(Closed) Converting for love – your man vs. your family

posted 9 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 17
Member
3253 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

If you wouldn’t feel strongly enough about religion to do it as a single person, then don’t do it just because you are married. If you feel like you 100% believe in Catholicism, then go for it. I just hate to see you make this decision for a man and not for yourself.

Post # 19
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I know where you are coming from. My mom converted from Methodism “for” our family. She never would have gotten involved with Catholicism if she hadn’t married my dad. She was going to convert when we were really little but, as she puts it, “flunked” RCIA and didn’t go through with it. The priest could tell she was just doing it for the family and not cause she believed, so he encouraged her to not go through with it. 

Beliefs are different than converting, and I think that’s what your getting at. You can’t change your beliefs for anyone; at the end of the day you’ll believe what your heart beliefs. But physically joining the Church is a whole another matter. It’s a big process, it’s a verbal statement, a public proclamation of your beliefs, not just a private matter in your heart. Partaking in that process is often done with others in mind. My mom tried to convert before she believed, and that didn’t work. When she did believe, it worked great. It sounds like you believe, but are wondering if going through the whole conversion process is going to be a benefit or detriment for you. 

You are right that this might not be easy or might not necessarily make you happy. One thing I love about being Catholic is that it doesn’t masquerade as way to make your life shiny/happy/perfect/awesome. It’s about what we believe to be truth, and sometimes that truth doesn’t lead to immediate happiness, but it does lead to God. Jesus says that there are times when following him will lead to division in families. It’s hard. I think it’s important for you to not reject your family, but continue to be there and love them. I think that’s what a lot of families (from any religion) fear when one member converts – that you’ll reject them first. In Catholic opinion, Christianity isn’t a rejection of Judaism, but a continuation of it. I would suggest that when/if you discuss this with your family, tell them you aren’t rejecting all they have taught you.

If you are going to go through RCIA (which I would recommend even if you aren’t sure if you want to convert yet), you can always wait until you have decided to tell them. Your RCIA leaders will probably have good advice about how to handle situations like that. 

Welcome to your journey home!

Post # 20
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Why would you convert? I don’t see why you would do that when you are marrying interfaith there is no reason for either one of the people to convert!  You could still continue doing what you have been doing without changing religions. It is upsetting for parents to marry out of faith but to convert to other relgion that is opposite your family is wrong. I’m Jewish reform and Fiance is Christen not religious and neither one of us would ever consider converting.

Post # 21
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@Lisamr:I don’t think its wrong to convert!! Some religions, like Catholicism, require that you convert to fully participate in them, so you can’t just “do what you’re doing.” You don’t have to convert in an interfaith marriage, but its definitely not wrong to!

Post # 22
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Lisamr: Why is converting to another religion which is different from your family’s “wrong?”

Post # 23
Member
1664 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Are you getting married in a Catholic Church?

Otherwise, there is nothing stopping you from attending mass, reading the Bible, celebrating Catholic holidays, and raising your kids Catholic.  Maybe it’s cowardly, but unless you are getting married in a Catholic Church, you could put this off indefinitely.

Post # 24
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@EleanorRigby:That might be true for other religions, but to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church you must be Catholic. So while you can still attend mass, you’d be missing out on the central part of the mass. But you wouldn’t need to convert to get married in the Church.

Post # 25
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

In the early days of Christianity, converting was a guaranteed death sentence.  People knew this and still converted and became martyrs – that’s how much faith they had and how important it was to their life to be a Christian.

Looking at things from that perspective, someone getting a little mad at you over converting doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal. 

Post # 26
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Oh you poor thing. I’m RC engaged to Jewish with no converting in the cards.

Something that you may not have considered is that, as a Jewish woman, you children will be considered, by orthodox Jews at least, to be Jewish. That means your parents will see them as Jewish children, which may be what they’re so worked up about.

That said, only you know what you actually believe.  I’m glad the Church has been welcoming to you and you’ve found a spiritual home there, maybe tell your parents that what they’re getting from Judaism, you’ve found in Catholicism, and that you know how important their religious identity is to them, and now your (new) religion can be just as important to you.

That all said, best of luck!

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