Faith and Reluctant Husbands


#1

I have been wondering what it is about some men that makes them so reluctant to respond to faith and religion.
I am in a mixed marraige (12 years), me faithful catholic, him baptized protestant - but indifferent. I feel like I have been a model wife, faithful to him and to God, never naggy or pushy, cheerful and happy with my home life and my faith. He knows I pray and go to the sacraments.
He is not against the church, and does come to mass once in awhile (Easter, Christmas, Potlucks), he is friendly with Fr. He actually calls it ‘our church’.
But he just doesn’t make a committment to faith. He does on rare occasions have a glimmer of faith - and I pray always that it grows. I think he believes - but just doesn’t act on it.
He is a super hard working guy - I think he believes that the measure of a man is how many hours he puts on the clock, and how much money he makes. His father is the same way - and they had a tight happy family, and they still go to church, and took them as kids - then he quit as a teen.
I am sometimes concerned that something awful would have to happen to cause him to come to repentance. :frowning:
He has changed a lot since we were married. Has mellowed a lot, become more kind and thoughtful. And I am very happy with him and love him just like he is - he is a good man. But I wish him to have the joy of faith, and an eternal home.
Then I look around at church, and see several women who have the same situation. And there are so many women in the pews whose husbands are absent.
What is it that makes men stubborn toward faith? Maybe it isn’t a gender thing. I wish I knew how to help him better.
I would welcome comments from all. Especially from men who have turned this corner before.

Peace ~
Ridesawhitehorse


#2

Dear ridesawhitehors, I saw your post and just had to respond. I am married and have three children. I recently reconverted to Catholicism . One day i had a friend at work sarcastically make a comment about my Pope dying. I thought to myself " He’s not my Pope". I had’nt been to church in years. I went home that day and as i was sitting in my garage “smoking”; I found a book that my brother had sent me “Where’s that in the Bible?” by Patrick Madrid. Now my brother had been sending me stuff about Catholicism for years, I would’nt throw it away but just put it on a shelf somewhere. I decided to find out about this Pope and began to read. I went into the house and turned on the tv and began to watch the funneral of Pope John Paul11 on EWTN. Within an hour i was crying my eyes out over the loss of this great man. I began to pray and read the Bible daily, then confession, then the rosary, then daily mass. EWTN is on day and night at my house. I constantly read and study about my faith. Needless to say my family thought i had lost my mind. Long story short, My wife who was Baptist and my oldest daughter are now in the RCIA program and will come into the church this easter. My other two are in PSR and will recieve Holy Communion April 25th. The reason your story caught my eye was, when i saw my brother again, his wife told me and my wife that he had been praying every day to St. Bridget for my conversion. My wife burst into tears over hearing this. My own eyes began to water, as they do now and when ever i think of it. I sincerly think this was the start of my wifes conversion, i know it just intensified mine. We began praying for her mother, also a Baptist, who now prays the rosary and is thinking about entering RCIA. She called us yesterday to tell us she went to her first Eucharistic adoration. I believe in the power of prayer. My advice to you would be to pray, watch EWTN, and leave an aboundancy of Catholic books around. Hope this helps. GOD BLESS P.S. I no longer smoke :smiley:


#3

Dear Ridesawhitehorse,

First of all, I would like to commend you for your attitude and outlook. as a husband, the things that you do, “[font=Arial]faithful to him and to God, never naggy or pushy, cheerful and happy with my home life and my faith. He knows I pray and go to the sacraments And that you love him as he is!”" are wonderful qualities in a wife. [/font]

Second of all, I would like to add patience to your list. Look at the difference that you have already made in his life. He has become more kind and thoughtful. It’s great that you want him to experience the joy of faith, but it has to be in his and God’s time. God blessed him will a wonderful wife for a reason. I have no doubt that he will eventually find faith.

And I guess last, to throw in my 2 cents of why men do not see to be as religous. I guess I’ll can share my abbreviated story. I am a cradle Catholic. I always felt that I was a good Catholic, saying my prayers at night and going to Mass on Sunday and trying to do good. Trying to think of why I didn’t grow deeper in my faith… I thought that I was doing OK. I was in control. I didn’t need a bible study, it was for those trying to be holy. I had other things to do. It wasn’t until my wife convinced me to try the Lutheran church for a month that I realized how much I missed the Catholic church. I ran back with a new enthusiasm. I always felt God calling me deeper but I couldn’t figure out the best way to respond. So I committed 20-30 minutes a day alone with God praying and listening and all sorts of doors have opened to me. And still have such a long way to go.

I’m NOT saying to take something away from your husband. I would just keep doing what you are doing and trust God. And never, never pressure, criticize or put him down for where he is with his walk with God. As Fr. Corapi says, our job as a spouse is to get your spouse into heaven. And IMHO you are already doing it the best way possible (and on your way to sainthood :slight_smile: ).

Peace to you…


#4

[quote=markinohio]Dear ridesawhitehors, I saw your post and just had to respond. I am married and have three children. I recently reconverted to Catholicism . One day i had a friend at work sarcastically make a comment about my Pope dying. I thought to myself " He’s not my Pope". I had’nt been to church in years. I went home that day and as i was sitting in my garage “smoking”; I found a book that my brother had sent me “Where’s that in the Bible?” by Patrick Madrid. Now my brother had been sending me stuff about Catholicism for years, I would’nt throw it away but just put it on a shelf somewhere. I decided to find out about this Pope and began to read. I went into the house and turned on the tv and began to watch the funneral of Pope John Paul11 on EWTN. Within an hour i was crying my eyes out over the loss of this great man. I began to pray and read the Bible daily, then confession, then the rosary, then daily mass. EWTN is on day and night at my house. I constantly read and study about my faith. Needless to say my family thought i had lost my mind. Long story short, My wife who was Baptist and my oldest daughter are now in the RCIA program and will come into the church this easter. My other two are in PSR and will recieve Holy Communion April 25th. The reason your story caught my eye was, when i saw my brother again, his wife told me and my wife that he had been praying every day to St. Bridget for my conversion. My wife burst into tears over hearing this. My own eyes began to water, as they do now and when ever i think of it. I sincerly think this was the start of my wifes conversion, i know it just intensified mine. We began praying for her mother, also a Baptist, who now prays the rosary and is thinking about entering RCIA. She called us yesterday to tell us she went to her first Eucharistic adoration. I believe in the power of prayer. My advice to you would be to pray, watch EWTN, and leave an aboundancy of Catholic books around. Hope this helps. GOD BLESS P.S. I no longer smoke :smiley:
[/quote]

Mark,
GREAT STORY!!!


#5

[quote=Love_2B_an_EM]Mark,
GREAT STORY!!!
[/quote]

I second that! Didn’t Patrick Madrid write the books of conversion stories? Your story needs to be in print. It is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing it with us.


#6

[quote=ridesawhitehors]I have been wondering what it is about some men that makes them so reluctant to respond to faith and religion.
I am in a mixed marraige (12 years), me faithful catholic, him baptized protestant - but indifferent. I feel like I have been a model wife, faithful to him and to God, never naggy or pushy, cheerful and happy with my home life and my faith. He knows I pray and go to the sacraments.
He is not against the church, and does come to mass once in awhile (Easter, Christmas, Potlucks), he is friendly with Fr. He actually calls it ‘our church’.
But he just doesn’t make a committment to faith. He does on rare occasions have a glimmer of faith - and I pray always that it grows. I think he believes - but just doesn’t act on it.
He is a super hard working guy - I think he believes that the measure of a man is how many hours he puts on the clock, and how much money he makes. His father is the same way - and they had a tight happy family, and they still go to church, and took them as kids - then he quit as a teen.
I am sometimes concerned that something awful would have to happen to cause him to come to repentance. :frowning:
He has changed a lot since we were married. Has mellowed a lot, become more kind and thoughtful. And I am very happy with him and love him just like he is - he is a good man. But I wish him to have the joy of faith, and an eternal home.
Then I look around at church, and see several women who have the same situation. And there are so many women in the pews whose husbands are absent.
What is it that makes men stubborn toward faith? Maybe it isn’t a gender thing. I wish I knew how to help him better.
I would welcome comments from all. Especially from men who have turned this corner before.

Peace ~
Ridesawhitehorse
[/quote]

Are we married to the same man? :smiley: You are describing my dh although we’ve been married for 14 years. My husband used to go regularly to Adoration, too.

I know my husband has something of a rebellious streak towards authority. Does that describe your dh as well?


#7

I’m in a similiar situation. I reverted last year back to the Church after being gone for so many years, and I’ve been experiencing a faith and a love for Christ that I’ve never known before. My husband is a Anglican, he had the sacraments of baptism, communion and confirmation in the Anglican church, but when you ask him about his faith, his common response is, “I don’t go to church unless I really have to - for weddings or funerals.” Granted, ever since I came back, he’s been very supportive of me, and almost regularly attends Mass with us now. But his fervor for his faith is not exactly matching up to mine.

I continue to pray for him - I really do believe in the power of prayer. When I came back to the Church, I found out that my parents were praying for me for many years to come back. I can do the same for my husband - to one day discover the love and mercy of Our Lord, if it be His Will. I do love my husband very much…he’s been a wonderful father and stepfather to my two older boys, and has sacrificed a lot to be with us. It would be nice if he converted to Catholicism - his late grandmother was a devout Catholic, so I’m sure it would please her a lot, too!


#8

I feel for all of you that are experiencing this problem and I will remember you and your DH in my prayers. Continue to be an example to these men and don’t be discouraged. I so wish I had an answer for you but I don’t, all I can offer are my prayers. I have been blest with a very faithful man for a husband, I feel guilty because I often don’t feel I am good enough for him, I thank God every day for him as he has made my life so much better than I deserve.


#9

I too am a devout cradle Catholic married to a non-catholic. Our children attend Catholic schools and he attends Mass with us occasionally. He loves BXVI !! And he watches EWTN with me. He also loves Fr Corapi. He has no interest in talking about the faith with me. I never nag, preach or beg. But I spend many hours in prayer and Novenas for him. I know someday he’ll be Catholic…We just need to hold on to prayer like St Monica (actually, we each pick the name of a saint out of a bag every New Year’s Day and make that saint our personal intercessor throughout the year & my husband picked St Monica!! How appropriate). For my husband I believe he purposely doesn’t listen to the Lord because he might have to change. And he is afraid of change. But I am patient, my father converted to Catholicism after 17 years and my mother’s patient prayers and he became my Catholic hero. A staunch defender of the faith until his death.

So hold on, keep praying. God works so quietly on the interior, change goes unnoticed. God Bless!


#10

[quote=ridesawhitehors]I have been wondering what it is about some men that makes them so reluctant to respond to faith and religion.
I am in a mixed marraige (12 years), me faithful catholic, him baptized protestant - but indifferent. I feel like I have been a model wife, faithful to him and to God, never naggy or pushy, cheerful and happy with my home life and my faith. He knows I pray and go to the sacraments.
He is not against the church, and does come to mass once in awhile (Easter, Christmas, Potlucks), he is friendly with Fr. He actually calls it ‘our church’.
But he just doesn’t make a committment to faith. He does on rare occasions have a glimmer of faith - and I pray always that it grows. I think he believes - but just doesn’t act on it.
He is a super hard working guy - I think he believes that the measure of a man is how many hours he puts on the clock, and how much money he makes. His father is the same way - and they had a tight happy family, and they still go to church, and took them as kids - then he quit as a teen.
I am sometimes concerned that something awful would have to happen to cause him to come to repentance. :frowning:
He has changed a lot since we were married. Has mellowed a lot, become more kind and thoughtful. And I am very happy with him and love him just like he is - he is a good man. But I wish him to have the joy of faith, and an eternal home.
Then I look around at church, and see several women who have the same situation. And there are so many women in the pews whose husbands are absent.
What is it that makes men stubborn toward faith? Maybe it isn’t a gender thing. I wish I knew how to help him better.
I would welcome comments from all. Especially from men who have turned this corner before.

Peace ~
Ridesawhitehorse
[/quote]

Hello Lady,
I’ve read many of your posts and I’ve always thought you were considerate and kind. I really think men and women are just different…even aside from the men and women are different issue is that some men are different from other men and some women are different from other women (you can’t just always say “well…he’s a guy”!!!). The Bible says that “you shall know them by their deeds” (or something to that effect) and “Preach the Gospel…use words when necessary” (not the Bible, but a really cool saint). Some men don’t use words to express their beliefs and feelings, but actions and little hints. It’s entirely possible that what your husband is feeling cannot be put into words…so he doesn’t. He just lives a godly life, does right by his wife and children, treats others with respect…he just can’t verbalize why (but his heart knows). And he may not wish to verbalize it. Like a really nice dream that once you try to analyze it…it goes away. Look at what he does…who he is…how he treats others…that’s all the confirmation you need.
I’ve loved the Church with all my heart, but oh my stars, when the Bible study gets into the “Well, how does that make you feeeeeellllllll” aspect…I just cringe. And I’m a girl! Some people are not prone to verbalize…they just do. Maybe your DH is one of those. Ya got a good one Baby! Someone’s looking out for you!


#11

Thank you everyone for your replies.
I guess the running theme is to just stay the course. (that was the plan anyway. :slight_smile: ).
It’s true and I know it, men come to faith and any decision way different then we ladies do. I’m in it for the long haul, and I actually feed on his reluctance - the challenge inspires me to live out a more faithful life. Its just that once in a while he could throw me a bone!

I have had to practice virtues that don’t come natural to me. I am choleric by nature, I see what is wrong and dangit, I fix it. I see what someone is doing wrong and if they would just listen to me they would have a better life!! :wink: :o
So, I have had “Preach always, and sometimes use words”… I will put faith in that, and continue to pray.
Thanks everyone.


#12

Some men don’t use words to express their beliefs and feelings, but actions and little hints. It’s entirely possible that what your husband is feeling cannot be put into words…so he doesn’t. He just lives a godly life, does right by his wife and children, treats others with respect…he just can’t verbalize why (but his heart knows). And he may not wish to verbalize it. Like a really nice dream that once you try to analyze it…it goes away. Look at what he does…who he is…how he treats others…that’s all the confirmation you need.

:yup: I want to ditto all that. I’ve long thought my husband was an atheist or agnostic at best, but I’ve seen him defend the Catholic Church now inumerable times over the years. We’ve recently had a discussion about our faith (something we rarely do) and it’s apparent to me that he has a lot of faith in the church. I’ve always thought how much more virtuous he is than I - yet I’m the one who needs to go to confession all the time and I’m the one that does all the spiritual reading and bible study, etc. - he does well without these things. I prolly need the encouragement more than he :o . Glad I married him!
~donna


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.