“Ask a Priest: What If a Spouse Is Pushing His Faith on Others?”

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Q: My husband is a devout Catholic, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. What he has been doing for a while is trying to make people he knows into strong believers of God as he is. He says that he has to spread the work of God and get them to believe in him. There is nothing wrong with this, but I wonder if he is maybe taking it a step too far. Employees as work see it as him harassing them because of his constant preaching. He then gets upset with his co-workers because they do not listen to him and he comes home upset, which makes me upset. He is a very good man, but I don’t want him causing problems at work or with friends. How should I handle this situation? – R.S.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It sounds as though you are blessed to have so devout a husband.

It might help him to realize that our mission is simply to sow the seeds of the faith. It is the Holy Spirit who makes those seeds sprout in the heart of a person.

You might point out that even Jesus didn’t push his message on people who weren’t willing to listen to him. Recall Jesus’ reaction to the disciples who wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans who didn’t want to welcome Our Lord (Luke 9:51-56).

We as Christians will attract more people through our prayers and charity than through our arguments. A teaspoon of honey attracts more flies than a barrel full of vinegar.

Perhaps a book by my colleague Father Bartunek would help, Go! 30 Meditations on How to Best Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.

I hope some of this helps. Count on my prayers.

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