Faithless Brother-in-law


#1

Recently I had my brother-in-law for dinner along with my husband’s parents. He has rejected his faith that his parents labored to pass on and this troubles them so. He is embroiled in the homosexual community in San Fransisco although I do not know if he is sexually active. He has expressed his dissent of the church in conversation with me and refuses to engage in conversation about our differences.
He did not participate in the grace we said before our meal and he did not bless himself. Rightly so. I do not want him to be a hypocrite. At that moment I became very disturbed and angry and did not even want him in our home. My spirit was also disturbed and did not pray additionally as I normally do, spontaneously. I only said grace before meals. I could sense the discord and realized we were not of the same yoke or spirit. Dinner carried on comfortably and there was no other tension.
My concern is that I am not sure I want him to our home again because of the example he is to our children. We have not discussed his lifestyle with our children nor his rejection of our faith. Our children range in ages from 3 to 12. I was also feeling that if we tolerate his behavior it is being accepted. He must know how I feel and I have considered sending him a book Beyond Gay and expressing my feelings about his presence in our home, ie. not saying grace and the effect it may have on our children. I really felt he needed to be slapped across the face, rejecting his faith as he has done. Although I am not the judge and I know that God was there for me when I was asleep in my sinfulness.
I have talked to my husband about this and we agree that I need some spiritual direction on this. His brother’s lifestyle and lack of faith is also something that is never discussed in the family.
I guess after writing this my response would be to remain silent and offer up my sacrifices for him and to love him and to somehow show my children that even though we do not agree with his lifestyle and are disappointed that he has left the faith we still love him.
Do you have any recommendations or suggestions?


#2

If your BIL is embroiled in the homosexual community in SF, it would be safe to assume that he’s gay, that is, homosexually active and pushing the gay lifestyle. That he won’t say grace or bless himself is a sign that he’s angry with God. No surprises there.

Your family is important to your BIL, because it is the Catholic point of contact for him. How you treat him may impact his reconciliation with God. Your children are learning from you too. They will come across many who don’t pray grace, and who’ve rejected their faith. This is an opportunity for your BIL and your children.

As long as your BIL shows respect for your family in that he doesn’t preach the gay lifestyle to your children, please consider inviting him back into your home. As he gets more involved in the gay lifestyle, he will become more angry with God. Hopefully he will come to the point, or hit rock bottom, where he sees that his choices are a lie, and that Jesus is the Truth. This could take many years.

Please pray for help with your anger, and then pray for your BIL. Meeting anger with anger builds a wall. It will be difficult, but you will be rewarded, as will your family and your BIL.


#3

I would first refer you to the catechism and what the Holy Mother Church teaches in regards to Homosexuals and how we are to treat them:

**2358 **The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.


I know that you are faced with a very difficult situation. I too have a brother who, though not afflicted with SSA, has left the Holy Mother Church and does not share the same spritual beliefs as the rest of his family. We have struggled to come to an understanding of each other and it has had to be based on our mutual love for each other. He does not have to participate in our family prayers, but he is obligated, when in our home, to respect our practices and beliefs.
My prayers are with you, my sister in Christ, and with your BIL. May the Lord heal him of his SSA affliction.


#4

There is no reason to discuss his lifestyle with your children if they don’t know what his lifestyle is. Also keep in mind that tolerance is not acceptance (unlike what the PC crowd wants us to believe).

You said he refused to participate in prayer. The question is what did he do? If he sat quietly while the family prayed then he was respecting you. Otherwise, did he start eating while everyone was praying? Did he continue talking to someone or did he disrupt the prayer in any way? If so, he was not fulfulling his obligation as a guest and showing disrespect for you and your family and I would not invite him back.

His refusal to talk about your differences is understandable. He is actively rejecting God. Debate rarely changes minds anyway. Your example is the witness he can’t deny.

I work with a few gay men and all I see is the emptiness of their lives. No lasting relationships and obviously no family or children. He can’t help but contrast that with your family when he visits. As long as he respects your practices in your house I see no reason not to invite him.


#5

[quote=SemperJase]There is no reason to discuss his lifestyle with your children if they don’t know what his lifestyle is. Also keep in mind that tolerance is not acceptance (unlike what the PC crowd wants us to believe).

You said he refused to participate in prayer. The question is what did he do? If he sat quietly while the family prayed then he was respecting you. Otherwise, did he start eating while everyone was praying? Did he continue talking to someone or did he disrupt the prayer in any way? If so, he was not fulfulling his obligation as a guest and showing disrespect for you and your family and I would not invite him back.

His refusal to talk about your differences is understandable. He is actively rejecting God. Debate rarely changes minds anyway. Your example is the witness he can’t deny.

I work with a few gay men and all I see is the emptiness of their lives. No lasting relationships and obviously no family or children. He can’t help but contrast that with your family when he visits. As long as he respects your practices in your house I see no reason not to invite him.
[/quote]

Great insight…thank you posting your experiences.


#6

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