Some of my friends recently asked me about my marriage and how we make concessions when it comes to our religious differences.
Undoubtedly, many would contend that there are numerous advantages in a same-religion relationship. Spiritual connection is a commonly touted example, where a couple is able to connect well by sharing common beliefs and principles about living life, embracing death and the afterlife. On a few occasions, I have witnessed a few friends citing religion as a deal-breaker in a relationship, and immediately weeding out potential suitors by virtue of differences in religious beliefs.
But on some occasions, it may never quite be perfect for every single one of us. Conversely, you MAY meet someone from the same religion that may also possess a similar degree of observance towards the faith, but yet fail to achieve any compatibility on the fundamental side of things Is religion a deal breaker in relationships mismatch in personalities and interests just to name a few.
Even if there is a match in terms of the religion practiced by both parties in the relationship, this may not necessarily translate to a successful relationship if both parties possess varying degrees of observance towards the faith. Being a Christian by virtue of being born in a Christian family for example, is vastly different from being a staunch follower of the faith and religiously following its practices. A religion preaching a certain value will not necessarily translate to all followers of its faith interpreting and adhering to it in similar degrees.
An extreme example would be religious fundamentalists who use the same words of scripture as a premise to justify violence and war.
Admittedly, a couple who prays together to the same God may find many similarities in terms of their beliefs in the spiritual sense. However, this alone may not always be sufficient in the grand scheme of things.
I knew a couple from church who were fervent followers of the faith and often participated in numerous church activities to grow in their faith. But there were massive mismatches in their personalities and what they each wanted from the relationship. Before long, separation was imminent albeit not unexpected. I am for the view that compatibility between two people boils down to a lot more than similarity in religion.
They could be secular values for instance the way you perceive human relationships, the pursuit of wealth, outlook towards life, future and ambitions etc. Sometimes we may fixate on the subtleties and amplify the numerous differences between religions. Catholics do not subscribe to the doctrine of sola fide In similar vein, my wife tells me that Buddhists are taught not to judge others too, be it their faith or other numerous differences. There is an overarching similarity in this regard therefore.
Love is a great deal of Acceptance, Understanding and Compromise.
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Between myself and my wife, we agree on many things pertaining to our individual faiths. We do not impose our beliefs on each other wherever differences in the teachings occur. We embrace whatever similarities that our religions preach, including but not limited to the point I mentioned above.
I followed my then-girlfriend to the temple on one occasion while she prayed. She followed me to the church once when I was going through a rough patch and watched me pray. We try to be open and receptive. This still holds true in the absence of religious differences.
I prayed to meet the right person and allowed my God to lead me to who he wanted me to meet.
He led me to a person who loves life, her family, and me. He led me to someone who respects my faith and works things out with me. Love is unconditional after all. Let it transcend all boundaries. Religious boundaries in this case.
I used to believe that my relationship will become better and peaceful when we have the same religion.
Unfortunately, the one whom I thought was my suitable partner proved me wrong. We used to go to church appointments together, used to serve the Lord together, sing in thr choir together, and play instruments together.