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Wendy WantToGetMarriedBut wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am in an involved relationship and we have started talking about getting married and having kids, however he is a non-Catholic and I'm having difficulty explaining to him the importance of not only getting married in the Church but also raising our kids in the Church.

His defense, especially with raising our kids in the Church, is that he doesn't want to be told how to raise the kids, in regards to him having to agree and sign the paper that states he will allow our children to be raised in the Church. We've gotten into a few arguments about this and I tried explaining to him that he, in a round about way, is asking me to give up my religion.

I'm confused and I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Wendy

  { Do you have any advice seeing my boyfriend is unwilling to have our children raised Catholic? }

Bob replied:

Dear Friend,

You are in a difficult circumstance. I feel for you and I know this must be painful. I would caution you that your mate's seemingly inflexible attitude may be a sign of even greater difficulties down the road.

  • Does he have a problem with authority?

Realize that his attitude will likely trickle down to any children you have. Likewise, Marriage requires a willingness to submit to one another, but if humility and submission are lacking, it is not a good brand for this union.

For Catholics, Marriage is a sacrament, a sacred union bound by God, not a simple contract, that could be broken at any time. It is lifelong and permanent so that this union may be a sign to the world of God's goodness and fecundity.

Openness to life and the raising of children to know God are integral to the meaning of the sacrament. We agree to raise them Catholic because that is the faith we possess; simply put,
we are not Muslims or Hindus. We believe in the truth of our faith because we believe in Jesus Christ and the fact that He established a Church which is built on Peter. We want to raise our children in the truth. They may reject it, as many do, but we will have done our part in witnessing to them about Jesus. It is a sin to deprive them of all that God wants for them.

You can explain the nature of the sacrament to him but he still may reject it, as he is free to do. Then you will have to make a very difficult decision. Consider how difficult Marriage really is and then how issues of great import like this can cause enormous friction and how this could be a sign of other difficulties to come.

Think it through on all these things and ask yourself:

Is it 100% the right thing to do before going into it, because you can't leave room for doubt when you take vows.

Lastly, pray for God's guidance to show you what He wants for both of you. A big change of heart may be a indication that God is working on the man, but a refusal to budge may be a sign to move on.

Let the Lord lead.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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