Grandparents are often relieved when their intermarried children choose a religious home for their grandchildren, regardless of what home they choose. Their biggest fear may have been that the children will be raised “Godless” or “rootless.” While choosing to raise children in an interfaith community may be an uncommon (though growing) and unfamiliar choice to the grandparents, it is often perceived of at first as “better than nothing.” Over time, many grandparents come to realize the benefits of allowing both sets of grandparents to more fully share their religious beliefs and life with grandchildren.
My own mother, who married my father more than 50 years ago, is envious of the interfaith community in which we are raising her grandchildren. She often says that she wishes such a community had existed in the 1960s. My parents love to visit our Sunday gatherings, wear badges that read “Interfaith Pioneer,” and get respected as the wise elders that they truly are. The wisest thing they ever did was to get married.
If you’re intermarried, how do your parents feel about having interfaith grandchildren? How do they feel about your choice of a religious home for your children, your family? And let’s hear from some interfaith grandparents about how they feel (my mom loves to comment). I invite your reflections…
One Reply to “Your Turn: Grandparents and the Interfaith Child”
I am an interfaith grandmother and enjoy the fact that my daughter and her family have found a middle ground to connect to religion. I see my granddaughters have an understanding of others that is not always evident in other religious groups. I was raised to date only Jewish boys and was not allowed to date others but as my parents aged and their parents died, they seem to be more tolerant of other religions. All of my children have intermarried and were accepted readily into the family by my parents, one daughter-in-law converting to be Jewish and one daughter becoming Catholic with her whole family. I feel that to survive in this world, one needs to be open to all and understand that coming together makes a better place to live. My granddaughters seem to be happy and connected to G-d.