My mother told me I should go to church…

posted 4 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
Member
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

this is a problem that a looooot of people have (my husband does) 🙁

there’s no easy solution. unfortunately the only way is dealing with it 

Post # 4
Member
11001 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Well, I don’t know your mom at all , but it’s possible that she may have a personal relationship with God, and she just wants you to have one, too. 

Your mom may feel deeply grieved at the thought of her precious daughter choosing to reject a God that she (you) may have heard  about as a child but whom she hasn’t necessarily ever encountered in a living way and on a deeply personal level.  Your mother may just be hoping that, if you go to church, you may have a better chance of finding Him.

If any or all of those things is/are true, I would try not to be too upset or angry with her motives.

You noted that, when you previously were a Christian and did go to church, you received zero benefit.  I’ve learned from reading these boards that your experience is very common.  As someone who encountered God on a personal level as a very young child and who made a choice at the age of 18 to surrender my life totally to Him and who has walked with Him for more than 30 years now as an adult, it makes me sad to know how so many of us in “the church” (i.e. Christians) have failed to live out our faith in way that allows people to truly see Christ IN us.  If we did that more effectively (MORE of HIM, LESS of US), maybe so many younger people would not have left their faith.

Post # 5
Member
2166 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would say that you appreciate that she goes to church and has that faith, but you are an athiest and she needs to respect your choices too.  

 

@Brielle:  I don’t necessarily think it’s sad that a person can make a conscious choice to not be religious, or find spirituality in a different way.  I’m very happy that you have such a strong connection to God and that has played such an important role in your life.  It truly is a special thing (and I really say this in complete seriousness- I know that sometimes tone can be misconstrued on the internet).  But not everyone feels like they need to “find Him.” 

Post # 6
Member
11001 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@Audrey2_sings:  Thank you for your kind words. 🙂 I appreciate them very much.

I know that many people do not wish to find God and have chosen a different path. I am not necessarily saying that “it is sad” but that her mother  may be sad about this.  When I was describing my own  sadness, I was referring to the fact that so many times Christians, myself included, have not represented well the One Whom we  claim to follow. People absolutely are free to choose their own path in life. I just never want to be  (through my words or actions or lack thereof) one of the factors  the may result in someone choosing to abandon their faith.  I hope that better explains what I was trying to say. 🙂

Post # 8
Member
11001 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@kittyfinn:  I see.  Thank you for clarifying.

Post # 9
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

You can get married in a park. Or in a backyard. If you’re that far out there, surely there are state parks nearby? You can get married there.

Don’t let your mom bully you into church.

Also, fundamentalist protestant Christians tend to have a big issue with the Catholic church, so i’m not surprised your mom wasn’t impressed with that choice.

I’m athiest/secular as well. I got married in a museum to avoid all this drama!

Post # 11
Member
2166 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@kittyfinn:  that’s frustrating.  Reminds me a bit of my FMIL- she didn’t raise her kids Catholic, but she definitely raised her eyebrows when we said we weren’t going to be married by a religious official.  I hope that your mom doesn’t keep it up for very long!

 

@Brielle:  That does clarify things, thank you.  : )  And I completely understand where you are coming from.

Post # 12
Member
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

OP, it’s not mom’s wedding, it’s your wedding. You get married wherever you want. We had a LOT of resistance and even more guilt trips about the fact that we’re not marrying in a church.

Here’s where I get a little emotional about this topic.

Fact is, religion can be just as damaging as it can be helpful, and FH is militantly atheist now, for a lot of reasons, but here’s one: His whole childhood was marred and tainted by anger, fear, hate, and judgment, all based on and excused by religion. He was taught not not question anything, that the biggest sin is to question or fail to believe, and as a young child was tortured with anxiety because he couldn’t bring himself to feel those things (unquestioning obedience and baseless faith) they demanded of him and was convinced he would therefore go to hell.

Let me repeat that: they convinced a young child that he would spend all of eternity tortured in flame, just to make him obedient. Children do not have the capacity to understand that as figurative, when it is being presented as an objective truth by people presenting themselves as authority figures. He pretended to go along with the whole mess, because if he didn’t, he was treated as an outcast, as lesser.

I know Christians who are wonderful, my own parents believe in god and yet peacefully left me to figure out what I wanted by myself and do their best to respect my choices… but I see that kind of religious upbringing as tantamount to child abuse. If we gave in to the demands that we marry in a church, neither of us would feel any joy on our wedding day, only frustration and sadness. So we are enduring the flack for our choice to cut any semblance of that toxic faith out of our wedding day.

So if you don’t enjoy church or think it’s valuable to you, there’s no reason to go through the motions of a lie by getting married in one. Find somewhere else, a city park, a beach, a museum, a country club, an old theater, a friend’s backyard, there’s a million choices no matter where you live and only you can say what’s most meaningful to you.

Post # 14
Member
1823 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@kittyfinn:  That’s so weird. I would be annoyed too but I guess the best thing to do is just ignore it. She will get the hint eventually. Some people think that certain things have to happen in a church, even if they don’t go to church regularly.

My mom goes to church occasionally and she knows that I’m not religious. But I drove cross country this winter and in the month before my trip, she probably mentioned church at least 100 times. It was pretty frustrating because she kept saying that I needed to at least go to confession, “just in case” something happened on my trip. Gee mom, thanks for telling you think I’m going to die, that makes me feel so much better. lol

Post # 16
Member
2368 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It gets better eventually.  My (Shinto) Mom is slowly coming to terms with the fact that the Christian version of god isn’t welcome in my house, in my marriage or at my wedding.  Every time she brings it up, just say “no thank you” and change the subject.  Don’t engage and don’t discuss.  Either she’ll learn to shut up about it, or you’ll continue having fantastic conversations about the weather and your local sports teams. 

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