Case study: What about marriage between young people from different religions?
Here's a letter from a young Hindu man wanting advice on how to fulfill his wish to marry a Christian young lady. Read it through and then decide how you would answer him.
Some general case study guidelines are available to aid in your reflection and discussion.
I am in a dilemma. I am a Hindu and am trying to decide whether to marry a Christian girl from the Assembly of God denomination (she converted from Hinduism 3 years ago). We are very much in love with each other.
While my parents expect her to follow my religion after marriage, I am of the view that she can follow her Christian religion, but that she should partake in my Hindu religious activities as well. I do respect Christianity, but we will have to have a Hindu marriage. When looking at a marriage partner who will be my other half (two bodies, one soul), I think it's very reasonable for me to ask of her to participate in my religious obligations (which are not many). Wouldn't that be a reasonable expectation of married life? She can still go to Christian worship services and other church activities, and I will accompany her whenever possible.
She has come back to me saying that all the above will be a sin in Christianity and that she will be punished if she participates in the activities of my religion. Because we love each other, it seems like the heart does not agree with the mind.
I have been advised by my priest to participate in her activities where possible. I respect her choice of religion because for me there is only one god -- it's just that we all have our own ways of faith. The scriptures of all faiths are indispensable holy tools that are at our disposal to provide everlasting energy for our life journeys. The ultimate goal of Hinduism is, of course, the attainment of self consciousness/realization. This is in line with the spiritual truth that our atman is part of the all-prevailing brahman. Our own journey, however, needs to be undertaken individually. For this I will have to go through a cycle of seven births and deaths.
I also realize that there are other factors like children to be considered here.
I like this girl and will find your advice invaluable.
It would also help if you could provide me the details of people who have been in a similar situation.
At the same time it would also help if you could point me to a "best practices" manual for Hindu/Christian marriages which would provide some guidelines for us.
How would you respond to Rajesh? What Hindu beliefs are reflected in the young man's letter? Are there classic Christian beliefs that he may be misunderstanding? How would you counsel him?
Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma
City, OK 73132 | Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax:
Copyright © 2002 - Last Updated: April 3, 2014 | URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/marriage.htm
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