does the marriage of an active jw HAVE to be to another active and practicing jw?
marriage = jw + jw
Well, they certainly encourage intra-Jw marriage.
This helps to increase statistics of "believers".
Welcome to the board, BTW
ya, i know they "encourage" it... but i spent a couple hours on the watchtower website last night and found not a single thing that emphasized being "equally yoked." all any of the articles said about finding a husband or wife was that they should have good morals, be responsible, etc. but if jw's arent allowed to celebrate worldly holidays because they would be with worldly family members, then i am surprised they aren't too persistant on keeping their members married to non-worldly spouses.
The Watchtower website is not a very good source of information, it is pretty whitewashed.
Somebody ought to be along with some quotes from the WT publications about this subject. Several times a year, via a Watchtower article or one of the various other mind-control methods Watchtower Inc. employs, JW's are strongly "encouraged" to marry in the faith.
One scripture that is cited or quoted ad nauseum in Watchtower publications is 1 Corinthians 15:33 - "Bad Associations Spoil Useful Habits". It is always brought up in the context of not getting too close with "worldly" people, including dating or marriage prospects.
I see what you mean.
The society has many rules and regulations that are "unpalatable" to interested persons who are new.
This is one of the many subjects that will not be covered or addressed to newly interested ones.
There are lots of good websites that will inform you of their ultimate agenda. Freeminds. Org is a good one.
There are many others also. The "official site" lacks continuity of their beliefs, so be sure to investigate. They love nothing more than to hook someone who only investigates their side.
As an "active" jw I married a non-active but baptized man, and because of his not being a "proper" jw was not allowed to marry in a kh, and was strongly encouraged to think twice about it.
Yes, we were constantly reminded in the congregation not to be "unevenly yoked" with an unbelieving mate. Talks frequently mentioned how difficult this situation would be for an active JW. While articles may have been vague about the subject, the talks in the congregation were not. And anyone marrying "outside the truth" was viewed as immature and weak.
One has to understand that not all important information was from articles. A good example of this was the stress on the 1975 date. While only a few articles suggested its importance, the talks left no doubt about how the Society felt about it. District and Circuit overseers emphasized it in their talks at assemblies. In turn, congregation overseers carried the message to the congregations. Everyone knew and anticipated Armageddon in 1975. But the "official" view in the literature could later be stated as a denial.
Welcome to the board, HapEMelissa.
Our family is not Jehovah's Witness. My teenage daughter had a sweet JW boyfriend for 2 years, so your situation is one that our family learned a lot about. What the Watchtower puts on their website for public consumption is very different than what they say to their members. Remember, it doesn't matter if you are a great, moral person and Christian, you are considered a non-believer.
Here are some quotes and I have lots more information. Feel free to contact me at the email address in my profile.
The Watchtower - May 15, 2001
"Jehovah's direction for Christians is very clear: 'Marry only in the lord.' (1 Corinthians 7:39) Christian parents and their children may be tested in this regard. How so? Young people may wish to get married, but available partners may be lacking within the congregation. At least that is how it seems. There may be fewer available men than women in a certain locality, or their may be no one deemed suitable in the area. A young man who is not a dedicated member of the congregation may show interest in a young Christian woman (or vice versa), and there is a pressure to compromise on the standards that Jehovah has set. Under such circumstances, it would be good to reflect on the example of Abraham. One way that he maintained his fine relationship with God was by seeing to it that his son Isaac married a true worshipper of Jehovah. Isaac did the same in the case of his son Jacob. This took effort by all involved, but it pleased God and resulted in his blessing.-Genesis 28:1-4."
*** w82 3/15 p. 31 Questions from Readers ***
Finally, in the Christian Greek Scriptures God repeated the counsel: Do not marry someone who is not serving the Lord. The inspired counsel was not, ?If you find a clean, decent person, it is permissible to court and marry that individual with the hope that he or she may eventually become a Christian.? Rather, God?s Word clearly says: "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers." (2 Corinthians 6:14) To marry someone who is not already a baptized Christian would be to disregard that serious counsel.
Because Jehovah?s Witnesses as a people view this counsel as wise and serious, they do not want to contribute to anyone?s going contrary to it. For example, if because of weakness a spiritual brother or sister began to court or date a person who is not a witness of Jehovah, the others in the congregation would hardly want to encourage that by socializing with the unbeliever. They agree with the Bible that the non-Christian is not a good associate. (1 Corinthians 15:33) But they should continue to display interest in their brother or sister. They might be able to offer tactful and encouraging admonition to help the straying Christian to avoid the sad path that Solomon followed.?Compare 2 Thessalonians 3:14, 15.
But what if a Witness planned to disregard God?s advice and to marry someone who was not a baptized Witness? Unless there was some exceptional reason, brothers in the congregation would not want to solemnize such an unequal yoking. Nor would the Kingdom Hall be available for the wedding. It is available for marriages of two baptized Christians who are marrying "only in the Lord." Or it might sometimes be used by two persons who are regularly serving God as part of the congregation and who will soon be baptized. By not allowing the Kingdom Hall to be used by a Witness who plans to ?become unevenly yoked with an unbeliever,? the congregation elders can underscore the seriousness of God?s counsel to marry "only in the Lord."
I found it very helpful to read 2 JW published books, "Questions Young People Ask" and "Secrets of Family Happiness" for insight into the rules that JWs have been raised to live by and are expected to follow.
Also check out http://members.aol.com/beyondjw/inlove.htm
I guess the really hard thing to remember is that there can be a really terrific person who is JW, who you love, but if you want different things out of life, and want to live completely different lives, it will be really difficult to have happy marriage. Love is not nearly enough.
I was a babtized jW in good standing with the congregation when I married a non-jw in 1996. I was not Df'd or reproved but I was 'marked' . I was not allowed to be married in the KH and my family was encouraged to not attend or to have anything to do with my wedding. After I was married, I was no longer invited to congregation get-togethers and I lost all my witness friends. So even though you will not be officially DF'd you will be treated as such.
and do you regret your choice in a spouse? i mean, due to the religious barrier?
You must weren't searching with the right info, "marry in the Lord." A search on www.watchtower.org reveals:
This places a test on Christian households. In the name of custom, some family heads allow unbelieving relatives to extort a high bride-price. This has sometimes led to the marriage of a Christian girl to an unbeliever. That is contrary to the admonition that Christians should marry "only in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:39)
"and do you regret your choice in a spouse? i mean, due to the religious barrier?"
I have no regrets. I am no longer a JW so there is no religious barrier. During the frist 2 years of my marrige I continued to attend meetings so although I never let the JW's Interfere with my marrige even though they tried. I was constantly reminded that I was married to an 'unbeliever' and that he would die in armageddon. I was told that he would try his hardest to keep me from serving Jehovah and that the marrige would never last becuase Jehovah was not in our marrige. I was encouraged to never have children because they would not have a spiritual upbringing. This did nothing but dicourage me. I started my fade, and made my final break last year.
If you are considering marrying a non-JW, do not expect him to convert, because most likely he will not. It will be hard if you want to continue to be an active JW because the congregtion will try thier hardest to turn you against your husband.
I am a Christian (in the regular sense) married to a JW. Throughout our engagement I was treated as a "shameful thing" to be hidden away in secret. There were no JW's at my wedding aside from my husband. The elders have described my honey's marriage against their advice as a "betrayal of Jehovah". Also, my honey has been demoted for this "sin". After the KH became reconciled to our marriage, I have become a target for their preaching work.
Does the WTS condone "mixed" marriages? I think not! Is it easy married to a JW? Not really! It works best when the two of us show patience and respect for each other's differing beliefs. It is worst when religion is used as a wedge separating us, where our mutual and sincere love for God should be drawing us closer together.
Something else to consider, is, who do you go to for help when things get rough? I would never go to an elder for marriage advice, not after the last round of "counsel" my honey received. My honey would never step inside a church.
Here is the latest article on the subject:
?Do Not Become Unevenly Yoked?
Back cover, Watchtower October 15, 2003
AS YOU can see there, the camel and the bull that are plowing together look very uncomfortable. The yoke linking them together - intended for two animals of similar size and strength - makes both beasts suffer. Concerned about the welfare of such draft animals, God told the Israelites: ?You must not plow with a bull and an ass together.? (Deuteronomy 22:10) The same principle would apply to a bull and a camel.
Normally, a farmer would not impose such a hardship on his animals. But if he did not have two bulls, he might yoke together two animals he had available. Apparently, this is what the 19th-century farmer in the illustration decided to do. Because of the difference in their size and weight, the weaker animal would have to struggle to keep up the pace, and the stronger would have a greater burden to bear.
The apostle Paul used the illustration of an uneven yoking to teach us an important lesson. ?Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers,? he wrote. ?For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness?? (2 Corinthians 6:14) How could a Christian become unevenly yoked?
One way would be if a Christian chose a marriage mate who did not share his or her beliefs. Such a union would prove uncomfortable for both parties, the couple disagreeing on fundamental issues.
When Jehovah originated marriage, he gave the wife the role of ?a complement? or ?counterpart? (Genesis 2:18, footnote) Likewise, through the prophet Malachi, God referred to a wife as a ?partner.? (Malachi 2:14) Our Creator wants married couples to pull together in the same spiritual direction, sharing the burdens and reaping the benefits equitably.
By marring ?only in the Lord,? a Christian shows respect for our heavenly Father?s counsel. (1 Corinthians 7:39) This lays a foundation for a united marriage, which can bring praise and honor to God and both spouses serve him as ?genuine yokefellows? in a special sense. - Philippians 4:3
they sure put the pressure on you to obey in the "LITTLE THINGS" and include marrying "only in the Lord" as one of those things. When someone doesn't obey in that way, they can receive a good shunning/or marking for doing things their way, rather than "Jehovah's" way i.e. JW's way.
I should add that at last year's circuit assembly, the district overseer said that marrying a non-JW was like marrying a corpse. The reason for that is that the Watchtower Society teaches that only Jehovah's witnesses will survive the destruction of the wicked in the near future. So non-JWs are as good as dead, corpses. He said, "Imagine kissing a corpse."
So even though you will not be officially DF'd you will be treated as such.
AND THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE TO KEEP IN MIND+
I keep remembering things.==Blondie
Jehovah's Witnesses use Deuteronomy 7:1-3 to base their prohibition of marrying non-JWs.Deuteronomy 7:1-3 (NWT) 7 "When Jehovah your God at last brings you into the land to which you are going so as to take possession of it, he must also clear away populous nations from before you, the Hit´tites and the Gir´ga·shites and the Am´or·ites and the Ca´naan·ites and the Per´iz·zites and the Hi´vites and the Jeb´u·sites, seven nations more populous and mighty than you are. 2 And Jehovah your God will certainly abandon them to you, and you must defeat them. You should without fail devote them to destruction. You must conclude no covenant with them nor show them any favor. 3 And you must form no marriage alliance with them. Your daughter you must not give to his son, and his daughter you must not take for your son.
This is telling the Israelites not to intermarry with the 7 Canaanite tribes listed there.
But in Deuteronomy 21:10-14, Israelite men could marry non-Israelite women.
10"In case you go out to the battle against your enemies and Jehovah your God has given them into your hand and you have carried them away captive; 11 and you have seen among the captives a woman beautiful in form, and you have got attached to her and taken her for your wife, 12 you must then bring her into the midst of your house. She must now shave her head and attend to her nails, 13 and remove the mantle of her captivity from off her and dwell in your house and weep for her father and her mother a whole lunar month; and after that you should have relations with her, and you must take possession of her as your bride, and she must become your wife. 14 And it must occur that if you have found no delight in her, you must then send her away, agreeably to her own soul; but you must by no means sell her for money. You must not deal tyrannically with her after you have humiliated her.
Just a note on the way this is handled in this country.........standard to have a "marking talk" regarding the individual..........strongly emphasized also is for no-one in the cong. to attend the wedding.
If a servant was to attend- he would be automatically deleted from that position.
It also seems that it's very unclear as to when (if ever) this "marking" is to end.
I recall several instances where the person would have been better off disfellowshipped.......and eventually re-instated rather than being essentially treated the same by marking, and having it go on indefinitely.
It seems to have been re-emphasized more frequently in the last couple of years, also, whether regular meeting parts, or at assemblies.
A friend of mine was disfellowshipped for marrying an unbaptized man who was studying. The elders felt his divorce was not for the right reasons and despite this happening before he was contacted by JWs it was enough to get his JW wife disfellowshipped.
It was not the best start to her wedding.
welcome abors i would move ahead slowly if you dont or arnt willing to convert and acept their customs there will be many problems , also if you plan on having children they will expect them to be jw . resurch the jw and watch tower lives and families are destroyed