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Author Topic: When your spouse has lukewarm faith  (Read 531 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 13, 2014, 04:19:31 PM »

Hello all, I am a Roman Catholic strongly considering converting to Orthodoxy on account of a loss of faith in the College of Bishops. I am simply sick and tired of reading in the news over and over again about Bishops undermining Jesus' teachings on sexuality, and punishing faithful Catholics for wanting to worship in the Tridentine rites. I am also baffled at the current tendency for Popes to continuously canonize each other. However my wife does not want to convert. She insists she believes in the Apostolic faith, but she dislikes praying with me and our child, and also finds it annoying that I insist on reading the Bible to our baby. Basically her faith is lukewarm.

She has two concerns about Orthodoxy. (1) We live in a rural area. Currently there's a church about 20 minutes away, but she believes that if we buy a house (likely in a different area), there might not be an Orthodox church nearby--and we'll have to re-convert back to Catholicism. I have proposed that we don't move anywhere where there's no Orthodox churches, but she says that it's much more important that we live in a safe area with good schools. (2) She dislikes fasting and think it's pointless. I've explained to her the theological reason for it, but she still says she only refrains from meat on Lenten Fridays because I do so, and she would not be amenable to refraining from oil, fish, etc. on any other days.

Please pray for us and offer any advice you can.

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 04:28:24 PM »

May God be with you.

I can very much sympathize with your struggle. My wife is Methodist and very against Orthodoxy. The most important thing I can say is to not try to force anything. I obviously don't know your wife, but if she does not have a strong opinion on her faith, would she be opposed to just attending an Orthodox Church?  If she were to get accustomed to it, she may develop different opinions on fasting and such.  Also, while the Church gives us a general fasting rule, that is oftentimes highly tailored to the individual by the priest. I doubt that the priest would tell you or your wife to jump in doing full fasting right off the bat. Some people take a year or two to get used to the fasts. Some take years to hold to the fasting rules, others never.
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 04:37:18 PM »

Hello all, I am a Roman Catholic strongly considering converting to Orthodoxy on account of a loss of faith in the College of Bishops. I am simply sick and tired of reading in the news over and over again about Bishops undermining Jesus' teachings on sexuality, and punishing faithful Catholics for wanting to worship in the Tridentine rites. I am also baffled at the current tendency for Popes to continuously canonize each other. However my wife does not want to convert. She insists she believes in the Apostolic faith, but she dislikes praying with me and our child, and also finds it annoying that I insist on reading the Bible to our baby. Basically her faith is lukewarm.

She has two concerns about Orthodoxy. (1) We live in a rural area. Currently there's a church about 20 minutes away, but she believes that if we buy a house (likely in a different area), there might not be an Orthodox church nearby--and we'll have to re-convert back to Catholicism. I have proposed that we don't move anywhere where there's no Orthodox churches, but she says that it's much more important that we live in a safe area with good schools. (2) She dislikes fasting and think it's pointless. I've explained to her the theological reason for it, but she still says she only refrains from meat on Lenten Fridays because I do so, and she would not be amenable to refraining from oil, fish, etc. on any other days.

Lots of issues here, more than I can probably take on charitably.

But here's some easy enough advice: Pray for her. And for Pete's sake don't go to her and say, "I'm praying for you because we're not on the same page."

Until you get to a place where you aren't thinking of her as an obstacle, you're never going to get anywhere.
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 10:42:58 PM »

Prayer and patience.
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 11:17:08 PM »

Know that I am praying for you and for your wife.
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 07:07:44 PM »

May God be with you.

I can very much sympathize with your struggle. My wife is Methodist and very against Orthodoxy. The most important thing I can say is to not try to force anything. I obviously don't know your wife, but if she does not have a strong opinion on her faith, would she be opposed to just attending an Orthodox Church?  If she were to get accustomed to it, she may develop different opinions on fasting and such.  Also, while the Church gives us a general fasting rule, that is oftentimes highly tailored to the individual by the priest. I doubt that the priest would tell you or your wife to jump in doing full fasting right off the bat. Some people take a year or two to get used to the fasts. Some take years to hold to the fasting rules, others never.

Right now we go to a Byzantine-rite Catholic Church. She is happy about it (well, happier than a Novus Ordo Mass).
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 07:17:00 PM »

Idea: When you buy a house, use the parish finder!

http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/parishes

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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 07:58:52 PM »

May God be with you.

I can very much sympathize with your struggle. My wife is Methodist and very against Orthodoxy. The most important thing I can say is to not try to force anything. I obviously don't know your wife, but if she does not have a strong opinion on her faith, would she be opposed to just attending an Orthodox Church?  If she were to get accustomed to it, she may develop different opinions on fasting and such.  Also, while the Church gives us a general fasting rule, that is oftentimes highly tailored to the individual by the priest. I doubt that the priest would tell you or your wife to jump in doing full fasting right off the bat. Some people take a year or two to get used to the fasts. Some take years to hold to the fasting rules, others never.

Right now we go to a Byzantine-rite Catholic Church. She is happy about it (well, happier than a Novus Ordo Mass).
Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2014, 09:14:58 PM »

Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.

See, I think the "happy-clappy type churches" are "strange bizarre new things".  Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2014, 09:19:14 PM »

Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.

See, I think the "happy-clappy type churches" are "strange bizarre new things".  Tongue

Nah, that dates back to 150 A.D.
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2014, 09:36:37 PM »

Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.

See, I think the "happy-clappy type churches" are "strange bizarre new things".  Tongue

Nah, that dates back to 150 A.D.

Who knew that a hundred years later we'd be kissing icons?   Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2014, 12:18:57 AM »

Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.

See, I think the "happy-clappy type churches" are "strange bizarre new things".  Tongue

Nah, that dates back to 150 A.D.

Who knew that a hundred years later we'd be kissing icons?   Tongue
It's all that Constantine guys fault. True religion is this, to raise your hands and clap above your head while singing I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, and ever, and ever, and ever...
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2014, 12:31:38 AM »

Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.

See, I think the "happy-clappy type churches" are "strange bizarre new things".  Tongue

Nah, that dates back to 150 A.D.

Who knew that a hundred years later we'd be kissing icons?   Tongue
It's all that Constantine guys fault. True religion is this, to raise your hands and clap above your head while singing I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, and ever, and ever, and ever...

Just stop, I'm having flashbacks. Tongue
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2014, 05:53:04 AM »

True religion is this, to raise your hands and clap above your head while singing I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, and ever, and ever, and ever...

Somebody say A-men!

... uh ... what, it isn't? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2014, 03:03:44 PM »

Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.

See, I think the "happy-clappy type churches" are "strange bizarre new things".  Tongue

Nah, that dates back to 150 A.D.

Who knew that a hundred years later we'd be kissing icons?   Tongue
It's all that Constantine guys fault. True religion is this, to raise your hands and clap above your head while singing I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, and ever, and ever, and ever...

http://www.eyeofthetiber.com/2014/08/25/the-brown-note-proven-true-seconds-after-gather-us-in-begins/
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2014, 03:49:42 PM »

Oh, well that is good. Orthodoxy wouldn't seem like a strange bizarre new thing then. That has been the part my wife isn't able to deal with. She is used to happy-clappy type churches.

See, I think the "happy-clappy type churches" are "strange bizarre new things".  Tongue

Nah, that dates back to 150 A.D.

Who knew that a hundred years later we'd be kissing icons?   Tongue
It's all that Constantine guys fault. True religion is this, to raise your hands and clap above your head while singing I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, and ever, and ever, and ever...

Just stop, I'm having flashbacks. Tongue

I am too, and oddly enough, it's to my days as a RC attending the Novus Ordo. I never sang along to such banal hymns.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 03:49:56 PM by kelly » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2014, 04:27:17 PM »

Hello all, I am a Roman Catholic strongly considering converting to Orthodoxy on account of a loss of faith in the College of Bishops. I am simply sick and tired of reading in the news over and over again about Bishops undermining Jesus' teachings on sexuality, and punishing faithful Catholics for wanting to worship in the Tridentine rites. I am also baffled at the current tendency for Popes to continuously canonize each other. However my wife does not want to convert. She insists she believes in the Apostolic faith, but she dislikes praying with me and our child, and also finds it annoying that I insist on reading the Bible to our baby. Basically her faith is lukewarm.

She has two concerns about Orthodoxy. (1) We live in a rural area. Currently there's a church about 20 minutes away, but she believes that if we buy a house (likely in a different area), there might not be an Orthodox church nearby--and we'll have to re-convert back to Catholicism. I have proposed that we don't move anywhere where there's no Orthodox churches, but she says that it's much more important that we live in a safe area with good schools. (2) She dislikes fasting and think it's pointless. I've explained to her the theological reason for it, but she still says she only refrains from meat on Lenten Fridays because I do so, and she would not be amenable to refraining from oil, fish, etc. on any other days.

Please pray for us and offer any advice you can.

Thank you.
My wife is Roman Catholic and I made the jump alone. Of course I would rather that she joined me in the Church. But I am immensely grateful to have entered, even alone, and I think I am a better, more graceful husband because of Orthodoxy.

Fasting is inconvenient for families such as ours, but it is hugely palliative.
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