Pastor with a non christian wife


#1

Hi

I am dating a devout Christian who possible one day may become a pastor. He is concerned how it will look if hes wife is not s believer. Also, how can i stand next to him and supposrt him in chruch. I have no problem in supporting him in what he wants to do, but he questions if a member of the church was to ask me for help then i would not be bale to help them spiritually, but i sau i could help them on a human level. what is the answer, is there any pastors out there who have married a non christain? Also, I have been christianed roman catholic but i do not practise as I do have issues with my faith and am finding my own way.


#2

Hi Ammie,
Welcome to the forums. :slight_smile: If you were baptized Catholic, you are a Christian. You may have issues with your faith, but you are still a Christian. You can’t “undo” a baptism… you will remain a “Christian” for the rest of your life, even if you no longer believe. That’s probably not what your boyfriend believes - but it’s what the Catholic Church teaches and it’s the truth. Don’t confuse being “saved” with being a Christian - Catholics reject once saved, always saved because it is not biblical.

OK, regarding your boyfriend - he is no doubt banking on the fact that when you say you are “trying to find your own way” your path will lead you to his faith. I agree with you, it would be very difficult to be a Pastor’s Wife if you did not share his faith. Depending on his denomination, I think alot churches would have a big problem with their Pastor married to what they would consider a “non-believer.” I think he would have a hard time getting hired.


#3

I think it is unwise to marry someone with whom you do not share the same faith, the same vision for faith in your family life, and the same values and worldview rooted in that faith.

It is **doubly **unwise to marry someone whose faith will be their **life’s work **while not sharing that same faith and same degree of committment to that life’s work.


#4

This is a Catholic forum, based in the US where Catholic priests ordinarily are not married in any case. YOu would probably get more help pertinent to your own situation on a forum of Christians of your husband’s denomination. Here, the forum to go to would be the Non-Catholic religions, but there are not that many participants who are not Catholic, and even fewer who can relate to your issues. Hope you find the guidance you seek, but I think it highly unlikely a committed Christian pastor is contemplating marriage with someone who does not share his spiritual outlook since that is or should be the most important thing in his life.

If you have been baptized Catholic you are a Catholic Christian, and you will remains so during this life and for all eternity. We urge you and pray for you to return to the practice of your own Faith, and to study, through an adult Confirmation program at you closest Catholic parish, to understand what our Faith teaches. We will be praying for you.

God does not call us to find our own way to Him, He calls us to follow His way. Jesus Christ IS the Way, the Truth and the Life, and you will not find your way outside of Jesus and the Church He founded on Earth, which is the Catholic Church.


#5

I’m convert to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism, so I can kind of answer questions about those denominations.

And I apologize in advance for being blunt and for not sounding sympathetic. I’m only trying to tell you the truth, and better that you hear it here and now than in the future after you and your man have already tied the knot.

It would be most helpful to know what denomination the man is aspiring to pastor. Or is he planning on starting a non-denominational church?

If he is thinking of a pastorate in almost any of the evangelical churches, he will not be allowed to pursue this if he is married to a non-believer. Read I Timothy 3: 1-13. A reading of both of the letters to Timothy and also the letter to Titus will give you a pretty good idea of the standard to which evangelical pastors and deacons are held.

I’ve been in churches where the behavior of one of his children was enough to get a pastor booted.

It’s possible that your man is reading the book of Hosea and assuming that God is using him and you as a picture to the world of the reconciliation that Christ offers. You might want to read this book (in the Old Testament) and try to determine if perhaps your man sees himself as a modern-day “Hosea.” I think that your man would discover that evangelical seminaries don’t see it the same way.

If he is aspiring to pastor a non-denominational church, it’s possible that he could do this with a non-believing wife. But speaking as a woman, I can assure you that many women who attend Protestant churches seek a role-model in their pastor’s wife. They enjoy attending meetings and studies that she is involved with, and they enjoy having her speak and give testimony at various teas, luncheons, dinners, coffee klatches, potlucks, ladies fellowships and socials, etc. You will have a very difficult time.

I’m guessing that a lot of Christians would not be interested in attending a non-denom with a pastor who can’t even bring his own wife into the faith. It doesn’t bode well for the “business” of building up the church in numbers, which is necessary for a non-denom to survive financially.

IF your man is aspiring to pastor one of the mainline denominations, then forget everything I just said. In many of these denoms, pretty much anything goes. My parents-in-law currently attend a United Methodist Church which is pastored by a woman who has an atheist husband. So if this is the plan, then you and your man will have no trouble at all. In fact, he may be even more appealing to some of these churches, who are looking for ways to prove that they are inclusive, loving, and non-judgemental.


#6

The big factor is which denomination or movement he is in. Many churches will not as first choice choose an unmarried man as pastor. Some like the Salvation Army requires the wife to also be a member of their particular church, in their case because of the vow of poverty and being a Salvation Army Captain carries many responsibilities. The wife often carries the title Pastor also and she will be expected to serve some ministry positions. As I understand the rules of Catholictism you can not be a Catholic in good standing and be in full communion able to pastor your husbands congregation.


#7

Thank you all you welcoming words.
He is in fact waiting or hoping that i will find my way to accepting God into my life as he has done. He is a Pentecostal, but wants to create his own church.
As well as hearing other peoples advice, I guess I am also looking for someone in this actual situatution and how they have overcome it. I also think that anything is possble if you want it or believe in it.
This is difficult…


#8

I don’t think you will get any better advice than Cat’s.

You are Catholic, please come home, we need you. Why would you want to tie yourself for life to a man who wants to start his own church? Jesus Christ started the Church 2000 years ago, that is where you want to be. Before discerning marriage to this man or any other man, put Jesus first and discern His will for your life. We are still praying.


#9

Hi Cat
please excuse me for my ignorance, so if he is pentecostal, is that seen a mainline denomination?


#10

“Mainline” refers to those most like the Catholic Church in style of worship and form. The Lutherans, Anglicans, Presberterians through the United Methodist. They carry with them the traditional buildings and dress that says “church” and not business meeting or seminar. On the other hand so-called mainline churches tend to be the most socially and theologically liberal. They have the openly gay Ministers, Priest and Bishops. They bless same-sex unions etc.

The evangelics and other “low churches” tend to have its pastors dressed in street clothes, use modern pop praise and worship music etc. Most non denominational churches tend to be charismatic low church model. As non denominational they may accept pentecostal manifestations as possible but they will be rarely seen in the church.

Starting his own church your potential husband will have to work unless he is wealthy or has a rich patron willing to sponser him. He would start as a church of a few people and their tithes will not support you. He is more likely to start as an associate pastor at an existing church and when the main branch of his home church plants a new church he would be in competetion to be the pastor of the new start up storefront church.


#11

you also have to look at practical considerations: cost of his education and formation, how long will it be before he is qualified, according to his denomination, to head a local church, how will it be funded, how will you support your family until his own ministry generates enough income, how will family finances be handled, so they are not co-mingled with church resources, how about your own education and career, student loans etc.

You have not even mentioned whether you have discussed children, openness to life, his beliefs on having and raising children, discipline, education etc.

You have a long way to go before considering marriage at all, let alone marriage to this individual.


#12

Hi Ammie

I think I can relate to your dilemma because I am a protestant and my husband is Catholic. Your function as a pastor’s wife would be the least of my concerns. More important, is that you and your future husband are on the same page as far as how to raise your children, how to discipline them, how to handle money…There are major doctrinal differences between denominations. It is difficult enough for two imperfect persons of similar faith to make a go at marriage; even greater battles await a couple of different faiths. I was forewarned prior to marriage by sisters in the faith not to “yoked with an unbeliever.” I now reap what I sowed. Spare yourself and your children future misery. More important, I would pray and fast and earnestly seek God’s will…but also pray for a willingness to obey, because His answer may not be what you anticipate. God bless.
Tish


#13

If your husband is a practising catholic, he can’t be described as a “unbeliever” :slight_smile:


#14

ammie75 I would read this about 10,000,000 times and really let it sink in. This is coming form someone who has been there and sees the issues that come up that are hard to see before marriage. You’d be WISE to really consider what is being said here.

Hi Ammie

I think I can relate to your dilemma because I am a protestant and my husband is Catholic. Your function as a pastor’s wife would be the least of my concerns. More important, is that you and your future husband are on the same page as far as how to raise your children, how to discipline them, how to handle money…There are major doctrinal differences between denominations. It is difficult enough for two imperfect persons of similar faith to make a go at marriage; even greater battles await a couple of different faiths. I was forewarned prior to marriage by sisters in the faith not to “yoked with an unbeliever.” I now reap what I sowed. Spare yourself and your children future misery. More important, I would pray and fast and earnestly seek God’s will…but also pray for a willingness to obey, because His answer may not be what you anticipate. God bless.
Tish


#15

Hi Ammie,
Welcome to CAF! I was raised Southern Baptist and converted to Catholicism after I married my husband (I started RCIA the week after we returned from our honeymoon). There was some discussion in the church that I grew up in about whether I would have the option of not converting (I was advertising that I decided long before we got married that I would) and the general consensus was that even though they disagreed with the Catholic Church on many things I would still be expected to submit to my husband as the spiritual head of the household and convert.

Pentecostal churches come in quite a few different varieties. One of the Pentecostal Churches here doesn’t allow women to speak or sing inside it’s doors, while others are pretty mainstream, protestant.


#16

hello
look at my thread I wrote a while ago.
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=337279
similar situation. except i never went out with this guy at the end of the day!
maybe this will help you make your choice!
ciao!


#17

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