When people learn about our cross-faith marriage, they often ask us how we plan to present our beliefs to our children. Well, to begin with, Cori and I have not yet had children, and we are not planning to have any. This isn't because of our differing beliefs, but rather because we are not, at this time, interested in parenting.
But what if we decide one day to have children? Cori and I were talking about this the other day, and the conclusion we came up with was this: if both partners in a cross-faith relationship have some founding values that they both share, raising children shouldn't be that much of a problem.
What values do Cori and I share?
- It is important to respect others.
- We believe that it is healthy to have relationships with those of differing cultures and worldviews.
- We believe that it is healthy to explore and grapple with different points of view and different beliefs, even with those that might make us feel uncomfortable or threatened.
But as parents, we will also be responsible for taking our kids on visits to Hindu temples, Mosques and Synagogues, and to introduce them to common problems with theistic thinking. We will encourage our children to make friends from different cultures and religions, so they can find beauty in variety, and learn that – despite the fact that there are many differing beliefs out there – we are all basically human. I hope that, as parents, our children will learn to respect others, critically assess ideas and beliefs, and not feel threatened by doubt.
After all of this, it will not bother me in the slightest if my children finally decide to become Christians, atheists, or anything else. What they become will eventually be their choice, and I think the goal as parents is to give them enough information so that they can make a choice that is well informed.
What do you think?
(See other posts on our cross-faith marriage)