“Ask a Priest: What If My Husband Has Soured on Religion?”

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Q:  I am having some issues in my marriage regarding my Catholic faith. I married someone who was brought up Methodist, but has been non-practicing for many years. Before we married, we discussed how important my faith is to me and that we would raise our children in the Catholic Church. He agreed to this and said it was fine with him. However, as my children are getting older and I am trying to teach them about our faith or even read the Bible with them, he constantly makes rude and hurtful comments regarding not only Catholicism, but Christianity in general. This is negatively affecting my kids. I have voiced my concern to him, but it does not seem to matter. Do you have any advice? – D.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: I am sorry to hear about the tensions regarding religion in the household.

Faith is a gift, and as a gift, it is something that can be lost — for all kinds of reasons.

If you haven’t done so, you could ask your husband why his opposition to Christianity seems to be growing. This kind of thing doesn’t happen in a vacuum; there is a reason for his hostility.

Perhaps the both of you could speak with a priest or deacon or a marriage counselor. A third party could remind him of the commitment he made to allow his children to be brought up in the Catholic faith.

Above all, this is the moment to intensify your prayer life and sacramental life, and to offer up sacrifices for your spouse. The devil would love to cause tension in your home, so it’s good to remember that the evil one is lurking behind these problems.

Remember, too, that as a wife you have a special grace of state. “The unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:14).

This is the moment when you are called to make a deeper act of love for your spouse by praying for him and helping him toward the light. Don’t give up on him! God is at work in this situation! Stay close to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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