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Author Topic: converting without my husband  (Read 1604 times) Average Rating: 0
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clarinet3685
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« on: March 22, 2010, 10:15:32 PM »

I am so happy to have found this website!  Recently I have been called to investigate Orthodox Christianity.  I was baptized RC, but didn't grow up in the Church.  After the birth of our son, (a miracle at 1lb 1oz!), I needed a relationship with God.  My husband has never been religious, and this was never an issue.  Neither of us was religious when we got married.  Of course, my desire is for our family to have a relationship with God, and to find a spiritual home in the Church.  We just attended our first Divine Liturgy on Sunday, and he said that he's willing to go again, and it's his best experience with organized religion thus far (a big step for him!!!)  I'm just looking for advice/others with similar situations that could help me/our family.  Please pray for us!
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 10:21:03 PM »

Welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 10:55:57 PM »

We just attended our first Divine Liturgy on Sunday, and he said that he's willing to go again, and it's his best experience with organized religion thus far (a big step for him!!!)

Sounds promising.  Smiley


Just don't try to rush or pressure him and God willing he will come to the faith in his own time.


(btw, my wife is a clarinet player)


Yours in Christ
Joe
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 11:17:16 PM »

To the OP, Welcome to the forum.   Smiley
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Seraphim98
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 09:39:23 PM »

Organized religion?  Seriously? stick around for a while...your perceptions may alter with experience. Smiley
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clarinet3685
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 09:59:03 PM »

"organized religion" are his words, not mine.  I think he is just fearful of a cult-like situation, and he is generally fearful of losing his free will.  Sorry I was unclear!
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 10:05:35 PM »

"organized religion" are his words, not mine.  I think he is just fearful of a cult-like situation, and he is generally fearful of losing his free will.  Sorry I was unclear!

Not at all. I think Seraphim98 was making a joke about how disorganized we are. There's a well known bumper sticker that says:

"Don't like organized religion? Try Orthodoxy."
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2010, 10:07:06 PM »

Btw, there are several people on this forum who have been in situations like you. Maybe one of them can refer you to some of the previous threads.
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clarinet3685
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2010, 10:28:11 PM »

Ah.  Now I understand!  It's late, and I'm worn out from my toddler - guess I have no sense of humor at this time of night!  As for reference to other threads, that would be great!  All the info I can get!
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2010, 11:07:26 PM »

'Take it slow and easy' is the right advice. Orthodoxy is a serious and all-consuming commitment. I've seen marriages break up when both partners were not equally involved. Go slow.
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 12:42:19 AM »

Not at all. I think Seraphim98 was making a joke about how disorganized we are. There's a well known bumper sticker that says:

"Don't like organized religion? Try Orthodoxy."

I remember a Southern Baptist preacher making the same comment about his church. They saw themselves the same way because of their congregationalist ecclesiology.
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 09:11:38 AM »

Welcome Clairenet to the Convert Issues Forum. I hope that you will find this forum a safe place to discuss issues about the Orthodox Faith. We will try to provide answers and resources that help you in your journey towards the Holy Faith.

Once again , Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum!

Thomas
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 10:11:04 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Clarinet!

You and I are in the same boat. My wife, even though she was baptized Orthodox as an infant (we both are from Ukraine), says that she does not like "organized religion" and that she is an agnostic. Yet, she most graciously attends Divine Liturgies with me, for my sake!

Do stick around! This forum is a good place - quite a lot of good, knowledgeable people.

George
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 10:11:47 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2010, 10:36:17 AM »

"organized religion" are his words, not mine.  I think he is just fearful of a cult-like situation, and he is generally fearful of losing his free will.  Sorry I was unclear!

God gave us free will and we have to use that free will to choose the right path. Just pray to God and seek His help and let His will be done. You already said that your husband is willing to go to Divine Liturgy and that is good. Let him grow into it and perhaps with time, he will be open to it.

Also, welcome to the forum and may God guide you in your and your husband's investigation into Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 03:49:56 PM »

Ah.  Now I understand!  It's late, and I'm worn out from my toddler
We also have a toddler and have been going to an Orthodox church for some time now. We thought it was going to be very difficult because hardly any Orthodox churches have nurseries and our son gets restless very quickly if he can't walk around and "do stuff." But we quickly realized that nobody in Orthodox churches really cares if your kids are loud. Everyone is used to it. And if they are inconsolable then just take them out for a bit and bring them back in.

Quite a contrast from our Protestant tradition where you could hear a pin drop in some of the services and babies crying would get you dirty looks.
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clarinet3685
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2010, 04:17:51 PM »

It's so nice to hear that others have the same situation!  Despite the fact that it's a little more difficult to have your child with you, I like the fact that the family stays together in the Orthodox Church.  As an aside, we brought a few cars for him to entertain himself with - quietly of course!  We saw several other children bring a toy as well.  Is this generally accepted?  When our son got too noisy with his cars, we of course stopped him and quieted him down/took him outside.  I just don't want to be disrespectful!
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2010, 05:09:44 PM »

Ah.  Now I understand!  It's late, and I'm worn out from my toddler
We also have a toddler and have been going to an Orthodox church for some time now. We thought it was going to be very difficult because hardly any Orthodox churches have nurseries and our son gets restless very quickly if he can't walk around and "do stuff." But we quickly realized that nobody in Orthodox churches really cares if your kids are loud. Everyone is used to it. And if they are inconsolable then just take them out for a bit and bring them back in.

Quite a contrast from our Protestant tradition where you could hear a pin drop in some of the services and babies crying would get you dirty looks.

It actually goes against Orthodox theology to put kids in a nursery during services. As infants we are baptized, chrismated, and given communion. We are full members of the Church from the moment of our chrismation. To put children in a "nursery" is to say "you are not a member until you are of school age", which is simply not true.

Christ said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14) This is what we hope to accomplish by allowing them to be full participants in the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2010, 05:18:42 PM »

It's so nice to hear that others have the same situation!  Despite the fact that it's a little more difficult to have your child with you, I like the fact that the family stays together in the Orthodox Church.  As an aside, we brought a few cars for him to entertain himself with - quietly of course!  We saw several other children bring a toy as well.  Is this generally accepted?  When our son got too noisy with his cars, we of course stopped him and quieted him down/took him outside.  I just don't want to be disrespectful!

What I have been told by others is that you do what you have to do. I often bring Cheerios for my son, and I was wondering if that was ok or not... One day at coffee hour an older lady came up to me, and she told me that she had been watching me feed my son Cheerios. I was instantly terrified that she was about to tell me how inappropriate that was. Instead it turned out that she was the mother of one of the priests, and she told me that when he was young she used to feed him m&m's during Liturgy. I have felt much more relaxed ever since. Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2010, 05:20:24 PM »

It actually goes against Orthodox theology to put kids in a nursery during services. As infants we are baptized, chrismated, and given communion. We are full members of the Church from the moment of our chrismation. To put children in a "nursery" is to say "you are not a member until you are of school age", which is simply not true.

Yes, once we learned why the Orthodox generally don't have nurseries we gained an appreciation for it, even if it is more work. Plus the fact that people expect children to be there helps a lot.
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2010, 05:24:56 PM »

We saw several other children bring a toy as well.  Is this generally accepted?  When our son got too noisy with his cars, we of course stopped him and quieted him down/took him outside.  I just don't want to be disrespectful!
Standing still and keeping perfectly quiet is an unnatural state for a toddler! No one should expect them to endure a Divine Liturgy without a little something to get them through.

I strongly recommend soft toys and cloth books as these are less likely to cause noise.

Walking the child around a bit to look at icons in the church is a good way to change things up a bit. Make sure he gets to spend some time with both parents. Dad shouldn't miss out on the fun.

Occasionally, he might encounter someone who wants to lecture you about your child being too noisy, etc. Remember to pray for such people as they are misguided about the need to have children grow up in the Church.
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2010, 06:46:52 PM »

It's so nice to hear that others have the same situation!  Despite the fact that it's a little more difficult to have your child with you, I like the fact that the family stays together in the Orthodox Church.  As an aside, we brought a few cars for him to entertain himself with - quietly of course!  We saw several other children bring a toy as well.  Is this generally accepted?  When our son got too noisy with his cars, we of course stopped him and quieted him down/took him outside.  I just don't want to be disrespectful!

One of my most favorite modern Orthodox theologians, Prot. Fr. Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983) used to call the noise produced by little children in church "the Holy Noise." Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2010, 06:53:27 PM »

I've experienced a lot of it during yesterday's vigil Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2010, 02:05:50 PM »

'Take it slow and easy' is the right advice. Orthodoxy is a serious and all-consuming commitment. I've seen marriages break up when both partners were not equally involved. Go slow.

It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that you go slow.  I can tell you from a friend of mine who is a divorce attorney that after finances and infidelity, the single biggest cause of divorce is difference in religious affiliation/practice.  A catechumen in my church, who will be received next week, is coming in without his wife and his two young children (they are 10 and 8, I think) and I know that this is a contentious issue (he has said so himself).  I think he is moving too fast and he must consider his wife and kids.  I would advise you to slow down as well and make sure that your marriage will not break under such stress.
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2010, 06:52:16 AM »

We just attended our first Divine Liturgy on Sunday, and he said that he's willing to go again, and it's his best experience with organized religion thus far (a big step for him!!!)

Sounds promising.  Smiley


Just don't try to rush or pressure him and God willing he will come to the faith in his own time.


(btw, my wife is a clarinet player)


Yours in Christ
Joe

Agreeing with Joe.  Don't pressure your husband.  He must come to the faith at his own pace.  I converted back in '06 without my husband.  He still attends an occasional service with me and the kids, but is happy at his own Lutheran church (mostly).   

If you continue to attend, a good next step is a meeting with the priest. 
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