Question:

My fiance and I decided to marry. She is Russian Orthodox, and I am not same religion. We have been together for two years. We love each other so much, and we want to marry. I asked two priests, and she has also asked. They told us that we can marry with no problem, so we decided to be more sure about thismarriage. Will it be accepted and blessed or not? Secondly, I would like to ask what if there is one in her family who wants to prevent this marriage? What is the rule of religion regarding this person? What is the punishment or what is his situation before God?

Appreciate your quick reply. Thanks in advance.


Answer:

When people of two different religious backgrounds marry, much depends on how they approach their differences as to whether it will work. The one that works best is for the couple to agree on a single religion to live and practice.

Some couples try to solve the problem by accepting the difference. He goes to his church and she to hers. That appears to avoid controversy -- up until the children come along. Even couples who agree in advance that the children will be raised in one faith or another typically end disagreeing. It is one thing to talk about doing something in theory. It is another thing to actually see it done. Then there is the problem of how to answer the child's question of why the other parent doesn't join them at worship. Further, a child will ask questions of both parents and realize that he is getting different answers. Sadly, the typical result is that the child rejects all faiths because of his parent's inconsistencies.

Another bad approach is done by couples who are weak in their faiths. They abandon religion all together. There are no arguments because it is never brought up, but again the children get the worse end of the deal. They grow up without the concept of a moral standard for their actions. One doesn't learn to be religious by osmosis.

Of course, what I would like to encourage people to do is abandon all denominations and simply live as Christians as the Bible describes. See: We Are Simply Christians Without Being Members of Any Denomination, You Can be Too!

God recognizes all legitimate marriages. "But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy" (I Corinthians 7:12-14).

The best thing to do is ignore the person who opposes the marriage. Usually, once the marriage takes place and is seen to be working these type of people change their behavior. You focus on doing what is right and don't worry about others.