Mixed Faith Families
June 25, 2012
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As I have said before on here, I am Pagan. My husband, however, is Congregationalist, a form of Christianity for those not “in the know.” I’ve written in the past about how I’m nervous about how we’ll raise our son given our differences in faith. There have been plenty of times that I’ve been worried that theses differences and our desire to raise our child as an open minded individual will get in the way of the relationship that my husband and I have.
Like any intelligent individual, I have decided to be proactive about these fears and have begun looking into the research and recommended methods behind mixed families and raising children. While I won’t be looking at what I find as a gospel of sorts for guiding us, it will be nice to be well informed of the issues that may arise. Many of the problems I’m expecting to read about I don’t think I will find surprising, but sometimes it’s hard to actually think about a future obstacle without staring it right in the face.
The first work that I’ll be taking my time reading through – mostly because it’s on the computer, but also having other responsibilities cutting into reading time – is a study supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (UK based) looking at how parents from different racial, ethnic, and/or faith backgrounds create a sense of belonging and identity for their child, the approaches to cultural difference, and addresses the impending opportunities, constraints, challenges, and tensions in negotiating a sense of identity and heritage between parents.
While Joe and I do have a lot of similarities in our heritage as far as ethnicity goes – we’re both primarily French Canadian – there are also huge differences that lie within aside from the religious aspects. He has a family history of folks with a higher education and placed in a higher socioeconomic bracket (not including his immediate family) while I come from a family that would be considered more of the tradesman stock from the lower realms. This may not seem to be an issue on the surface, but it has led to some rather interesting predicaments between us and a few intriguing conversations. Overall, I think that starting with the largest hurdle, that being religion, to help begin building a family identity on a cultural level will be a great things for us.