I’m a brand new Catholic, and my wife and 3 children are all still Baptist. I desperately need some advice!
We have chronic disrespect problems in our family, especially with two of our children. My oldest (15) is almost constantly argumentative and disrespectful, and now our youngest (9) is developing similar traits.
This morning our youngest had a particularly bad morning with temper tantrums and abusive language to my wife. I stepped in and put a stop to it, but may have gone too far in what I said…
I told the children that not all people believe the same way Baptists do. Catholics (including myself) believe that chronic disrespect towards parents is a mortal sin, and puts one’s soul in danger. I told them that Catholics believe mortal sins need to be confessed to a Priest, and that their souls are in danger until this confession is made. Since they don’t believe in confession to a Priest, I strongly encouraged my daughter to spend time in prayer, confessing to God the morning’s disrespect, and to turn from this pattern of behavior.
Being Baptist, my wife and children STRONGLY disagreed with what I said about mortal sin, loss of salvation, and confession to a Priest. My wife has spent several hours scolding me for “scaring them and damaging my relationship with them.” She feels that now they may reject God entirely because of their anger towards me for what I said.
I’m feeling very defensive right now - I think that telling them these things was the right thing to do - I owe them the truth! I want them to take sin more seriously. Did I go too far in telling them about mortal sin, the eternal consequences, and the need for confession? It resulted in them being even more anti-Catholic than they were before, and now they’re “anti-Dad” too.