Knowing when to speak and when to shut up

I’ve been exploring Catholicism and Orthodoxy for a number of years. My husband and I were convinced reformed baptists for quite some time. Neither of us is any longer, but my husband has gone in the direction of evangelical Anglicanism. I share what I am learning because we both think it’s kind of important to try and pull together spiritually. He has been quite seriously opposed to my interest in Catholicism in particular, stopping me going to mass regularly and being quite mocking about it.

I am obviously praying too. My question is, how do you know when it’s time to shut up and just let your life do the talking, when someone has previously responded well to reasonable discussion?

Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, when they see your reverent and chaste behavior. Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:1-4)


I sort of know what you are going through… I’m Catholic and hubby is NOT. It doesn’t help really to talk about it since he is NOT in favor of Catholics… so sometimes I just have to say quietly that we have religious freedom in this country–and I go to Mass and try to let my actions speak louder than words…

And I pray a LOT!


Your prayer is most important - and if the Holy Spirit wants you to speak you will not be able to shut up. Until then, TimothyH’s quote is a good guide.


The time to shut up is when reasonable discussion ceases. You’re just beating your head against a wall. If and when your husband stops mocking your faith then you can resume discussions.

Don’t stop going to mass, I can’t stress this enough. I went through this with my first husband. It got to the point where to me it seemed to be a choice between my faith and my marriage. Ironically, my husband (who was raised in a strong Catholic home) suggested that I go to the Anglican church, as long as it wasn’t Catholic he was fine with it. I allowed myself to be brow-beaten but my marriage fell apart anyway, precisely because he was too controlling. I wouldn’t make the same choice now.

If religious discussions are creating conflict, then it might be best to stop and agree to disagree. Call a truce and avoid the topic of religion altogether for the sake of your relationship.

He can’t stop you from going to mass, can he?

Actions speak louder than words. If I were you, I would stop discussing religion until he can be respectful about your faith. However, if he says something mocking, firmly tell him to respect your faith like you do his.


I agree with the poster who said “Do not stop going to Mass.”

In Matthew 10: 34-39 Our Lord Jesus explains that He has not come to bring a peace but a sword. Then he goes on to say that he has set family members apart (daughter against her mother, a man against his father, etc.)

I was taught that we must always put Jesus first, and not our closest relatives if that causes us to abandon our belief. It doesn’t mean to act with hostility to the person who is rude or wants you to believe as you do.

Jesus first! And be loving and patient, with His grace, to all who do not agree with you. We should not be swayed by others in order to keep “peace” with them. When we show them the peace of Christ that we have they may eventually want that same peace.

First of all my heart and prayers go out to you. That sounds like a rough spot to be in. I don’t know how he’s keeping you from mass but I hope you can continue to go. People have given me some noise about Catholicism but no one has ever tried to keep me from worship.

Be the example and most of all be careful.

True, but the husband must also learn how to understand and be reasonable. That’s what Jesus said in the gospels and Paul in Ephesians.

Just need to Explain the Facts of life to him ,
Although you love one another , live together, have perhaps a house,family ,
cats & Dogs perhaps , much in Common,but you can’t be 100% alike,
You have your thoughts ,same as he has his own thoughts.,
He is entitled to his Religious practises &. Thoughts just the same as you are entitled to yours, if you are of the same mind,then that’s Fantastic,but what if your not ?
Just tell him this is something spiritual that you feel and must follow through with it,
Just the same as you respect his thoughts

Yes, a husband should be willing to die for his wife as Christ died for the Church.

Yet we are called to be other Christs to our spouse. Christ said, “Not my will but thy will be done.”

I would be going with him to his Church as an observer rather than asserting my right to go to Mass. Then if he wants to come to Mass he can.


Thanks all. It is a tough situation. I’m afraid his permission is required for mass as he will be the one caring for the children, and also because the only way I can get there is if he drives me. So you can see, if he refuses, or goes out leaving me with the children, I cannot get to mass. He has fits and starts about whether he will allow it, and I did go this Saturday just past. Just have to catch him in a good mood.

We did have a good conversation last night about salvation by works, in which he seemed more reasonable, but I won’t challenge him again for some time and just let that sink in for a bit.

Keep praying and the Lord will take care of everything!

God bless you,


This is quite encouraging! Prayers abound and remember, God already knows the heart even if you cannot make it to Mass.:crossrc:



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