Jehovah - not your typical Moabites.

Note how we know Ruth (and also Orpah) showed loving kindness while unevenly yoked with their husbands:

(Ruth 1:3-10) . . .In time E·lim′e·lech the husband of Na′o·mi died, so that she remained with her two sons. 4 Later the men took wives for themselves, Mo′ab·ite women. The name of the one was Or′pah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they went on dwelling there for about ten years. 5 In time the two of them, Mah′lon and Chil′i·on, also died, so that the woman remained without her two children and her husband. 6 And she proceeded to get up with her daughters-in-law and to return from the fields of Mo′ab, for she had heard in the field of Mo′ab that Jehovah had turned his attention to his people by giving them bread. 7 And she went her way out from the place where she had continued, and both of her daughters-in-law were with her, and they kept walking on the road to return to the land of Judah. 8 Finally Na′o·mi said to both of her daughters-in-law: “Go, return, each one to the house of her mother. May Jehovah exercise loving-kindness toward YOU, just as YOU have exercised it toward the men now dead and toward me. 9 May Jehovah make a gift to YOU, and do YOU find a resting-place each one in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they began to raise their voices and weep. 10 And they kept saying to her: “No, but with you we shall return to your people.”

You will note that Naomi loved her unbelieving daughters-in-law and prayed for them to have loving kindness from Jehovah and thanking them for the loving kindness they showed to her and her two sons who likely needed much care before dying.

I hope that you have opportunity to share this Bible account with them or at least the thought behind it and that you can have a good loving bond with them like Naomi had with Ruth:

(Ruth 1:14-17) . . .At that they raised their voices and wept some more, after which Or′pah kissed her mother-in-law. As for Ruth, she stuck with her. 15 So she said: “Look! Your widowed sister-in-law has returned to her people and her gods. Return with your widowed sister-in-law.” 16 And Ruth proceeded to say: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you; for where you go I shall go, and where you spend the night I shall spend the night. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I shall die, and there is where I shall be buried. May Jehovah do so to me and add to it if anything but death should make a separation between me and you.”[/QUOTE]

I really like this post and think it would help in some way with this situation. I like the example of Ruth and Naomi and certainly brings to mind the Love that we should have for each other!
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2008 - 1:10PM #8
Bimp5
Posts: 51
Dear friends,

I just wanted to comment on the Watchtower study article we went over yesterday in meeting. This article gave some insite to how Jehovah  saves and provides. I liked the information that was provided about the persecution of brothers at the beginning development of our organization. I also liked how the point was made that even those witnesses who died under Hitler's rule can still be saved because they are in Jehovah's memory. That is a wonderful prospect!! I also loved the experience about the sister who had a daughter to take care of but did not have a job. For those who did not go over it or did not have access to it, I will kind of paraphrase it.  There was a sister who had lost her job and she had a daughter. The sister would go out in field service in the mornings and spend all afternoon looking for a job but did not find one. One day the sister was in the grocery store and she was looking at the vegetables but she did not have enough money to buy any. She said she had never felt so helpless in her life. The sister went home and found that on her backporch there were several bags of vegetables (enough to last a month) from a brother that grows them in his own garden. The sister said she thanked the brother several times but of course thanked Jehovah for providing for her and her daughter. I enjoy hearing experiences about how Jehovah has helped, saved, or taken care of our brothers and sisters. Any one else have any thoughts or comments?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2008 - 8:31PM #9
ChefCristy
Posts: 2
I just want to say thank you to those that replied to my problem. You all gave caring and generous responses and I really appreciate that.

-Bimp5 - Thank you, your advice was comforting and gave me hope. Also, thank you for the sharing the Bible study article, it was inspirational.
-Passing the test aka Bob - I'm sorry, it seems like growing up in a interfaith household was not a good experience for you. I would like to say that my future in laws are above the hatred, prejudice, isolation that you mentioned might happen. But I can't say that. All I can say is that I know they love their son and I and care about us and that love is all they have shown me since they have gotten to know me. I have stuck by their son through thick and thin. They realize that I am devoted to him and I encourage his relationship with their religion even though I do not believe in it 100% for myself. His falling away from it has been due to hypocrisy within the congregation and they know that, and that is why they don't push him too hard. My future in laws have relatives that are Catholic and they accept them and love them and invite them to parties just as much as the JW relatives. They don't try to convert them or debate religion with them either. They are not Catholic haters, and they don't express much disdain for birthdays or holidays, they simply just don't participate in them. My fiance and I have been together for 7 years and after our first year together we started talking about how we would raise children if we decided to have them. We have gone over a million different scenarios and we feel that we are not going into this blindly, so to answer those questions, yes we have considered all that and we are a strong couple and will deal with whatever comes up when it does.
-Newtonian - I loved the Bible passages and will share them with my fiance and future in laws. thank you so much for sharing them.

-UPDATE
We talked with his parents. Their son, my fiance's brother, is the one that told us that they questioned whether they would go or not. They told us that they never questioned that and they don't know why he would say and feel that way. They apologized on his behalf for us going through those few days where we were sad about the possibility that they wouldn't be coming. They said that they appreciate us for going to talk to them and then they told us that for them to be comfortable enough to attend, we would have to make sure the ceremony goes a certain way. 1)Ceremony be held in a neutral setting, no church or chapel, 2)Non-denominational officiant, 3)No religious customs or traditions be included in the ceremony. From the beginning our intentions were to get married that way anyways. They have said that they approve of our marriage because even though I am not a JW they know how much I love their son and that we can have a good future together. I'm hopeful that all will go well. AlI we ask is for them to attend. We shall see...
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2008 - 2:25PM #10
Bimp5
Posts: 51
ChefCristy

Thank you so much for providing an update to us. I am glad to hear that  things are going well for you and your fiance now. I think it was a big step in the both of you talking with his parents. I also think it is wonderful that his parents expressed what they would feel comfortable with at the wedding and the fact that you and your fiance were planning your wedding in that same manner. Although you are not a JW it is great that you respect  your fiance and his family in their beliefs. Equally important is that you and your beliefs are respected by them as well. As you have mentioned they have shown you love which is an identifying trademark with JW's and no doubt you have shown them love as well. I hope everything works out for you and let us know how the wedding goes!!
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