The flourishing of interfaith marriages


  • Emily North Eastern Mennonite University


interfaith marriage, marriage, Judaism, antisemitism


While the number of interfaith marriages in the United States is growing, many faith communities do not believe that being part of an interfaith family is a way to enhance or strengthen one’s marriage or faith. As one who is in an interfaith marriage, I have found the opposite to be true. Our interfaith marriage has enhanced our relationship, our understanding of each other’s religion, and our own personal faith journeys.

Like any dynamic in intimate relationships, disagreements or differences have the potential of bringing two people closer together or pushing them apart. Issues like how one approaches money, whether to have kids, or parenting styles can be divisive and break up a relationship. Because one’s faith is an area that reflects core values and often unconscious assumptions and understandings about how to live one’s life, being married to someone with a different faith can either enhance a relationship or end it. My husband, Ben, and I have chosen to allow space for different rituals and traditions to be present in our marriage. Rather than seeing them as threatening, we have accepted and learned from each other within our different faiths. This has led us to appreciate and deepen our connection to our faiths.

Author Biography

Emily North, Eastern Mennonite University

Emily North works at Eastern Mennonite University and is a part-time spiritual director. She was trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and has a master’s in theology from Pacific School of Religion. She was in congregational ministry for nine years in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she resides with her spouse of twenty-six years, and has three adult children.