Once upon a time, the world was a huge place where nobody connected with others outside of their own religion and culture. Today, however, the world is tiny and it is as easy, if not easier, to have contact with someone on the other side of the world as what it is to have contact with someone in your street. What this means, as well, is that there has been a rise in interfaith marriages as well, even in traditional countries like Nigeria.
Ultimately, there is just one love, however. Hence, could it be possible to create a match made in two heavens? According to Nenadi Esther Usman, for finance minister in the Southern Kaduna area of the country, it is. Senator Nenadi Esther, a Christian, is married to Mr. Usman, a Muslim. And they have made it work. Of course, Nenadi Esther Usman is used to breaking the mold, being a woman in politics as an economic and financial minister, almost unheard of in the state of Kaduna. But she believes that she can be an example for others as well.
Esther Nenadi has put together a few tips to help those considering an interfaith marriage. She brings these tips not as Senator Nenadi Esther, the politician, but as Esther Nenadi Usman, a woman from Nigeria who chose love above all else.
Nenadi Esther Usman Top Tips
According to Nenadi Esther, the most important things to be implement in a successful interfaith marriage are:
- To do a bit of soul searching. You must determine what your spiritual beliefs are, and which roles they play in your life. You may need to compromise to fit in the religion of the partner, and you must be happy with this.
- To communicate constantly. The partner must also have done some soul searching and come to their own conclusions. These then need to be discussed together to make sure they match, and to make sure compromises can be made where they need to be.
- To invite both families. A marriage is a union of not just two people, but also of two families. They must get to know each other, learn to love each other, and be together. And they will have spiritual concerns that should be addressed.
- To get officiants that are able to manage the wedding ceremony in the way both the bride and groom agree on. This may mean having two officiants, thereby incorporating the vows and traditions of both religions, for instance.
- To get counseling from spiritual leaders. Both the bride and groom should take the time to receive counseling from the spiritual leader of their partner’s religious institution. This is also an opportunity to ask questions.
- To plan the ceremony in such a way that it fuses both the religions. The spiritual leaders and the officiants can help with this.
Most of all, however, Esther believes that the key thing is for the bride and groom to reassure each other.