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Dwelling on God's holy mountain

A psalm of David describes the characteristics of those individuals who are worthy to abide in God’s tent, worthy to dwell on God’s mountain. When spouses are joined together in God’s name, they long to help one another abide with God. This desire requires the conscious attention of all couples, but it may be even more pronounced when the wife and husband come from different faith backgrounds.

A key aspect to consider is introducing children to the faith. Until they reach puberty, and are capable of abstract and hypothetical thought, children’s thinking is concrete. They learn rules as “absolutes,” as if the rules themselves were set in concrete.

In the book, Jesus and I, by the Jesuit writer, Father Aloysius Heeg, children of the 1950s were taught when rules didn’t apply: “Sometimes things happen that are not sins at all. It is not a sin to miss Mass on Sunday when we cannot help it. It is not a sin to eat meat on Friday when we forget it is Friday. It is not a sin to have bad thoughts when we do not want to have those thoughts.”

Notice the concrete way in which Father Heeg explains the exceptions to the rules. Parents of different faiths may find it helpful to be just as concrete in explaining their own faith journeys and how each seeks God’s will.