July 11, 2008,
J.G. asks from Ontario, CA on August 08, 2007
Help! My Husband and I Don't Agree W/ How to Raise Children!
My husband is the son of a independent baptist preacher, I on the otherhand, am Roman Catholic. When we started dating we realized dispite the differences we really pretty much agreed on most important matters. He doesn't like the Catholic faith and I have had VERY VERY MANY bad experiences with the protestant faith but we both want our children to go to church. We had talked about Methodist because it meets in the middle but I just can't bring myself to officially leave the Catholic church. What should we do? I know religion is a touchy subject but rather you're Protestant or Catholic please give me your opinion!
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your advice. To answer some questions first, we were married in his parent's church due to the fact that his father is a preacher (which is the only reason why I agreed to be married there). I love the christian faith it's just that I have found along my way too many rules within churches that are ABSOLUTELY ridiculous (like in my inlaws church women must wear skirts and men pants, I refuse to wear a skirt bc I don't feel comfortable in them) I'm at church to be comfortable and love God not to be judged, we have attended a couple of different non-denominational churches but they too were a bit too loud for me. We both agree we want a church where people don't yell out, I can't focus when everyone is talking at once. Also, I love to read the bible but I also believe it is more man-made than God intended, some take it too literally. With that said I do not follow what my husband says just because he is a man, we MUST agree or no action will be taken this is not the 1800s afterall. More times than not we do things my way. I just found this subject as something we should agree upon. I love the traditional way of Catholics, the music, the blood and body of Christ (which is something Christ himself did, being the reason I find it so sacred). BUT! I love some of your ideas of Lutheran and Methodist. My husband and I discussed it further and we've agreed to go "church shopping" for a Methodist or Lutheran whichever we end up liking more, and we're going to go to mass once or twice a month just to give them options. I want my children to make their own choice but I want them to know what those choices are. THANK YOU SO MUCH! You really have opened our minds and hearts to this! I want to have four more children so it was very important to me to find a solution before I have more children. Thank you again. :)
S.N. answers from Los Angeles on August 10, 2007
My mom is a Catholic and my dad is an Atheist. The way they delt with it was to not raise us under one religion but to expose us to all types and for us to make the choice. We all made different choices.
R.T. answers from Los Angeles on August 10, 2007
I am sorry this is so difficult for you. I agree with others saying that you should try to find a church you are both comfortable in. Having a united family is so much more important than which denomination you participate in.
I, personally, was raised in "non-denominational" churches which were very definitely anti-Catholic. My husband, on the other hand, was raised by a set of very faithful Catholic parents. When he and I first began our friendship, I was trying to "convert" him. What ended up happening was that he became stronger in his own faith. At the critical questioning times (high-school and college), I asked him questions that caused him to search for his own answers and brought him back to a closer relationship with God, as a Catholic. Not my intention, but for us, it worked out for the best.
After our marriage, we didn't attend church because we couldn't agree. I couldn't participate in the Eucharist at his, and he couldn't get past the "fake" feeling of mine. With the birth of our second child, however, we decided we needed to get back. At the same time, he was approached by a family friend who is a nun and was the Catechism Coordinator for the parish he grew up in. She told him, "God is calling you by name. You need to teach." I know it sounds a little hokey, but she was right. My husband needed to teach. He brought faith, stability, and answers as a man to children who frequently only ever saw women involved in their faith. They needed him, and he needed them. It was where he was supposed to be. I saw that and began to attend masses with him and our kids.
Shortly thereafter, I began taking adult catechism classes and had my Confirmation in 2003. My parents were not thrilled, but they couldn't argue with my reasoning. I saw that my husband was where he was supposed to be. As his wife, my place is at his side, supporting him and helping him raise our children to love God just as much. If he was supposed to be Catholic, if that was his calling, why would God want me to be anything else? I am NOT saying your husband should become Catholic, or that you should convert to whatever he believes. What I'm saying is that you need to find your FAMILY's place. This is just how I found mine. If you keep your mind and your heart open, I'm sure you will find the answer.
Good Luck and God Bless!
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N.N. answers from San Diego on August 10, 2007
WOW! You sound like my parents... back in the 60's! My parents realized long ago that it was not their faith that mattered, but the kids. If you both believe that your message is purposeful, then it does no harm to explain both & the differences. Let them decide, ultimately, in the end how faith will shape their decisions & lives.
If you spar over each others faith, more than likely your child will see how negative & uncomfortable it can make one feel & may have the adverse affect. Understanding & respecting differences allows them the opportunity to make decisions, teaches tolerance, & that love prevails over all - even faith.
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C.T. answers from San Diego on August 10, 2007
I agree with you that religion can definately be a touchy subject but it is way too important for you and your husband to disagree on. You must, absolutely MUST come to an agrement here. Your faith should be the foundation from which your family is built. You children need for you to come to some sort of an agreement. I do not agree that a child is the same religion as the mother when they are born. My opinion on the matter is that you teach your children faith and do all you can to instill it in them. However, like all things they must at some point make the decision for themselves about what they will accept. That is why it is so important to make this a part of their lives and also why it is so important that you and your husband agree. How you raise them today will play a huge part in who and what they become. I cannot give you my opinion on whether you should take them to a Catholic or protestant church. That has to be a decision you and your husband find a way to agree on. All I can say is that it is absolutely imparative that you do just that. Sit down and talk seriously with your husband about this. If he doesn't already then help him understand just how important this is to you, your children and your family as a whole. And then take the time and put in the effort to work this out. It may take a lot of conversations but it so worth it. Also, when you and your husband come together about this I would definately recommend that you pray for guidance in this area. Good luck to you. I will also pray that you are able to work this out.
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A.B. answers from Los Angeles on August 10, 2007
This is the time for both of you to pray on this matter together.
What do you think God might want for your family? It's hard to know sometimes. What my husband and I do is pray and then move forward to see what doors open and close. I would encourage you to stay open for how God leads you. Personally, I was raised catholic. I now attend a non-denominational church called the Oasis Christian Center (oasisla.org & godchicks.com) I know God personally led me there and that's where I met my wonderful husband. Just remember to be in agreement with your husband and be willing to try a christian church different from what you are comfortable with. You will be blessed for doing that- I know I am.
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W.A. answers from Honolulu on August 10, 2007
Here is my quicky fix. I am Born and raised devout Roman Catholic and my husband is Lutheran. We have made it a point to not argue over our different religions instead we came up with a quick solution. Before my daughter was born We figured out where she'd be baptised so we went to a Christian church, not one or the other something in between. Either way we both see it that she was baptised in God's name. As for going to Church. WE switch off...Sometimes we go to Lutheran, other times we go to Catholic. Regardless of where you go, your going to church to worship. My own Catholic priest I grew up with told me that he'd rather me go to any Christian church than to no church at all. You know your beliefs and your husband knows his. You have to come up with a compromise so you both fulfill your spiritual needs. As for your child..we figure since our daughter is still young, we want her to see it as a joyous experiance, where we are all happy and worship is fun. When she is older we will teach her both sides of our faiths and let her decide for herself where she wants to go... the most important thing is to let your child experiance the greatness of religion and worship. Good luck to you and you both just need to keep an open mind. It's not worth fighting over someting that should bring joy.
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F.O. answers from Los Angeles on August 10, 2007
Well, I think the important thing to realize is that both protestant and catholic are part of a bigger picture. Neither of these are religions, but rather denominations of Christianity. My family and I attend a Christian Reformed Church, which again is a denomination of Christianity and hold our relationship with Christ as number one is our household. I can imagine how hard it would be to walk away from all of the "rituals" that you are used to from being raised Catholic, however what is important is that you are raising your kids to know Christ, have good morals and secure their futures!
As long as you and your husband are in agreement on what you are going to teach your children, whether it is about hail mary's, the eurcarist, the trinity, a personal realtionship with Christ, etc... Does where you worship really have to be that important? We greatly value or church family don't get me wrong, but more importantly is the relationship we have with God.
I hope this helps! Best of luck. I will pray that you and your husband can come to an agreement soon for the future of your kids and family :)
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A.M. answers from Los Angeles on August 09, 2007
I grew up catholic as did my husband but he is not religous and doesnt want are children raised in the catholic church my oldest two were baptized catholic, and then i agreed to try a different church for him, we found a methodist church and i love it i have been very happy there, i am technically not a member I just attend teh church because i have been struggling with not being a catholic but have recently decided i want to officially join. I have been attending it for a year. the atmosphere is just different, happier. it is more of a community and the service is more of a teaching and story telling not like lecturing. kids are welcome and welcome to make noise the childrens programs are excelent. my youngest was christened and my oldest baptizm are recognized where as if we went back to a catholic church my youngest would not be considered batized my pastor said all children are batized christian. I m just telling you my experiece which are all positive I couldnt be happier with a church.
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C.C. answers from Los Angeles on April 13, 2008
Well my first response is that Independent baptist is NOT protestant... and my second response is that the basis of either religion is Christ. They are both Christian religions, albeit VERY different, they hold the same truths, be a friendly hardworking person, believe that the Lord is our savior and give tithes. Both have a bible (again, different versions) and both celebrate much of the same holidays. My best advice whould be to just show your kids the ropes of both. You dont have to stick with one and avoid the other. In fact I have a dear friend whose Jewish husband is proudly atheist, and she is Christian! So they tale about all three, dads families beliefs (hannukah and passover and such) dads beliefs (there maybe isnt anything kids!) and moms belief (praise the lord!) and I think the kids are doing just fine! Best of luck!!