Elizabeth - posted on 05/08/2010 ( 71 moms have responded )
My DH and I have been married for 5 years, I have been a Christian for 1.5 years. My DH grew up Conservative Southern Baptist, but rejected his religion and upbringing about the time we started dating (his ex cheated and caused a great deal of emotional harm and when she moved back home, the church he grew up in where his grandfather is a pastor took her right back in with open arms and I think that just killed organized religion for him).
So, for over a year now I've attended a local Episcopal church without him, I was baptized in February 2009, and I also regularly attend bible study. He's never agreed with it, but he's never spoken against it either. That changed last night. Admittedly, he was drinking, so his tact was non-existent. He was frustrated I was going to church, chided me for believing in a piece of fiction, and accused me of being a stupid sheep. He also said he didn't like how the Episcopal Church was changing me into a "republican" ,though he's always teased me for being a bleeding heart liberal. I know this sounds mild, but his exact words included curse words and it was so bizarre.
On one hand, I felt like I was supposed to defend my faith He even made fun of my testimony. I was completely unable to get pregnant for over a year, we did hormone therapy but for no medical reason my cycle just went away. I had an afternoon in September 2008 where I put it in God's hands, I started attending my friend's church, and attending Bible study with an open mind and heart. In October 2008, just as we were about to start Clomid and I had to have an ultrasound after my cycle to make sure there were no blockages, my cycle didn't come. Thinking we'd have to do another round of hormones to make me cycle, I was so frustrated. I woke up with a killer headache one morning, took my last pregnancy test in the cabinet, and I was pregnant. I don't think infertility is a punishment by God, I only know in my case, infertility was probably the only way God could get my attention and bring me to the realization that I am not the end all, be all master of my universe. He argued I was worshipping a silly coincidence of biology, that it takes time to get pregnant and it was something "we" did.
I had no words last night. I was angry, hurt, and didn't know what to do. I wanted to scream at him, but I knew there was no way I could convince him of faith with negative words. Not long a Christian myself, I know it's my job to make others aware of the Truth and Good News, but it's not up to me to convert anyone. That's the Holy Spirit's job and God's department. No one could make me a Christian any faster then when I was ready to accept.
So now I'm confused. I did pray last night, and I spoke with my husband this morning. We made tentative peace, I let him know how much he hurt me last night. He maintained me going to church "doesn't bother him, he doesn't agree with it, but he won't stop me." But I feel a dilemma. I know I don't have to go to church to be close to God. I don't want to destroy my marriage or antagonize my husband. I do realize maybe he IS threatened by my changing, afraid I'm going to leave him behind. I firmly believe in the Scripture that says I am to honor my husband, but also that I can behave in a chaste and reverent manner and without words win my husband over to embracing religion (1 Peter 3:1-2).
Sorry for the length, but it is a big crisis for me. I'm brand new and still firming my walk with Christ. I am looking for any insight (scriptural or experience) anyone has that can help. I've thought a little bit, and I DO want to respect my husband too as well as God. I know it's possible some of this is the influence of the enemy, but even last night as I was upset, I heard fear and worry in my husband's voice more than anything. Kind of the intention behind the bark? If I was outside looking in, I have changed a great deal and thrown myself into church work from the get-go. I do the church newsletter, I created the church website, we have 5 computer sin our living room right now that I managed to get donated for our mission trip in Honduras and loaded with open source software for the pastor down there and the medical hospital.
So here's what I am contemplating, backing off on attending church (make it once a month, not to dishonor God, but to honor my husband's wishes and make church going less threatening, and stay in the Word as I do daily anyway). Bring more prayer into the home. I've never let my husband see me pray, and maybe if his fear is just of the church, and I remove that fear, but still keep God close to me, my daughter, and him with prayer and study, it will be more positive.
Please be kind, even if you horribly disagree with the idea of reducing church attendence. Please don't suggest I leave my husband (I will not, he is who God chose for me and is a very good man. He does respect me, is a wonderful father, a wonderful lover, and we have a great marriage. We were not unequally yoked at marriage, so the scripture about not marrying someone unequally yoked doesn't really apply). Thank you for your support and advice.