In a way, every marriage is a ‘mixed-faith’ marriage. Even within the same faith tradition, there can be different levels of commitment to the practice of the faith, different styles of prayer, even different ethnic expressions.

We recall how creepy our Australian friends found the Catholic churches in Italy with the preserved bodies of holy people under the altar. We laughed and explained that that was an Italian thing rather than a Catholic one – an ethnic expression of the faith that is common in Europe.

The key to successfully navigating your religious differences is to adopt two important attitudes: respect and curiosity. Respect helps us create a safe space in which we can discuss our religious expression; curiosity energises our conversation, helping us to explore our individual spirituality and develop our intimacy.

For Reflection:

Here are some questions to get you started on your journey of spiritual intimacy.

  1. What is your image of God? (eg a father figure, a benign force, a judge, a loving mother, an impersonal authority figure, nothing, a passionate lover, a suffering redeemer, a ‘rock’, a friend etc.)
  2. What is your fondest memory of your faith from your childhood?
  3. Share a negative memory about religion from your past. How does it affect you now?
  4. What hopes do you have for your children’s religious experience?
  5. When do you pray? How do you pray? Why do you pray?

Authors: Francine & Byron Pirola

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This article featured in the July 2012 edition of the CathFamily e-Magazine. For more, check out: