A woman and her husband had both been brought up as Catholics, but they had very different experiences with the religion. Despite this, the couple maintained their Catholic values, but they soon realized that they would have conflicting views when it came to church attendance.
The Model Catholic Family
The woman explained her husband’s seemingly model Catholic family: “His parents are still married ‘happily’, they had a good amount of kids, and they attend Church every Sunday. They represent what every Catholic wants to be, but it’s just a facade; behind the scenes, they are nothing like what they portray at church”.
A Troubled Childhood
Meanwhile, the woman’s Catholic upbringing was wildly different. “I was born out of wedlock by a teen mom and grew up in a broken home”, she explained. “I was adopted, but my adoptee parents later divorced. This often made me the butt of the gossip around the church and was often told to my face that I was going to hell just for being born.”
Despite her terrible church experiences, the woman’s adoptee mother still forced her to attend twice a week, even though it would leave her returning home crying. She was also forced to participate in extra-curricular church activities to ‘prove her worth’.
A Question of Faith and Church
Despite all of this hardship, the woman still had no issue with her faith. She still believed in the Catholic religion but struggled with the concept of the church itself. She maintained her connection with her faith through prayer but didn’t feel compelled to show up at church to feel spiritually fulfilled.
A Return to Faith
Recently, the best friend of the woman’s husband had a spiritual awakening. He had previously abandoned his faith, and returning to it had made the husband very proud of his friend. Consequently, he, too, started to become more involved in the Catholic community.
The Husband’s Desire
Now, the husband had aspirations of transforming his family into what he perceived as a “picture-perfect Catholic family”, just as he grew up in. He wanted his wife and children to attend church every week, without any exceptions.
A Heartfelt Conversation
The wife had confessed her reservations about her husband’s new desire. She explained to him that she had deep-seated concerns about enforcing church attendance upon her children due to her past experiences.
Shielded From God
However, the woman’s husband, while empathetic, had trouble grasping her perspective. He believed that they shouldn’t shield their children from God just because she felt abandoned by the church community during her upbringing.
A Delicate Balance
In response, the woman clarified that she had no intention of keeping their children away from God. She planned to teach them, pray with them, and foster their faith at home. However, she didn’t believe that forcing church attendance every week was a productive way to instill values and beliefs in their children.
Reflecting on Her Words
The woman was left conflicted. Despite their regular church attendance, the woman knew that her husband’s family was far from perfect. Adding this view to her own experiences, she did not believe that enforced church attendance would be healthy for her children or make them better Catholics.
Confessing Her Thoughts
Unsure of how to move forward, the woman shared her perspective with an online community, asking for their thoughts. “Just let the poor kids decide if they want to partake in religion when they are old enough”, suggested one reader. “Religious practice should ALWAYS be a choice.”
She Was Right
Everyone agreed that the husband’s perspective was naive and harmful. “You were exposed to the hypocrisy of the church, so you have a right to not want your children participating in that”, one person responded. “You guys need to compromise because this disagreement could hurt your marriage.”
It’s a Cult
One popular comment shared the woman’s value of Catholicism but not the church itself. “I would NEVER let my child anywhere near the Catholic church; if it’s not a risk of assault, it’ll be the irreversible mental damage”, it stated. “It’s a cult, plain and simple. You can be religious and still avoid the cult church.”
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