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Summary of Question:Marriage Outside The Faith
Category:Love & Marriage
Date Posted:Friday, 1/12/2001 10:28 AM MST

I am a young female (25) that has always loved the Sikh faith. While I don't keep my hair, i have a lot of respect for the teachings of the religion and i especially find peace in doing paath and listening to kirtan. i consider myself well balanced between eastern and western cultures.

i did not set out to marry someone who was not indian or sikh, but i have met and fallen in love with a man who is neither. he is an incredibly kind intelligent and caring person, most of all a very spiritual individual. We share the same objectives as to what we want in our lives and n marriage.we both believe that one's goal in life is to develop spiritually and progress the soul.

as you can imagine, the family resistance to this has been phenomenal. they have told me to choose him or them. i love my family, but they have said and done very hurtful things, like showing me their love is very conditional upon me being the way they want me to be. my older sisters are in very traditional marriages and also have told me they will not carry on a relationship with me because they don't want my influence on their children. my parents do not believe me that this man has ultimate respect for my faith and that i will maintain my religion and will not convert. they say they have no choice but to cut me out of their lives. i know both sides will be terribly unhappy with that result.

is this really what God intended? for religion to be such a source of division, even though both of us have discussed everything we can possibly imagine as to the consequences of this for our marriage and children, and even though we firmly believe we can have a successful marriage? My family refuses to even learn anything about what type of person he is. they say that it doesn't matter even if he is the best person on earth, they will never accept this and they will never be a part of my life.

i have been doing japji sahib, rehraas sahib and kirtan sohila every day to find inner peace. it is helping, but i don't know what to do for my family. please, this is a desperate plea for some help. is this really against our religion?

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Reply
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Greetings to you in the Name of God the light of every soul and in the NAme of Guru the life of every Sikh.

Dear one, meeting and separation is the will of God. The flow of emotions and feelings that you have will always interphere with this conflict between your love and your family.

Redemption lies in a real merger that is free from karma. How do you do this? This requires you to back off from your emotions and look deeply into the fiber of your faith your family and the values and principles of their life. Cool yourself in this relationship for a while while you evaluate the importance of family and faith to yourself and your future children.

According to the Sikh faith, marriage is a sacred union between husband and wife to acheive the goal of human life together with each other's help and support. The husband and wife seek to have one mind and one goal to achieve success in their lives.

The Sikh perspective is as follows:
When you marry you become one SOUL in two bodies. The goal of your human life is to realize truth and live in God consciousness. The Sikh way of life is based on fulfilling your spiritual life as a householder. Being a wife and mother and living your faith with your spouse and teaching it to your children is the path. Your spouse is your companion, a support and the life partner to living this path of "truth". This mutual dependence, understanding and interelationship between the two is a deep committment and more than a passing attraction. You should think and act as a unit. It is best for a Sikh to marry only a Sikh.

If a Sikh marries someone who is not from a Sikh family, they should be assured before marriage that the non Sikh spouse will voluntarily live like a Sikh beleive in the Sikh faith and teach the children to follow the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

Marriage is a challenge in every way. You are multiplying your level of difficulty by choosing a partner of a differect faith. This is not a judgement of another's faith. This is a reality based on the difference of your perpsectives. This may be subtle now, yet subtleties have a way of becoming quite large after marriage.

You must win your parents! Win then by your fiance's expression of willingness to learn about your faith. Take him to Gurdwara and teach him the respect and protocol of devotion to the Guru. Share your experience of Jap Ji Sahib & Rehiras and do this together every day(in English). Take him to the home of a Sikh family where he can learn the grace and the customs and sayings of our families...how to greet in Punjabi, how to bow to the Guru, how to show respect for elders, how to pray. Then, he can meet your family.

God bless you and keep up with your devotion and surrender to your faith in Wahe Guru.














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