The Long Road Home


#1

To begin with, I was baptised and confirmed in the catholic faith growing up, unfortunately, either through a weakness in my character or the work of the devil or a combination of the two I fell away from the faith in which I grew up and surrendered to my sinful nature for several years. After that time I met the woman who would become my wife. Through her love, God was able to draw me back to the faith and out of the devil’s grasp, however it was not until our son was undergoing heart surgery that I finally surrendered my heart once more to our Lord Jesus Christ placing my sole remaining hope in him.

Now this is all wonderful, but now that I find myself drawn back to the church of my youth, the church that my heart knows to be the one true bride of the Lamb, I find that my wife (who was raised in a protestant church) is now opposed to the further renewal of my faith. I love her very much and the consideration of marrying a protestant was not an issue that I considered at the time because I had not progressed very far on my return to faith at the time that I had married her. Now however I am torn between my love for her and my love for Christ and his Church.

I cannot abandon either so I pray that there is a peaceful resolution to this.

Suggestions would be appreciated

God Bless


#2

I will pray for you and your family, and I will recommend a book to you.

Nordhagen, Lynn. When Only One Converts. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 2001.

"What happens when the two most important relationships in your life seem to be on a collision course? How can you be obedient to God when obedience threatens your marriage vows? Can you love God if it means hurting the one you love most on earth? Many couples have walked this path. Fifteen of them share their stories in When Only One Converts. Author Lynn Nordhagen offers stories, not only to the Catholic (or soon-to-be Catholic), but also to the spouses who are not becoming Catholic, praying that they may gain insight and hope, recognizing that this can be, for them also, a time of discovery and growth in the Christian life. When Only One Converts is not just for those in mixed marriages. This book is for every Christian, Catholic of Protestant, for whom answering the call of Christ has wounded a close relationship."

I have read this book, and it is very inspirational. It may help you to know that you are not alone in this. It may also provide some wisdom for you from those who have gone this way before you.

God bless,
Sherilo


#3

If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26

Christ and His Church is your first priority. The rest will fall into place according to God’s plan for you.


#4

My brother in Christ,

I am also a Revert to the Catholic Church, and am likewise married to a Protestant (Baptist). Similarly, I did not consider it an issue when we were wed, but it has become more of an issue the more I have returned to the Faith.

To make a long story short, I am still Catholic, and she is still Baptist. I go to mass every Sunday, then to her church for Sunday School and Service, then back to the Catholic Church where I administer the Eucharist to the home-bound. After much fighting, we no longer debate, and I give her room to practice her faith (and she, me). It is a sometimes un-easy truce, but until my prayers are answered that is what we have. I consider myself lucky for having a wife as wonderful as she is, and consider it the work of God that we were married and she led me back home to the Church (long story). I am eternally grateful for God’s goodness and my loving wife - she is the reason for my salvation.

This may take quite a while to get straightened out, but be patient and loving. Be a slave to love, both for Christ and for her, and be a humble servant. Offer your hardships up to the Lord, and be glad in your sufferings for Christ has allowed you to participate in His work.

If you would like to discuss more, PM me and I can offer sympathy, support, and whatever advice I am able.

Please keep coming back to this site, and gently insist to her that you are trying to hear the “still small voice” of God. Ask her what she would want you to do if she started to hear the call of God. Ask that she be patient, and ask her to pray for you that God may lead you to the fullness of Truth.

Grow in your faith, become deep in your love, and pray unceasingly.

May St. Monica hear your struggle, and deliver many prayers to God for you. May the Lord Jesus Christ fill your soul, and give you the strength to endure,

RyanL


#5

I wish I could think of a gentler way to ask this, but what about her love for you? Why would she prevent you from seeking a fuller union with God? Why would she not trust your journey to Him?

1 Cor 13 would seem the best starting place and the best goal for both of you in this matter. With God all things are possible.


#6

It is not her love for me that I question, that is the problem. I know that she loves me and is completely dedicated to our marriage, but she is unbending in her beliefs. Because she cannot envision another path other than the one that she was raised in, she seems to assume that any other path is by nature false and devoid of salvation. What is more, her church is doing a marvelous job of bringing people into a relationship with Jesus and is seeing phenomanol growth.

My heart is torn by love, love for her and love of the Church. I resist attacking her faith on the many grounds that could be used to show it as heretical (which any faith that practices baptism, yet is seperated doctrinally from the Catholic Church is) for such a term is definately inflamatory and will lead to no resolutions. Yet I also know that I cannot remain in this state either because it is spiritually harmful, erroding the faith that God has given me.


#7

[quote=But for Grace]It is not her love for me that I question, that is the problem. I know that she loves me and is completely dedicated to our marriage, but she is unbending in her beliefs. Because she cannot envision another path other than the one that she was raised in, she seems to assume that any other path is by nature false and devoid of salvation. What is more, her church is doing a marvelous job of bringing people into a relationship with Jesus and is seeing phenomanol growth.

My heart is torn by love, love for her and love of the Church. I resist attacking her faith on the many grounds that could be used to show it as heretical (which any faith that practices baptism, yet is seperated doctrinally from the Catholic Church is) for such a term is definately inflamatory and will lead to no resolutions. Yet I also know that I cannot remain in this state either because it is spiritually harmful, erroding the faith that God has given me.
[/quote]

She loves you, she will understand that you can not compromise God, or your values for anything. Values and religion are one thing that can not be sacrificed because it is due to something above ourselves.

I suggest that you tell her how much you love her, but also tell her you must follow God also.


#8

[quote=But for Grace]It is not her love for me that I question, that is the problem. I know that she loves me and is completely dedicated to our marriage, but she is unbending in her beliefs. Because she cannot envision another path other than the one that she was raised in, she seems to assume that any other path is by nature false and devoid of salvation. What is more, her church is doing a marvelous job of bringing people into a relationship with Jesus and is seeing phenomanol growth.

My heart is torn by love, love for her and love of the Church. I resist attacking her faith on the many grounds that could be used to show it as heretical (which any faith that practices baptism, yet is seperated doctrinally from the Catholic Church is) for such a term is definately inflamatory and will lead to no resolutions. Yet I also know that I cannot remain in this state either because it is spiritually harmful, erroding the faith that God has given me.
[/quote]

May I ask whether you and your wife have any children??? I am curious as I grew up in a home that orignally was a mixed Marriage and the Catholic side did not practice Christianity as much as the Methodist. Three quaters of my background are Protestant so from a child’s perspective, I would remind your wife of the Love you share for each other but also for God. God comes first, but He lead you to your wife. You’ll be in my prayers. Thanks and God Bless.


#9

I find that statement hard to believe. If any church that practices baptism heretical, then why do we (catholics) accept most baptisms from other churches? There are a few exceptions, but for the most part any baptized person is considered our brothers and sisters in Christ. They don’t know the fullness of Truth, but that may not be there fault. They aren’t in full Communion with us yes, but I wouldn’t necessarily say they are heretical. Protestants were raised that way, just like Catholics were raised this way. The only way Prots will ever have the Fullness fo Truth is for Caths to bring it to them, but not by attacking them. So I see a problem with you wanting to attack her faith. Unless for some reason she is truely misled (i.e. Mormons, JW, etc) then accept her faith, don’t attack it.
Tell her, you love her. You accept her beliefs and will not ‘force’ your beliefs upon her. She is more than welcome to attend Mass with you, and afterwards you can attend church with her. But this is What God is calling to go back too.
The reason I say not to attack her, but accept her is because I was in a similar situation.
I was protestant, husband Catholic. We were married in the Catholic Church, but I would not be Catholic. He accepted that. He wasn’t as “faithful” as he should have been (by my opinion). I just didn’t see how the Catholic Church was any better. So I went to my church early in the marriage. We had a child, I told him if he wanted to raise him Catholic and baptize him it was up to my husband. Well anyway, almost 3 years later I am now Catholic, and I saw to the baptism of both of our children.
I’m not saying your wife will convert, but what I am saying is not to attack her beliefs. One day she will start asking earnest questions (like I did). You will be forced to actually look things up and become stronger in your faith (like my husband did) and maybe one day she will take the first step towards coming into Full communion with the Church.


#10

[quote=slinky1882]May I ask whether you and your wife have any children??? I am curious as I grew up in a home that orignally was a mixed Marriage and the Catholic side did not practice Christianity as much as the Methodist. Three quaters of my background are Protestant so from a child’s perspective, I would remind your wife of the Love you share for each other but also for God. God comes first, but He lead you to your wife. You’ll be in my prayers. Thanks and God Bless.
[/quote]

His first post states that his Son had heart surgery. So I’m assuming they have at least on child


#11

Hello…we are in the exact same boat…

Have faith in your love for each other, but continue your debates, plant seeds, and quit for a while if things become heated. I have seen a slow shift in my husbands thinking. When we first met I told him that our relationship could not continue if he had a problem with my Catholicism, and he did have a problem, he basically worried about my salvation, with assurance and discussion I have brought him from that point to a possible conversion in the future.

Just curious…how will you raise your children?

Remember the Catholic faith is like a lion in a cage…all you must do is open the door.


#12

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: 26 That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. 28 So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: 30 Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Ephesians 5:25


#13

[quote=AmberDale]His first post states that his Son had heart surgery. So I’m assuming they have at least on child
[/quote]

Thanks, I missed that. I am curious as to the children’s ages as that can impact how to return to the Faith. The OP should return to the Church, and I know his wife is the biggest concern. I guess I am sking, where do the children figure into all of this unless they are off on their own or older??? Thanks and God Bless.


#14

Tonight, in my RCIA class, the subject was resisting God’s call. We were asked about the resistance that we may have toward coming into the Catholic faith with regards to those in our lives that may make it hard for us. Charles, the instructor, was talking about his friends, when he “reverted” to the faith, and how, because of his lifestyle, he resisted coming back into the church for a long time. He then talked about several saints, including St. Augustine.

When he asked us about resistance in our lives, I spoke up and said that I didn’t have any right now, but that I know I will in the future. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. My mother and brother are still JWs. Because I was baptised, when it is discovered that I am becoming Catholic, I will be disfellowshipped, and my mother and brother will no longer talk to me. It’s really a difficult thought, in regards to my mother. It will be a great loss to me, and to my children.

But one of the other instructors talked about how you never know what the future holds. Prayer is the key. 3 months ago, I’d have laughed in your face if you’d have said I would be ready to dedicate my life to God, and have faith in Him. And if you had suggested that the Catholic Church would be where I found Him, I’d have thought you were loony. But, it may take a really long time for your wife. By believing that she will never come to know God in the Catholic faith, you are making a judgement of her, the same as I was making a judgement of my mother. Stand strong for what you believe in, while still doing your best to respect your wife. And pray for her to see. And also, realize that by not standing strong in your faith, you may be a hindrance to her ability to hear God’s call.

You and your wife will be in my prayers.


#15

But for Grace,

In many ways, the details being different, it sounds like you’re describing my marriage. I returned to the Church approximately 5 yrs ago, and I wish I could say we’ve worked it out, but we haven’t. I was even told 2 days before Christmas that my DH intended to file for the Big D this Spring. Well, Spring has sprung, and then some, but nothing further, except that he seems to be perhaps settling into a realization that such a shock would not shock me out of my position with my faith. He’s said he thinks I’m faking my interest in religion, which doesn’t make any sense to me, but there it is.

For us, rather than his fear of my losing my salvation to the Catholic Church, he has no active faith tradition, so my “getting religion” challenges his position, while I try not to do or say anything to him about religion beyond sharing my occational excitement for some book, learning, conversation or other such thing.

Anyways, to make a long story short (too late for that?) no one promises that our relationships will make it through our conversions, yet we are ultimately called to give all to God, including our families. So, I know God is real, I know the Catholic Church is real and I accept that God knows better than I can what is best for me. So I have prayed, and continue to pray for my husband while I try to demonstrate to him my respect for him in how I treat him, even in these difficult times.

I will add you and your wife to my prayers and would appreciate your prayers for my marriage as well.

In the meantime, may I second that **Lovez4God’s **reference is an excellent one to remember always when dealing with your spouse. I also agree with the various posters who warn you to not judge your wife but to LOVE her. Leave the judging to God’s infinite wisdom and mercy. He’ll do a better job at it anyways! :slight_smile:

Oh, and a great book to read is Home Sweet Rome by Scott Hahn. It took his wife Kimberly quite a few years to come to Catholicism after his conversion and they nearly divorced in the process. She now speaks alongside her husband on issues Catholic.

God Bless,

CARose

P.S. Ryan, I didn’t realize you were also in a mixed marriage situation. Perhaps this explains why your apologetics are so well honed! :slight_smile:


#16

(1)…Love her securely, no matter what.
(2)…Don’t require anything spiritual of her.
(3)…If she offers, accept.
(4)…Do Romans 12:1…at the Altar (when you “lift up your heart.”)
(5)…Make friends with a Catholic Carismatic couple or two
(6)…Invite them to your house
(7)…The Holy Spirit will lead you into all the Truth.

Enjoy the Journey

gusano


#17

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I thank all of you for your advice and even more so for your prayers. I will continue to pray and raise up all the families of those who are divided in the faith up to our Lord in suplication for grace, peace, love, and perseverance.

I also pray that God gives me the humility and love to persevre through these trials so that his good will might be done.


#18

It is sooo difficult when one converts and one doesn’t. My wife and I went through the same thing. I came to terms with the Church only about 5 months before my wife did. I can imagine how hard it is for other people.

Those 5 or so months were some of the most difficult in our marriage, she wanted nothing to do with the Catholic Church. I understood why I wanted to return and we had many difficult discussions. Her sister sent anti-catholic material, my sister in law would come over and help push her away. There were many nights where I didn’t sleep, just lying there not knowing what to do. I would just pray and hope that the tension\ problems would go away.
What really helped is I discovered the Journey Home and watched it while we were going to bed. She happened to take a glimpse once in a while, she would sometimes just leave, but after a few weeks of me watching she kinda listened to some of it. It surprised her that someone would actually want to be Catholic after being “saved” or coming from a committed religious background. Eventually she started to watch with me and over time would go to Mass with me and stopped forcing me to go to Calvary Chapel.

It takes a great deal of prayer and sometimes time\patience. Be a witness, but remember to love the person and realize they have different viewpoints from you. My wife had a different viewpoint she had to work out and understand on her own time.

Thank God, we are united and this Feb were married in the Catholic Church, we also baptized our 2 kids about a month earlier.

God Bless
Scylla


#19

Thanks for sharing your story. Yup, prayers are good. I wish we got EWTN here. I’d have to get satelite and that’s not in the plan for now.

CARose


#20

But for Grace-

I dont’ know if this will help, but I’m going through kind of the same thing right now also. Almost exact situation as you described…

It’s been about 4 months since I’ve been back with the Catholic Church. When I first felt drawn back to church, I assumed the logical one to go to would be the one my husband was part of and the one our children went to sunday school at (lutheran). I went, and something didn’t feel right. The more I went, the more unsetteled I felt about being there. Then some things happened to draw me back to the Catholic faith, and a certain church even in particular. My husband would not hear of bringing our children up Catholic, or him becoming a member. So i didn’t cause any strife about it. I didn’t have any choice, but to continue to go to the church my heart was telling me to go to- by myself. I’ve continued to do this. I’ve also become a volunteer in several areas of the church and started going to a bible study/catechism class there. I think my husband can see how much joy I have gotten out of this church and the people, opportunities and more importantly priests that are there. The other night he said something remarkable to me… He offered to have our family alternate churches, every other week over the summer. This was soooo huge for him, and for me. I never imagined he would do that. I had stopped bringing the matter up, because it only caused disagreements, and here he was offering. I know that having two different faiths can confuse children, and it is best to stick with one. But I feel I have no other choice right now than to take what he offered, because it’s one step closer to raising them in the truth.

I really think that the best way to lead someone is through example. Maybe you could try just getting really involved in your church, and let her see the joy that brings you. When she sees good coming from what your doing, I truly believe she will see the light. I knew with my husband that talking wouldn’t work. It’s a pride thing, as I’m sure it is with many people. I never wanted to make him feel like he wasn’t leading us in the right direction, I just really needed to be catholic.


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