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Dating a Jehovahs Witness
By Gary F. Zeolla
In the following e-mail exchange, the e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
This is all new to me. I just found out that a man I am deeply in love with is a Jehovah Witness. He told me this yesterday *July 13th 06*. I went to see him for a week this past week for the first time. Us getting to know one another was based first on an intellect level.. and in that we found ourselves falling in love .. talking of marriage... moving to be together...children.. all of it.
He never told me his religion.. and I personally didn't see it as something I needed to concern myself with. I believe when 2 hearts are joined and they are both happy that's what's important. I believe if we start putting up red flags.. or throwing in 'issues' to stop something that feels so natural it's wrong. I myself am 40 and though in rush to settle down...I do find myself in a situation. I don't know what to do...he feels bad and right now are in a moment of silence because we are trying to figure out what to do. In your opinion what do you think? I know he and I will both make our own decisions.. but I need someone to talk to.
You don't mention if you are a Christian or not. But since you state you didn't see his religion as "something to concern myself with" then I would assume if you are a Christian, it is not that important to you. I say this as, for myself that would be the first question I would ask someone as my faith is very important to me.
That said, yes, there are potential problems with getting involved with a JW. But again, it will depend on how "serious" he is about his faith. If it is really important to him and he ascribes to the various JW beliefs and practices, it will affect your relationship. And even if he is not that serious now, he could become so later on.
JWs have many "unique" beliefs and practices. See the following section of my site for articles on JWs: Jehovah's Witnesses.
There is also information relevant to JWs in my Scripture Workbook, including a chapter detailing some of their unique beliefs.
For instance JWs believe it is wrong to celebrate Christmas, Easter, and other holidays, along with birthdays. So come Christmastime, this could be a problem. And if you try to celebrate his birthday, he will be offended. And do not expect him to recognize your birthday in any way.
JWs are not allowed to be involved in politics in any way, including not being allowed to vote. So if political issues are important to you, you will not be able to share that with him.
Also, JWs are expected to spend time knocking on doors in "evangelism." So he might be required to do this when you want to spend a Saturday afternoon doing something else.
But most of all, eventually, he will be pressured by the Watchtower (the JW organization) to try to "convert" you to their beliefs. And if you do not convert, they will discourage him from marrying you.
What I would suggest is you read some of my articles on JWs to familiarize yourself with their beliefs. It would also help if you understood traditional Christian teachings and how JW beliefs differ from them. That is where my Scripture Workbook would help. The bulk of the book presents information on the "essentials" of the Christian faith. And it would help if you were familiar with the Bible in general. So if you have not been reading it, you might want to try doing so.
Much more could be said, but that is enough to get you started. But let me emphasize that yes, this is an issue that could affect your relationship, so it would be best to deal with it now before things get too serious than to wait until later and end up in divorce court.
I hope the above helps. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
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