(Closed) Nervous about my husband's newfound spirituality

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 168
Member
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

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@Rachel631:  That story is why I am agnostic and why I think that agnosticism is the most logically sound view. That’s also why I find the atheism viewpoint to be on par with the theist viewpoint–both speak in absolutes about something no person can know for sure. That being said, I’m marrying a believer and I have both believers and atheists as friends. I respect all of them.

Post # 169
Member
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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@peasantsong:  Thanks! I’ll help in any way I can.

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@lolot:  Isn’t he amazing? He wants everyone to pray for the end of world hunger tomorrow. I hope I remember to do it!

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@MaryKay14:  I think maybe she finds it creepy because religious experiences can be very jarring both for those who experience them, and people who observe these experiences in others. I mean… yeah. They can totally be creepy.

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@worldtraveler:  +1!

Post # 170
Member
513 posts
Busy bee

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@peasantsong:  That’s such a tough situation to be in. I’m an atheist and my Fiance doesn’t really practice anything, but identifies as Christian. He prays when we go on flights and stuff, but he doesn’t go to church/read the bible.

It could just be a phase, but if it’s not you need to decide if this is something you can live with. If you want children and he is still on his spiritual crusade, it could pose a BIG problem when you decide how to raise your children.

I don’t really have any advice, I’m sorry. I wish you luck, though.

Post # 171
Member
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@CaliRorter:  I had an elder and a pastor say to me that AIDS is Gods answer to homosexuality. So yea pat yourself on the back and be thankful you’ve never been to any of the churches I’ve been to.

Post # 172
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447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Ranch

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@NJatTheDisco:  WOW! How rude of him/them. I’ve never experienced other religions other than Catholic, and I have yet to have a bad experience with them being that rude or close minded.

Post # 173
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Interesting discussion.

And I’d like to give my own personal perspective to the mix… and as is many posts of mine… this will be long… but I do hope you take the time to read it… cause it tells a story about a journey to where we are now.  And how BOTH of us have come to experience a wonderful place of inner peace & grace in our lives, and our interactions with others.

BOTH Mr TTR & I consider ourselves to be SPIRITUAL … I think in a similar way that perhaps your Husband does.

Both of us were brought up in the Church… both Protestant.

Mr TTR’s family was Presbyterian (his Ancestors coming to Canada from the UK originally).

My upbringing was mainly Canadian Methodist, along with some influence from the Church of England / Anglican due to my Mother’s side of the family (her Ancestors having come over from Britian during WWI).

I also grew up in Quebec… and was quite familiar with Catholicism both French & English (as I also had some Irish Relatives as well).

Tolerance was most certainly taught in both my home and my life… when I went to school as a kid in the 1960s inQuebec, Schools weren’t called “public” as they are now… schools were divided along Language & Religious lines… I went to a English Protestant School.  But there was still much tolerance, because unless one lived in a City, the Protestant School was also where those of OTHER BELIEFS than Catholic went.  So I was surrounded by kids who were from a large expanse of Protestant Denominations, as well as Jewish Kids, Muslim Kids, Hindu Kids, and those who considered themselves to be Atheists or Agnostics.  Relgion was not taught in school… BUT it was a subject you could take as an Elective.  And within the Elective there were choices… IF you happen to be a Catholic there was a choice that focussed on Catholic Teachings (in so much as we did have some Catholic Kids who opted to come to our School, particularly so if they were French Canadians and wanting to learn English) OR there was another option where you could just choose to study / learn about World Religions.  In both courses the discussions were always more philosophical based… an exploring of WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN… within the context of the choice that the Student had made (ie What does this ___ mean within the context of Catholicism… OR What does this ___ mean within the context of World Relgions and how each see / value it)

And so, it went.  Altho I was raised very much a Protestant, middle of the road Christian (not a fundamentalist or evangelican) I got to comprehend and explore OTHERS BELIEFS and believe I became a richer person because of it.

And in my lifetime, since puberty, and coming “into my own mind” (Confirmation in my Church) I have certainly questioned for myself a lot of things surrounding Religion… particularly ORGANIZED RELIGION.

I was in rebellion for a while in my teens… telling my Parents that I was not content with just blindly believing all that they did at face value.  So I balked a lot at my Family’s habit of going to Church each and every Sunday… while I was seeing quite clearly that some people sitting in the Pews weren’t living what I saw to be a “Godly” / Christian existence.

(OK so I get that this is a JUDGEMENTAL position… but it was what my 12 to 16 year old self saw and could comprehend.  It became a fundamental part of my development into being the Spiritual person I am today, vs the “Denominational” Categorized… Methodist / Protestant that I would have otherwise become)

Add to this that when I went to College & University I met people from around the world… and became more aware of their lives, their history, and their beliefs.

I continued out of interest to take the occasional course on Philosophy of Religion… and even some courses that focused on particular religions… and for awhile somewhere around the age of 18 I was seriously considering converting to Judaism.

During my College – Uni Years I was exploring my understanding of Religion and how it applied to me.

Then in my Early 20s I married My Ex-Hubby.

He came from a Catholic upbringing (Eastern European Heritage).  Altho he himself when we met was a “Holiday Catholic”… just attending Mass generally for Christmas, Easter and the like.

We both however not attending Church regularly, still considered ourselves “Christians” so we agreed to having a Church Wedding (seeing “Gods” Blessing on our Marriage BOTH important for the 2 of us as well as our Parents).  And in so much as neither of us had a local “Home Church” and that my Hubby-2Bs family out of State / Province and my own family nearby… we decided to uphold the custom of marrying in the Bride’s Church.

And so it was.  He was a small “c” Catholic and I was a Protestant.  We considered ourselves Christian but didn’t attend Church regularly.

Then we decided to be Parents.  Suddenly having some sort of Religion / Church Affiliation became important again, as we did want to have any kids baptized.  As my upbringing was far more “moderate” than his, we opted to stay Protestant.  And so it was for several years.  And the kids went off to “Public” School.

Then we ran into some issues with the School System… and some fundamental disagreements on how they were educating kids of the time (early 1990s), so in so much as my Ex was a Catholic by Birth, we exercised our option to send the kids to Catholic School (here in Ontario, Catholic Schools are also publicly funded, so transferring does not mean that there is any additional costs associated… the only requirement is that one Parent must be Catholic).

We primarily made the switch because our local Catholic School had a philosophy that more aligned with our belief that you educate the “whole child”… not just teach them a bunch of subjects… but also life skills and the ability to become fully functioning people within a greater society.  That how they think, and what they do, ultimately effects others.

When our kids went to Catholic School … we had an option on whether we also wanted to include them on the Preparation for Sacrament Classes… which of course would be a greater commitment to the Religion.  We weighed the Pros & Cons… and decided that there was nothing wrong with doing this… as we fundamentally believed in the teachings of the Catholic Church (at the time **).  And we agreed that the Catholic School System was doing a good job on educating our kids overall.

And so the kids were raised within the Catholic faith… however we too have always taught a concept of tolerance ** and understanding of others… much in the same way that I was brought up.  We gave them a foundation, but ultimately we’ve also let them make their own decisions about how much they wish to embrace what we have given to them.

** TOLERANCE & UNDERSTANDING – Is HUGE to my family and our personal belief system… which I can now only define as Christian Spirituality.

Something that is based in Christian roots, but far more inclusive, as I have had my own challenges accepting some of the past Catholic Church’s teachings (thru to the early 21st Century)… especially when it comes to Female Leadership in the Church – Divorce & Remarriage – Human Sexuality – and Gay Marriage.  I have come to realize that once again I am on another path to inner discovery & peace.  That once more I am Questioning concepts that are “preached” from a pulpit but are truly just Man Made Ideas / Interpretations of what constitutes GOOD or EVIL truly based only on the times in which we live (Religion can be very much interpreted differently depending on Social Norms).

And in my mind this is all very difficult to balance… how what can be preached as being so evil at one time, can be totally ok at another.

My own Children too are on their own journeys to discovery on how they balance out Church / Religious Teachings… and they too have looked at other BELIEFS.

And so that is where I am now… and so is Mr TTR

Because we don’t see any thing as being just Black & White.  There is a whole lot of GRAY in the world… or more precisely… a whole RAINBOW of colours & options.

So in truth, I now see whatever someone believes in the way of World Religions is infact a LEAP OF FAITH

So I truly GET that others may choose to BELIEVE in their own ways how the world / universe works… be it thru an ORGANIZED Religion… be they Christians – Muslims – Hindus – Buddhists – Jews… or any other Denomination…

OR even more importantly… thru another BELIEF SYSTEM… such as Ancient Belief Systems – Aboriginal Spiritual Beliefs – or even those that declare themselves to be Agnostic – or Atheist.

Altho I personally do believe that there are sooooo many things in the world that cannot be explained (in today’s terms as we know the world to be… knowing that the world will be a different place “socially” and “scientifically” 100 years from now).  And so for me… that is what a belief in God gives me… an explanation for those things I do not understand… or find so MAGNIFICENT that they truly must be beyond explanation

That is my personal definition of Spirituality.

(So ya, like the OP’s Husband, I can understand WHY something such as a hike might move him spiritually… to behold such beauty as can be found in otherwise simple day.  I sure have had some FANTASTIC DAYS… where the MIRACLE that is LIFE and the world around me has stirred some incredible feelings within.  Be it My Wedding Day – Birth of a Child – The Death of a Loved One, Friend, or Magnificent Human Being – or ya even some Incredibly Gorgeous Bit of Scenery)

I believe that ALL things on the planet (and beyond) are tied together.  I know that I do not understand how, or why.  But they are.

I believe in the good that lies within us all.

I believe in the basic tenets that lies within ALL world religions… the old Golden Rule…

Do Onto Others… As You Would Have Them Do Onto You

(Or what comes around goes around)

And I strongly believe that the good in people can out-weigh evil.  And it is a mighty POWERFUL force that can change the world when focussed.  This power I see every day in real life in some way… from the simplest of forms to the more complex.  I see it when a Parent cares for a child, when someone lends a hand to someone else, or when a great man like Nelson Mandella stands up for the things he believes in.

It is the same reason that I believe in Heaven… and that there is a place there within for ALL that make a difference in the world / humanity.

As I’ve said here on WBee… My Heaven… is an AWESOME PLACE… for it is filled with People who don’t necessarily follow One Religion / One Religious Deity zealously… BUT My Heaven will be filled with a rainbow of people from the world over and different teachings who believe in the good in one another… That is what I base MY GOD and My Belief in SPIRITUALITY on.

And just maybe… this is WHERE the OP’s Husband finds himself too.

It might not be a RELIGIOUS Experience at all… which we all seem here quick to try and define.

In the way that only mankind absorbed with a “definition” will when it comes to Right or Wrong… even in Religions.  Protestants vs Catholics – Christians vs Muslims – Hindus vs Buddhists… (AS IF one is better than the other)

It might just be a truly SPIRITUAL Revelation… that the world is a wonderous place.  And us just “a speck” in something much much greater than each of us.

Period.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 174
Member
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2006

Fellow non-believer here.

I don’t have the time to read through all these replies but how does “seeing god” on a hike equate to Christianity and the Bible? Just because that’s what he was familiar with as a child? Have you asked him these kinds of questions? Would you be more comfortable with his newfound spirituality if it just meant believing in a higher power or that there’s some grand orchestrator of this crazy world? What if he’d pursued Buddhism and was trying to achieve nirvana?

Not saying that you are a Christian-phobe at all . . . but I just wonder how being overwhelmed and moved by nature immediately brought him back to organized religion, which in and of itself is a little outdated (esp. Catholicism).

Maybe it’s just a phase. Read enough of the Bible and he’s bound to find all the holes and issues he had with it orginally. Atheism is primarily grounded in logic and reason. Christianity in faith and feeling. If your husband is who you think he is, here’s hoping logic and reason win out in the end. 

Post # 176
Member
13606 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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@peasantsong:  I’m curious as to how much time he is spending at all his newly discovered spirituality including attending church, praying and  reading the Bible?  

Is it possible that all of these thoughts have been there, deep rooted, but subconscious, all along and now that he is married and his life is in a stage of new beginnings, somehow  the time felt right for him to reflect more deeply about his beliefs?    

Post # 177
Member
1982 posts
Buzzing bee

If he really has found God, then I don’t forsee him leaving you. The Bible teaches that you stay with your spouse through the thick and the thin, even if he or she is not a believer. Don’t doubt his love for you. If anything his love for God will make it stronger.

Post # 179
Member
13606 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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@peasantsong:  That makes sense.  Still, like you, I’d no doubt have found this seemingly sudden 180 in a belief system more than a little disconcerting.  

Post # 180
Member
51 posts
Worker bee

Amen.

Post # 181
Member
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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@peasantsong:  I think it sounds likely to be a permanent change now you say that, although the obsessive bit is probably just a phase (everyone enjoys launching themselves into a new and exciting project).

Hopefully in a few months he will have settled down into more of a pattern, and things will be calmer.

It sounds like he enjoys the familiarity of the Catholic church. You might also be interested to know that in parts of SE Asia, a lot of people view Buddhism as a philosophy, not a religion. So you can be Buddhist and Christian at the same time. Maybe he could try looking at some of these hybrid philosophies, as well?

Finally, as he seems very interested in Christianity specifically, I still think going to some Quaker meetings might help, because they offer a non-judgemental space to discuss faith based issues and philosophies, like the ones he may wish to explore.

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