Author Topic: Why Date a non-Orthodox?  (Read 15215 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Heorhij

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,574
    • Mississippi University for Women
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2010, 10:32:47 AM »
Heorhij, you are a special case.  You were atheist minded when you met, fell in love and married.

No, pani Lizo, I never was an atheist! The society was allegedly Atheist. Different people, however, privately held all kinds of beliefs. It was just not a custom to talk about it.

However, those who are already Orthodoxy, and wish to marry and raise a family, I feel have a better chance at successfully raising Orthodox children if they marry and raise those children with an Orthodox spouse.  It's difficult in todays secular society to raise kids in the Faith with two practicing Orthodox parents, and so much more difficult with only one...especially if the other parent discourages Orthodoxy or encourages another faith.

If the goal is to marry in order to make a family and raise them as Orthodox faithful, marrying an Orthodox Christian is the best option.

I believe the purpose of marriage is just marriage, the union of two people who love and cherish and nurture each other. Children may or may not come, marriage is not a breeding facility...
Love never fails.

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,719
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2010, 10:36:39 AM »
However, those who are already Orthodoxy, and wish to marry and raise a family, I feel have a better chance at successfully raising Orthodox children if they marry and raise those children with an Orthodox spouse.  It's difficult in todays secular society to raise kids in the Faith with two practicing Orthodox parents, and so much more difficult with only one...especially if the other parent discourages Orthodoxy or encourages another faith.

If the goal is to marry in order to make a family and raise them as Orthodox faithful, marrying an Orthodox Christian is the best option.

I believe the purpose of marriage is just marriage, the union of two people who love and cherish and nurture each other. Children may or may not come, marriage is not a breeding facility...

Perhaps not, but if having a family, and raising your children in the Orthodox Church is important to you, then Liza is right.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline dcointin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2010, 11:56:43 AM »
You all must be lucky enough to live in a heavily Orthodox area!  The area I live in is mostly Catholic, Protestant, or non-religious.  There are 9 Orthodox parishes, and 5 of those are heavily ethnic and likely to put a heavy emphasis on being Greek, etc., and not open to having their daughters non ethnic people, Orthodox or not.  My parish had literally 1 single girl near my age, who has recently moved away.  I just don't see how I could restrict myself to Orthodox women only if I wanted a reasonable chance to marry before I'm 50.

Offline John of the North

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,535
  • Christ is Risen!
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2010, 12:11:22 PM »
You all must be lucky enough to live in a heavily Orthodox area!  The area I live in is mostly Catholic, Protestant, or non-religious.  There are 9 Orthodox parishes, and 5 of those are heavily ethnic and likely to put a heavy emphasis on being Greek, etc., and not open to having their daughters non ethnic people, Orthodox or not.  My parish had literally 1 single girl near my age, who has recently moved away.  I just don't see how I could restrict myself to Orthodox women only if I wanted a reasonable chance to marry before I'm 50.

Are you sure they are not open to their daughters dating outside their ethnicity?? Or are you assuming?? Because, in my experience at least, I'm far more popular with the parents and grandparents than the girls themselves. It's the girls that are the problem, not the older generation(s). ;)
“Find the door of your heart, and you will discover it is the door to the kingdom of God.” - St. John Chrysostom

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,719
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2010, 12:14:08 PM »
You all must be lucky enough to live in a heavily Orthodox area!
Not at all. While there are a few Orthodox Churches around, I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt, albeit a large metropolitan area.
Quote
The area I live in is mostly Catholic, Protestant, or non-religious. 
Where I live is mostly Baptist, or evangelical or some non-denominational variation of the two.
Quote
There are 9 Orthodox parishes, and 5 of those are heavily ethnic and likely to put a heavy emphasis on being Greek, etc., and not open to having their daughters non ethnic people, Orthodox or not. 
The majority of the Orthodox parishes (less than 9, btw) are ethnic, but I haven't heard of anyone who would pass up an Orthodox gentleman for their daughters. As far as I can tell, it's the daughters who aren't interested!
Quote
My parish had literally 1 single girl near my age, who has recently moved away. 
Well, all you need is one, isn't it?  ;)

Quote
I just don't see how I could restrict myself to Orthodox women only if I wanted a reasonable chance to marry before I'm 50.
Have you told anyone that you're interested in dating Orthodox girls? Such as your priest? Have you looked into joining an Orthodox young peoples' group? Or even starting one in your area?
I'm not saying it's easy, mind you, but I look around at the single Orthodox girls I know and wonder what's wrong with guys. What are y'all waiting for?
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline dcointin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2010, 02:39:21 PM »
An important distinction that I don't always hear Orthodox make regarding mixed marriages is the difference between marrying a *Christian* and a *non* Christian.  I sometimes get the impression that to marry for example a Catholic is regarding the same way as marrying a Muslim; I realize this isn't the case officially since the Church forbids marriage to a non-Christian, I'm just speaking of my impressions.  I can understand the difficulties that a mixed marriage can bring, especially since I'll be facing them myself as I head toward engagement with a Catholic woman, but I don't think they're as strong as they're sometimes made out to be.  My girlfriend and I attend each other's services, alternating weeks.  We haven't discussed how to raise our children since we're not even married yet, but I imagine we'll continue to do keep the same schedule of services.  The question of which church to have them baptized and chrismated/confirmed in will be more difficult of course, but not insurmountable.  I think in particular it's easier for marriage between an Orthodox and Catholic since we shared 1000 years of history and thus theological and practical similarities.

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hoplitarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 16,064
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2010, 02:53:13 PM »

Share 1,000 years of history...but, what of all the years after 1054?

Why, as an Orthodox Christian do you go to a R. Catholic church?  Do you partake of Communion there?

This is what I find confusing....that the Orthodox don't find anything "wrong" with ping-ponging from one "Christianity" to another.

...therein lies the issue.

You may wish to do so...and it is your choice completely, and nobody's business what you do.  However, it is NOT recommended that one simply goes to the Orthodox church one Sunday and the Catholic the next Sunday, etc.

Speaking strictly for myself, I could not go to a Catholic (as in Roman) and pray and get the satisfaction my soul craves.  I would feel as if I were betraying my Faith.  It's one thing to attend someone's wedding, etc.  But, to consistently visit a church that does not follow the teachings of your own Church is unfathomable (to me).

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Orual

  • Orthodoxy = 7, not 3
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 999
  • I'm just here for the food.
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2010, 03:07:08 PM »
Heorhij, you are a special case.  You were atheist minded when you met, fell in love and married.

No, pani Lizo, I never was an atheist! The society was allegedly Atheist. Different people, however, privately held all kinds of beliefs. It was just not a custom to talk about it.

However, those who are already Orthodoxy, and wish to marry and raise a family, I feel have a better chance at successfully raising Orthodox children if they marry and raise those children with an Orthodox spouse.  It's difficult in todays secular society to raise kids in the Faith with two practicing Orthodox parents, and so much more difficult with only one...especially if the other parent discourages Orthodoxy or encourages another faith.

If the goal is to marry in order to make a family and raise them as Orthodox faithful, marrying an Orthodox Christian is the best option.

I believe the purpose of marriage is just marriage, the union of two people who love and cherish and nurture each other. Children may or may not come, marriage is not a breeding facility...

One of the purposes of marriage in the Orthodox Church is for procreation.  It's right there in the service and everything. 

If there is any possibility of conceiving or adopting children, it is critically important to answer questions about how the children will be raised before there is a wedding.  Failing to reach an understanding, and how the decision will affect each partner, leads to hurt feelings (at the very least); divorce and family breakup at worst.  Look what happened to this family:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/04/AR2010060402011.html?hpid=sec-religion  The father sounds like a bit of a moron (If he didn't believe Judaism could lead to heaven, why did he convert?) but it shows the consequences of not thinking this through.

This is exactly why I don't date outside the Orthodox Church.  If I did, by some strange turn of events, wind up falling in love with a non-Orthodox man, he would have to promise to raise the children Orthodox and never promote any non-Orthodox religion in front of them:  not a word against Chalcedon or any of the other Ecumenical Councils, and not a word supporting a papacy or Protestantism.
He spoke it as kindly and heartily as could be; as if a man dashed a gallon of cold water in your broth and never doubted you'd like it all the better. 

- C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
f.k.a. Matron.a

Offline Liz

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 989
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2010, 03:20:50 PM »

Share 1,000 years of history...but, what of all the years after 1054?

Why, as an Orthodox Christian do you go to a R. Catholic church?  Do you partake of Communion there?

This is what I find confusing....that the Orthodox don't find anything "wrong" with ping-ponging from one "Christianity" to another.

...therein lies the issue.

You may wish to do so...and it is your choice completely, and nobody's business what you do.  However, it is NOT recommended that one simply goes to the Orthodox church one Sunday and the Catholic the next Sunday, etc.

Speaking strictly for myself, I could not go to a Catholic (as in Roman) and pray and get the satisfaction my soul craves.  I would feel as if I were betraying my Faith.  It's one thing to attend someone's wedding, etc.  But, to consistently visit a church that does not follow the teachings of your own Church is unfathomable (to me).



I'm hesitant to point this out as it's not my Church, but I think our Orthodox priest isn't the only one to urge people in mixed relationships to attend each other's churches ...

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hoplitarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 16,064
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #54 on: August 17, 2010, 03:28:03 PM »

Share 1,000 years of history...but, what of all the years after 1054?

Why, as an Orthodox Christian do you go to a R. Catholic church?  Do you partake of Communion there?

This is what I find confusing....that the Orthodox don't find anything "wrong" with ping-ponging from one "Christianity" to another.

...therein lies the issue.

You may wish to do so...and it is your choice completely, and nobody's business what you do.  However, it is NOT recommended that one simply goes to the Orthodox church one Sunday and the Catholic the next Sunday, etc.

Speaking strictly for myself, I could not go to a Catholic (as in Roman) and pray and get the satisfaction my soul craves.  I would feel as if I were betraying my Faith.  It's one thing to attend someone's wedding, etc.  But, to consistently visit a church that does not follow the teachings of your own Church is unfathomable (to me).



I'm hesitant to point this out as it's not my Church, but I think our Orthodox priest isn't the only one to urge people in mixed relationships to attend each other's churches ...

Lord, have mercy on the shepherd who purposefully leads his sheep astray.

That's all I have to say....
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline dcointin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2010, 06:49:47 PM »
I am attending a Catholic church on alternating weeks with my girlfriend as an agreement we made to become familiar with each other's faiths; we attend my church one week, then hers the next.  I do not commune there, as that is against Orthodox practice.  I don't particularly like the Catholic liturgy, but she doesn't like the Orthodox liturgy either, it's a sacrifice we're making for each other.  It's not a matter of not caring about the faith, I converted from Lutheranism after college and abandoned my plans to attend seminary, which has resulted in a complete change of life direction and significant financial hardship.

Of course the Orthodox and Catholic Churches are not in communion since we have theological differences which resulted in the schism, but I think it's very important that they understand each other as the first step toward eventual reunion.  I believe that we *must* make efforts toward reunion in obedience to the prayer of Christ that we would all be one.  Without understanding there can't be meaningful dialogue on our differences and progress to reconcile them.

Just out of curiosity - do you see any difference between marrying an Atheist and a Catholic?

Offline Liz

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 989
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2010, 07:10:12 PM »
I am attending a Catholic church on alternating weeks with my girlfriend as an agreement we made to become familiar with each other's faiths; we attend my church one week, then hers the next.  I do not commune there, as that is against Orthodox practice.  I don't particularly like the Catholic liturgy, but she doesn't like the Orthodox liturgy either, it's a sacrifice we're making for each other.  It's not a matter of not caring about the faith, I converted from Lutheranism after college and abandoned my plans to attend seminary, which has resulted in a complete change of life direction and significant financial hardship.

Of course the Orthodox and Catholic Churches are not in communion since we have theological differences which resulted in the schism, but I think it's very important that they understand each other as the first step toward eventual reunion.  I believe that we *must* make efforts toward reunion in obedience to the prayer of Christ that we would all be one.  Without understanding there can't be meaningful dialogue on our differences and progress to reconcile them.

Just out of curiosity - do you see any difference between marrying an Atheist and a Catholic?

I hope you'll forgive me for saying this (as a non-Orthodox), but I don't see how someone who (like many of us in the Western world) has no familiarity with Orthodox, could be expected to convert. Your girlfriend may never convert (and you may never convert to Catholicism), but if you bring her to Divine Liturgy, at least that way she will be able to get a real sense of whether or not she could convert. Before my partner took me to Divine Liturgy, I had no idea of what it was like and thought that it would seem (as Catholic worship has seemed to me) rather sterile and overly ostentatious. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the moment, neither he nor I can honestly say we feel able to convert, but we have thought hard about each other's faiths and continue to do so. And perhaps one of us will convert, we don't know yet - but we are trying, and I think that's important.

Offline Liz

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 989
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2010, 07:12:44 PM »

Share 1,000 years of history...but, what of all the years after 1054?

Why, as an Orthodox Christian do you go to a R. Catholic church?  Do you partake of Communion there?

This is what I find confusing....that the Orthodox don't find anything "wrong" with ping-ponging from one "Christianity" to another.

...therein lies the issue.

You may wish to do so...and it is your choice completely, and nobody's business what you do.  However, it is NOT recommended that one simply goes to the Orthodox church one Sunday and the Catholic the next Sunday, etc.

Speaking strictly for myself, I could not go to a Catholic (as in Roman) and pray and get the satisfaction my soul craves.  I would feel as if I were betraying my Faith.  It's one thing to attend someone's wedding, etc.  But, to consistently visit a church that does not follow the teachings of your own Church is unfathomable (to me).



I'm hesitant to point this out as it's not my Church, but I think our Orthodox priest isn't the only one to urge people in mixed relationships to attend each other's churches ...

Lord, have mercy on the shepherd who purposefully leads his sheep astray.

That's all I have to say....

Liza, I'm sorry, I hadn't intended to upset you. Please don't be offended. My priest is (as people have acknowledged on this forum), perhaps a little bit unusual and a bit lax. I don't think he ever intended for anyone to waver in their Orthodox faith, but rather, lots of the congregation near us are cradle Orthodox who could not be harmed by simply hearing a service from another faith.

Offline dcointin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2010, 07:16:55 PM »
I don't expect her to convert, and she doesn't expect me to either, we've been very clear about that from the beginning of our relationship.  We're just trying to understand each other's faiths to live together in harmony one day as husband and wife.

Offline Liz

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 989
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2010, 07:22:51 PM »
I don't expect her to convert, and she doesn't expect me to either, we've been very clear about that from the beginning of our relationship.  We're just trying to understand each other's faiths to live together in harmony one day as husband and wife.

I apologize. I didn't mean to suggest you should need to convert. All I mean was, without sharing a spiritual life, I can't understand how you or any other couple could hope to become close. My partner and I now know that it is unlikely we will ever convert to each other's faiths, but we do worship together and understand each other - and I think it has been very good for us to think about these things!

I wish you the same happiness (because we are, believe me, very happy!)

God bless,

L.

Offline deusveritasest

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,521
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2010, 08:16:21 PM »
I just don't see how I could restrict myself to Orthodox women only if I wanted a reasonable chance to marry before I'm 50.

At this point, if I happened to become single again, I think I would rather choose to continue that way rather than start dating someone who is not Oriental Orthodox, perhaps even becoming a monk if that situation perpetuated.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2010, 04:01:05 PM »

Tangent on fake Orthodoxy split off and merged into this thread:  Fake Orthodoxy

The tangent on how to raise children in a mixed marriage, though in many respects relevant to the OP of this thread, focuses on a subject different from conversation about dating, so I split it off and moved it to the Orthodox-Family ForumRaising Children in a Mixed Marriage
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Rowan

  • Lurker, Writer, Science-lover, yada yada yada...
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • -- Defying Gravity --
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #62 on: August 19, 2010, 12:32:56 AM »
I don't see how all hope is lost just because your significant other isn't Orthodox. There are probably Orthodox men I wouldn't even consider dating and non-Orthodox/secular men who are more my type. I like who I like. To be honest, I don't really consider who's marriage material, either. I have standards, but I'm not on a future-husband-hunt in my early twenties. I have a couple friends (one Orthodox, one not) who are around my age and taking that plunge (both with non-Orthodox men, even), but they didn't meet their intendeds while being "on the prowl" for their fellow co-religionists. They just lived their lives, and life happened. I'm a firm believer of "it'll happen when you least expect it". Ever hear the warning about wanting something so much you never get it?
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,204
  • Pray for me St. Severus
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #63 on: August 19, 2010, 12:23:05 PM »
Well, as in anything, I also believe in the "it'll happen when you least expect it."  At the same time, one has to think, how important is one's religion in his life?  Is it important enough that his whole household should hold it?  Do you not know that those who marry within the Church, the man is considered the priest of the house, his Church?  What type of household a Church would hold that would commune those who are not members, and not just that, but you decided to bring in your house those outside the Church to commune with?

And let's be honest.  When you get married, you may not think you want children then and there.  But according to the Church, children can lawfully come through marriage.  Therefore, the possibility will come, and what will happen when both you and your non-believer wife decide to want to have children?  The "we'll deal it then" mentality is immature, in my humble opinion.  It's one thing to "least expect it," and that's when God's hand is truly in the relationship.  It's another thing to "deal it then," and that shows lack of care or preparation for what is to come, and truly you have allowed love to blind you and not to help you use your noggins.

The only way I can find it acceptable is that you are not permitted to have children unless one of you gives in.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 12:24:23 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Heorhij

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,574
    • Mississippi University for Women
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #64 on: August 19, 2010, 12:43:19 PM »
I don't see how all hope is lost just because your significant other isn't Orthodox. There are probably Orthodox men I wouldn't even consider dating and non-Orthodox/secular men who are more my type. I like who I like. To be honest, I don't really consider who's marriage material, either. I have standards, but I'm not on a future-husband-hunt in my early twenties. I have a couple friends (one Orthodox, one not) who are around my age and taking that plunge (both with non-Orthodox men, even), but they didn't meet their intendeds while being "on the prowl" for their fellow co-religionists. They just lived their lives, and life happened. I'm a firm believer of "it'll happen when you least expect it". Ever hear the warning about wanting something so much you never get it?

God bless you, Rowan. My thoughts exactly. Well, almost exactly. I am not sure I subscribe under "it will happen when you least expect it," but I am so with you as far as you say, "I like who I like." Especially when this grows into "I love who I love," and "there is no way I can live another day without this person."
Love never fails.

Offline Liz

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 989
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #65 on: August 19, 2010, 12:46:09 PM »
I don't see how all hope is lost just because your significant other isn't Orthodox. There are probably Orthodox men I wouldn't even consider dating and non-Orthodox/secular men who are more my type. I like who I like. To be honest, I don't really consider who's marriage material, either. I have standards, but I'm not on a future-husband-hunt in my early twenties. I have a couple friends (one Orthodox, one not) who are around my age and taking that plunge (both with non-Orthodox men, even), but they didn't meet their intendeds while being "on the prowl" for their fellow co-religionists. They just lived their lives, and life happened. I'm a firm believer of "it'll happen when you least expect it". Ever hear the warning about wanting something so much you never get it?

God bless you, Rowan. My thoughts exactly. Well, almost exactly. I am not sure I subscribe under "it will happen when you least expect it," but I am so with you as far as you say, "I like who I like." Especially when this grows into "I love who I love," and "there is no way I can live another day without this person."

Your wife must be a very special woman, Heorhji. And a lucky one. [smile]

Offline deusveritasest

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,521
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #66 on: August 19, 2010, 08:26:14 PM »
Just out of curiosity - do you see any difference between marrying an Atheist and a Catholic?

Yep. Big difference. You can't marry an atheist.

Offline Rowan

  • Lurker, Writer, Science-lover, yada yada yada...
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • -- Defying Gravity --
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #67 on: August 19, 2010, 11:15:29 PM »
Well, as in anything, I also believe in the "it'll happen when you least expect it."  At the same time, one has to think, how important is one's religion in his life?  Is it important enough that his whole household should hold it?  Do you not know that those who marry within the Church, the man is considered the priest of the house, his Church?  What type of household a Church would hold that would commune those who are not members, and not just that, but you decided to bring in your house those outside the Church to commune with?

And let's be honest.  When you get married, you may not think you want children then and there.  But according to the Church, children can lawfully come through marriage.  Therefore, the possibility will come, and what will happen when both you and your non-believer wife decide to want to have children?  The "we'll deal it then" mentality is immature, in my humble opinion.  It's one thing to "least expect it," and that's when God's hand is truly in the relationship.  It's another thing to "deal it then," and that shows lack of care or preparation for what is to come, and truly you have allowed love to blind you and not to help you use your noggins.

The only way I can find it acceptable is that you are not permitted to have children unless one of you gives in.

I wasn't saying "deal with it then". I'm an advocate of planning ahead. We just disagree on the degree of planning. Before he and I talk about our future household's religion, I would like to know if I can even stand to be around him for ten minutes! I also don't want to give the impression that children would be just in the back of my mind in considering marriage. In fact, a part of the reason I'm not planning to be married any time soon is because I know I cannot afford the inevitable children yet. I think it's socially irresponsible to purposely have babies knowing they will be raised in squalor, but I digress. Anyway, the idea of marriage itself is what I'm not in a rush to bring up on a one year anniversary date.

I was always taught that God's hand is in my life, no matter what. I guess I'm more "whatever will be, will be" about this because I've never really experienced households that are 100% compatible, especially dealing with religion, but I know it's not that bad. It's not ideal, but we survive. You could say I've gotten used to the messy life. You don't have to have all your ducks in a row to raise a loving family. I believe that there are factors missing in your assessment of the situation, such as respect for one another as people, open communication, trust, forgiveness, and long-suffering. I'm not exactly coming from an "all you need is love" viewpoint. We have the advantage of having Christ as a model to emulate in our relationships, and we may even be lucky enough to have priests experienced in various mixed marriage issues as well. I never said that those who would marry Orthodox and only Orthodox are wrong, but people who would marry non-Orthodox are not exactly done for. For my family, our messiness can sometimes mean many frustrations, headaches, personality clashes, etc. But, we're together!
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul

Offline Rowan

  • Lurker, Writer, Science-lover, yada yada yada...
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • -- Defying Gravity --
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #68 on: August 19, 2010, 11:17:24 PM »
I don't see how all hope is lost just because your significant other isn't Orthodox. There are probably Orthodox men I wouldn't even consider dating and non-Orthodox/secular men who are more my type. I like who I like. To be honest, I don't really consider who's marriage material, either. I have standards, but I'm not on a future-husband-hunt in my early twenties. I have a couple friends (one Orthodox, one not) who are around my age and taking that plunge (both with non-Orthodox men, even), but they didn't meet their intendeds while being "on the prowl" for their fellow co-religionists. They just lived their lives, and life happened. I'm a firm believer of "it'll happen when you least expect it". Ever hear the warning about wanting something so much you never get it?

God bless you, Rowan. My thoughts exactly. Well, almost exactly. I am not sure I subscribe under "it will happen when you least expect it," but I am so with you as far as you say, "I like who I like." Especially when this grows into "I love who I love," and "there is no way I can live another day without this person."

I'm a bit fatalistic when it comes to this particular subject, though, if you don't mind. My greatest blessings have been those I wasn't really looking for at the time.  :)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,204
  • Pray for me St. Severus
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #69 on: August 20, 2010, 10:14:47 AM »
I believe that there are factors missing in your assessment of the situation, such as respect for one another as people, open communication, trust, forgiveness, and long-suffering.

Yes, I haven't talked about them because the subject is simple:  mixed religion marriages.  Let's assume the best out of mixed marriages:  respect, openness, trust, forgiveness, long-suffering.  Let's also assume you can afford having children and that on that one day you actually desire children (by the way, there's this understanding I hear that you'll never be able to "afford" children, they just happen to appear).  What if your spouse NEVER converts and NEVER wants that child to be your religion?
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Rowan

  • Lurker, Writer, Science-lover, yada yada yada...
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • -- Defying Gravity --
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #70 on: August 20, 2010, 01:50:51 PM »
I believe that there are factors missing in your assessment of the situation, such as respect for one another as people, open communication, trust, forgiveness, and long-suffering.

Yes, I haven't talked about them because the subject is simple:  mixed religion marriages.  Let's assume the best out of mixed marriages:  respect, openness, trust, forgiveness, long-suffering.  Let's also assume you can afford having children and that on that one day you actually desire children (by the way, there's this understanding I hear that you'll never be able to "afford" children, they just happen to appear).  What if your spouse NEVER converts and NEVER wants that child to be your religion?

If we're assuming respect, openness, trust, forgiveness, longsuffering (and many more, honestly), then both partners would be aware of their positions on these issues before "I do". That was my point: that having a non-Orthodox mate/fiance is not automatically a failure of a relationship in the long-run just because you may have more issues. I don't do well with scenarios, because you never really know, but if this issue comes up, then a person uses their own judgment about whether to stay or go. The other partner could relent. There could be compromise. Meanwhile, your Orthodox spouse could have a crisis of faith, or just decides they'd rather be Episcopalian, and may feel the same way. That's the problem with thought-experiments with real life -- real people are not stagnant creatures, so you never really know.

Some of the most unlikely relationships end up being lifelong, and the most compatible marriages can crumble. Really, I don't think there is much we can do to "minimize risk", short of having standards that include not being treated like crap.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 01:51:48 PM by Rowan »
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul

Offline dcointin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #71 on: August 20, 2010, 01:58:09 PM »
Just out of curiosity - do you see any difference between marrying an Atheist and a Catholic?

Yep. Big difference. You can't marry an atheist.

I realize that marrying a non-Christian is canonically forbidden, I just ask because some people seem to see no difference between and non-Orthodox Christian, and a non-Christian, when it comes to marriage.  They're both "not Orthodox", and that's all that matters, with no distinction made.  I disagree with this idea and think there's a *big* difference.

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,204
  • Pray for me St. Severus
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #72 on: August 20, 2010, 02:31:38 PM »
I believe that there are factors missing in your assessment of the situation, such as respect for one another as people, open communication, trust, forgiveness, and long-suffering.

Yes, I haven't talked about them because the subject is simple:  mixed religion marriages.  Let's assume the best out of mixed marriages:  respect, openness, trust, forgiveness, long-suffering.  Let's also assume you can afford having children and that on that one day you actually desire children (by the way, there's this understanding I hear that you'll never be able to "afford" children, they just happen to appear).  What if your spouse NEVER converts and NEVER wants that child to be your religion?

If we're assuming respect, openness, trust, forgiveness, longsuffering (and many more, honestly), then both partners would be aware of their positions on these issues before "I do". That was my point: that having a non-Orthodox mate/fiance is not automatically a failure of a relationship in the long-run just because you may have more issues. I don't do well with scenarios, because you never really know, but if this issue comes up, then a person uses their own judgment about whether to stay or go. The other partner could relent. There could be compromise. Meanwhile, your Orthodox spouse could have a crisis of faith, or just decides they'd rather be Episcopalian, and may feel the same way. That's the problem with thought-experiments with real life -- real people are not stagnant creatures, so you never really know.

Some of the most unlikely relationships end up being lifelong, and the most compatible marriages can crumble. Really, I don't think there is much we can do to "minimize risk", short of having standards that include not being treated like crap.

bold and underline emphasis is mine

This is what I mean on how important religion is for you.  An Orthodox Christian uncompromisingly would want his son/daughter from his/her infancy to be baptized in the Church.  To "compromise" this goes against Orthodoxy.  If I'm misunderstanding you, you need to clarify what you mean by "compromise."  To compromise a child's religion goes against Orthodoxy, you know that right?
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline deusveritasest

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,521
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #73 on: August 20, 2010, 10:45:22 PM »
I realize that marrying a non-Christian is canonically forbidden,

Isn't marrying non-Orthodox also canonically forbidden? Isn't being able to marry a non-Orthodox Christian an example of economy?

I just ask because some people seem to see no difference between and non-Orthodox Christian, and a non-Christian, when it comes to marriage.  They're both "not Orthodox", and that's all that matters, with no distinction made.  I disagree with this idea and think there's a *big* difference.

Really? I hadn't noticed that. Anyway, I agree with you, there is a big difference between an atheist and a Romanist, how close we are religiously, and how much consideration should be given to marrying one.

Offline Rowan

  • Lurker, Writer, Science-lover, yada yada yada...
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • -- Defying Gravity --
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #74 on: August 21, 2010, 07:31:19 PM »
I believe that there are factors missing in your assessment of the situation, such as respect for one another as people, open communication, trust, forgiveness, and long-suffering.

Yes, I haven't talked about them because the subject is simple:  mixed religion marriages.  Let's assume the best out of mixed marriages:  respect, openness, trust, forgiveness, long-suffering.  Let's also assume you can afford having children and that on that one day you actually desire children (by the way, there's this understanding I hear that you'll never be able to "afford" children, they just happen to appear).  What if your spouse NEVER converts and NEVER wants that child to be your religion?

If we're assuming respect, openness, trust, forgiveness, longsuffering (and many more, honestly), then both partners would be aware of their positions on these issues before "I do". That was my point: that having a non-Orthodox mate/fiance is not automatically a failure of a relationship in the long-run just because you may have more issues. I don't do well with scenarios, because you never really know, but if this issue comes up, then a person uses their own judgment about whether to stay or go. The other partner could relent. There could be compromise. Meanwhile, your Orthodox spouse could have a crisis of faith, or just decides they'd rather be Episcopalian, and may feel the same way. That's the problem with thought-experiments with real life -- real people are not stagnant creatures, so you never really know.

Some of the most unlikely relationships end up being lifelong, and the most compatible marriages can crumble. Really, I don't think there is much we can do to "minimize risk", short of having standards that include not being treated like crap.

bold and underline emphasis is mine

This is what I mean on how important religion is for you.  An Orthodox Christian uncompromisingly would want his son/daughter from his/her infancy to be baptized in the Church.  To "compromise" this goes against Orthodoxy.  If I'm misunderstanding you, you need to clarify what you mean by "compromise."  To compromise a child's religion goes against Orthodoxy, you know that right?

No, I mean beyond the baptism; the logistics of being Orthodox. It depends on the partner's objection to Orthodoxy. In the case of tradition/cultural objections: will the family celebrate Easter at your home parish, then visit your partner's family at another church for Christmas (or even have a third church to visit if you are the only Orthodox in your family as well)? Will we have a Nativity scene using statues or icons? Can our daughter play the Virgin Mary in the Christmas play at the production that Calvary Baptist puts on every year? In the case of practical objections: as a family, will we encourage traditional devotion from more familiar western tradition, or to the exclusion of all others but Eastern? Will we follow the Old Calendar or the New Calendar (to keep in step with the celebrations of our families)? Family religious life is lived in these nuts-in-bolts, and yes, there may have to be compromise when considering the wishes of your partner in a mixed marriage. I'm not talking about putting the child's soul in peril. Of course not.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,204
  • Pray for me St. Severus
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #75 on: August 21, 2010, 08:35:38 PM »
I still don't understand.  Are you teaching your child that it's okay to be both a Baptist and an Orthodox, or having him experience both that he/she may choose at a more mature age?  Or that it's imperative for the child to be Orthodox, but to be sometimes with his Baptist family for obvious cultural reasons (i.e. nothing to do with Baptist religion)?  Are you saying or assuming that your Baptist spouse is okay with his/her child to be Orthodox?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 08:41:25 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Christianus

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 312
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #76 on: August 22, 2010, 05:35:35 AM »
I'm confused..
if I became orthodox, and I got a roman catholic wife, would I get excommunicated or something like that?
Personally I think that the roman catholic church is prettier than the Orthodox church, when it comes to singing.
But on theology I'm closer to the Orthodox.
Dude, cause I'd be fine being Orthodox, with a rc wife.
But I feel culturally closer to the roman catholics.My cultural heritage is Hispano-Latin (hispano including the basques, and muslims.), not Greek, slavic, aramaic, etc.
Could I still go to heaven if I became Roman Catholic?
I just feel like, If I had to marry orthodox, I'd most likely marry Greek, or Russian...... and I want to pass down my Hispano-Latin culture down upon my Kids.... Mi herencia sevillana...  We basically created Theodosius I, Hadrian, and Trajan.
And I'm a bit mixed too, so I just don't want my kids to lose this amazing culture.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 05:50:51 AM by Christianus »

Offline Liz

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 989
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #77 on: August 22, 2010, 07:23:50 AM »
I'm confused..
if I became orthodox, and I got a roman catholic wife, would I get excommunicated or something like that?
Personally I think that the roman catholic church is prettier than the Orthodox church, when it comes to singing.
But on theology I'm closer to the Orthodox.
Dude, cause I'd be fine being Orthodox, with a rc wife.
But I feel culturally closer to the roman catholics.My cultural heritage is Hispano-Latin (hispano including the basques, and muslims.), not Greek, slavic, aramaic, etc.
Could I still go to heaven if I became Roman Catholic?
I just feel like, If I had to marry orthodox, I'd most likely marry Greek, or Russian...... and I want to pass down my Hispano-Latin culture down upon my Kids.... Mi herencia sevillana...  We basically created Theodosius I, Hadrian, and Trajan.
And I'm a bit mixed too, so I just don't want my kids to lose this amazing culture.

Ok, I am not Orthodox but I can assure you, the Church does not excommunicate people for marrying other Christians baptised in the name of the Trinity.

You could always see if your RC girlfriend was open to converting, I guess?

Offline Liz

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 989
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #78 on: August 22, 2010, 07:34:24 AM »

No, I mean beyond the baptism; the logistics of being Orthodox. It depends on the partner's objection to Orthodoxy. In the case of tradition/cultural objections: will the family celebrate Easter at your home parish, then visit your partner's family at another church for Christmas (or even have a third church to visit if you are the only Orthodox in your family as well)? Will we have a Nativity scene using statues or icons? Can our daughter play the Virgin Mary in the Christmas play at the production that Calvary Baptist puts on every year? In the case of practical objections: as a family, will we encourage traditional devotion from more familiar western tradition, or to the exclusion of all others but Eastern? Will we follow the Old Calendar or the New Calendar (to keep in step with the celebrations of our families)? Family religious life is lived in these nuts-in-bolts, and yes, there may have to be compromise when considering the wishes of your partner in a mixed marriage. I'm not talking about putting the child's soul in peril. Of course not.

May I just say, there's a thread that split off this one and into discussions of raising children in a mixed marriage. It's actually digressed into a bit of a 'whose faith is better' topic and these questions are more interesting, but I just wanted to say I think what you say here is very important for both threads.

Virtually always, it's possible to find a compromise in practice that isn't a compromise in faith.

Offline theistgal

  • Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic/sometimes atheist
  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,457
  • don't even go there!
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #79 on: August 22, 2010, 09:22:42 AM »
I'm still kind of in shock that you think the singing in the RC Church is "prettier" than the Orthodox.  That's the exact opposite of my personal experience! :D
"Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on.'' (owner of Coney Island freak show, upon learning he'd been outbid on a 5-legged puppy)

Offline Rowan

  • Lurker, Writer, Science-lover, yada yada yada...
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 159
  • -- Defying Gravity --
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #80 on: August 22, 2010, 10:15:39 PM »
I still don't understand.  Are you teaching your child that it's okay to be both a Baptist and an Orthodox, or having him experience both that he/she may choose at a more mature age?  Or that it's imperative for the child to be Orthodox, but to be sometimes with his Baptist family for obvious cultural reasons (i.e. nothing to do with Baptist religion)?  Are you saying or assuming that your Baptist spouse is okay with his/her child to be Orthodox?

No, no, no. It's about not punishing a set of grandparents just because they don't go to St. Sabba's. It's about enjoying holidays with all of your family. Not everything has to be a religious grand-stand.

But the other posters are right; I think we jumped the gun jumping from dating to future children. This is a thread about dating, so did you want to discuss any of my comments about dating non-Orthodox?
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,204
  • Pray for me St. Severus
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Why Date a non-Orthodox?
« Reply #81 on: August 22, 2010, 10:55:20 PM »
I still don't understand.  Are you teaching your child that it's okay to be both a Baptist and an Orthodox, or having him experience both that he/she may choose at a more mature age?  Or that it's imperative for the child to be Orthodox, but to be sometimes with his Baptist family for obvious cultural reasons (i.e. nothing to do with Baptist religion)?  Are you saying or assuming that your Baptist spouse is okay with his/her child to be Orthodox?

No, no, no. It's about not punishing a set of grandparents just because they don't go to St. Sabba's. It's about enjoying holidays with all of your family. Not everything has to be a religious grand-stand.

But the other posters are right; I think we jumped the gun jumping from dating to future children. This is a thread about dating, so did you want to discuss any of my comments about dating non-Orthodox?

I understand this is delving into another topic, but I believe this is a topic that needs to be discussed within the context of mixed marriages also, but perhaps to end this part of the discussion quickly, I'll state my beliefs clearly and see how you stand with them.  I'm still not sure what you're saying, but this is what I believe the proper Orthodox understanding (at least in the Coptic Church) concerning this:

First off, a child does not get to grow up and "choose."  In Orthodoxy, a parent chooses to have the child baptized and grown up into the Church.  In the understanding of the Church, when the child becomes an adult, then he/she can make his/her own decisions.  Until then, the child grows up by the decisions of the family, and within the context of Orthodoxy, that means the child must be baptized and grow up in and partake of the sacraments of the Orthodox Church.

Second, I am not against a child partaking of family gatherings, even if they be outside religious lines.  So long as the child grows up understanding that he is still Orthodox and he is to be loyal to Orthodoxy as he grows up and that the other family is for cultural reasons ONLY, and not to agree to their religious beliefs, I don't see anything wrong with being with and celebrating with a Baptist family, for instance, since that's part of his culture.  BUT, if being with Baptist and being with Orthodox family means ambivalence in beliefs, and learning both, and growing up as an adult to choose between the two, then this goes against Orthodoxy, and this is not condoned by our Church.  It is why it is recommended in mixed marriages, one of the couple MUST convert to the other's, and obviously it's preferably Orthodoxy.

IN FACT, EVEN WITHIN OO CHURCHES, let's say Indian Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox, it is still HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that the couple choose ONE PARISH to stick to for the sake of family unity and future stability of children.  Now imagine two different cultures of the same OO communion have this strong recommendation, how much more of those OUTSIDE the Church!!?? (IN FACT, furthermore, even Copts of different parishes are asked to choose one parish)

If there's anything I say that is different from what you're saying, then I'm all ears.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 11:03:11 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.