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The following was written by Sunny McLellan Morton for LDS Living. To read the full article, click here.
Sandra and Steve are a loving Latter-day Saint couple with an ongoing disagreement about Sabbath activities. Sandra likes to listen to sacred music and work on family history projects after church. Steve spends time with their teenage sons, watching football, or shooting hoops in the driveway. Sandra resents Steve for making sports part of their family’s Sabbath routine. Steve feels Sandra is paying attention to dead relatives at the expense of living ones.
This couple’s experience isn’t uncommon. Even the most like-minded, temple-worthy Latter-day Saint couples can differ widely in how they live their religion. When one partner is an active Latter-day Saint and the other is not, differences may become even sharper.
Fortunately, couples can work through many religious differences successfully—and grow closer in the process. The keys are, not surprisingly, to exercise qualities religion itself teaches us: a commitment to fairness, true generosity of spirit, compassion, and uncompromising love.
The good news is that couples who have religious differences can often find ways to work them out. Straight from the experts, here are eight proven strategies to help couples through differences of religion:
1. Be confident in who you are
Decide on your religious values and practices and live them as fully as possible. “If it’s just part of who you are, it’s not a struggle,” says Nancy E. Gould, MA, MEd, a marriage and family clinical counselor in Chardon, Ohio. When you’re firm in your beliefs, “it’s not a negotiating point in the relationship, either. It’s like, ‘You like to read. Well, I like to go to church.’”
It may take a while to become this confident. Those still reaching for such confidence can enlist a spouse’s support, even if the spouse isn’t reaching for the same goal.
To read the full article, click here.