So I suppose I should give a little background here first, since I am not very regular here. I was in "the Truth" for a number of years, my wife with me, progressing nicely and was even a Ministerial Servant. However, After a while I just couldn't do it anymore. Much to my wife's displeasure I simply walked away from it all. Unfortunately, since that time we have had 3 kids, and I find myself wanting to experience many of the things I experienced as a child. Namely Thanksgiving. It was always such a nice time for my family, everyone was there, the food was fantastic, and it was one of the few times a year when I felt truely happy. So anyway, this year I would like to go again, and even possibly bring the kids with me. The trick is how do I do this without drawing the ire of my wife. I have considered digging up the Awake with the Luau stuff on it, but given I don't usually read the magazines it will look REALLY suspicious to her. If possible, I would like for her to come with me as well, as I can find no real reason why she should not go. So my question is this: Has anyone had success in getting their Witness spouse to a Thanksgiving meal? And how did you go about doing it?
Simply order her to go. As the head of the house, you have the right to say what holidays the family should celebrate. The current Watchtower position (Blondie or someone can probably provide a reference) seems to be that as long as she is not performing an act of worship, she should be submissive and go along with her husband's wishes. And hell, she'll probably enjoy it!
I think that since leaving the J.W.s in 1992 I find Thanksgiving the most enjoyable over all the other celebrations. In Canada, it not so blown up that people go into what I call unreasonable debt.. and I really don't think it is a religious holiday.. like "Christ-mas", Easter.
I don't have any answers about how to get your wife to go happily to relatives for thanksgiving dinner.
Maybe, an approach of
"How nice it is because you have time off from work anyways.. Well, it just makes it just perfect for taking her in the kids to relatives to visit and seeing family. Depending how the conversation goes.."Maybe not getting really verbal into why you think you should go unless she does. "
It's tricky, because you don't want her to get upset and start pushing you away from her as some sort of evil apostate. A lot of this depends on your relationship, and the nature of your mate."
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When I was still a JW my wife and I went to Thanksgiving meals at my non-jw sister's place a few times. It didn't bother us because we didn't see anything scripturaly wrong with it. But the society has said in the past that a sister? with an unbelieving mate? could go to something like this to "keep the peace". She just wouldn't say "amen" to any prayers that were said by someone there.
I have never heard not saying Amen. That is actually kind of funny to me. If you can't agree with a prayer of thanks, and asking for the family to be blessed. I am not sure what to think about that. Doesn't Amen mean "So be it"? The silliness never ceases to amaze me.
You can say amen, but only if the person saying the prayer is a JW.
At our thanksgiving now.. no one says a prayer at the table but we do all stop before desert and have what I call a go round the table.. and each of us talk about what we are thankful for that has happened throughout the year. Very entertaining to hear what our kids are thankful for. (and I nice little break before desert).
I'm with you, NKyGuy. It took decades of missing it, but now-a-days Thanksgiving has (easily) become my favorite holiday of the year -- my favorite time of the year. I now experience what (so-called) "worldly" people have enjoyed since forever.
My JW wife is the only one in her family who is a JW. Everybody else on her side of the family loves it that I've come into their family, because now they see their daughter/sister/aunt (my wife) every once in a while on the holidays. If she can, my wife "forgets" it's Thanksgiving. That's fine. I always remember.
I simply told her years ago that she doesn't have to go. She doesn't have to participate in the festivities. After being a JW for thirty years, I told her I understood where she was coming from. But my daughter and I would go. Period.
She (my wife) can go out in service, to a movie, shop, sleep, clean the house ? whatever she wants to do with the day off. Me and the kid are going to go get our eat on with the family. And watch the parades. And football. All day. Do what other regular people do. "See ya later" was my attitude, and I meant it to the bottom of my soul.
Know what? Wife goes with us every year. And enjoys herself btw. Watching her, you'd never know she was a Dub.
Good luck. And Happy Thanksgiving.
I'm getting hungry for turkey again...
So my question is this: Has anyone had success in getting their Witness spouse to a Thanksgiving meal? And how did you go about doing it?
You could remind her that the Bible has many instances of giving thanks, and you could also point out that this time of year is about family getting together. Surely God would not have a problem with that.
In fact we're having some friends who are still Witnesses come in from out of town over Thanksgiving. We're going to have turkey and all the trimmings. One woman has been a Witness for 50 years, and her daughter is an elder's wife. We're having a bunch of friends over (some Witnesses, some not).
I haven't been a Witness for 15 years, so I don't know what the current doctrine is, but when I was in I never had any issue with Thanksgiving. Seemed to me then that there was nothing objectionable to it.