religion love & hip-hop

It has caused wars and killed millions, there have been movies and books made about it and it is probably up there with money as one of the most argued about subjects. When it comes to the subject of religion it is always best to tread lightly.  People are sensitive and passionate about their God, Allah, Buddha and for some, their lack of belief at all.  Most people try to simply avoid the topic at all costs, but there are definitely certain situations where the issue should and must be addressed.

Take Jen and Consequence form VH1’s Love & Hip Hop for example. This week’s episode, much like last week’s, found the couple struggling to balance the two totally different religions currently coinciding in their household, especially as it relates to their son.  Jen, who was raised Protestant, wants the couple’s son to enjoy some of the benefits of her religion such as Christmas.  This, however, totally goes against Consequences’ Islamic faith.  He wants his son to be raised in the ways of Islam and would like a hesitant Jen to convert as well.  In an effort to get an outside opinion on their ongoing argument, Jen agreed to go with Consequence to speak with one of his religious leaders, who said pretty much what we all were thinking.  Why didn’t you discuss this before having a baby?

Unfortunately, Jen and Consequence’s dilemma is a familiar one. Many of us avoid the sensitive subjects until it’s too late.  Just like many people wait until after the finances are in shambles to discuss money seriously, the same can be said about discussing religion.  While I would want my child to be raised in my faith, I would be open to a form of compromise if my mate’s religion differed from my own, and have no issues with broaching the topic well before sperm meets egg.

I don’t want to find out during my outing to find a christening gown that you’re an atheist.  I’ve had out-and-out screaming matches with exes about religion and my views on how I would like my children raised.  Some continued for a while after the yelling ceased, other died right there on the spot, but at least everything was out in the open and there was no vagueness on where either of us stood.

Discussions like religion and how it will be handled during a marriage are too important to leave on the table until the last-minute.  But then again since many people aren’t making marriage a priority in their relationships, they might not see the need to discuss such an important issue with someone they have no plans on marrying.  Perhaps that’s the issue that really needs addressing.

What are your thoughts on discussing religion before marriage?  If you’re in an interfaith relationship did you convert, or was there compromise?

22 Comments

  1. steff

    Before i get in a serious relationship with someone i need to make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to religion. People have the right to practice whatever faith they want to practice, but for me personally i wouldn’t want to be with someone who was a practicing Muslim, Christian or whatever. Simply because i have such strong views on religion (in that im an atheist) i could/would not want to compromise on that when the time to have children arises. And if my partner wants to carry on his faith with his children i woudnt want him to have to compromise on what he believes in, i couldnt handle the guilt. So just to minimise the risk of this, before i get serious with anyone we have to be on the same page, but thats just me personally. So many people have and continue healthy relationships with two different religious views, its just not my cup of tea.

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    • RE: Simply because i have such strong views on religion (in that im an atheist) i could/would not want to compromise on that when the time to have children arises.

      I think this is where a problem arises for most; the children. If I were a member of a religion, I don’t see how I could accept the opposite of my beliefs being taught to my children. We could however, teach the children about all religion and hope they make their own decisions.

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  2. LadyP

    To have someone of the same religious faith is a necessity for me. Even worshipping at the same religious facility is a must as well. For me, one of the greatest aspects of our relationship is to engage in worship together. Our bond is strengthened as well, as we grow within the same faith.

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  3. I never thought about religious differences until I was talking to a Muslim guy and he hinted at my possible conversion. Im in a better place with my faith and that kept us from getting closer. It’s easy for me as a Christian to initially blow it off bc we have that freedom kinda. But when you’re in love with someone who doesn’t and can’t see it that way it’s like a blow to the chest

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  4. Ma'at

    I’m spirtual and believe in God but I don’t belong to a religion. I’m in a committed relationship with my boyfriend who is Christian. In the beginning it was very hard but we got to the point where we loved each other enough to make it work and just respect each other’s points of view on religion or relationship with God. I think that’s the key or else it won’t work. I really believe religion is a personal choice and shouldn’t be forced upon anyone. Compromise is key and respecting each each other choice to worship in the way that they want to is important. I don’t want to be with someone who is a zealot or extreme with their religous views because then that person will never be open to respect my relationship with God.

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  5. I’m Christian, though a very liberal and nontraditional one. My husband was raised Muslim, but now leans more toward Deism (believes in a Creator that doesn’t interfere in human life) and doesn’t dig organized religion very much at all. We did discuss religion and child-rearing while dating, but more often now that we have a child. And the conclusion for the most part is “live and let live.” I celebrate Christmas with our son; my husband does not. I listen to gospel and sermons sometimes; he deals with it. I don’t attend church at the moment, but it’s understood that I plan to take our son with me when I do. I think faith is valuable & important, and I will share that. For my husband’s part, he will teach our son to balance religion with science/reason/philosophy. But it’s important to remember that people don’t remain the same their whole lives and the conversation/compromise should be ongoing. My husband may decide one day to go back to Islam, or I may get more deep in my faith – but I think it’s all fine as long as we keep talking.

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