The married couples present agreed that all should expect to be changed in some way by the faith of their partners. That’s how far I’ve come.”Opportunities for prayer were provided at several points during the weekend: a room was set aside for the five daily Muslim prayers, there was Catholic Mass and an ecumenical morning prayer.
“I have always deeply felt the need to fulfill my promise to raise my children Catholic, and before they were born I thought that if they ever decided to become Muslims as adults I would be crushed,” said one mother. Mirroring contemporary American society, couples differed greatly in their degree of personal and mutual religious practice.
To whom can they turn for advice about the unique issues they face?What follows is a brief exploration of three major challenges facing Christian-Muslim couples, and indeed most interfaith couples: negotiating boundaries, praying together and raising children.On Saturday night, retreatants participated in an activity designed to get them thinking about boundaries.The couples were asked to split into four groups (Muslim women, Muslim men, Christian women, Christian men) to discuss and list negotiables and non-negotiables in the form of “I shall” and “I shall not” statements.They were also asked to list their fears, rational or not.