Raising Kids Catholic/Marriage Blessing

Hello :-). I am new to this forum, and I’m sorry this post ended up being rather long. I look forward to getting to know and sharing with others. Please let me know if you have any suggestions, and thank you in advance!

My husband and I have been married for several years and we are finally taking the steps to get married in the Catholic church (we were married by Justice of the Peace). I put off a Catholic ceremony because the priests with whom I spoke about not being married in the Church told me not to worry about it since we were living across the country away from our family at the time, and to just get it done once we I moved back home. Two priests, from two separate parishes (and diocese) said it was ok and that there was no need to rush. They also said that I could receive the sacraments, and I feel so silly since I should have realized that it was wrong. I joined a new parish, and I freaked out when a priest would not hear my confession since I was not in a Catholic marriage with my husband. He told me to meet with a priest ASAP, which I did. After our first meeting, I had to promise to remain chaste until our wedding is blessed so that I can receive the sacraments, which has made me feel much better.

My husband was not raised in any type of church while growing up, and he still does not go to church. He says that if he ever decides to be baptized, he would do it in a nondenominational church. Overall, he considers himself to be Christian, but he has never gone to church more than a few times here and there, and is not interested in ever going to any type of church on a regular basis. Some of the things that I liked about my husband when we were dating was that he actually had morals, he is pretty rigid in his beliefs, especially respecting one another and our bodies. He also goes out of his way in an effort to do the right thing.

We had an appointment with our priest today, and we were talking about issues relating to raising children in the Catholic faith. We went over the questions that we marked “unsure” or were “red flagged” on our scan-tron marriage questionnaire. For years, my husband said that when we have a child, he would be supportive and active in making sure that they will be raised Catholic. He told me that he would go to church with me as a family when we have a baby, which I thought was great. I think that reality is beginning to set in, since he says now that he will “try” to go to church every weekend. I worry that once our future child is old enough, he or she might not be as willing to go, asking “why doesn’t dad have to go to church”? It feels like I will be on my own with regard to teaching and setting an example for any children that we have, but I feel that there should be some consistency, Ideally, both parents should be role models for their children. As our future child gets older, I’m sure that they will ask why their father gets to stay home instead of going to church. My friend is having this problem with her child, since he would rather watch TV and play games with his dad than go to church.

I told my husband from the beginning that I’m not forcing him to become Catholic, or even to be baptized Catholic, but he said that he wouldn’t be any help when our child has a question about their religion.

Does anyone have any experience in this area/gone through similar things? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

He says he is a Christian, but doesn’t want to attend church or be baptized as Christ commanded. Face it, he is not a Christian. You should think about whether you really want to marry and have children with this man. It could be a difficult marriage, for you and your children. He should also discern what he really wants. Does he really want to marry you if you are an active Catholic or did he prefer you when you were non-practicing?

I am sorry. I know that what I just wrote sounds harsh, but now is the time to consider these things.

My husband was the Catholic, who decided to tell me that he didn’t really “believe” and that he’s tired of faking it. I married him anyway. Ironically, I’ve since converted to Catholicism.

For all his bluster and sarcasm, Catholicism still matters to my husband. Raising our children with Christian values still matters to him/us.

He’s been struggling a lot lately because the “my wife’s not a Catholic” card has been taken out of list of excuses why he doesn’t go to church.

Religion/faith has never been very important to him, but it’s always been important to me. I’m the one who takes my son to mass while he stays home. It’s hard, but it seems to be pretty common. In fact, my sponsor is in the same boat. Her husband’s Catholic, but she’s the one who makes sure the kids are raised Catholic. A lot of women (and men) are not in ideal situations, but they deal with what is.

3 out of the 4 guys in my RCIA class weren’t baptized, but they considered themselves Christian. They had Catholic spouses and kids. As a result, I’d argue that, in some cases, it’s the husband watching the wife raise the kids Catholic that eventually inspires them to become more religious themselves. It’s usually the kids that get people to re-evaluate their status w/the Church. When you are single or don’t have kids, it really just doesn’t matter as much if one spouse is or isn’t Catholic.

I understand the worries you have because I have them too. However, you just don’t know how people are going to act when they have kids until they have them. The way you think you are going to parent and the way you actually do are two very different things.

I am glad that you found a holy and orthodox priest! We got the same message from our priest(s) when we started the process to get married in the church. We were both lapsed, I came back when our son was born, but technically we were living in sin since we’d married civilly and not in the Church. We NEVER heard anything about living as brother and sister (not that hubby would have cooperated) and so I was taking the Eucharist unworthily for years. :frowning:

As for being unequally yoked…It’s been my experience since I came back. I haven’t done a terrific job of raising our sons Catholic, I’ve done the best I could with no input from their Dad. He goes along to Mass, but other than that and saying the blessing at meals, there is no help from him - no prayer, no guidance, no role modeling of what a Catholic man should be. He can’t do that because he doesn’t believe the same things we do. They’ve never heard him talk about his faith, ever, because he can’t. So there is a huge hole in their Catholic upbringing. I don’t know if they’ve recognized it at this point.

We really had problems when our younger son was having sex with his GF. My husband was all for making sure he was using condoms. And if the girl had gotten pregnant, I’m sure he would have supported an abortion. :frowning: It was a very difficult time for us. All of our differences were in high relief. If something had happened and there had been an abortion, I don’t think I could forgive him for that. He said some really hurtful things to me, too. I found out that he resents the fact that the boys believe MY POV and haven’t heard his more atheistic viewpoint. Well, it finally came to an end between our son and the GF and so the issues went under the surface again.

At some point I think the boys will realize that we aren’t really united in our faith. They’ll just have to talk to their dad about it.

Get your support crew lined up now - any really solid Catholic men and women who can help you raise your children as faithful Catholics. I pray that your husband doesn’t undermine you - at least mine didn’t - that would be a deal killer. My husband sounds a lot like yours - very ethical but not because he thinks God cares (long history there, won’t go into it).

Pray a lot, and get everyone else to pray for him too. Glad you’re here.

I was in a very similar boat as Juliane. I married my husband at the courthouse, because quiet honestly, I was never told that I had to be married in church. :shrug: I never heard, other than from my mother, who also didn’t attend Mass, that being married by a judge was wrong. Heck, my parents eloped and were also married by a judge. Mom and Dad were married a year later by a priest.

As for being unequally yoked…It’s been my experience since I came back. I haven’t done a terrific job of raising our sons Catholic, I’ve done the best I could with no input from their Dad. He goes along to Mass, but other than that and saying the blessing at meals, there is no help from him - no prayer, no guidance, no role modeling of what a Catholic man should be. He can’t do that because he doesn’t believe the same things we do. They’ve never heard him talk about his faith, ever, because he can’t. So there is a huge hole in their Catholic upbringing. I don’t know if they’ve recognized it at this point.

My experience has been somewhat different, but our son isn’t an adult yet. No my husband doesn’t attend Mass. He is what most people would call a C and E Catholic. He goes a couple of times a year, but always for Christmas and Easter.

BUT, we are on the same page morally. He makes comments when he sees birth control pill ads on TV. He’ll say, right, just pump your body full of chemicals. Hello people if you get pregnant from sex, it is because everything worked, not because something is broken. And stuff like that.

Although he sees nothing wrong with the fact that we lived together before we got married, he feels our situation was different. He sees most couples as doing something wrong if they live together. Same with sex before married. Comments after we walk away like “He’s going to dump you sweetheart” are common.

He is fully supportive of NFP. He is pro-life. :thumbsup: And he takes our son to Mass if I am not able.

We really had problems when our younger son was having sex with his GF. My husband was all for making sure he was using condoms. And if the girl had gotten pregnant, I’m sure he would have supported an abortion. :frowning: It was a very difficult time for us. All of our differences were in high relief. If something had happened and there had been an abortion, I don’t think I could forgive him for that. He said some really hurtful things to me, too. I found out that he resents the fact that the boys believe MY POV and haven’t heard his more atheistic viewpoint. Well, it finally came to an end between our son and the GF and so the issues went under the surface again.

At some point I think the boys will realize that we aren’t really united in our faith. They’ll just have to talk to their dad about it.

**Get your support crew lined up now - any really solid Catholic men and women who can help you raise your children as faithful Catholics. ** I pray that your husband doesn’t undermine you - at least mine didn’t - that would be a deal killer. My husband sounds a lot like yours - very ethical but not because he thinks God cares (long history there, won’t go into it).

Pray a lot, and get everyone else to pray for him too. Glad you’re here.

Definitely get your support lined up. Talk, extensively about what life will be like married to a faithful Catholic. Explain NFP, Mass every week for you, Mass on vacation, prayers before meals, time for Confession, Lent, Advent. Talk about everything. Let him know exactly how you feel.

I was very very blessed to have such an understanding husband. I had pretty much walked away from the faith when we met. It wasn’t until after our son was born that I realized that I wanted to come back home. :o So all of this was dropped on my husband. Bad idea.

Pray for him, and for your relationship.

Hi and Welcome! I hope you stop by here often with more questions as you go along your journey.

I wanted to remark about how your husband won’t be able to answer a question about the Catholic faith. That is such a small thing compared to the fact that he won’t be able to model the faith and give a good example! The husband is to be the spiritual leader of the home. When hard things come upon you in life, does he go on his knees and look to God? Does he teach the kids to kneel at their bedside at night and be thankful for all they have? Will he take the kids by the hand to go to Church regardless of the sports events going on? Will your children see him in line for confession? At dinner, can he open the bible and talk about the readings of the day and how they can become a part of Christian living? Does the TV get shut off and the kids see he’s holding a rosary in his hand? Is he a model of service, patience, kindness? Is his language ‘clean’ and respectful?

We have a family at our parish with 4 boys. What a delight they are, all under the age of 6, who are learning how to do the sign of the cross and kiss the icon when they come up. I had tears one time when one little son was held in daddy’s arms and watched when dad got the sign of the cross done on his forehead with oil. Anointing on a feast day. The little guy had huge eyes, and then he was doing the sign of the cross like the priest did on daddy’s forehead. Daddy had a great big smile, and so did I. Beautiful. A wonderful gift of learning while in daddy’s arms. That’s what little boys need, and little girls too.

During our married life we’ve lived through all kinds of things and so many times we’ve seen the fingerprint of God, Who’s opened doors that were shut, brought light into a dark situation, turned things around unexpectedly. A husband and wife, united in the sacrament of holy matrimony, coming before God, can bring down graces in their lives, their neighborhood and their country. It’s a powerful thing. Understand what you are giving up in the hope of gaining something else. I know it’s hard to imagine until you are living it. You can hope for more!

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