Throughout the past few years, America has made strides in becoming a more open nation in terms of marriage. Although times and viewpoints are still changing, the concepts of interfaith marriage, interracial marriage, and even gay marriage are being more openly accepted in our society. According to the National Study of Youth and Religion, less than a quarter of the 18-to 23-year-old respondents believed that it was important to marry someone of the same faith. However, like any true controversial issue, there are both positives and negatives to interfaith marriage.
An interfaith marriage can pose many issues to the couple and the family unit. Within a interfaith marriage a power struggle may be created over which religion is more important. This is especially true if a child is brought into the picture. The couple must decide to either raise the child within one religion or expose them to both religions in the household. Both parent will obviously feel a strong inclination to raise their child in their own religion. If there are two different religions present there will likely be two different sets of holidays and traditions. Although celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah may seem like an advantage, it could also cause tension within the marriage as each person in the couple believes that their holidays and traditions are more important. Couples of interfaith marriages may be more likely to fight over which traditions they want to celebrate. It would be easy for disagreements to add up over time as religion ties into many other aspects of like, like how to raise children or spend time.
There are also many advantages to an interfaith marriage and growing up as a child within an interfaith family. Rather than being defined by one single religion, children from interfaith marriages have the advantage of experiencing two different religions. Instead of growing up with one faith, children within interfaith marriages feel more free to explore their own beliefs. The child would be more aware of the various faiths that exist and would be more tolerant of other religions. Allowing the child to take part in both religions will give them a more complete picture of what faith is about and lead them to eventually make their own decisions about what they believe. Another positive aspect is that interfaith marriage can also strengthen the bond between the couple. In terms of religion, the couple would have to be very open with communication and willing to occasionally compromise on things like holidays and traditions. Interfaith marriages will create more diversity among the population and society will become more integrated and tolerant to different religions.
I personally feel that interfaith marriages can be both informative and rewarding. To limit oneself solely to one religion is ludicrous. There is a whole world of beliefs and religions out there and it seems naive to not expose oneself to other religions or at the very least become informed about them. Without being informed on the other religions that exist how can one know what religion they truly believe in without blindly accepting the faith they were taught as a child by their parents. I believe that as long as the couple have a strong relationship with open communication they can compromise on the important aspects of both religions and allow their child to make their own informed decision about religion.