My wife is a JW, I'm not.

by Mrgij01 36 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Mrgij01

    My wife and i have been married 6 years now. She was a JW when we married as is her entire family. I was, and still am, very attracted to her because of the way she carries herself and her compassion.

    I would like anyone who has had a similar experiance or was a JW to better help me understand what is going on in their heads when it comes to birthdays and such. My wife will celebrate anniversiries but not birthdays......??????? I have never been able to get a straight answer as to why.

    She is a great wife and her family has never tried to pressure me to join. Maybe because when I went to her parents to ask for her hand, I made it clear than that I had no intentions of ever becoming a JW.

    I love my wife dearly, but I am becoming more and more wary of her dependance on the JW organixation and the watchtowers, rather than Christ.

    Any info would be appreciated.

  • carla

    I can't do this thread today, someone else take over here. UBM in need!! oh yeah, hello and welcome to the board and welcome to the club of UBM's.

  • Mrgij01

    Ok, I just found this site about an hour ago. UMB??????

  • Nina

    Hello, and welcome to the board!

    The reason given for JW's lack of participation in birthday celebrations is this: There are two birthday celebrations mentioned in the Bible and at each one of them someone was killed, thus birthday celebrations are not for "true Christians".

    UBM = Unbelieving Mate (if I am not mistaken and if I am someone will chime in with corrected information!) "Unbelieving Mate" is Theocratese (JW-speak) for a non-witness married to a witness.


  • What-A-Coincidence

    Hi MRJ ... welcome!

    I am WAC and currently a fader and had served at Bethel (JW's Headquarter"s) for almost 10 years.

    Here is some info to chew on...

    Watchtower 1998 Oct 15 Questions from Readers


    From Readers


    of Jehovah’s Witnesses observe wedding anniversaries. A birthday is an anniversary of when you were born. So why celebrate wedding anniversaries and not birthday anniversaries?

    Frankly, there is no need for a Christian to celebrate either. Still, that does not mean that the two are equal in import or that Christians must view the former (wedding anniversaries) as they do birthday celebrations.

    As noted, it can be said that both are anniversaries because an "anniversary" is ‘the annual recurrence of a date marking some event.’ It could be an anniversary of any event—the day you had an automobile accident, saw an eclipse of the moon, went swimming with your family, and so on. It is clear that Christians do not turn every "anniversary" into a special day or have a party to commemorate it. One should consider the aspects of an event and decide what is fitting.

    For example, God specifically instructed the Israelites to celebrate annually the day when his angel passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and the resulting exodus of his people in 1513 B.C.E. (Exodus 12:14) When Jews, including Jesus, subsequently commemorated the anniversary of that event, it was in obedience to God’s direction, and they did not do so with a party or with gift-giving. The Jews also treated as special the anniversary of the rededication of the temple. Though commemorating this historical event was not commanded in the Bible, John 10:22, 23 suggests that Jesus was not critical of its being done. Finally, Christians have a special meeting on the anniversary of Jesus’ death. Of course, this is done out of obedience to a clear command found in God’s Word.—Luke 22:19, 20.

    What about wedding anniversaries? In some lands it is common for husband and wife to take note of the anniversary of their entering the marital state, an arrangement that God originated. (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6) Certainly, the Bible does not put marriage in a bad light. Jesus both attended a marriage celebration and contributed to the pleasure of the occasion.—John 2:1-11.

    It thus would not be strange that a couple might on their wedding anniversary take time to reflect on the joyfulness of that event and on their resolve to work for success as a couple. Whether they focus on this happy occasion in private, just as a couple, or they have a few relatives or close friends with them would be for them to decide. The occasion should not become a mere excuse for a large social gathering. On this occasion Christians would want to be guided by the principles that apply every day of their lives. So whether one takes note of a wedding anniversary or not is a personal matter.—Romans 13:13, 14.

    What, though, about taking special note of a birthday? Do we have any indications from the Bible about such an anniversary?

    Well, early in this century, Bible Students, as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known, did take note of birthdays. Many of them kept small books called Daily Heavenly Manna. These contained a Bible text for each day, and many Christians put a tiny photograph on the pages corresponding to the birthdays of fellow Bible Students. Also, The Watch Tower of February 15, 1909, related that at a convention in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A., Brother Russell, then president of the Society, was ushered onto the platform. Why? He was given a surprise birthday present of some boxes of grapefruit, pineapples, and oranges. That gives us a glimpse of the past. To put matters in their context, recall that during that period, Bible Students also commemorated December 25 as the anniversary of Jesus’ birth, or birthday. It was even customary to have Christmas dinner at the Brooklyn headquarters.

    Of course, since then God’s people have grown spiritually in many respects. In the 1920’s increased light of truth enabled them to see the following:

    Jesus was not born on December 25, a date linked to pagan religion. The Bible directs us to commemorate the date of Jesus’ death, not the anniversary of his or anyone else’s birth. Doing so accords with Ecclesiastes 7:1 and the fact that how a faithful person’s life turns out is more important than the day of his birth. The Bible has no record that any faithful servant celebrated his birthday. It records birthday celebrations of pagans, linking these occasions with cruel acts. Let us get the background of those birthday anniversaries.

    The first is the birthday of the Pharaoh in Joseph’s day. (Genesis 40:20-23) In this regard, the article on birthdays in Hastings’ Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics begins: "The custom of commemorating the day of birth is connected, in its form, with the reckoning of time, and, in its content, with certain primitive religious principles." Later, the encyclopedia quotes Egyptologist Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, who wrote: "Every Egyptian attached much importance to the day, and even to the hour of his birth; and it is probable that, as in Persia, each individual kept his birthday with great rejoicings, welcoming his friends with all the amusements of society, and a more than usual profusion of the delicacies of the table."

    Another birthday celebration mentioned in the Bible is Herod’s, at which John the Baptist was beheaded. (Matthew 14:6-10) The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1979 edition) provides this insight: "The pre-Hellenistic Greeks celebrated the birthdays of gods and prominent men. G[ree]k genéthlia designated these celebrations, while genésia meant a celebration commemorative of the birthday of a deceased important individual. In 2 Macc[abees] 6:7 we find reference to a monthly genéthlia of Antiochus IV, during which the Jews were forced to ‘partake of the sacrifices.’ . . . When Herod celebrated his birthday he was acting in accord with a Hellenistic custom; there is no evidence for the celebration of birthdays in Israel in pre-Hellenistic times."

    Admittedly, true Christians today are not preoccupied with the roots and possible ancient religious connections of every practice or custom, but neither are they inclined to ignore pointed indications that do exist in God’s Word. This includes that the only birthday celebrations of Biblical record are of pagans and linked to instances of cruelty. Hence, the Scriptures clearly place birthday celebrations in a negative light, a fact that sincere Christians do not disregard.

    Consequently, while it is entirely a private matter if Christians choose to take note of their wedding anniversary, there are good reasons why mature Christians abstain from celebrating birthdays.

  • GoingGoingGone

    Hi Mrgij01 and welcome to the board!

    My husband and I married 20 years ago, as JWs.... and several years ago, I decided that I could no longer be one anymore. It's a very difficult situation you're in, and this board is great for giving you all the info you need to deal with it.

    Check out the 'Best Of' section by Lady Lee... there is a ton of stuff there!

    Welcome again, and hope to hear lots more from you!


  • What-A-Coincidence

    I found one more ...


    w94 7/15 p. 25 Birthday Celebrations Have Left a Trail of Death ***


    Celebrations Have Left a Trail of Death

    THE celebration of birthdays is regarded by most people today as merely an innocent custom. But the Bible does not paint a positive picture of this tradition. For one thing, the Scriptures contain no indication that any of God’s faithful servants celebrated birthdays.

    The only two birthdays the Bible does mention were for rulers who were enemies of God. Each celebration included an execution, so that the guests could gloat over the death of one who had displeased the king. In the first instance, Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, executed his chief baker. (Genesis 40:2, 3, 20, 22) The Egyptian ruler did so during the feast because he had grown indignant with his servant. In the second instance, Herod, the immoral ruler of Galilee, beheaded John the Baptizer as a favor to a girl whose dancing at the party had pleased him. What repulsive scenes!—Matthew 14:6-11.

    Yet has not the Bible focused on two very exceptional birthdays? Not really. The ancient Jewish historian Josephus reveals that these incidents were not unique. He records other instances of the practice of birthday executions for entertainment.

    For example, some occurred after Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 C.E., when 1,000,000 Jews perished and 97,000 survived to be taken prisoner. En route to Rome, Roman general Titus took his Jewish captives to the nearby seaport of Caesarea.

    Josephus writes: "While Titus remained at Caesarea, he celebrated his brother Domitian’s birthday with great splendor, putting over 2,500 prisoners to death in games with beasts and flames. After this he moved to Berytus [Beirut], a Roman colony in Phoenicia, where he celebrated his father’s birthday by killing many more captives at elaborate exhibitions."—The Jewish War, VII, 37, translated by Paul L. Maier in Josephus: The Essential Writings.

    It is no wonder that The Imperial Bible-Dictionary comments: "The later Hebrews looked on the celebration of birth-days as a part of idolatrous worship, a view which would be abundantly confirmed by what they saw of the common observances associated with these days."

    Faithful first-century Christians would not have felt like joining in a custom so darkly presented in the Bible and so gruesomely celebrated by the Romans. Today, sincere Christians realize that the Bible accounts about birthdays were among the things written for their instruction. (Romans 15:4) They avoid celebrating birthdays because such observances bestow undue importance on the individual. More significant, Jehovah’s servants wisely take into account the unfavorable presentation of birthdays in the Bible.


    on page 25]

    Arena at Caesarea

  • Mrgij01

    Thanks everyone for your welcome.

    For six years I have questioned my wife about birthdays, and never have I been told that. I wonder if she eve knows.

    Birthdays are no big thing to me, so it has not been a sore spot, just a question.

    But it seems like a very nit-picky reason to not celebrate birthdays. Almost like looking for rules for followers to live by.

  • Mrgij01

    I will read more on this site. I am interested in learning what made others leave the JW's. I get very little info from my wife. Whenever I start a conversation, just a conversation, she gets very quiet. I really think she does not know the answer to many of the questions I ask.

    My biggest fear is that I do not want to wipe out a base of beliefs that she has been living by her entire life and not have something to take its place. I am a very spiritual person and am working to better my relationship with Christ, but perfect I am not.

  • montana96

    Hi there and welcome.

    You will probably find that most jw are confused themselves as to why they couldnt celebrate birthdays. It seems odd that they have wedding anniversaries but not birthdays. This was a sore point with myself and when I asked an elder about it, because the 2 examples used in the bible of birthdays gone wrong just doesnt wash with me, he said because it has pagan origins.

    But so does a wedding ceremony when one wears a white dress, has bridesmaids, and exchanging of rings. Do some research on the origins of birthdays and weddings and see if you can spot any differences. I did and couldnt believe that you can have anniversaries but not a birthday!

    Regards Mercedes x

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