Not sure what to make of my Christian husband…

posted 3 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 2
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Ugh, this is the most difficult issue faced by parents with different view points on religion.  I definitely disagree with you having to suck it up and lie to your child about your own beliefs.  I also think there is a way you can address the differences without undermining his religion as well.  She’s going to go out into the world and quickly learn that people have different beliefs about religion, even within the same religion (Catholics worship differently than Baptists).

Post # 3
Member
2913 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

If he hasn’t gone to church in 7 years, I fail to understand why he even cares about this. Is he going to take her regularly? If I were you I would not budge. He is putting on a show for her, but she would find out eventually, regardless.

Post # 4
Member
3828 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

whoa_its_ash:  This. 

the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  I am an athiest and my husband is “confused”, meaning he doesn’t like church, doesn’t practice anything religious but believes there must be a god or whatever. I am happy to allow my child to go to church with their grandparents. Sure i can suck it up once in awhiie and join them. But i’m not about to go to weekly sermons and i’m not about to teach them to believe in something i dont agree with.  

I think it would very much balance your child to be taught both things. You WANT them to make thier own decisions and i think religion is definitely one they should be allowed to choose. 

Post # 5
Member
3828 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

whoa_its_ash:  i also don’t understand why people suddenly feel the need to attend church because they have a child. My SIL and Brother suddenly go to church every Sunday since they had their child. They NEVER went before. I mean never. I dont see why they think their 1 year old will benefit from it. He sleeps the whole time. Maybe they “found god” when they had him, but i dont get it. I agree it feels like a show. 

Post # 8
Member
422 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Why not try a unitarian church?

Post # 9
Member
3828 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  I can tell you i grew up Catholic and my father was something else (i dont even know) so he never came to church with us. Eventually we (the kids) pressured him and he ended up attending the catholic mass with us. But i think i was 13 when he switched so all the time growing up that didnt matter to me.  And now 3 of the 4 kids are athiest, so it didnt matter anyway lol. 

Post # 10
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If he’s not set foot in a church for 7 years than I actually doubt that the birth of a child is likely to get him there on a regular basis. However, you are right to stick to your guns on this. There’s nothing wrong with a child being introduced to a faith by one or both of their parents if there’s mutual agreement to this and that ultimately, the child will make their own decision about religious/faith when old enough to do so. But there’s really no need to get into the hypocrisy of dragging a non-believer along. 

Post # 11
Member
2242 posts
Buzzing bee

I completely agree with you on this. Neither DH nor I are religous. However if he was, I would refuse to go to church with them. He is not respecting your beliefs. 

Post # 12
Member
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think you’re taking the right approach to this, being respectful of his faith and desire to take your child(ren) to church, but at the same time he needs to extend the same respect to you, ie. no “pretending” and just simply accept that you don’t share his faith and have no intention of participating on a regular (or even occasional) basis.  If he can’t see that, that’s hypocritical.  Why should you have to supress and hide your beliefs and yet he wants you to respect his?  Plus, I think children always benefit from being taught that there are lots of ways to think about the world and in many instances there is no “one right way”.  Children’s thinking is so open and flexible, that’s the time to help them grow into a balanced, open-minded adult!

Post # 14
Member
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  I am Catholic in that I’ve done all the sacraments and went to Catholic school from JK – grade 12. We went through a brief phase of going to church – like for a few weeks – only with my dad. We sometimes went on Christmas Eve with my grandma (mom’s mom) and my dad. My mom never went except for school stuff (i.e. graduation mass) and sacraments. I can safely say that I wasn’t confused – my mom was baptized Catholic but wasn’t raised in the church and never did communion, confession, confirmation, etc etc. It wasn’t confusing: Dad is Catholic, mom is not. Tell your FI that parents don’t need to be identical people with identical beliefs. He doesn’t even go to church now so he’s being a hypocrite anyway.

Post # 15
Member
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  I forgot to add my approach in my above post.  It would go something like this:

You:  Husband, I understand that you’re Christian and want our child(ren) to grow up having a Christian foundation through attending church with you.  I agree that’s reasonable and respect and support you in this.  However, you know that I don’t share your faith and I’m not going to particpate by going with you.  

Him: But that will confuse our child(ren) and we won’t be “on the same page”.  That annoys me.

You:  I don’t think our child(ren) will be confused; it will be beneficial to them to learn that different people have different beliefs and faiths and that’s ok.  And yes, we’re on the same page, the page that says we agree as a family that we support your beliefs as well as mine, they just happen to differ on this point.  As our child(ren) grow up and ask questions about this, we’ll talk with them in an age-appropriate way. Respect goes both ways, I respect your beliefs and deserve your respect for mine; that means not expecting me to “pretend” or “be fake” or lie to others and act in ways that aren’t in sync with my beliefs.  My not attending church doesn’t undermine your attendance, and we will be sure to teach this to our child(ren).  I want to resolve this issue in a way that works for both of us that we can feel good about, and that means me not being expected to attend church, just as I don’t expect you to not attend.

 

I think the root of his feelings is perhaps that your non-participation may create an “easy way out” in the sense that the children may not adhere as strongly to his faith if you’re behaviour presents an obvious alternative.  Such is life; rather than being annoyed, he can start with learning about how to teach children about inclusive thought rather than trying to bully you into hypocrisy.

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