Non-Christian boyfriend


Hello! I don’t post much but I’m here lurking around a lot. :wink:

Anyways, I just fully joined the church this Easter (I used to be a baptized-not-practicing-Catholic), and I am very excited about it. I have one problem: I started dating my boyfriend before I became religious, and he is an agnostic. Lets just say I can already see some of the difficulties in the future if we ever decide to marry.

I had a very serious talk with him, and he agreed to learn a little about the church and maybe see if he’s interested (I won’t force him to become a Catholic because that would be pointless, but I’d like to give him a nudge in the right direction).

Does anyone have any ideas of what I could give an agnostic to read? I’ve been scouring the net and all I can find is Christian apologetics written by Protestants with protestant theology, and Catholic apologetics aimed at people who already believe in Jesus.

I’ve already thought about lending him my copy of Mere Christianity when I get it back from my other friend. I’d prefer website suggestions (I’m a student; not much money to spend), but book suggestions are good too.



Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth

There are many more resources Here


You guys are unevenly yoked - that’s a big problem and I would seriously think about your current situation. If he doesn’t convert, you’re in for a lifetime of struggles over this issue and it comes up in life more than you might think. I almost lost my own marriage over a similar situation. Lee Strobel has a good book about unevenly yoked marriages (I’ve forgotten the name as I read it a couple of years ago). Google his name or search amazon or barnes and noble and you’ll come up with the name of it. It was very helpful.


Is he baptized?

Did you know that if you marry an unbaptized person, it is not a sacramental marriage?


Please make every effort to come to a resolution about what is non-negotiable for you both as soon as possible, before you go any further ahead with this relationship. The longer you are together the harder it will be to separate if that is what it comes to, and the easier to make a decision you may regret for the rest of your life.

As Riley259 puts it, you are unevenly yoked.


Based just on what you’ve said, you may not be in that bad a situation. He’s willing to listen. . . a lot of agnostics and atheists are not willing to see the facts, evidences, concepts of Christianity.

Best to take care of this early. Once you’re married, he can do whatever he wants to do.

With “intellectual agnostics” I feel it’s important to point out how many active scientists have an active faith. Check out Cosmos-Bios-Theos, a book published a few years back.


Actually she’s not married so she’s not yoked at all yet. I think the best advice is that which St. Paul gave, do not become unequally yoked. Converting is something that is done by the Holy Spirit and the individual person, going back to Church is great. However, to your boyfriend it looks like (and to an extent is) you trying to make him become Christian because you’ve decided to be. Best option, end the relationship and start looking for someone that shares your faith.


You guys are unevenly yoked - that’s a big problem and I would seriously think about your current situation. If he doesn’t convert, you’re in for a lifetime of struggles over this issue and it comes up in life more than you might think.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here … the problem between differences will only come in if the non-catholic husband objects to her going for mass, having their kids baptised or argues about the faith constantly. Other than that they should be able to live quite happily together.

My dad’s not catholic, but all his 3 kids were raised catholic and we’re all doing well in the faith. My wife is not catholic either but both my kids are, and she’s supportive. She was brought up with Taoism and Buddhism influence and has never seen the need for a God. The whole concept is alien to her. But I can see the slow work of the spirit in her clearly. It’s so obvious something’s clicking in her head; when I pray with my 2 little girls at night, especially when we pray for some of her concerns or for her, sometimes, when I’m busy she actually leads them in prayer and has actually learnt the Lord’s prayer (how not to when I keep trying to teach it to 2 and 3 year olds?), or when she comes to mass with me (occasionally - it can get really boring for her) and sees her little girls on their knees with clasped hands and closed eyes deep in prayer. …

Our gentle way of showing them the faith rather than insisting that they convert is the best witness to our spouse as well as to their families. I know of such unions where the spouses convert out of conviction all the time!

No offense, but all this talk about being ‘unevenly yoked’ just sounds so protestant to me.


Hmm. Well, he has no problems with me raising my kids Catholic if thats what you’re getting at. He’s not in the mindset of “Catholicism is a load of garbage”, he is more like “I think all religions have some truth to them”.

Ugh, I’m going crazy.


Okay, maybe I should further clarify. I am confused because he is one of the most accepting people of my faith that I know. I’ve even discussed NFP with him and he’s 100% on board. He also respects my chastity and does not drink except for the odd family gathering (rare in college students). He thinks that Christianity might even be true, because he does believe Jesus existed, and that God exists. He just has problems with certain things like gay marriage because he has been raised in a very (VERY!) liberal household. I was hoping to find some good easy-to-read info from a Catholic perspective to show him the truth, since I am not very good at articulating my faith.


I don’t think faith is going to be a problem with the both of you. Just work on developing a good relationship with him. Give him some good links, catholic answers is a good one to start with, it has great resources for any question he might have; other than that, just sit back and let the Holy Spirit do His job. As Tim Staples keep saying, we’re in sales, not in management - we just provide the means and answers, let the Spirit take control.

My wife and I were married in church, after a couple of years, she enrolled in RCIA, but fell out after 8 months (not her fault) … and says she’s interested in going for another one soon.

You know … perhaps since your boyfriend seems open to Christianity, why not start him on the Alpha course? … or better yet … why not RCIA? He is free to leave any time he wants, in fact the first portion is the Inquiry phase and that’ll give him the chance to clarify all his doubts.


Whats the Alpha course? (sorry, I’ve just never heard of it)


The Alpha course is a non-denominational introduction to Christianity, some parishes have picked up on it. Check with yours.


“The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel

Peter Kreeft is a second author

And you already have Lewis “Mere Christianity”.

All of these should be available at your local public library :thumbsup:


I’ve heard “Rome Sweet Home” is a good one about previously non-Catholics learning about Catholics and becoming one. It’s by Scott Hahn and his wife. I heard it’s easy to read and does a good job of explaning their conversion thinking process.
Good Luck.


How old is he? Is he a big science guy? If he’s into really advenced science, cosmology, and metaphysics, stuff by Fr. Robert Spitzer is awesome (he’s the president of Gonzaga University and the head of the institute for faith and reason.)


See if he would consider attending a Theology on Tap workshop with you If they are available in your diocese…Give him a chance to meet people the same age as both of you 20-30 somethings…and listen to speakers on issues that are relevant to our faith and yrour age group. Here’s a link to the one for our diocese. They meet during the summer months.


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