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Author Topic: I believe that the EO church is the true church, my wife does not.  (Read 1591 times) Average Rating: 0
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briarfox
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« on: November 25, 2010, 03:39:18 PM »

Hello all,
I was raised baptist and moved to the non denomination in my college days. I was beginning to fell that there was more to Christianity then just me and Jesus. I prayed for an open mind and an open heart. Carefull what you pray for. My world was turned upside down. What I once saw as idol worship and mere traditions of man, began to become real to me. I have since started attending an antiochian orthodox parish.

My wife attends with me. However she is not convinced. She doesn't think any church is 100% correct. She also says thy the liturgy puts her to sleep. She's pushing me to consider a catholic church because it's more modern.

I can't do this. I believe that the EO Church is the church that Christ started. I love my new faith and I love my wife. What do I do? We were both non denomination when we married. She wants us in a church together.

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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 03:44:00 PM »

Hello all,
I was raised baptist and moved to the non denomination in my college days. I was beginning to fell that there was more to Christianity then just me and Jesus. I prayed for an open mind and an open heart. Carefull what you pray for. My world was turned upside down. What I once saw as idol worship and mere traditions of man, began to become real to me. I have since started attending an antiochian orthodox parish.

My wife attends with me. However she is not convinced. She doesn't think any church is 100% correct. She also says thy the liturgy puts her to sleep. She's pushing me to consider a catholic church because it's more modern.

I can't do this. I believe that the EO Church is the church that Christ started. I love my new faith and I love my wife. What do I do? We were both non denomination when we married. She wants us in a church together.


where are you located, if I may ask.
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briarfox
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 03:52:40 PM »

Costa Mesa, California. Attending St. Barnabus Orthodox Parish.
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quietmorning
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 03:54:53 PM »

Welcome!!  I cannot give advice on this as my husband is not a believer - and we have a very tenuous arrangement for my faith.  But I can say that I will be praying. . .I will also say that I'm a with your wife and with you on both of your thoughts concerning the EO church.  I do believe the EO church is the true church, the true bride, and wholly His and founded by the Lord Jesus Christ.  I also know that man is highly fallible.  Always has been, always will be until all is redeemed in His glory.  If this were not the case, we as a church would be ONE in mind and in spirit, but we have disagreements and disputes. . .nationalistic squabbles and sometimes really nonsensical judgments.  We're human, after all.  

I've found that in the EO Church, however, the recognition that we are not worthy and love despite is worth more than moving to another church that is more entertaining and keeps us awake.  A sacrifice that costs me nothing is not sacrifice.  It is this attitude of a humble heart that brings us into a deeper worship and suddenly we CANNOT fall asleep in liturgy because the living Christ is THERE.  

« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 03:56:26 PM by quietmorning » Logged
Gamliel
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 03:55:09 PM »

Welcome to married life. Wink
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briarfox
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2010, 04:02:48 PM »

Welcome!!  I cannot give advice on this as my husband is not a believer - and we have a very tenuous arrangement for my faith.  But I can say that I will be praying. . .I will also say that I'm a with your wife and with you on both of your thoughts concerning the EO church.  I do believe the EO church is the true church, the true bride, and wholly His and founded by the Lord Jesus Christ.  I also know that man is highly fallible.  Always has been, always will be until all is redeemed in His glory.  If this were not the case, we as a church would be ONE in mind and in spirit, but we have disagreements and disputes. . .nationalistic squabbles and sometimes really nonsensical judgments.  We're human, after all.  

I've found that in the EO Church, however, the recognition that we are not worthy and love despite is worth more than moving to another church that is more entertaining and keeps us awake.  A sacrifice that costs me nothing is not sacrifice.  It is this attitude of a humble heart that brings us into a deeper worship and suddenly we CANNOT fall asleep in liturgy because the living Christ is THERE.  



If you do not mind me asking, how did you work this out?

And yes married life is fun! Seems that the wife will look for the opposite and choose it! If I didn't feel so strongly about the EO church I'd just ignore this but the truth changes you. What I enjoyed it the past is no longer sufficient.
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2010, 04:35:26 PM »


If you do not mind me asking, how did you work this out?

And yes married life is fun! Seems that the wife will look for the opposite and choose it! If I didn't feel so strongly about the EO church I'd just ignore this but the truth changes you. What I enjoyed it the past is no longer sufficient.

We are opposites on many many levels . . .but what works for us and what our relationship has always been based on is a deep respect for the other person.  My husband is athiest. . .he does not believe in anything spiritual on any level.  That's fine, that's him. . . and if my God wants to change that, He can and will do a much better job than I ever could.  He loves my husband more than I ever will be capable of. 

I used to get up at 5am to pray from 5am to 6am, but that disturbed his last hours of sleep.  Now I do my morning prayers after he goes to work - before I go to work.  If I cannot manage get to my prayer corner, I take my prayer book with me to work and pray while I'm working.  My prayer corner is located in my office, it is not in the central part of the house - as this is actually his house - and has been in his family for four generations.  I talk about my experience in my faith as it blesses me - as an experience, not as a 'you should believe this way or that.'  And I leave it.  I do not go on and on. . . I do not get mad at him when he looks at me with a blank "I have nooooo clue why this is such a meaningful thing for you!"  look on his face.  I do not ask him to join or to believe, or to pray with me.  BUT I PRAY FOR HIM every day, many times a day.  Giving birth is up to the mother, not the midwife.  It's up to My Father in heaven to birth life in to my husband, I cannot do this.  So, if I could simplify this?  I respect my husband and do not overwhelm my faith onto him.  Nor do I deny my faith.  I try to be as considerate and as loving as I can be in his requests to allow him let me know when something makes him very uncomfortable.  I give the time I owe to my God to God and give the time I owe to my husband - to my husband.  I don't deny either. 

Fasts are a non-issue as my husband loves to eat and when I fast there's just more for him to munch on.  Cheesy

We have had some knock down drag out fights over some issues with my faith - especially alms giving and tithing.  This was where my faith was not being respected and I needed to stand up for Christ in my heart to live the way I am called to live.  We came to an agreement on these things that work for both of us. 

I go to Wednesday Vespers, I go to Great Vespers (Saturday) at least once a month, but not every week.  I go to Matins and Liturgy every Sunday, and the Agape meal afterwards.  I do these alone.  He did come to my church for Liturgy when I was chrismated - out of love for me.  He is very cooperative during the Advent and Lenten seasons where he knows I 'live at church'. 

My husband is not a believer on any level, though - and only prayer and God's mercy will change this fact.  If he were a believer?  I think I would be apt to talk to my priest and ask him for what he suggests and follow him to the letter.  My priest in this instance has told me to love my husband - and pray for him, but do not attempt to persuade him in any way.  My husband has softened toward my faith in the last year in so many ways.  It was very very good leadership on the behalf of my priest.
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2010, 04:43:38 PM »

Oh, one more thing. . .and this is more for you, than for anyone else.  It is very easy for the Evil one to use my spouse's lack of belief to tempt me to feel 'better than he is' or more worthy. . .or a myriad of other false pride inducing ideals. . .and each and every one of those leads to resentment. 

It's not right.  My husband and I both are unworthy, Christ is the ONLY worthy One.  It's just a lie from what's his face to get me to fall and to leave the commandment for me to love by the wayside.  When I am tempted with this I do a couple of things:  I repent immediately, I pray FOR my husband (what's his face HATES that!!) and I do something loving and kind to and for my husband immediately. . . (he hates that even more!) Sometimes I'm doing this for several days or longer. . .because the evil one is stubborn. . .but eventually he flees and leaves me to just love my husband as he is. . .as Christ loved me even before I found Him. 
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2010, 05:06:57 PM »

Costa Mesa, California. Attending St. Barnabus Orthodox Parish.

Greeetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I know of folks from that parish Smiley

Stick with it, and do not get caught up in personal quarrels.  Let your wife be your wife, and you be you, so long as she does not insist on sabotaging your walk into Orthodox.  Do not try to force it on her, rather just let the rhythm and flavor of Orthodox worship change you, and in God's time, she will see the benefit it has over you.  With my mother, she was not necessarily comfortable with my Orthodox conversion, but then she saw how much it was positively changing my life, and she became convinced not necessarily that Orthodox was the walk of faith for herself, but just that it was a valid, legitimate, Christian walk for me.  Now she is well aware of all the subtleties of my Orthodox was, fasting culture, prayer books, liturgies, calendar holidays etc etc, and she even has fun celebrating some of this with me, and yet has no desire of her own to even attend a single service.  

Live your life in Orthodox, slowly, patiently, and let the Sacred Heart of Jesus vibrate into yours and your wife's, and let God sort out His own in His own special love.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 05:15:06 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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ialmisry
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2010, 11:26:24 PM »

Costa Mesa, California. Attending St. Barnabus Orthodox Parish.
There's a WRO Church, St. Michael, an hour away, Rite of St. Tikhon.
http://www.stmichaelwhittier.org/dnn/

I don't know about more modern, but it might be less strange.
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 02:12:01 AM »

Costa Mesa, California. Attending St. Barnabus Orthodox Parish.
There's a WRO Church, St. Michael, an hour away, Rite of St. Tikhon.
http://www.stmichaelwhittier.org/dnn/

I don't know about more modern, but it might be less strange.

This would certainly be worth a try to visit a western rite, and if anything it might show your wife that you are willing to work towards a compromise here. She might appreciate the gesture and eventually have a change of heart and come back with you to the eastern rite...worth a shot, right? Wink
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 08:17:48 AM »

Welcome to the board.

My husband isn't Orthodox either.  He also came with me and kids for about 9 months but decided he just couldn't become Orthodox.  He's now at a Lutheran church.  Just as I couldn't force him to accept the Orthodox faith he also couldn't force me to go against my conscience.   We understood this and decided it was best to be a separate churches.  It isn't perfect, but its certainly far better than someone being at a church against their will week after week. 

It sounds like your wife has given it a try.  Perhaps she needs to find her own way...and maybe she'll find her way back into the Orthodox church.   
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 05:04:47 PM »

briarfox:

It's a tricky problem, but not necessarily insurmountable. Sometimes the passage of time is all that is required to solve a problem. Find some way to compromise with her, and don't be dogmatic. If you try some things her way, you create an obligation for her to reciporicate.

There are no "reasons" you can provide to another person to make them believe as you do. If pursuing Orthodoxy makes you a better Christian, who glows with kindness, patience, love, and good will, your wife may be inspired to re-evaluate her position.
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2010, 11:29:32 PM »

My wife is uninterested in any "truth" or history. She refuses to even talk about it. She's comfortable where she is (going to non-denom or baptist) and using it as more of a social club. At times, in her pregnant hormones, she's even accused me of looking into Catholicism (et Orthodox) as being selfish/self-serving. You can imagine, going it alone, but married with children, makes "being sure" that much more important to me.

You're not alone.   Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2010, 02:21:21 AM »

Thank you all very much for your thoughts, prayers and advice. Glad to see that I'm not alone in this. She also feels that I'm just on a new kick. She did admit that if I stick with it, she would be more inclined to follow. I won't push and I hope my example will lead her over in time.
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2010, 05:12:17 PM »

If she notices a change in you, it will definitely pique her interest.
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2010, 12:47:29 AM »

After today, this subject has become very autobiographical for my wife and myself!

I've been leaning towards Orthodoxy for about the last 4 years or so from casual research of my own while she was in Confirmation Classes in the Episcopal Church and because of the EC itself...over the last several, several years it has become more and more spiritually and morally bankrupt.  I've only been going through the motions the last year or two.  I had really hoped the EC would see the error of its ways head towards a more Orthodox position.  Instead, it's gone the total opposite.

Anyway, my curiosity finally got the best of me so I visited one of the two local Orthodox Churches (Antiochian) a couple of times and have really liked it so far.  I really feel like I have no where else to go but Orthodoxy.  My two choices here are the older, larger, and more established Greek church or the much newer and much smaller Antiochian church who's priest is a former Episcopalian.  His own father was a former Episcopal priest that led of group from his own Episcopal Church parish to the Orthodox church.  He's now an Orthodox priest, also Antiochian. 

Part of our shared disappointment with our current Episcopal church is the lack of people even close to our ages (32 and 35) and lack of children in general, not just the ages of our's (6, 4, & 2).  This smaller Antiochian church didn't help my argument there.  Despite its size, it still has twice as many children as our larger Episcopal church.  Only more visits will tell if there is really more opportunities for the children to be around others their age as well.

My wife visited the Antiochian church with me today...didn't go well!  She has no interest in going back.  She doesn't really get it and said she doesn't require all that.  She comes from a more Baptist / Methodist background so Episcopal was already a big jump for her.  This might have been a little too much for her!

Two days ago we would've never discussed going to separate churches but that may be a real possibility now...makes it harder with kids, too.  Fortunately, she's not opposed to me pursing Orthodoxy if I feel strongly enough to keep on the path I'm currently on.  After 4 years of heading this direction, I think I may have found what I was missing and don't feel that it's possible to turn back knowing what I know.

Guess we'll see what God has in store for us now...we're gong to take it slow and see what happens.

Thanks in advance for any available insight or advice!
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2010, 01:27:50 AM »

I think the real situation, as it is with my wife, isn't that the EO Church isn't the true Church, it's that there is no such thing.
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2010, 01:55:02 AM »

Thank you all very much for your thoughts, prayers and advice. Glad to see that I'm not alone in this. She also feels that I'm just on a new kick. She did admit that if I stick with it, she would be more inclined to follow. I won't push and I hope my example will lead her over in time.
My wife once told me she would never be able to cross that line with me. She has since become very eager to come into full communion with the Church, and not by my pushing.

I have heard more than once that wives whose husbands express initial interest in Orthodoxy can actually end up the more zealous of the two.
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2010, 02:20:32 AM »

I have heard more than once that wives whose husbands express initial interest in Orthodoxy can actually end up the more zealous of the two.

Anything is possible. But converts also must prepare for the reality that no matter how much Orthodoxy might help them grow in holiness and sanctity, that they might have to go it alone for their whole lives, with the spouse or other friends and family never converting. I could give numerous examples of this, even one which ended in divorce because of religious differences.
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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2010, 02:27:47 AM »

I have heard more than once that wives whose husbands express initial interest in Orthodoxy can actually end up the more zealous of the two.

Anything is possible. But converts also must prepare for the reality that no matter how much Orthodoxy might help them grow in holiness and sanctity, that they might have to go it alone for their whole lives, with the spouse or other friends and family never converting. I could give numerous examples of this, even one which ended in divorce because of religious differences.
Of course. I certainly don't mean to imply that my scenario is one that will necessarily follow.

Which is to say that I don't mean to imply that following Christ means anything less than taking up our cross and dying to all else.
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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2010, 09:57:23 AM »

How long have you been attending Divine Liturgy?

Have you asked for your priest's advice on the situation?
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