Marriage, Religion, and Family

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Alright, so this topic is hard, like the kinda hard where I ugly cried in the middle of a Wal-Mart aisle with another woman that was going through the same thing. And I’ll tell ya what nobody prepped me for this, it wasn’t talked about. But I’m changing that, we’re gonna talk about it, okay? I’m going to talk about marriage, religion, and family.

Wedding picture of man and woman with wedding bands on hands on top of bridal bouquet.

What Matters

So, my husband and I both had and still do have faith. We have always believed in the same God. Actually when it comes right down to it most of the “big deal topics” our religions actually agree on.

But here’s the thing. We went into our marriage thinking it’s fine. How bad can it be that you’re a Catholic and I’m a protestant? I mean just believing in the same God is what really matters, right? In the big grand scheme of it all, yeah, that’s what’s important, but what about all the little things that come and go in our days together, that’s where all the kinks are. And let me tell ya, there were some kinks.

Our Backgrounds

So let’s just start at the beginning here. I was raised Southern Baptist. And I don’t mean we went to church on Easter and Christmas. I mean I was born and raised in that church. It was my second home. We went every Sunday, we went to business meetings, Wednesday night services, youth group, choir practice, potlucks (can I get an Amen?!) If our church was hosting or doing something we were there.

My husband is from a devout Catholic family. Just as I was active in my church, he was active in his. His family was also very active in their parish.

Let’s take a break for a minute, if you don’t think this is funny, we can’t be friends. All of my husband’s siblings that are currently married, which is 4 out of 6, are married to another Catholic, I kid you not. I joke all the time, like did y’all have some kind of questionnaire for your first date and asked, “Are you Catholic?” Seriously, how did we get to be the odd balls here? I just blame God. He knew what He was doing, as He always does.

So fast forward a little bit here, at the time we were going to get married, my parents and I weren’t members of a church due to a falling out. We were attending a church, but not actual members. This made our decision easy on what church to marry in, my husband’s Catholic church. We had a wonderful priest, but my pastor from my original church was also there and participated in the wedding. We decided not to have a full Mass, our priest said half the church wouldn’t know what was going on and honestly he was correct.

Priest blessing man and woman in marriage at the alter of a Catholic church.

Marriage, Religion, and Family

Through the beginning of our marriage and even after having our first child we just attended church separately. He went to his and I went to mine. Occasionally we went together. Eventually we had 2 more kids and we were still doing this, for the most part, but we had also tried to go to his church Saturday as a family and then I would attend mine on Sunday morning.

Things just kept getting more and more complicated as our children grew. Their questions got harder to answer. I was constantly feeling torn apart. Alone. I was with my parents at my church, but not with my family. The best way I can explain these feelings was that we were joined in everything else, everything is one in our family, but this. It was such a difficult realization. I honestly don’t think my husband ever knew how much this was tearing me up. He didn’t mind how things were going. He never once asked me to convert.

Time for a Change

I remember crying so hard the Sunday morning I texted my parents and said, “I can’t come to church this morning, not sure I’ll be back. Being with my family is where I need to be.” I wasn’t sure what all that meant honestly. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was mourning a part of my life, a huge part of my life I was letting go.

After attending church with my husband and kids for at least a couple of years, I decided to begin the process of actually joining the Catholic faith. It’s now been a year since I officially joined the Catholic church. The unity I feel with my husband is beyond words. I can still remember the excitement of my oldest when I became part of the church, part of her church. In a way, I think I brought unity and completion to her too.

Husband, wife, and four children posing for a fall family photo on gravel road with pumpkins and mums in background.

What I Hope You Take From This

I’ve heard so many people speak on this, so many people offer their opinions. And I’ll just be blunt, none of it was helpful, because they were all speaking on a topic they knew nothing about. All those people, well not one of them had ever been married to someone of another religion, let alone raising children in the middle of it all. This is such a sensitive topic for those involved and sometimes people are just simply so unaware because they’ve not experienced it. Marriage, religion, and family are all hard things (not bad things) and sometimes having discussions with someone that isn’t sensitive on the topic can make matters worse.

I’ve talked to so many other women that are walking this same path, so I know you’re out there, I know your pain, your sorrow, your loneliness and I’m here for you. I pray for you. I made the decision I made through lots of prayer and lots of love and support. I’m so thankful for my parents that have always supported me. They’ve always been in the crowd cheering me on, no matter what it is. I know they see me, I know they see my effort in trying to raise this family for God. Gosh, the task isn’t easy! I hope you find your peace, whatever that decision might be. And I hope you have people that will love on you and support you. God sees you, He sees you.

Husband and wife standing together with field in background.

Resources for Marriage, Religion, and Family

Rome Sweet Home: This book was balm to my soul. It’s such a good book for everyone to read!

And I don’t know about y’all but we’re reading a lot more now that it’s cold and dark outside earlier! If you’re needing some tips on helping your children to grow their love of reading check out this blog post! And if you want to log your reading just put in your e-mail below for a FREE reading log sent straight to your e-mail!

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