Wannabe Catholic but Protestant Wife


#1

So here's my dilemma in a nutshell...

I want to convert to the Catholic faith - I was brought up in a protestant church (Nazarene, then Church of God, then Assemblies of God ... now non-denominational). I've never been happy with the practices of the protestant church - I have a religion major so I could go on about what I don't agree with in the protestant church. For the past five years, I have been feeling more and more called to Catholicism - I've been studying it both online and in books. I have a lot of practices that I do that are more Catholic in origin (prayer beads, etc.) than protestant - especially non-denominational.

The issue is my wife and I have been married for 12 years. We have a 3-yr old now. I don't want to bring confusion into the home. I would have to find a way to attend Mass during the week and not bring my wife into it...she was raised and still is a very devout pentecostal. She would not want my son to be Catholic. She's not opposed to Catholicism, just she is not familiar and it is not "her thing." (I did manage to hang a crucifix in my son's bedroom and she has no issues with that!). I would have to work this by attending church with her - thus maintaining a continuity in the family and not confusing my son.

So what do I do? I'm initiating a meeting with a Priest to see what is the best road. Should I convert even though my family won't follow me? Should I just stay out of it and maintain my religious beliefs as I do?


#2

Hi dseder
welcome to CAF.You have an appointment with a priest this is good he will be able to advise you properly about conversion.Have you told your wife how you are feeling?
I wish you every success with your faith journey and may God bless you and guide you and your wife and family through all this.
Let us know the outcome of the meeting with your priest he is the one best equipped to help you.
God bless


#3

I would suggest study and conversion. Your wife may follow behind you soon enough. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard about spouses converting, sometimes, 10, 20 years after their spouse did :) See if she is agreeable to your son going to Mass with you as well. He is so young, you have years to go, and he could still have his first reconciliation, first communion, etc. with kids his own age.


#4

If you feel you are being called to the church, you should follow that first and the other issues will take care of themselves. Being the first person to take a leap like this can be hard, but the work is worth it. The fact that your wife is not anti-Catholic puts you in a great place. Be the light and she will hopefully follow.

As for your son, don’t under estimate how much kids can see to the heart of an issue. Do what you feel God wants you to do and let the questions come. Your wife can learn a great deal about being Catholic from your sons questions.

I will keep you in my prayers!


#5

By all means, talk to a priest. That is the next step.

You say you “have been feeling more and more called to Catholicism”, and I wonder what exactly that means. If you are convinced that the Catholic Church is the Church that Christ founded, then you must convert and the solution to the resulting famliy problems are secondary (important, but not important enough to keep you out of the church).


#6

Follow Christ to His Church.

Pray and fast for your wife’s conversion.

I would very much suggest pre-ordering Tim Staples new video “Why Be Catholic” and maybe getting “Common Ground” from www.catholicprotestant.com


#7

Go ahead and convert. The more you study and understand the Church, the more you can help your wife learn about it. God called you first; He will call her in His own time. Welcome Home!


#8

The first thing that came to mind when I read the OP was “Rome Sweet Home”! Please get a copy of Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s book for your wife. I think that they have a free CD somewhere that chronicles Scott’s conversion from Presbyterian Minister to Catholic. Kimberly holds a Masters from the same Protestant seminary Scott attended, so she was very well educated in Theology. She eventually converted as well. I’m sure you are familiar with them and their story, but I think if you can get your wife to read it, it may assist her with understanding the Faith and your reasons for converting as well. God bless you both!!


#9

You mentioned that your wife was Pentecostal. You may want to explore the Catholic Charismatic movement together since she may find spirituality similar to what she already is familiar with.

If you do decide to convert than focus on loving your wife even more. Many of her objections will disappear when she notices that your conversion is NOT driving a wedge between you.


#10

Put Jesus first and answer His call. Love your wife and do not be afraid…lean on the Lord.


#11

I believe you have the right to convert and live out your faith. Even if your wife won't convert, you'd both still be Christian-- that's the important part. Also, you'd be surprised how one devoutly Catholic spouse can affect the other over time. :)


#12

Im so glad you posted here! I have a similar story to yours. January of last year I knew that I finally needed to answer the call God was presenting…the Catholic faith. My husband at this point was not really interested in church let alone stepping foot in a catholic church! He would listen to my views. In february he decided he wanted to start attending a nondenominational church. I would attend 5pm service with him there on saturday and then I would go by myself to catholic service. We eventually agreed the kids would switch churches every other week. But I would ALWAYS attend service with him as I felt that was my duty as a wife. Well one week we had family in town and due to timing he was going to miss his service so he decided instead of missing church all together him and the kids would accompany me to mass that once. AND THERE THE SEED WAS PLANTED! He told me later that evening he felt like he was home. We didnt go back to the nondenom church and he has been doing reading and research ever since. I even think he is more in love with the catholic faith than myself. lol I definitely recommend following Gods call. Just make sure you research every option and pray a lot to make sure this is your permanent home. Your wife will follow eventually if its Gods calling for her as well but ask if you can teach your children both options not just one.
My prayers and thoughts are with you brother.


#13

I have the same issue. Please check out my tread How do I present the faith to my wife? I've gotten tons of great advice and one of the best advice I got came from Seatuck "You live it well in front of her. You love her well as God commands you to do. You share moments and thoughts with her and answer any questions she has. Be a good example of a Catholic and leave the conversion to the Holy Spirit."

I hope this helps!

God Bless you and your wife.
BJ774


#14

I am former A/G myself.

When my husband came to me and said he wanted to investigate Catholicism, my first reaction was, "Noooo!"

However, he was the godliest man I knew. And I could tell he was sincere. I agreed to take a class about Catholicism (RCIA) with him, and basically, we both just prayed that God would show us the truth. We discussed EVERYTHING a lot, very thoroughly. My thought was that God would show us the truth and my husband wouldn't become Catholic. His thought was that I would at least grow comfortable with Catholicism. On April 17, we will celebrate 7 years since coming into the Church together, with our kids (3.5 and almost 1).

If she is devout, she surely will trust God to keep you both on the path to truth. It might take her longer to come into the Church or she may NEVER come into the Church, but she needs to take RCIA with you and discuss every bit of it together with you.

Regarding your son, all Catholic parents are obliged to raise the kids Catholic. This does not mean that you never go to your wife's church -- you should do both as a family -- but you need to give your kids the Sacraments. If she learns more about Catholicism, she will probably become comfortable with this.


#15

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers! I can’t believe (well, I can) the amount of love shown.

I just got off of the phone with the Father - we set up a time for Thursday! I’m almost shaking I’m so excited … and more! Almost like this >> :D:confused::eek::wink:

Please continue to pray for us - I’ll continue to thank God for you.


#16

I myself was confirmed last Easter Vigil. My wife does not want to be a Catholic but does not oppose me and even accompanies me to church and supports raising our children Catholic. But not all spouses may be agreeable to that. You will only know that when you discuss the matter with her. But discuss you must, and ASAP. Do not hide your Catholicism (ex: attend mass on a weekday instead of sunday because you don’t want your wife to find out). Sincerely seek God in the sacraments and you will not be dissappointed, no matter how your wife responds. And of course, your children will be blessed.

On another note, I think you must consider free will in this. For example, many christians mean well when they tell others to “do what God is calling them to do, and your wife will follow”. They often quote the jailer passage in Acts where Paul tells him that he and his family will be saved that night. But experience alone should tell us that this does not always occur. We must admit to ourselves that we do not always know the future, hard as that may be. Otherwise, why would the apostle Paul warn us not to marry unbelievers? If God truly brought us together in every case, there would be no need of such a warning. That is not to say that providence doesn’t enter into it. But we need to be realistic. Some Catholics do disobey God and marry unbelievers. In such cases, spouses may or may not become Catholics. I am sure we can all think of people like that.

On the otherhand, Paul tells us in 1 Cor 7 to come to his church in whatever situation we are in. That doesn’t mean we don’t have hope. And it certainly doesn’t mean we don’t keep praying for our loved one. However, we must realize that the Holy Spirit will not force a person to love Christ, much less love his church. If he did so, then could we honestly say that our will was free to choose? Remember that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman and he will never deprive us of our most precious free will. We are not robots and God certainly knows that.


#17

Have you considered attending the social functions at your local churches such as fish frys? It may be a good way to get her more comfortable with the church.


#18

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