Research conducted by the Center for Marriage and Family at Creighton University (1999) showed a higher incidence of divorce among interchurch couples (20.3%) than among same-church couples (14.1%).(Interchurch couples are Christians of different denominations, e.g., a Baptist and a Catholic or a Methodist and a Presbyterian). Perhaps you’re putting off some of these heavy questions for a rainy day when your job is more settled, or wedding pressures subside… Whether you address them or not, however, the big life issues will not disappear.Share them with your beloved and chart how you will live out your beliefs and values together. That’s nice, but it’s more important to talk about what God means to you, what spiritual practices you find meaningful, and how you can support each other once you are married.Certainly some spouses, strongly committed to their faith, will continue to worship regularly and be active church members, but it’s harder to go alone, split financial support, and devote time to two separate congregations. If each of you belongs to a different faith tradition, learn more about the beliefs of that religion.The solutions to these dilemmas are as unique as the couples who marry. You’re not trying to convert the other but to understand what shapes your partner’s values.Since prayer at home is less formal, you can develop creative, inclusive times of prayer and faith devotions together.
These are the kind of conversations that you may have intended to explore some day, but you’ve put it off. Use your contact with the priest, minister, rabbi, or imam to go deeper. If you were a lawyer or doctor you wouldn’t think of practicing your profession based on high school information. You don’t have to have a degree in theology but you should not rely on childhood explanations in an adult world. Even if the two of you come from different faith traditions and are committed to continuing them, make your home a place where you merge prayer, rituals, and religious traditions.Although research finds that greater religious practice is related to lower rates of divorce there is not necessarily a causal relationship.