Struggling with a Protestant Girlfriend


#1

Hello,

I'm new to the forums and the such.

I am currently dating a wonderful woman, I am her first boyfriend, and we are both 23 years of age. This is not my first relationship.

I have a bit of background information. I have cheated on her. I confessed to her not through my own conviction and guilt, but through her inquiries and my confessing to them. We are currently not talking, and right now I am on a journey to get right with God again. The anguish I see in her eyes when I tell her the infidelity I committed, tears me up inside. However, she wants to wait for me. She says if I can find myself through Christ, and come back to her and demonstrate this, she will willingly follow me.

I go to church weekly, but I do not study scripture as I should, nor do I follow the Catechism as I should. I am taking this opportunity as a wake up call, to right my sinful ways. I want to become more learned of scripture and doctrine, so that I may more readily come to the table with knowledge and insightful observations.

She has an incredibly devoted servant to God. Raised as an Evangelical in a small community, she has been raised with some prejudices against the church. Mainly, she espouses the belief that through grace alone, we are saved from damnation. She does not see why we Catholics need to do "works" as she calls it, to get into heaven.

My initial conversations with her regarding the subject are inconclusive. I have a hard time answering her, but my feeble attempts are as follows: the seven Sacraments are guidelines for how we should conduct ourselves with Christ. Yet if we fall short, we can still depend on God's infinite grace and love to pick us up and help us to carry on. I have also maintained the belief that it is through grace in everything that allows us to fulfill these Sacraments, and not look on them as chores. Instead, they are things that I willingly do for Christ to stay close to him.

My girlfriend also maintains that there are parts of Catholic doctrine which confuse her, and trouble her. She says that some things in doctrine are contrary to those in the Bible. IE the infallibility of the Pope.

She has told me if I can reconcile these differences in her beliefs and what is actually espoused by the Church, she would strongly consider converting.

I pray that when my journey is complete, and I can come to her as a man of God, she and I may continue dating, and let this relationship lead to greater things. I am amazed by the grace she has extended me, and her undying support in helping me get through this, despite my numerous and devastatingly hurtful slights against her.

I know this is a lot, but any help would be most appreciated.


#2

From what you say, it does not sound like your own faith is strong enough to stand up to her disagreements but I would recommend discussing taking RCIA with her - it does not mean she would be obligated to join the Church it would simply be an opportunity for one more learned that you to help her. You might also benefit from attending, in the parish I took RCIA in it was possible for the partners of those in the class to attend as well as people who just wanted to refresh their knowledge.

It sounds like you have a wonderful girl there. I pray that you are able to overcome your sins and find happiness with her. Just don’t hurt her again!


#3

She is incredibly well versed in scripture, and it made me realize how little I actually know of the Word. So you are correct in your first statement. Thank you for the suggestion.


#4

BeninPrince, Those ‘slights’ against her are sins against God and hurt God, you, and the other party as much as they hurt her. The Sacraments are as well, a form of grace, renewal, instillation, and they are so much more. They are a sincere and heartfelt commitment, a sign of faith, etc. Attending RCIA as a way of learning about the faith does not obligate anyone to conversion. It is a wonderful tool I use to refresh my memory regarding the ways of Catholicism and a PERFECT way to update my current understanding. Our church is ever-changing with the world we live in; you will gain so much insight through this great gift the church continues to give us, its parishoners, as well as ppl interested in conversion and interested in Catholicism. The Bible, by the way, does not mention our Pope. Theologians have, for centuries, been arguing the translation of the seat of Peter, what his role was (whether or not it was supervisory), and the role of cornerstone. If they can’t come to an agreement, it is not likely you two will be able to but, it does not mean you cannot stand together in the same faith. It means you can humbly admit your lack of education disqualifies either of you from conclusion. I have studied theology for 5 years and find that very issue inconclusive.

Attend RCIA with or without her; your commitment to Christ and His power and love will convert you into the man who she can count on and travel down the religion road with. Good luck to you both. :highprayer:


#5

A man who cheats in the honeymoon stage of a relationship is very bad news. You are incredibly blessed that she gives you a second chance.
Listen to her. you can learn a lot from her.
It is by grace alone we are saved. You should know that as an adult Catholic. Not a single work you do can ever save you. But Christs death and resurrection will be life for you when you choose Him and have a living faith. A living faith brings forth good fruits, that is, deeds of charity.

You need to get to know Christ personally. Knowing about Him will in no way suffice for a Christian and virtuous life. Its not about having a set of doctrines and rules to live by, its a living relationship with God. Without that you cannot become the man you wanna be and that this beautiful girl deserves.
Keep a diligent eye on yourself so that you don't destroy your chastity or hers. That means that you guard your eye, refrain from drunkeness and control your thoughts..

lastly. Make the New Testament your bedside reading. Nothing will make her more in love with you than if you know the Word of God and practice it (I know that from my own relationship... when he talks knowingly about the Word of God and even more when he lives it, eg. today he is out doing street evangelisation, I get tears in my eyes I am so proud of him..
The Bible will transform you when you read it.


#6

I highly encourage you to visit The Bible Christian Society. You can download free talks by John Martignoni here. John does a great job of showing biblical proofs for Catholic beliefs. I would start with the Introduction to Apologetics.

Then I would listen to Which Came First, the Church or the Bible? Little does your girlfriend realize that she is accepting the authority of the Catholic Church every time she cracks opens her bible... If you listen to these talks you will be better prepared to defend your faith.

And be careful. You are in the exact position most now-ex-Catholics are in. Someone came along and showed them what the bible 'really' says. Stay close to these forums and ask a lot of questions. You won't be disappointed.


#7

You asked for opinions.

you are both too young for this relationship.

break it off.

before you both do things that cannot be reversed.


#8

You can’t judge everyone by age. At 23 some might be ready for such a relationship, others may not. It is generalising to assume that not all will be, as it also is to assume they will do thing they regret.


#9

John Martignoni is a great resource for this situation, as posted above. Good recommendation!

I recommend also Steve Ray (a converte) - catholic-convert.com/.

And further, watch episodes of The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi (also a convert) that I believe you can find on YouTube. Marcus runs The Coming Home Network - chnetwork.org/Journey%20Home.html

Get a good bible - Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition
Get a copy of - The Catechism of The Catholic Church

Read "The Faith Explained" by Leo Trese

This is a lot, I know but you will need these as time progresses. Some of the books can be found at Half Price Books for a low price or used on Amazon.

Know this, you are in the One True Faith, and she is not. You may have a chance here to plant some seeds of truth that keep her thinking for years. Someday many years from now, she may enter The Church, based on what is happening right now, based on your input.

This also means, do not become a stumbling block for her. Operate with dignity and grace. Grow in holiness.

Good luck on the mission.


#10

there is chronological age and there is psychological age.

we were asked our our opinions

the two people involved display terrible immaturity.


#11

[quote="Monte_RCMS, post:7, topic:241928"]
You asked for opinions.

you are both too young for this relationship.

break it off.

before you both do things that cannot be reversed.

[/quote]

At what age do you recommend dating? i.e. searching for the person you will spend the rest of your life with? I think by 23, regardless of the maturity level, it's time to grow up. These relationships are often what matures a person.

BeninPrince51 - I think you should focus strengthening your own faith before you worry too much about hers. Attend RCIA classes with her - you will both benefit tremendously even if you relationship fails.


#12

It depends on the individuals.

The biggest factor is: are they earning their own livings … paying all of their own bills? How successful is each of them in their working life interpersonal relationships?

Do they study the Catholic religion? At their ages, there is no way they can just automatically know everything. How much effort do they make to learn Catholic Church teachings, history, saints, sacraments … etc. Have they read through the whole Catechism of the Catholic Church … together and separately.


#13

We are earning our own livings and paying our own bills. We do not live together. I am a graduate student, and she recently graduated with her bachelor’s. We have a vast support group of mutual friends and friends who are our own.

I do not study Catholicism as I should. I am attempting to amend that now. She is intrigued, but has her doubts, and no doubt some misinformation. I am reading through the Catechism of the church at this moment.

I know I have acted immaturely in some of my actions, I am attempting to rectify this.

RCIA classes do seem to hold the greatest of potential. Thank yall tremendously.

Zizki - Currently, we are not talking so that I may concentrate on my own faith without her influence. I will not attempt to go back to her until I have a solid foundation in the teachings of the Church.

Sam and fermat - Thank you for your recommendations. Bookmarking these. I will give the names you mentioned a good listen/read starting later today.

Grace - I completely agree. And it’s funny you mentioned bedside Bible reading, I have started this already.


#14

[quote="Samuel63, post:9, topic:241928"]
Know this, you are in the One True Faith, and she is not. .

[/quote]

:eek: This is the side of my Catholic brethren I will never understand.
Here is a Protestant woman who has a personal relationship with the Lord, knows His Word, and lives a virtuous life accoding to it..
and here comes a Catholic man who doesn't know his faith, admits he doesn't have the relationship with the Lord which brings true life, he is not living a virtuous life but just cheated on the girl....

.. and you have the audacity to say that he is in the truth and she is not... Try again mate. I hope no other Christians will see this thread... Jesus is the TRUTH. Go and ponder that.
Church will benefit us NOTHING if we don't have Jesus Christ in our hearts.


#15

[quote="GraceDK, post:14, topic:241928"]
:eek: This is the side of my Catholic brethren I will never understand.
Here is a Protestant woman who has a personal relationship with the Lord, knows His Word, and lives a virtuous life accoding to it..
and here comes a Catholic man who doesn't know his faith, admits he doesn't have the relationship with the Lord which brings true life, he is not living a virtuous life but just cheated on the girl....

.. and you have the audacity to say that he is in the truth and she is not... Try again mate. I hope no other Christians will see this thread... Jesus is the TRUTH. Go and ponder that.
Church will benefit us NOTHING if we don't have Jesus Christ in our hearts.

[/quote]

I have yet to find a Protestant church that teaches the full Truth of God's Word, as the Catholic Church does. Many allow divorce, homosexual unions, abortion, pre-marital sex, do not recognise the presence of Christ in the Eucharist (I'm pretty sure none do), reject part of God's Word (so-called apocryphal books), etc. Yes, we need Jesus in our hearts but that is not enough.


#16

The rest of us need to remember The Greatest Commandment ~ the original translation. Peace.


#17

[quote="PerfectTiming, post:15, topic:241928"]
I have yet to find a Protestant church that teaches the full Truth of God's Word, as the Catholic Church does. Many allow divorce, homosexual unions, abortion, pre-marital sex, do not recognise the presence of Christ in the Eucharist (I'm pretty sure none do), reject part of God's Word (so-called apocryphal books), etc. Yes, we need Jesus in our hearts but that is not enough.

[/quote]

Bravo. I have not dismissed the possibility this girl is trying to convert our Original Post. He must have a clear awareness his faith is the real one.

Her faith was established by a heretic. It's current form is still heretical.

It is important to keep these points in mind when a "romantic fog" has rolled in.


#18

Duder…I have been there, and 23 is young. You in college? Watch out, they try to convince you, that you don’t have to hold yourself accountable to anyone.

Can i ask why you confessed to her your cheating? I am just curious. You’re not married yet.

Pope is not biblical? Um…look up matthew…Thou art PETER (Petros in Greek interpretation BIG ROCK) upon this rock, i will build my church. the gates of hell shall not prevail against thee. drbo.org/index.htm Great bible tool. Type in topic, get answers. Though it does help if you have rudimentary understand of biblical verses. Do not give up on your faith…it’s right, grounded in logic and natural law with physics, all you need to know is where to look. Remember, you are only saved if you live like christ lived. There is no Curve and God is not relative. He is what he is. TRUTH. You do even a sinful thought, that thought can change generations to come by your attitude toward it. There is always consequence to experience. You may be forgiven of your sin, but no one around you is safe from it’s cause and affect. That cause and affect does suffering to innocent people. Whether we like it or not, we are damned and saved by the temptation or lack thereof created by our neighbors.

I will pray for you. 23 was a difficult, and perverting age for me.


#19

[quote="Catheriena, post:18, topic:241928"]

Can i ask why you confessed to her your cheating? I am just curious. You're not married yet.

.

[/quote]

What kind of a question is that. They are seriously dating, and I guess that they are discerning marriage. Cheating would be a deal breaker for most people and the girl deserves to know whom she is with.
I hope you dont imply its okay to cheat and lie about it to a girl friend or boyfriend.


#20

[quote="PerfectTiming, post:15, topic:241928"]
I have yet to find a Protestant church that teaches the full Truth of God's Word, as the Catholic Church does. Many allow divorce, homosexual unions, abortion, pre-marital sex, do not recognise the presence of Christ in the Eucharist (I'm pretty sure none do), reject part of God's Word (so-called apocryphal books), etc. Yes, we need Jesus in our hearts but that is not enough.

[/quote]

I assure you that its much more enough than to stand in a certain church Sunday after Sunday and not have a real faith in Christ. Jesus said:"I am the Way, The Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me".
Not except through this or that .. except through Me. The Church doesn't save anyone. Christ does. baptism, having a living faith in Him and His sacrifice and repenting from past sins, that is what saves... Not what you call yourself culturally.
If you don't have Christ what does it all matter? Nada. Nothing
No, at this point I trust much more than the girl is in good standing with the Lord than the OP is.
Speaking about the full truth of Gods Word.. that also is Christ you know. It doesn't matter if you have a great teacher (the Church) if you sleeping in class, have your ears closed, don't read the Text, and dont communicate with the source of Wisdom.

The discussion reminds me of a friend I have.. a cradle Catholic who lived a very secular life with many sins. He fulfilled his Sunday obligation but was totally oblivious of God in his own words.. one day he has a huge conversion experience in a Evangelical Church. He now knows Jesus, serves Him, repents, etc.. but starts attending this other church.
His parents get furious.. They were content with him living in sin etc before and not having a personal relationship with the Lord... and now they strike him in the face even and are 100 percent disturbed...
That man today is back in the Church.. but he always holds that he had live-saving faith in the evangelical church first and that his parents reaction showed a severe lack of wisdom and priorities.
I hope very much you agree.


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