Feeling torn between marriage and religious life


Hi :slight_smile:

Im just wondering if anyone here is in the same situation…

I feel really torn between the two options… marriage or religious life.

When I think of religious life, I think of giving my life entirely to Jesus, being completely His… and I really want this, and I think I’d be sad in a way if God called me to marriage, because the concept of religious life is so beautiful to me. Whenever I look at websites for various orders, especially ones that are cloistered, I feel so much peace and joy and I wish to be one of them… I know it’s not an easy life, and there are many difficulties, and sacrifices, but it seems so meaningful and something that is truly for God alone

at the same time, I have a natural desire for marriage and family, and my family is sort of expecting me to marry one day, and I understand what is wonderful about that life too…

but I don’t know what God’s will is, or how to tell.

My spiritual director told me to receive the Sacraments often, to come closer to Jesus, and then things would be more clear - because when we are close to God we’re more able to hear His voice and to respond. Im trying to do this, but whenever I do get closer to Jesus, I start wanting to love Him more and to give my whole life to Him… and I can’t tell if this is a calling to be a nun, or just my own desires to love God (which is a grace also)

I’m also afriad that I’d decide to be a nun, but then when I join an order I’ll see it’s not what God wants for me… OR, that I’d get married and then regret that I didn’t have the courage to look into religious life.

how in the world do you discern? :frowning:

thank you :slight_smile:


Your spiritual advisor gave you really good advice.

Keep praying about it, and you will see one shine out more than the others. It sounds like you really really love Jesus. You can serve and do wonderful things as a nun, but you can also raise good children who love Jesus as much as you do.

Just focus on loving God for now, and he will make a path clear to you eventually.


I agree that your SD gave you great advice. Have you thought about going to some Come and See's or spending some time at some convents that interest you. God bless, I'll pray for your discernment.


There are basically three signs of vocation - in short :

Attraction to the life
Ability to lead the life
Acceptance by the life

It seems you have the first sign in an attraction to religious life (also to a lesser degree perhaps to marriage) and I agree that your SD has given you sound advice. It is good advice too that since you have attraction to religious life to make enquiries of them - to investigate the various religious orders that may be attractive to you. Enquiry and ‘come and see’ type days are not commitment. It is not problematic to religious orders either to tell them that you are still unsure re religious life.
Try not to make an actual decision - religious life or marriage - until you are sure in which vocation you wish to live the rest of your life - and discuss the journey of discernment as things unfold for you with your SD. Stay prayerful.

I’m also afriad that I’d decide to be a nun, but then when I join an order I’ll see it’s not what God wants for me… OR, that I’d get married and then regret that I didn’t have the courage to look into religious life.

Try to avoid ‘what if’s’. Probably most of us if not all of us can have them from time to time in certain circumstances - they are an attempt to deal today or in this now with a possible or potential future that is only imaginary - and if they persist, talk them over with your spiritual director. In fact, talk them over with him/her anyway.



Hi Monica,

I have the same situation and I understand your feeling, your fear, etc. (even I've been engaged, but now I feel torn to religious life more). You may PM me if you like.
Please do what your SD suggested and try to move on (look for communities that interest you).

And I have verse which encourage me:

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do punishment and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love."

This really encourage me to move on and remember God choose us not we choose God. So the most important thing is that we look for God's will in our lives whether join to religious life or marriage life.

You are in my prayer



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