Why Becoming a Baha’i Improved My Family Life

September 10, 2012

By Venustiano Olguín

Becoming a Baha’i has helped me improve my family life by inspiring me to develop a greater sense of unity among the members of my hybrid family. That is, between my children from a former marriage and those of my wife. The challenge here has been that our children were adults when we married, and all were marked in various ways by the difficult break-ups of our former marriages, as well as the mixture of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The Baha’i emphasis on uniting humanity helped me to reach across these differences by focusing on treating all members of the family with love and respect with a positive attitude towards the various religious and spiritual views that individuals have developed. Thus, when the family members gather for family events, everyone feels accepted and respected, which helps to create mutually respectful and loving family relationships. At the same time and as a result, family members feel comfortable with inquiring more fully about the Baha’i Faith since they know that their own beliefs and ideas will be treated with respect.

Building unity within a hybrid family involving ethnic, racial or religious diversity is a multi-faceted process requiring that we:

  1. Apply the principle of the unity of humanity from the very beginning of the establishment of the hybrid, which means that all members of the new family are consciously treated with equal love and respect.
  2. Take the time to get to know each member of the family, especially learning about the beliefs and principles that guide their lives. With an attitude of genuine acceptance, avoid proselytizing and judgmental attitudes and comments, while at the same time, be generous in answering questions about the Baha’i Faith.
  3. Plan and promote family-wide activities and gatherings through a process of consultation.
  4. Be mindful of dates and holidays that may be important to the various members and contact them on those dates as appropriate.
  5. Maintain a caring, inclusive and communicative attitude toward all family members, especially when they are facing difficulties.
  6. Be especially mindful of promoting the importance of the above steps among your immediate family members by becoming a living example of the application this family unification process.

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