OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 23, 2014, 03:25:59 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Spouses, children and conversion  (Read 372 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
homedad76
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 76



« on: December 28, 2013, 11:55:41 AM »

For those who have converted (or are all but converted) and have spouses/children did they convert when you did?  If your spouse did not then how did you decide about your children?

Some background, my wife and I are both Catholic but have been attending and OCA church for about 2 months now.  We have a 4 1/2 year old as well who was baptized Catholic.  Religion is not a big thing for her, it has always been more of a social/community thing for her.  Though she is now admitting that maybe the prayerfulness of the OC may be what she needs.  I have told her she needs to decide for herself but that if it doesn't matter either way that it might be better for us all to do it.  Her parents are Irish and Italian Catholics so that is another reason she is hesitant.  They wouldn't disown her or anything but still it might be a bit contentious.
Logged

"However hard I try, I find it impossible to construct anything greater than these three words, 'Love one another' —only to the end, and without exceptions: then all is justified and life is illumined, whereas otherwise it is an abomination and a burden."

—Mother Maria of Paris
crazyms
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 32


« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2013, 01:47:50 PM »

Well things are a little different here but my husband isn't planning to convert with me. We talked about it and the children will be converting with me. They are home with me anyways so they will follow me. He works off and will participate in family functions and attend church with us when he's home, he just isn't sure about converting. For us though we were non-religious before this so it's a big change for him. The children will convert with me though and be Orthodox. Since he has no religion this seemed the best choice. I'm not sure how we would be working this out if we had been in a church before. Good luck. Maybe someone else here can offer you some better advice.
Logged
mabsoota
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 2,461


Kyrie eleison


« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2013, 03:19:42 PM »

hello and welcome to u both.
one of our members has posted a lot on this subject and i hope he won't mind me linking it here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,49912.0.html

the thing that has worked for me (and many others here) is to take it slowly.
realise that your aim is to get closer to God, not to join a particular church.
of course, joining the orthodox church makes you closer to God (as i found out 5 years ago; was formerly protestant),
but sometimes waiting patiently and learning to love your spouse more contributes massively to your spiritual growth.
it is worth the wait, even if the other spouse does not join the church, as waiting and learning to love patiently, to forgive and to deal with your own faults is very valuable.

talk to your priest and older or wiser friends in church and decide (no rush) if you will convert by yourself now or wait.
whatever you decide, tell your spouse something about your spiritual journey, even if he / she has no belief in God, he / she should learn about what you are interested in.
in return you also need to show some interest in the things your spouse enjoys.

as for the children, it is something you should discuss calmly (!) with your spouse and also with the child if you think he / she is old enough. take your time. take the child / children to the orthodox church and let them see how much you benefit from your relationship with God and how much you love to pray at home.

putting pressure on people (including older children) is often the quickest way to push them in the opposite direction, so listen, talk and then listen again.
work on your own spiritual life so you have something to share.
eg. be the first to say sorry after an argument.
pray.
fast.
enjoy the journey!

may God bless you both very much and give you peace and guidance and may He bless your families too.
 Smiley
Logged
dcommini
Tha mi sgulan na Trianaid
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 1,198


Beannachd Dia dhuit

dcommini
WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2013, 03:46:24 PM »

I ended up converting before my wife really knew a lot about Orthodoxy. This did end up causing a lot of contention between us, especially as she saw this a me running/trying to get away from her. I constantly had to reassure her that I would not pressure her to convert, she could do it in her own time - or never if she chose - but that I knew Orthodoxy to be right.

She eventually told me that she would convert because she wanted to make me happy, and I told her that I would be happier of she converted because she wanted to. She and my daughter were both brought in to the Church of her own accord.

We both kind of took an opposite approach to coming to the Church then we do we most things; where I am usually more hands on with how I learn things I instead read a lot about Orthodoxy and learned from more of a scholarly route, and where she usually learns from a book actually had to experience the liturgical cycle and fullness of faith of the Church.

Give it time. I would recommend that you all convert at the same time. I did not, I converted a few years before my wife. I wish that I had waited until we were both on board as it would have kept a lot of arguments from happening, but one thing my first priest told me always stuck with me; he told me that I had first made my commitment to my wife before I had made my commitment to the Church, remember that and don't pressure her or push her away and she would come to Orthodoxy in her own time. I'm glad I listened to him.
Logged

Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slàinte agus sona - May your cup overflow with health and happiness
Check out my blog...
mabsoota
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 2,461


Kyrie eleison


« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2013, 03:54:14 PM »

it's great to hear your story.
it's often good to join the church at the same time.
i went first, i really needed the help i got from the church at the time, i had major work stress and some other issues.
i waited a year (after deciding to join) before i actually did, so it was the right time for me.
after 5 years, i finally brought 1 longstanding protestant friend to a social gathering at church!
(see, it's good to be patient!)
as for family, we discuss things a lot and are both patient with each other! we go for non liturgical events and that is a big blessing now.
remember God loves your family more than you do...
 Smiley
Logged
crazyms
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 32


« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2013, 05:20:25 PM »

I think you've gotten much better responses from the other posters than I can probably help you with but I just received a response from my local priest regarding my conversion without my husband. I have been concerned (since we are non-Christian and neither of us ever baptised) that my marriage would be a non-Christian marriage and thus prevent my full acceptance into the church. The priest (my local one at least) said that this is not a problem and that it is even considered to be a blessing to the other spouse for you to do so (in reference to 1 Corinthians 7:verses 12-16). I had read the passage but I feel much better hearing from the priest himself that I won't be held back in my own journey by not being able to have my marriage blessed in the church. I just thought I'd include the response here in case it was a concern also for you or any other converts reading this thread.
Logged
Maximum Bob
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catechumen
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,470


Personal Text? We can have personal text?


« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 01:39:03 AM »

hello and welcome to u both.
one of our members has posted a lot on this subject and i hope he won't mind me linking it here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,49912.0.html

the thing that has worked for me (and many others here) is to take it slowly.
realise that your aim is to get closer to God, not to join a particular church.
of course, joining the orthodox church makes you closer to God (as i found out 5 years ago; was formerly protestant),
but sometimes waiting patiently and learning to love your spouse more contributes massively to your spiritual growth.
it is worth the wait, even if the other spouse does not join the church, as waiting and learning to love patiently, to forgive and to deal with your own faults is very valuable.

talk to your priest and older or wiser friends in church and decide (no rush) if you will convert by yourself now or wait.
whatever you decide, tell your spouse something about your spiritual journey, even if he / she has no belief in God, he / she should learn about what you are interested in.
in return you also need to show some interest in the things your spouse enjoys.

as for the children, it is something you should discuss calmly (!) with your spouse and also with the child if you think he / she is old enough. take your time. take the child / children to the orthodox church and let them see how much you benefit from your relationship with God and how much you love to pray at home.

putting pressure on people (including older children) is often the quickest way to push them in the opposite direction, so listen, talk and then listen again.
work on your own spiritual life so you have something to share.
eg. be the first to say sorry after an argument.
pray.
fast.
enjoy the journey!

may God bless you both very much and give you peace and guidance and may He bless your families too.
 Smiley

Not a problem at all mabsoota.  Smiley I agree it's best to wait and come together if at all possible. I won't repeat the material from the other thread, which can be read for itself, but as much as I've hated to hear it at times,  Grin there is no hurry. Unless your wife cuts off the possibility of progress together, be patient. If she is showing any progress at all, which it sounds like she is, then however slow it's worth the wait.

As for your child at 4 1/2 they won't be able to understand what your doing now, but as you raise them in the faith make sure you explain how and why you've made the choice you have. This is an advantage you have in bringing up your child in the Orthodox faith you weren't simply born to it, you know why you are choosing Orthodoxy that makes it easier to pass on.

What I will add from my own story is that things are now proceeding well and the former contention seems little more than a memory.
Logged

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.
Maximum Bob
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catechumen
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,470


Personal Text? We can have personal text?


« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 01:56:28 AM »

Oh, and one other thing. Pray, pray, and keep praying.
Logged

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.
mabsoota
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 2,461


Kyrie eleison


« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 05:50:17 AM »

thanks, maximum bob.
(but i think many 4 1/2 year olds can understand some of what you are doing, from my experiences of being 4 1/2 and of helping in sunday school)
Logged
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,787



« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2013, 10:32:13 AM »

I think you've gotten much better responses from the other posters than I can probably help you with but I just received a response from my local priest regarding my conversion without my husband. I have been concerned (since we are non-Christian and neither of us ever baptised) that my marriage would be a non-Christian marriage and thus prevent my full acceptance into the church. The priest (my local one at least) said that this is not a problem and that it is even considered to be a blessing to the other spouse for you to do so (in reference to 1 Corinthians 7:verses 12-16). I had read the passage but I feel much better hearing from the priest himself that I won't be held back in my own journey by not being able to have my marriage blessed in the church. I just thought I'd include the response here in case it was a concern also for you or any other converts reading this thread.

The best advice I can tell you is listen to your priest, he has the charisma of the Holy Spirit to pastor your local church. What he has advised you is correct,

Thomas
Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
Christina
Troublemaker
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Posts: 39


Lord, have mercy!


« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2013, 11:45:37 PM »

For those who have converted (or are all but converted) and have spouses/children did they convert when you did?  If your spouse did not then how did you decide about your children?

No, they didn't.  My child is from a previous marriage and not an infant, so he will convert when/if he's ready.
Logged

"You cursed and lost man!  Instead of enduring pain for a single hour, you have made yourself worthy of eternal torment."  ~St. Christina of Ancyra~
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.08 seconds with 39 queries.