BookGirl asked a question about her Anti-Catholic Spouse on our old discussion forum and received some insightful answers from the Coming Home Network community. We’ve curated the topic for you here. Feel free to continue discussion in the Disqus comment box below.
We live in the parsonage of a Baptist church in a rural, isolated town. My husband is anti-Catholic in every way and suspects I am changing my theological views, though he has no idea what I’ve been reading (Shea, Howard, Hahn… in addition to Graham Green, Flannery O’Connor, Endo, Nouwen…). I’ve been poking around on the Called To Communion website. Read Marian Veneration recently. I was baptized into the Church but then had no further religious training there. I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition and married in that. If I were to become Catholic, my husband would have to resign his job (he’s trained for nothing else but this), we’d lose our home and health insurance for our child with Type 1 diabetes. Our marriage is already tenuous and I’ve begged him to go to counseling without success (the counselor isn’t “biblical enough”. I am drawn to the faith of my grandmother and father and feel like learning more about the faith is like coming full circle. My husband would call me an unbeliever, and would probably disparage my beliefs to our four children. I stay home with my kids homeschooling them and feel like I’m in an impossible situation. I’ve spoken with a few priests who are my friends, and other friends about this, in addition to my mom a bit (she’s a lapsed Baptist). I wonder if anyone out there has faced similar impossible obstacles. To be honest, I’m not sure how much longer the marriage can last given some other difficulties involved, too. I’m pretty tired. Thanks.
David W. Emery
Bookgirl, you indicate that your marriage is not doing well on other fronts, and that your husband is balking at counseling. If help isn’t available one way or another, there is not much hope that a seriously embattled marriage can survive. Nor will your religious aspirations stand a chance if your marriage continues to be a battlefield. I suggest that getting your marriage situation resolved is your prerequisite to finding a way to proceed in the other areas of your life.
I agree. I keep asking and going to counseling myself and praying for wisdom. It is all difficult on many fronts. Thank you for your wisdom.
I feel a great deal for your situation, BookGirl.
On the one hand, you will undoubtedly continue to read and learn and seek the truth and I believe the Church will continue to draw you like a giant spiritual magnet. And you cannot deny what you’ve seen. You have to continue.
On the other hand, you must pray, pray, pray that the Lord will somehow help you to be such a witness of love in your family that when the truth begins to dawn on your husband, he will have a soft enough heart to be willing to at least hear your story, and maybe read the stories of others. In fact, if he wants to be a good Reformed Baptist pastor he NEEDS to understand what might draw Protestants to Catholicism. He should want to understand thoughtful converts and the case that they have made for being willing to leave their ministries to become Catholic. He may not. But this is what you need to pray for and seek.
Finally, keep in mind Catholics who in times past and even now in places throughout the world have to keep their Catholic faith between them and God. In England after the Reformation, Catholics had to pray the rosary in secret. in Mexico in the early part of the 20th century priests had to sneak around and say Mass in barns and basements. You may have to be willing for now to seek the truth and live before God in a similar way.
I pray for you and your husband and kids. It isn’t easy.