well, the update...she broke up with me on Sunday night. She told the Elders, they said she needed to make a decision between me and Jehovah. She was actually ready to move out and I was going to help her find an apartment but stopped when we couldn't agree on raising children. My suggestion was to not indoctrinate our children. Teach them the values of faith but don't bombard them. She said she would want to take them to Kingdom Hall, even against my will. I love her and respect her for her honesty. That is the rock neither of us could move or bear. So I guess it's over...we both did a lot of crying, it was painful. However, I don't regret any of it. I truly love her and meeting her has helped me learn how to defend my faith against the JWs. SHe would never truly debate me on religion. She would get too upset. Two questions... 1. When someone is in trouble with the Elders, what does that mean? What kind of reprimands are they capable of? 2. What do you think the difference is between being raised a JW and having a father as an Elder and becoming a JW out of conversion? Do you think it's much harder to see the truth being raised that way?
1. When someone is in trouble with the Elders, what does that mean? What kind of reprimands are they capable of?
Usually some sort of shunning, up to including disfellowshipping. This means everyone she knows who is a Jehovah's Witness, including her mother and father, would not speak to her. It is horrid. Usually someone is disfellowshipped for at least six months before they can be reinstated and in all that time they must make every meeting, sit at the back, display meekness, CUT THEIR ASSOCIATION WITH YOU, and not address any Jehovah's Witness. Being disfellowshipped, for a "true believer" means they will DIE at Armageddon with no hope of resurrection.
In your case, she would probably be disfellowshipped for fornication. Even if the two of you have not done the deed, the fact that she has secretly met with you alone, is enough. If she confesses to the panel of three elders (Judicial Committee), cries abundant tears and shows remorse, they'll go easier on her. Maybe just restrictions (such as not being allowed to comment at the book study).
2. What do you think the difference is between being raised a JW and having a father as an Elder and becoming a JW out of conversion? Do you think it's much harder to see the truth being raised that way?
Having a father as an elder might mean she gets through the DF'ing more kindly and reinstated faster (elders can pull strings). On the other hand, the child of an elder is held to a higher standard of behavior, similar to any preacher's kid. http://www.preacherskids.com/
A JW out of conversion may not have any special influence at the hall, so is vulnerable to the full wrath of the elder body.
From what I can see, children raised in the JW's are aware and perhaps comfortable with the hypocricy, and know how to work the system. They are often very ignorant, however, of any other way of living. Converts tend to be more zealous.
If she is going to remain a JW, you are better off without her. The strains on a marriage, especially dealing with the children, are intolerable. My wife was a methodist when we married but became a JW during a bout with post-partum depression. She wanted to raise the kids as JWs and since I was in the military and gone for long periods of time, there wasn't much that I could do about it. After I retired and the kids became older they all bailed out of the JW faith and that created additional strain as she held me responsible. I'm happy to say that I did have a hand in that, but was greatly aided by the stupid policies of the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society. It is a cult religion and the resentment is hard to deal with. They would consider her "unevenly yoked" unless you became a JW. Should you decide you will become a JW, you will need a strong stomach and be willing to cut off your "worldly" family. We have managed to keep our marriage together, but it has been difficult and much is lacking because we are divided religiously. My wife now shuns our children. Notice that they asked her to make a decision between you and "Jehovah", not you and the WTBTS. She has been raised to believe that she will be destroyed at Armegeddon unless she is a member in good standing of the WTBTS. You might ask yourself what kind of a god they worship.
It's easy enough. Ask her what will happen to you at Armegeddon if you do not convert to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
That should tell you where you rank in her eyes. Don't set yourself up for heartache.