“You’re getting married in the midst of this job search?”
I was talking to a recent Georgia Tech MBA graduate. He had offers to become a consultant but came to me for advice on startup opportunities. After getting into his background a bit, I understood why. He’s smart and ambitious and has always been drawn to opportunities with riskier outcomes. Becoming a consultant for a brand name business wasn’t as attractive.
“Tell me about your fiancée,” I said.
“I met her two years ago. It was a great relationship right from the start. We both knew we would marry eventually,” he said.
“Does she come from the same faith background?” I asked.
“No. She is a non-practicing Catholic, and I am a mostly non-practicing Jew,” he answered.
“What kind of marriage ceremony will you have?” I asked.
“It will be a mix of Jewish and Christian,” he said.
“Sounds confusing to me. Jews don’t believe Jesus is the promised Messiah, and Christians do. How did you come to an agreement on a religious ceremony?” I asked.
“We worked it out,” he said.
“Does either set of parents have an issue with your marriage?” I asked.
“That’s the elephant in the room. My parents are upset that I am marrying a non-Jew. Her parents are upset that she is not marrying a Catholic,” he said with some frustration.
“You know why your parents are upset?” I asked. “They have wrestled with the religion question with their parents and with each other. They know decisions on faith and raising kids will hit you and your wife. They see further out and how they will interact with their grandchildren and their faith. All of this is confusing and concerning to them. It is their family, too.”
“But we love each other. I guess we will work through these issues as we encounter them in our marriage,” he said.
“That’s going to be stressful on your marriage. Why wait to address this? Why not address it now while life is simpler?” I asked.
“What do you propose?” he asked.
“You both grew up in your respective faiths. Neither of you really understands the belief system. Now is the time for you and your fiancée to earnestly investigate Judaism and Christianity,” I said.
“Take the time to understand and come to a conclusion on what you will believe and practice together. The big question will be, ‘Is Jesus the promised Messiah?’”
If he is, then you will be a practicing Messianic Jew, a Catholic or a Protestant Christian. If Jesus isn’t the Messiah, then you will practice Judaism. Now is the time to investigate the truth of God.”
He listened politely. After all, he came for professional advice and not marriage advice. But I do hope he discusses this with his fiancée.
God created the family.
The question, “Who is God?” is important to answer…together. It is all about family in the end. And family is created and secured through faith.