• Deborah Jackson, NewLIfeProfSvcs

Let's Talk About "Values, Religion or Spirituality"

I wanted to start this one by first defining Values, Religion and/or Spirituality.

Values are defined in one dictionary as a person's principles or standards of behavior, one's judgment of what is important in life.

Religion is defined as a particular system of Faith and Worship. Another definition says the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, specifically, a personal God.

I have chosen to discuss these in tandem because they can be understood, depending on the individuals, as polar opposite concepts which cause great contention in the relationship or the glue that binds them together as a couple.

Religion or a system of faith influences what we believe and frame how we act. Likewise, our Values which are based on norms that we learn through interactions with our family, teachers, and other individuals or society at large can frame what we use as a guide to define how we behave and what we believe is right or wrong.

If each of the individuals in the relationship have been exposed to one but not the other of these concepts, or exposed to these but from differing perspectives, this can cause serious contentions within the relationship.

So what might a couple want to discuss?

· Are you spiritual or religious or both?

· What does each person bring to the relationship as their own personal values?

· What does each person bring to the relationship as their Religious or Spiritual background?

· If one goes to church and the other doesn't is that a deal breaker?

How is the relationship affected by this?

· If both go to different churches, does each stay at their church after marriage?

If so what may be the consequences that come from that decision?

· What about if we both have a belief system but they are not the same? For example Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Agnostic, or denominational difference Baptist, Pentecostal, Muslim, or catholic?

This is a major discussion to have so as not to derail the marriage before it can get started because it was not proactive versus a reactive discussion.

Have this talk, before you take the walk.

Until the next time.....

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