I recently started dating a Jewish man. I grew up Lutheran and attend church often. If my relationship with this man continues, what options do we have to grow together in faith? If we were to marry and have children, is it possible to honor both religions? I have briefly discussed this with my family, and they are most concerned that he will not go to heaven. Is that entirely true?
If you are a Christian and the man you are dating is Jewish, there is no common bond of faith between the two of you. One of you acknowledges that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah; the other—unless there is something I am unaware of regarding the man’s personal faith—belongs to a religion that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. It is not possible to “grow together in faith” when there is no common, true faith.
Children raised by Christian and Jewish parents can learn customs and practices of each faith, but they will receive conflicting and confusing biblical information.
When it comes to enjoying forgiveness now and life hereafter in heaven, faith in Jesus Christ is essential. The Bible states this about Jesus: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). People who reject Jesus Christ as Savior will not enjoy life with God in heaven (Mark 16:16).
When I conducted premarital counseling in the parishes I served, I explained to couples who enjoyed a common faith that they had a solid spiritual foundation for their future marriage. When I counseled couples who did not have a common faith, I laid out the challenges they could expect to encounter: very likely having a solitary worship and devotional life, determining how children—God willing—will be raised, coming to agreement on how part of a family budget will be used in support of the spouses’ places of worship—just to name a few. I imagine these are some of the things you are thinking about presently.
I would encourage you to speak to one of our pastors about the questions you have asked. A face-to-face conversation would provide you with more complete information. God bless you.