Boyfriend giving to the Church


#1

I wanted to seek some advice from those who have more wisdom than I do and I would really like to hear from couples who have been married for awhile. (Since I am planning on marrying my boyfriend)

When my boyfriend joined the Catholic Church, I was his sponsor and I enjoyed watching him learn more about the Church and grow as a Catholic. And since I was his sponsor, I still feel the need to provide him guidance in the way of learning about the Church. But when I think of this topic, I'm not sure if I'm over-reacting or if I should speak to him about it.

He doesn't make a lot of money from his job, but enough to pay rent, pay the other bills, and have some fun. But since we attend Mass together, I notice (and I try NOT to notice... :blush:) that when it comes time to be charitable with money, he'll just drop in a few singles (sometimes even $1). I'm not sure if he's actually thought about how he should be giving to his parish or not.

Now I'm not about to tell him that he needs to give 10% of what he is making--- I know the Lord gives us all special missions in life and perhaps he is doing more good for God in other ways than providing for the church we attend. But I am also very much aware of the money problems my parish is having--- we are basically not getting enough income to get out of red (like many other parishes). Since our priest was so kind to provide RCIA lessons for my boyfriend (at no cost), I feel that now that he's a part of the parish he should be mindful of providing.

So should I drop him a hint? Talk to him? Or should I just "ignore" this and keep it in prayer?

Also... since I do see him as my future husband and I don't want to undermine him, how can I bring up the topic of expenses and saving without upsetting him? (I haven't yet figured out how to cover that topic without him being annoyed with me.)


#2

When I wasn't earning that much, I used to give just $1 every sunday. Sure , it wasn't a huge amount but I gave it with all my heart and God knows that.The intention to give is what's more important not the amount. So, I don't think it's right to call his attention or to say anything.Just my opinion


#3

I might have a discussion with him at some point about the importance of giving to the Church, especially when you are married. You need to come to an understanding as to tithing and make certain that the two of you can find common ground.


#4

[quote="Mayita30, post:2, topic:203366"]
When I wasn't earning that much, I used to give just $1 every sunday. Sure , it wasn't a huge amount but I gave it with all my heart and God knows that.The intention to give is what's more important not the amount. So, I don't think it's right to call his attention or to say anything.Just my opinion

[/quote]

Thanks for your opinion--- I'm not sure what his intention is. I know that for some people even giving a penny is a lot! That's why I'm being cautious with this: I don't want to make him think that I think his intention is that he's not giving enough or that he doesn't care about supporting our parish.


#5

A better approach might be to help him get involved in a committee or a parish group. When he sees the work of the parish, it will motivate him to give more abundantly. In the mean time, perhaps he is saving up for an engagement ring, and hasn't got any extra cash to spare, at the moment. ;)


#6

You should leave him alone and let him give what he is comfortable with giving its really none of your business until the two of you are married.

And the RCIA has nothign to do with anything it is their duty as Catholics to bring people into the fold.


#7

It sounds like this might be the time to talk about how both of you feel about money in general,especially if you plan on getting married. If this tithing issue is already a concern for you, it might be a red flag that you two have different views on what is an appropriate financial budget. Better to find out now that you two may be on completely different ends of the financial spectrum than to be already married and be in complete disagreement on allocating money to the Church or any other financial item.


#8

Perhaps your boyfriend actually believes he is being more generous than others. Until he actually sees the financial statements, he is clueless to the money required to rn a church.

As much as I would tend to be like you (try to give generously), there is a deeper issue at hand. You are planning on being married and still have not discussed finances (the #1 cause of divorce).

I see this more as a discerning marriage issue. I would simply say something like 'I think we have been together long enough, it is time to start sharing our financial views. One thing that is important to me is giving a lot to the church. Would you mind telling me how you feel about that'

CM


#9

I agree on the two main replies raised so far, you can't know his intention, and have the money talk with him.

Of course, perhaps he only had a few singles on him when he went to Church on those days.

I'm currently unemployed and I get a benefit from the govt. but I give a few dollars when I can. Remember when Jesus pointed out the poor old widow giving a single coin, and the rich man dropping in a bag of coins? Who was giving more?

If he is being skint fisted, it'll become evident soon enough. I mean, how is he when you're out on the town? Does he drop money into street collections for various charities? Its too soon to judge, I think. But defintely have the money talk.

Blessings to you both!


#10

Virtue is a habit. Thus, virtue is formed by many repeated acts.

At the very least, he is forming a charitable habit because he does it repeatedly. My confessor once said that it is better to give one dollar one hundred times than one hundred dollars one time... precisely because repeated acts form habits.

If the issue is generosity, then perhaps that will come in time as he grows with God and starts to trust Him more. But he is at least starting on the right track, even if he isn't 100% there yet.

If you feel that you should talk to him about it, after praying, then make sure to be direct and frank with him, and at the same time, to express that you aren't judging him, but that you want to know what he thinks about the issue. It may even be a good idea to leave it there the first time... once he tells you say thanks, tell him you love him and drop it. It will come up again, and it can be a bit overwhelming to process something so big very quickly. It will give him time, especially if he processes things as an introvert, to process it and pray with God about it before you discuss it again.


#11

[quote="Angelic_Rose, post:1, topic:203366"]
I wanted to seek some advice from those who have more wisdom than I do and I would really like to hear from couples who have been married for awhile. (Since I am planning on marrying my boyfriend)

When my boyfriend joined the Catholic Church, I was his sponsor and I enjoyed watching him learn more about the Church and grow as a Catholic. And since I was his sponsor, I still feel the need to provide him guidance in the way of learning about the Church. But when I think of this topic, I'm not sure if I'm over-reacting or if I should speak to him about it.

He doesn't make a lot of money from his job, but enough to pay rent, pay the other bills, and have some fun. But since we attend Mass together, I notice (and I try NOT to notice... :blush:) that when it comes time to be charitable with money, he'll just drop in a few singles (sometimes even $1). I'm not sure if he's actually thought about how he should be giving to his parish or not.

Now I'm not about to tell him that he needs to give 10% of what he is making--- I know the Lord gives us all special missions in life and perhaps he is doing more good for God in other ways than providing for the church we attend. But I am also very much aware of the money problems my parish is having--- we are basically not getting enough income to get out of red (like many other parishes). Since our priest was so kind to provide RCIA lessons for my boyfriend (at no cost), I feel that now that he's a part of the parish he should be mindful of providing.

So should I drop him a hint? Talk to him? Or should I just "ignore" this and keep it in prayer?

Also... since I do see him as my future husband and I don't want to undermine him, how can I bring up the topic of expenses and saving without upsetting him? (I haven't yet figured out how to cover that topic without him being annoyed with me.)

[/quote]

How close are you two to becoming engaged/married? THAT will be the perfect opportunity or context to bring up charitable giving. When you are married, you will be a part of his finances, and he will be part of yours.


#12

the time to have a discussion with another person about his spending habits and financial priorities is when you are planning marriage with him. It is really not your place to criticize another person in this area until you are at a point where joint decisions on finances are appropriate.


#13

[quote="jmcrae, post:5, topic:203366"]
A better approach might be to help him get involved in a committee or a parish group. When he sees the work of the parish, it will motivate him to give more abundantly. In the mean time, perhaps he is saving up for an engagement ring, and hasn't got any extra cash to spare, at the moment. ;)

[/quote]

I would enjoy having us work on something for the parish together, but he has not expressed any want to do so. His work schedule has him working usually from 2 pm to 7pm and he doesn't get home until 8pm because of working late or traffic. So I'm not sure what our options would be.

We did have him register at the parish recently, which means he'll be getting his own envelopes for the Sunday Masses. I'm thinking I could have a discussion with him about how he feels he should support the church through financial donations at that time.

But yes, this is a good idea--- something he and I should both be doing (especially since I'm on my summer vacation right now).

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:6, topic:203366"]
You should leave him alone and let him give what he is comfortable with giving its really none of your business until the two of you are married.

And the RCIA has nothign to do with anything it is their duty as Catholics to bring people into the fold.

[/quote]

Thank you for your input--- there is a reason for my worry about money issues that stems from our past together. Early into our relationship he had issues with money that he kept from me and it did damage to the trust that we had. We're each others best friend and we have never kept ANYTHING from one another--- I'm hoping this trust and communication between us will be a blessing to our marriage.

The reason why I brought up RCIA is that yes it is the priest's mission to bring others into the fold of the Catholic Church. But as lay people, I feel (and others are welcome to have different opinions of mine of course) that we are to support our parishes financially, with service, and with prayer. Our priest welcomed my boyfriend with open arms and did all he could to teach him about the faith. I feel indebted to our priest for what he has provided my boyfriend.


#14

[quote="PatriceA, post:7, topic:203366"]
It sounds like this might be the time to talk about how both of you feel about money in general,especially if you plan on getting married. If this tithing issue is already a concern for you, it might be a red flag that you two have different views on what is an appropriate financial budget. Better to find out now that you two may be on completely different ends of the financial spectrum than to be already married and be in complete disagreement on allocating money to the Church or any other financial item.

[/quote]

Thanks for your thoughts--- because of the past issues, yes it is a concern for me. Not something I don't think can't be handled, but like I said earlier: I don't want to undermine him and him being the head of the household by causing a ruckus over money.

We both understand and acknowledge I'm the organized and detail person of the relationship (thanks to my Dad always being on top of me about things). I'm usually more of a saver and "we don't know what the future holds" while he is more laid back and wants to enjoy every moment of life (which helps me to realize I need to relax more). I've helped him set up an easy system to take care of his money (we worked out what he needs to save for each bill and for savings-- silly me, I overlooked the Church fund envelope) and he does well now with taking care of putting away the funds every two weeks. Except for forgetting to pay a parking ticket recently, he's been much better with saving and spending wisely. Knowing he can at least stick to a budget (and he's a very hard worker--- at work and at home) has helped me to see that he will be able to provide as a husband and hopefully a father one day.


#15

[quote="cmscms, post:8, topic:203366"]
Perhaps your boyfriend actually believes he is being more generous than others. Until he actually sees the financial statements, he is clueless to the money required to rn a church.

As much as I would tend to be like you (try to give generously), there is a deeper issue at hand. You are planning on being married and still have not discussed finances (the #1 cause of divorce).

I see this more as a discerning marriage issue. I would simply say something like 'I think we have been together long enough, it is time to start sharing our financial views. One thing that is important to me is giving a lot to the church. Would you mind telling me how you feel about that'

CM

[/quote]

Many of the people who posted in this thread have mentioned that he and I need to sit down and talk it out. Right now the plans are to get engaged (he already has a ring and that has been paid off awhile ago) sometime during our Florida vacation which will take place the week of July 21st. I don't know WHEN but its sometime during that week. What I'm planning to do is come up with a list of topics that we should cover prior to getting engaged and just make sure we're on the same page. Once we return from vacation, we'll be speaking to our priest about starting the marriage course that I'm sure will be helpful to the two of us as well.

[quote="vera_dicere, post:9, topic:203366"]
I agree on the two main replies raised so far, you can't know his intention, and have the money talk with him.

Of course, perhaps he only had a few singles on him when he went to Church on those days.

I'm currently unemployed and I get a benefit from the govt. but I give a few dollars when I can. Remember when Jesus pointed out the poor old widow giving a single coin, and the rich man dropping in a bag of coins? Who was giving more?

If he is being skint fisted, it'll become evident soon enough. I mean, how is he when you're out on the town? Does he drop money into street collections for various charities? Its too soon to judge, I think. But defintely have the money talk.

Blessings to you both!

[/quote]

Oh trust me, he CAN spend money--- we went to NYC yesterday and he paid for a wonderful lunch at our favorite spot in Little Italy. He has no problem paying for things when he has money and we're handling the "you also have to save your money" issue quite well. But I don't see him necessarily giving to the poor--- that's something I have to work on with myself honestly too (such as when a stranger comes to me, I do give to charities and to my family and friends when they need it). I think its more about opportunity than him deciding NOT to. If I brought it to his attention, I'm sure he'd give what he could. (He was much nicer to one stranger who was asking for money yesterday than I was. :imsorry:)

[quote="RobNY, post:10, topic:203366"]
Virtue is a habit. Thus, virtue is formed by many repeated acts.
**
At the very least, he **is** forming a charitable habit because he does it repeatedly. My confessor once said that it is better to give one dollar one hundred times than one hundred dollars one time... precisely because repeated acts form habits. **

If the issue is generosity, then perhaps that will come in time as he grows with God and starts to trust Him more. But he is at least starting on the right track, even if he isn't 100% there yet.

If you feel that you should talk to him about it, after praying, then make sure to be direct and frank with him, and at the same time, to express that you aren't judging him, but that you want to know what **he**** thinks about the issue. It may even be a good idea to leave it there the first time... once he tells you say thanks, tell him you love him and drop it. It will come up again, and it can be a bit overwhelming to process something so big very quickly.** It will give him time, especially if he processes things as an introvert, to process it and pray with God about it before you discuss it again.

[/quote]

I like that thought that its more about how often than how much. I remember bringing it up that he should put something in the basket once it comes around now that he's a part of the parish and he has since then as long as he has money in his pocket.

I do think he gets quickly overwhelmed and feels judged when the topic comes up--- I know he dislikes speaking to his Mom because he knows she'll bring up questions about stuff and he feels like she's judging him. And I have learned to sorta be his cheerleader after we have a talk and tell him how much I love him. Thanks for suggesting how a discussion about this could happen. :thumbsup:


#16

[quote="Norseman82, post:11, topic:203366"]
How close are you two to becoming engaged/married? THAT will be the perfect opportunity or context to bring up charitable giving. When you are married, you will be a part of his finances, and he will be part of yours.

[/quote]

By late July we'll be engaged--- I'm hoping for a wedding NEXT summer (I'll be starting a new teaching position and will need to focus on that). I'm sure it'll give us plenty of time to further discuss all the topics that need to be covered and I'm looking forward to having a priest or a Catholic couple help us through that process.

[quote="puzzleannie, post:12, topic:203366"]
the time to have a discussion with another person about his spending habits and financial priorities is when you are planning marriage with him. It is really not your place to criticize another person in this area until you are at a point where joint decisions on finances are appropriate.

[/quote]

I'm not criticizing him, especially since I don't know what his intention is about giving certain amounts of money to the church. He does give (which is great) but I'm not sure if he realizes that our parish needs to cover all of its bills and needs more money coming in. And since we are moving towards marriage, I know it is something that needs to be discussed.


#17

[quote="Angelic_Rose, post:16, topic:203366"]
I'm sure it'll give us plenty of time to further discuss all the topics that need to be covered...

[/quote]

If you're at the point where you know he'll propose, then you need to start discussing finances. You don't need to have a budget planned out exactly, but you should discuss things like: how you'll agree on large purchases, what constitutes a large purchase, if you'll have all joint accounts or keep some personal accounts, who will manage the finances and balance the checkbook, and how much you plan to donate to charity/the Church.

The last thing you want to have happen is find out that there's some major issue the week before the wedding when you've already spent tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours.

[quote="Angelic_Rose, post:16, topic:203366"]
... I'm looking forward to having a priest or a Catholic couple help us through that process.

[/quote]

Marriage prep obviously varies from parish to parish and clergyman to clergyman, but I think it's safe to say that no marriage prep covers absolutely everything you need to work through before getting married. You need to be proactive and create discussion and work through things yourself before the marriage prep. Before marriage prep, you should have already gone through children, finances, and career issues (and religion issues if you're not both Catholic).


#18

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