How do I know if i'm truly called to marriage


#1

For the past few months, i've been especially blessed to have grown in my faith. This past summer I was a teacher/missionary for a youth program in my diocese which was an amazing experience. Not only was it awesome to be able to teach children and teens about the faith, I grew in my prayer life and felt I was able to discern my vocation a little better. I also have been seeing a spiritual director (my former college chaplain of our Newman club) which has helped me to discern more.

As of right now, all I know is that unless a proverbial bolt of lightning strikes me, I am not called to be a priest or religious brother. While i'm somewhat attracted to the idea of being a religious brother (especially being a Franciscan), I feel more drawn to being a lay person. It's why as of right now I'm going back to school to get my Special Education endorsement. I want to be able to support myself and especially a family (whatever that may be. It could be a typical family or a "family" in the sense of a community, or could mean taking care of my brother with autism or my mother as I get old, only God knows). I also feel that I could better serve as a lay person, especially if I am married.

Here is where my issues come up though. While I certainly have gained more confidence and such in my vocation, I worry whether i'm truly called to marriage. I feel a lot of times that I have a different personality and am a little socially awkward for a 24 year old man. This makes me feel like a lot of women my age won't see me as a future husband. I also worry if i'm emotionally ready. I've never really had a relationship and have only dated a few girls who i met online. I'm still kind of shy because i'm afraid of rejection and that women will think i'm weird (even though I'm becoming more okay with myself). I also worry that if I even advance beyond this bit of anxiety that i'll be a bad husband and that i'll say or do something wrong and she'll leave me. My biggest issue though is the anxiety and lack of confidence. I just worry that i'm too different to have a woman like me and i'm just scared. I literally I am afraid of asking a girl out because she'll reject me for who knows what. I know I should pray about this and my future spouse, but it seems selfish. God made me shy, awkward and anxious, and I feel like I shouldn't ask to be changed into a more confident version of myself. I wish I didn't care, but I worry that a lot of girls don't like me, and it doesn't help that I haven't had much experience with them (for example, I have a problem staring. I had a crush on one of my fellow teachers, and sometimes i'd innocently stare, but I know from someone else that she thought it was creepy, I just couldn't help it. I thought she was just amazing, but I know that i could never ask her out she'd reject me).

Anyway, I know there is a lot in here, but basically I just want to know if I am called to marriage. My spiritual director seems to think that I at least have the desire, but just because I desire it doesn't mean God does. All I know now is that barring some sign or calling that I'm not meant to be a priest or religious brother.

Thanks and God Bless!


#2

Hey brother, a 23 year old guy here! :smiley:

I too discerned the priesthood and religious life shortly after my reversion when I was 18. I always had desire for marriage since i was young, but still discerned anyway.

Yes , you are correct, you must have the base desire for one vocation over the other! But a man must not go on feelings alone! Logic and reason, coupled with good prayer and paying attention to the real works of Holy Spirit in your life.

One thing that helped me greatly was some advice from a very wise woman who was a Missionary of Charity.
She said when discerning a vocation, you must think of all the advantages and disadvantages of each vocation. While we can think of many advantages for each and every one, mpre importantly we must think of the disadvantages of each. Which possible crosses and trials are you most willing to accept from each? Each one has their own also! The one where you can accept the negative aspects the best -may- be the one you are called too.

That may be one thing to help you! :cool:

As far as being awkward, don’t worry, i went through a phase like that too to a degree. Funny thing is man, the more awkward you think you are, the more you become! Haha:p Try to become more confidant in the man you are! The more confidant your are in your own masculinity, the more confidant you will appear! Catholic ladies LOVE men who are authentic and real, even their quirks and traits of personality. OWN your personality.

Strive to become an authentically CATHOLIC gentleman! Learn and practice old fashioned chivalry. Work to be chaste and prudent. Learn to make decisions!

Let me tell you brother; any good, Catholic, attractive single member of the mighty fine female sex is going to be instantly turned off by a man who is afraid to be himself, is indecisive, unintentional, and wimpy. A Catholic lady who is “wife material” will be looking for traits in a man that she looks to follow with faith that he will know how to lead the WHOLE entire family to sanctity. Remember, a man MUST be the head of household, with his wife being the heart! :slight_smile:

If you still feel called to marriage, get out there and don’t settle! Any Catholic young adult groups/theology on taps near you? If so, start there. Make friends with all, both men and women! Be yourself, the same self you are around your own family! If you happen to see a woman that attracts you over time, ask her out! Could be coffee or whatever, but you need to get to know each other!

Also, dont shy from online matchmaking either again!. I was on both Ave Maria Singles (initially more expensive, but more thorough) and Catholic match (cheaper to try, but have to weed through more) Remember, for the most part, initiate correspondence with women you find interest in.

I found a wonderful lady on Catholic Match after many years of traveling all over the country to meet Catholic ladies. Jacinta and I hit it off the bat, and now we are seriously discerning marriage, and would not be surprised if I ask her father for her hand within the next 6months/year :slight_smile: I’ve never had a love so true as hers!
We are long distance (6hrs away) and that requires a man to be more intentional and authentic than it can be courting a gal locally. I made the conscious effort to be ME every time I saw her, quirks and all, and never apologized for my personality. Also, I was intentional from DAY ONE that I am looking for a WIFE, not -just- a girlfriend. In turn she saw this, and has fallen in love with me.

So my dear brother, hopefully my experience helps you out! :cool: PM me if you care to chat more in private! Id be more than happy to! Iron sharpens Iron, you know;) have a blessed Sunday!


#3

Personally, I don’t think we are “called to marriage”. I think the only true vocation is one that lead us to a spiritual life.

However, if you really think that you want to be a priest or monk God will make it very clear for you. And take your time. You need to understand that it is something that will change your life in many ways. I did notice that you write that you feel a bit uncomfortable with girls. Well, one thing is sure, if you want to run away from something a monastery is not the right place. First of all, you are there in that case for all the wrong reasons in the world and second you may still need to meet girls outside the monastery. Think this ting thru and then do it once more. You really must be sure. It is a huge step and it will for ever.

When we “grow” in our spiritual life we come closer to God in our prayers and we often understand things we did not do earlier. It still does not mean we have “the vocation”. It means that we learn more about God and His love. And what we learn is not something we should keep to us self, we should share it, yet it is not in a way a priest do. We can help spread “the word” in many ways, one is anyhow above all other, namely by our example. How we live. What we do. But there is a very big risk it will backfire. It will go wrong if we isolate our self from the “outer world”. There is life outside The RCC. If a Catholic think he/she is better then all others everything will go wrong. We can not think that a let us say Lutheran, have the same moral as we have. He/she life the faith he/she is has learn. We may think it is wrong and that we must stay away and do what ever we think we need to. But that is wrong. As Christians we must accept other Christians. A Lutheran may say a divorce is OK. And it is in his/her mind. To be a good Catholic mean, in my mind, that we first must be good Christians. Understand other people, all do not share our faith, and that does not mean our faith is wrong but neither are others wrong. In a way we are all right and all wrong. We are right if we do what Christ did teach us, and wrong if we think that being a Catholic make us “special” and that God love us more. He love us all, no matter what we believe. God love us because He did create us. It is easy to do right among others who share our faith, the trial is to do right outside our faith. To be a Catholic is not to have a ticket to Heaven first class. No, it is be in the line waiting for a possible canceled ticket. So be broad minded. Not many are totally wrong nor bad. A Catholic is not a better Christian then a Lutheran, nor are a Lutheran a better Christian then a Catholic. So when we are waiting for that canceled ticket we must do Gods will, and that is not to think we are better then all others. To be humble is what God want us to do, and one who know all the rules and make sure all know he/she does is not humble. Rules are good, but only if we keep them, and also keep them to our self when we are among “other” people. God is not only “our” God. He did create all that is, including people who do not share our faith. If we remember that we are both good Christians and Catholics, and that is a good example and legacy.

And you dear OP. Think about what you want. If you have the vocation to s spiritual life you will know.


#4

WildCatholic,

Don’t wallow in your crosses; triumph in them. Certainly, you must endure a great deal from your own weaknesses and shyness; but you are not set up to fail. Remember the prodigal son, and get up, go to your Father and ask Him for the strength, if not to change, then to endure all things patiently. It is not at all selfish to beg for such things; it is wiser than many give credit.

You do not avoid crosses by changing your character. God has provided enough fire to purify the mettle of your spirit, simply by asking you to pursue the virtuous life: “Be perfect.” If you recognize a failing that is off-putting in general, change that failing. Make the corrective virtue a new rampart in your spiritual fortress.

And remember: no relationship is easy. Your heart will be tested, as well as your patience and endurance. Be humble and admit that what you do to prepare the way for your bride in your heart is little compared with what must still be done to house her there for the rest of your life. Do it all with God. Ask His help, for yourself and for your future spouse. She will thank you for the help one day.

“Love is not blind. Love is bound; and the more it is bound, the less it is blind.” G.K. Chesterton.

God bless,
Sandomenico


#5

I think there is a very very very simple answer to this question.

if you fall in love with a women and you think that she may be the one you want to spend the rest of your life with date her. You will NEVER know for certain that you are called to marriage or called to religious life. I know a man who not to long before his marriage he started to ask himself what if God is calling me to the priesthood? This never caused him to leave the relationship but it shows that you will never be certain and no matter what doubts will be there. Even St. Theresa had doubts about her religious vocation. The NIGHT before she was going to take vows she started to doubt her call.

It is important to have a spiritual director who knows you well, if you are moving towards marriage and a doubt pops in your head and you bring it to the spiritual director I suspect that he will say that don't trust those thoughts the movements I have seen in you for the longest time shows that you think you are called to marry this women. Sometimes doubts creep into our head, the evil one doesn't want us to follow God's will so he will pull us to try and pull us away from our true vocation in life.

but again the only way you are going to figure out if you are called to marriage is to date and test out this call. God isn't going to come down to you and say your going to be marriage to so and so. Every single person has doubts about their call it is natural and no-one ever knows for certain what God is calling them to do.

What is most important is to grow in relationship with God, discern the voice of God so you can recognize it and discern the voice of the evil one so you can reject him when those voices appear. Trust that God knows what he is doing and just trust in him, things will work themselves out if you desire to follow God.


#6

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