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Author Topic: so...relationship with protestant  (Read 765 times) Average Rating: 0
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casisthename
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« on: June 09, 2011, 10:49:51 PM »

Hey everyone,

First off thanks for all the help the last couple months. I've decided to become a catechumen in the fall. Now, that I'm firm in that decision though it does bring up another issue. I have been dating my boyfriend for nearly a year and a half. Through this whole experience we have been discussing it as it goes. He doesn't feel he could be Orthodox per say -he doesn't understand how Tradition could be equal to Scripture-. However, he is comfortable attending Orthodox services. He even seems to embrace Orthodox theology over western theology on several issues. After a very long discussion he agreed he would be comfortable if one day we were to marry to raise children in the Orthodox church.

That all being said, it seems many people here who are far more experienced and wiser then I am , believe a romantic relationship with a protestant is very difficult. Could anyone give me some ideas of issues which I should discuss with my boyfriend before I become a catechumen? Or what specific things would make a relationship with a protestant difficult? (Not, that I would chose to not become a catechumen. I'd just rather deal with the situation the best I can and going in with some idea would help alot)
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bogdan
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2011, 11:45:43 PM »

I have a friend who is in a similar place, except he is married. To me it sounds like the understandings you've come to are a good start. Some couples have a very difficult time even reaching the point you're at.

I would continue onward based on what you discussed, and keep planting seeds. You don't have to be pushy or anything, just continue to witness. If your parish offers classes as part of the catechumenate, perhaps you could invite him along—not in a "I want you to convert with me" way, but just so he can understand the faith you are coming into.

Most of all, pray for him. St Monica, the mother of St Augustine, prayed fervently for her son for 20 years before he finally became a Christian. She may be a help for you in prayer as well. Prayer has much more power than reasoning and debate, after all!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 11:46:12 PM by bogdan » Logged
serb1389
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 12:34:44 AM »

I would also caution to be very careful about how you talk about things with your bf and the questions you ask him.  he could mistrew them & think you are grilling him, which is usually not good. 

I recently had a young lady come to me who was dating a jewish guy, and they discussed these things for 3 years & he even said he was ok with them having orthodox kids, etc.  Obviously marriage for them would be an issue on our end, but in regards to your question she found out 3 years later that he had been lying to her the whole time & had never told her how much he wanted the kids to be jewish, etc. etc. etc. 

SO yah...just be very careful & very clear on what you are asking. 
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Thankful
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 05:48:38 PM »

After a very long discussion he agreed he would be comfortable if one day we were to marry to raise children in the Orthodox church.

<Gently> I don't think it's this easy. If you're a baptized Orthodox Christian, you will not be able to marry him in the Church unless he is baptized, too.  If you marry him anyway (outside the Church), and yet keep attending an Orthodox church, I don't believe you'll be able to receive the Eucharist because the situation (marrying outside Orthodoxy). You might be able to have your children baptized and you can all attend services, but neither you or your husband would be receiving the Eucharist yourselves.  [Someone can certainly correct me if I'm wrong!] 

I would think this a very hard way to knowingly approach marriage and family.
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KBN1
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 07:12:07 PM »

After a very long discussion he agreed he would be comfortable if one day we were to marry to raise children in the Orthodox church.

<Gently> I don't think it's this easy. If you're a baptized Orthodox Christian, you will not be able to marry him in the Church unless he is baptized, too.  If you marry him anyway (outside the Church), and yet keep attending an Orthodox church, I don't believe you'll be able to receive the Eucharist because the situation (marrying outside Orthodoxy). You might be able to have your children baptized and you can all attend services, but neither you or your husband would be receiving the Eucharist yourselves.  [Someone can certainly correct me if I'm wrong!] 

I would think this a very hard way to knowingly approach marriage and family.

I am pretty sure that this is NOT correct.  Casisthename said that her boyfriend is a Protestant Christian.  In most cases I believe that marriage is allowed between a baptized Orthodox Christian and a baptized Protestant as long as he is trinitarian in the orthodox sense.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 07:15:43 PM by KBN1 » Logged
casisthename
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 07:13:38 PM »

After a very long discussion he agreed he would be comfortable if one day we were to marry to raise children in the Orthodox church.

<Gently> I don't think it's this easy. If you're a baptized Orthodox Christian, you will not be able to marry him in the Church unless he is baptized, too.  If you marry him anyway (outside the Church), and yet keep attending an Orthodox church, I don't believe you'll be able to receive the Eucharist because the situation (marrying outside Orthodoxy). You might be able to have your children baptized and you can all attend services, but neither you or your husband would be receiving the Eucharist yourselves.  [Someone can certainly correct me if I'm wrong!] 

I would think this a very hard way to knowingly approach marriage and family.

I was under the impression that he would have to be a baptized Christian but not necessarily baptized in the Orthodox Church.
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serb1389
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 11:24:31 PM »

It depends on the denomination.  As Thankful said, their baptism has to have been in Trinitarian faith, and with water. 
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 02:31:31 PM »

My parents were of different faiths, though not very different (RC and Lutheran) and I was raised Lutheran. Although my parents were loving and respectful of each other's beliefs, children notice when Mommy and Daddy don't attend church together, and I'm sure it was very lonely for my mom to go every Sunday by herself with us kids.
While I know that people could probably supply plenty of anecdotal examples of "mixed marriages" that were successful, I would think long and hard before marrying someone of a different faith and raising children in that scenario. It wasn't all a bed of roses for me.

Plus, I've noticed that faith becomes even more important to folks when kids come along.
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kijabeboy03
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 03:45:49 PM »

"...in regards to your question she found out 3 years later that he had been lying to her the whole time & had never told her how much he wanted the kids to be jewish, etc. etc. etc."

He may not have been lying, but just not realized (as Katherine said) how important having his kids raised in his faith would be to him later. It's that sort of thing you don't think about - ditto being solely responsible for 'churching' the kids yourself (even if your spouse truly does support them being raised Orthodox and doesn't want to raise them a blend of Orthodox and Jewish ;-) ). I was dating a nominal Orthodox Christian with a secular lifestyle and a generically American/mainline Protestant belief in God and at some point I looked at the Russian women in my parish who were married to Americans and were raising kids in the Faith on their own and realized that that would be me and that I wasn't strong enough to be the only parent teaching the kids how to pray, how to fast, how to live a Christian life, how to interact with the world, et cetera.

That having been said, I know a couple of really good interreligious marriages with functional parents and kids and couple of really awkward, difficult ones :-/. Whatever you do, don't proceed with the relationship if in the back of your head you're expecting him to change - it'll lead to problems later :-/.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 03:46:55 PM by kijabeboy03 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 04:17:04 PM »

very good points.
don't expect anyone to change after marriage.
people are just the same, only sometimes more intense and making less effort to be 'nice'.
marriage is about work and commitment and should be carefully considered before proceeding.
thank God my husband is very patient with my failings  Smiley
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