Jehovah`s Witness/Married to a JW - help please
My husband and I have been married 2 years and have an 8 mo old. W
hen dating I was open about my faith (grew up Baptist and attend a Christian church). He refused to talk about his religious upbringing, until 6 months in before I met his family. It was then that I found out he was Jehovah's Witness, but didn't practice.
I explained that to stay together, my family would not follow JW beliefs. My faith has always been important to me, so I wanted him to know that while I loved him, I wouldn't budge. That was ok with him then.
Now, with Easter near and having a child, he is berating me for my beliefs and will be attending the JW Memorial. He is talking about our son becoming a "free thinker" and mentions him being a JW. I cannot handle that thought. I know I made a mistake by marrying him, but I'm stuck. I cannot divorce him because he'd likely get joint custody - goodness knows he'd try to force the religion on our son in my absence.
I appreciate any advice you have.
Good evening, Melissa. Thank you for writing. I want to apologize for waiting 3 days to get back to you, as I have been non-stop since Friday. Normally, it does not take me this long, and I do apologize.
Your situation is not an easy one, I'm afraid. In fact, I have been on this forum for just over 14 years, and I have had questions and situations similar to yours, many times.
Any time there is a marriage between a Christian and a JW, there are normally issues such as these. Honestly, when someone comes to me for advice about whether to marry a JW, I normally caution them against it, and tell them of the potential issues that can arise, which are the very ones that you mentioned in your writing....The question of which belief system to raise the child/children in, the question of holidays, etc. There simply is no easy answer.
You said..."I know I made a mistake by marrying him, but I'm stuck. I cannot divorce him because he'd likely get joint custody - goodness knows he'd try to force the religion on our son in my absence."
Well that, plus the fact that divorce for an unscriptural reason, is against the Scripture. In fact, the only allowance that the Bible makes for divorce, is for marital infidelity. In that case, you would have the right to obtain a divorce, and be free to re-marry. Otherwise, it is God's will that you stay together, and make the most of the situation. While the Scriptures counsel us not to marry an unbeliever (2 Cor. 6:14), once you are married to someone, then that marriage becomes the will of God, and Scriptural principles need to be adhered to.
And Melissa, while your situation is a difficult one, it is not necessarily an impossible one.
The first thing that strikes me, is the fact that it doesn't seem he was very honest with you, before marriage. You told him of your beliefs, and you made it clear to him that you would not follow his, and he indicated that this was not an issue. But now that he's married to you, he is basically making it an issue.
I also noticed this comment...."He is talking about our son becoming a "free thinker" and mentions him being a JW."
I can promise you that, if your son becomes a JW, he will not be a "free thinker". Nor will your husband.
The only thing I can tell you, is to sit down with your husband, and have a long talk about this, and try to reach some sort of agreement. You have as much say in how your child is taught religiously, as he does. And he needs to be reminded that you talked about this before marriage, and that he indicated that he was okay with the children not being brought up JW.
The other thing I would tell you, is this....Be as strong of a Christian, as you possibly can. If you are not active in a good, Bible-preaching church, then please start without delay. If your son is going to be taught the JW teaching, then he needs to be taught Scripturally, as well. There is every chance that if your son sees both sides, and sees the contrast between a TRUE relationship with Jesus Christ, and following the rules and regulations of the WT Society, he will see the difference on his own, and make the right choice. But for him to have a chance at doing that, he will need to see what a true relationship with Jesus Christ, is all about. He will need to see that reflected in you, and your own dedication to Christ, and to a good church.
Again, I don't know your spiritual state, but that is the most important thing I can tell you....Get grounded in a good church, and also in the Scripture.
All is not lost, Melissa. The fact is, in the day of the internet, there is more information available now, than there has ever been, which can help ANY person who is seeking truth, to see the serious problems with the JW religion and its history. Granted, not everything you read on the internet is true, but there ARE some excellent web sites that completely show the errors of the WT, from a Scriptural point of view. If I were you, I would research these sites, and even see if your husband will join you. The good part is, he himself isn't "in", yet. As long as he isn't, there is hope. There is hope even if he was, but the odds are much better now.
One such site is www.jwfacts.com, and you will find literally a wealth of information, on almost every aspect of the JW doctrine and history. There is enough there, for any person to determine if this religion is in fact, "the truth".
As for the upcoming celebration of Christ's resurrection, your husband has no place to be berating you, because his own religious view, denies the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures make it quite clear, that Jesus was raised in bodily form....
Luke 24:36-39- "And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."
John 2:19-21- "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
But he spake of the temple of his body."
The JW religion, on the other hand, denies that Jesus ever raised in bodily form, but claims He "raised" as a spirit, despite the fact that Jesus Himself said just the opposite, in the above passage. When asked about what happened to His body, they claim His body was "dissolved" or "disintegrated".
And I'm not trying to me mean or controversial, and I realize that JWs are very sincere in what they believe, the the Scriptural fact is, that the Memorial bears little resemblance to what Jesus Christ instituted. What He taught was that His body was broken, and His blood was shed, for the sins of all mankind, and that all who come to Him in faith, are partakers of the New Covenant in His blood. The WT, on the other hand, tells the overwhelming majority in attendance, that they are NOT part of the New Covenenat, and that they are NOT to partake of the emblems, representing Christ's broken body shed blood. By refusing the emblems, JWs do not realize that they are saying, in effect, that Jesus' sacrifice was not directly for them. This is blasphemy. Matthew 26:28 clearly shows that the New Covenant, which was instituted through Christ's blood, is the only provision made for the remission of sins. So, if one excludes themselves from the New Covenant that Christ's blood instituted, then they are excluding themselves from His blood itself, and thereby, removing the provision made for the forgiveness of their sins.
Bottom line...The JW Memorial, while no doubt done sincerely, is not what Jesus Christ instituted, or commanded. There is no such thing in the Scripture, as someone being an "observer", but not a partaker. To reject the emblems, is to reject what Christ did on the cross. And that is a serious thing.
Melissa, you are in my prayers. The best thing I can tell you with the situation as it is, is to ground yourself in the Scriptures, and see to it that your son is taught the Scripture, as well. That is the best defense against what is false.
My heart goes out to you, and if you need to follow up, please feel free to do so. Take care, and God bless.