Drawn toward the Catholic Faith but it may hurt my wife


#1

I’ve only been a Christian for about 1-1/2 yrs. I’m 31 yrs old and my wife is 27. I have always believed in Jesus but never truley accepted him as my savior untill I was almost 30. My wife of 6 mo was the one who witnessed to me and led me to Christianity. She has been a life long Evangelical Protestant. We go to a very upbeat church - contemporary worship music, people praying out loud, dancing and raising hands. Lately I’ve felt the need to research and study the Catholic Faith, I think mostly because I’ve also been studying Irish history more indepth (were both of strong Irish backgrounds). This curiousity of the faith has turned into a real desire to know and understand it. My wife has formed very strong feelings against the Catholic Church’s beliefs, but as for me, I am not bias. All I’ve known since my coming to Christ is Non-Denominational Protestantism and I want to know why so many non-Catholics are against the faith. Since I’ve began to study the faith I’ve learned alot, and for some reason find myself defending Catholicism when in debates with my wife. I feel drawn to it very much so. I can see myself becoming Catholic in the future, and the deeper I dig into the Faith the more I can see it happening. It worries me though what my wife will think. I don’t want to be a bad leader by separating our beliefs but at the same time I feel my relationship with Jesus will grow stronger by converting. I know God is most important and is the center of our relationship but I know my wifes opinions toward the Catholic Church are deep rooted and may never change. I pray daily for the Lords guidence. Has anyone delt with an issue similiar to this before?

Searching for Truth
Jamie


#2

I haven’t dealt with what you are personally, but I do have a book to recommend: My Life on the Rock, by Jeff Cavins. The author went through something very similar to what you are going through now; both him and his wife were non-denom protestants, he became drawn to the Catholic Church, but his wife resisted the idea, but eventually she became Catholic herself.
Good luck, and God bless the both of you! ^^


#3

Hi Jamie, you would probably really enjoy reading Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Scott Hahn found himself in a very similar position to yours, and this is the story about how his conversion felt like a betrayal at first to his wife. However, she eventually did come around and discover the truth about the Catholic faith for herself. You can get a condensed version of his conversion story here, if you’d like:

chnetwork.org/scotthconv.htm


#4

I think I understand how you’re feeling, because I was going through some of the same issues three years ago-only it was my husband who didn’t want me to have anything to do with the Catholic Faith.

All I can tell you is study the faith, be humble when people don’t agree with you, but be willing to obey God above what others may think or say to you. That’s the difficult part. However, if your wife sees you embracin your faith and growing in Christ, it can’t be bad.

My husband didn’t like me converting at all, and didn’t want me rasing the children Catholic, either. That was three years ago. Now, though he hasn’t converted, is open to my faith and respects my decision. He’s even agreed to raise the children in the Church. These changes didn’t happen overnight, but the changes have happened and I have ever hope that changes will continue.

Let me know if there’s any way I can help.

Scout :tiphat:


#5

Absorb every book and audio by Scott Hahn.

Check out this website biblechristiansociety.com/ all you pay is S&H on the CDs.


#6

How does your wife know what the Catholic church teaches? Has she studied for herself or does she believe what other Protestants have told her? —KCT


#7

I think a very good book for you would be When only one converts.

Also, when debating with your wife, you might end up winning the actual debate but not convincing her of anything. Not only is it because of emotion but also because of a disconnect when ‘learning’ things from other people. She more than likely will need to learn these things for herself.

The only thing I can think of is for you to write her a letter, not to convince her of Catholic teaching, but to explain to her that you have a valid wish to learn about the Catholic faith to either discount it or continue in that path. Let her know that you do have her feelings in mind and you don’t discount her beliefs. Since you are married it would be wonderful if she learned along with you so she knows what you are finding out about. She doesn’t have to agree with what she’s reading but it’s always best to disagree with what the Church actually teaches ;).

Then I would do some mega research on books that explain certain areas that are hotspots for both you and her. Read Amazon reviews, ask questions here too, about what sort of books would be good.

First and foremost I would suggest buying the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Browse the index and whenever a topic comes up, pull it out and find out what the Church teaches about it.

I find the Catechism to be the LEAST abrasive apologetic material when it comes to Catholic teaching. Basically because it isn’t ‘apologetic’ it’s main concern is to explain to Catholics what the Church teaches. It’s really hard to be offended by the language or teaching because it’s not couched in terms to argue against anybody.
Atleast that is my experiance.

As for your journey, if you want to get the book that makes or breaks Catholicism for you I would only suggest Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism.
For a Catholic-in-name-only, I had to bare-knuckle my way through the whole book and my own conscience let me know…‘Magesterium or no Magesterium, make your decision’ 'Eucharist or no Eucharist, make your decision’
I didn’t even know these things where out there TO make a conscious decision about in the first place!!

:slight_smile:

Hope I helped.


#8

WOW, ok weird, I just posted today of a similar situation with a friend that has come to a very hard point in his conversion. He is coming from the mormon church and both he and his wife were RAISED mormon.

We don’t do the “witnessing” thing in our faith. Either we were raised Catholic, or like YOU came to it by a calling from the Holy Spirit, or Our Father, or His Holy Son Jesus.

My basic philosophy in life concerning Faith it this:

You go to, or WORSHIP GOD where you feel God IS. If something is nagging at you to be in the Catholic Church, then by ALL MEANS go to a Catholic Church! Faith is such a personal thing, and of course is broadened by the love of a spouse and the worship together as a family --yet in the beginning for non-cradle catholics (meaning from birth) it typically starts with just one. Your wife may or may not follow you into this – BUT – and this is one big BUT - you won’t feel peace until you do what God is asking you to do.

Right now RCIA – Right of Christian Initiation for Adults is just beginning. You can join at your local Catholic Church, but do it now! (They typically start in Sep – and end with a Catholic Baptism or Confirmation at Easter Vigil – if you decide to join.) Learn more about our faith and decide if it’s right for you. Attend our masses (but don’t try to take the Eucharist yet!) and see if God is present for you, with you, and in you. If HE is, then it’s time to act to become one with His church.

The thing is, as stated before, God calls you, and no matter your situation it’s best to answer. If you don’t it’ll be harder on YOU than it will be your wife. It may cause some strife, but in the end, I am sure she’ll be happy at the new, more spiritual YOU. The important thing to remember is you can’t force your religion on her. While you can share the beauty and grace you feel in the church with her, it has to be up to her if she want’s to be open to your faith. At the same time, she is not in the position to determine YOUR faith either. She has absolutely no RIGHT to tell you where and when you can worship. We are pretty sincere about this. As Catholics it’s important not to force the faith but to show by example how happy and blessed we are to our loved ones. I know that’s not always the same in other Christian faiths…like those who do the witnessing.

It’ll be hard, but again, if God’s calling, you really should listen.

I will glady help out in any way possible on your journey into the faith. You can PM me anytime!

God Bless and GOOD LUCK!

Oh and PS I married the son of athiests. He married a Cradle-Catholic who was denied most of the sacraments by her athiest father. He also knew his wife would one day come full-fruition into the church, as I told him it would happen when I was fully ready to come to Him in whole-hearted love and faith. I did. Some arguments erupted over the baptism of our children, but I did NOT ask him to become Catholic. In the end, my husband found the Catholic Faith through philosophy and the calling God gave him. I am sure my peace and happiness at fulfilling the sacraments helped, BUT it was his OWN journey. So yes, it does happen, and yes we are much closer with religion on the same page. Be patient.


#9

The Book *Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic *is pretty good, it is writen by a former fundamentalist and explains things very nicely. It is by David Currie. A good basics book is Catholicism for Dummies. As weird as that sounds it actually is a decent book for learning about the Catholic faith. THe book doesnt try and convert only educate. Both are good choices for reading. Good luck with your journey and God bless.

Deus Vobiscum


#10

I’m in it right now, dude. My wife has zero interest in Catholicism because Catholic priests don’t preach, and only a tiny percentage of Catholics study the Bible. And here I am agreeing with her criticisms, but irresistibly drawn to the Catholic church all the same. It sucks that wife isn’t in my RCIA class with me. Major bummer. :frowning:


#11

Jamie and Scott, make sure that what your wives object to is what the Catholic Church actually teaches, and not what they THINK the Church teaches.

The one who thinks that priests don’t preach obviously is mistaken.

There’s a saying that sums this up:

Few people in America hate the Catholic religion,
but there are many who hate what they mistakenly believe is the Catholic religion
–and if what they hate really were the Catholic religion,
Catholics would hate it too.
Bishop Fulton Sheen


#12

Thanks for all the great advise! I will check out some of the books you guys refered me to. It’s true my wifes opinion of the Catholic Faith is based on her compairing practicing Protestants to non-practicing Catholics. She is convinced most of the Churches teachings are unbiblical. But as I keep studying and praying, I am seeing truth. I’m just praying my wife will see the truth I see as the spirit guides me. Even if she never becomes a Catholic, I pray her opinions change. I know sometime soon I will have to see the Priest at my nieghborhood Parrish, I can feel God pulling me there, I guess I’m just worried about the initial conflict it may cause. But hey the Bible says there is no fear in love right!
Thanks again to everyone!

Slainte’ (to your good health)
JPatton


#13

Scottm,

What do you mean “Catholic priest’s don’t preach”? That they don’t go door to door, or preach in the town square? Or that they don’t “preach” (i.e. explain the faith), because in the latter instance - isn’t that what the homily is for?

In any case - maybe you could check out the Dominicans (a.k.a Ordo Praedicatorum or Order of the Preachers)

Catholig


#14

To KCtheMommy:

I just wanted to point out that when a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian are married, that is totally different than a Christan and a mormon being married. I find it interesting that many people on this website refer to Protestant and Catholic as different religions.

Also, why is it that you do not witness? It is the great commission in the Bible! It’s what Jesus last told us to do before he ascended into heaven. I’m not saying we should push our specific denominations on people, but shouldn’t we share the good news, the news that Jesus died for our sins? Many Catholics in history have done this, so I don’t think it is a Protestant thing as it seems you suggest. I know Catholics who came to faith by being witnessed to. It seems that it is less common to see this in Catholicism and more common to see people born into Catholicism as you suggested, but some Catholics do share the gospel as well as Protestants.

Also, you advised to “go to, or WORSHIP GOD where you feel God IS.” God is everywhere. I believe it is important to be in a biblically sound church, but a building does not contain God. And yes, we can have a personal relationship with Jesus but I do not think that “Faith is such a personal thing” as you stated. I believe that ones faith apart from relationships in the body of Christ on this earth will not be too effective in demonstrating our faith.

You say to “act to become one with His church.” To me this suggests that a protestant is not “one with His church.” Isn’t a believer, a follower of christ, “one with His church?” Do you not view Protestants as your brothers in Christ even if they are Christians?

I’m amazed at your boldness at advising people who you do not know personally and I question your motives and sincerity in this issue. And this quote was a little disturbing: “As Catholics it’s important not to force the faith but to show by example how happy and blessed we are to our loved ones. I know that’s not always the same in other Christian faiths…like those who do the witnessing.” Some people prefer to show by living example to the world, not just loved ones and I feel you are ignorant in stating that living by example may not be the way of those who witness. Witnessing to others out of love is important. Witnessing means to share the good news, not to force your views on a person.

I just found some of these comments about non-Catholics to be somewhat unfounded and judgemental.


#15

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