Respect for religious beliefs can bring peace to families

What makes a great wedding? This age-old question has been the subject of many books over the years, hundreds of talk shows, and millions of arguments. Money, especially the struggle over how much to spend, is always a big topic. Many believe that if you actively listen, your marriage will last a lifetime. Others even suggest that not liking the same thing will make your marriage strong.

These are all great ideas, but tonight I realized that for my wedding it is as easy as respecting each other’s beliefs and being able to discuss them logically without judging the other. Caring becomes much easier if this basic respect is present.

In the past, I have referred to my Christian beliefs and how my faith in God has helped me through the difficult days of my life. This is especially true as Jill and our daughter, Alexus, have tested genetically positive for Huntington for the past two years. I go to Mass every weekend and volunteer to participate in many church activities.

Jill was raised in a Christian home by parents who were actively involved in the church, so she understands the concept of church, but has had issues with the way she was treated by some people who attended her church. in Florida. She was hurt by people who she felt should have been kind to her because that’s the whole purpose of the church – to have a community that supports each other and loves God.

These experiences have made her tired of the church, their leaders, and the congregation, which I fully understand. His decision not to continue to be part of “organized religion” is a choice that saddens me, but that I respect.

Caregivers need to find what gives them strength in a healthy way. For some, that means relying on a group of friends or family or taking the time to go for a run. My strength and my sense of peace come from my faith and my relationship with God. And I’m lucky Jill respects all of that.

I have spoken to many families over the years who have the same dynamic: one person is active with their faith and the other is not. I have noticed when speaking to them that it often leads to tension in their marriages and divides them in a spiritual way. People who have strong faith tend to want to share it, especially with those they love.

I feel deeply attached to my faith in a way that allows me to speak openly about it. I am not embarrassed by what I believe, although it is not always popular to talk about it. Because I am active in my church, Jill and I have had many conversations about my beliefs and how she disagrees with many of them.

Such conversations are not always respectful. Talking about religion can lead people to engage in vicious attacks, to call others “stupid”. Not with us. Jill listens patiently, recognizes that she understands what I believe, and gives me her opinion. We don’t always agree, but there is always respect.

When the discussion ends, we both feel like we’ve been heard and the other is going to reflect on what was said. Hopefully one day we will meet a little more in the middle.

My hope in sharing all of this is that while there are religious differences in families affected by Huntington’s disease, those with the disease and their caregivers may realize that respect is more important than division. And this faith should not be a point of contention but can be seen as a source of love.

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