I speak with many women who are experiencing the pain of not being able to share their faith life with their husbands. It is a difficult experience. We always want to share the most wonderful experiences in our lives with the most wonderful person in our life.
I had this experience in the first years of my marriage. In fact, as he will tell you, my husband told me he was an agnostic during our dating times. This was NOT good. The first thing on the top of my list for qualities in a husband was “believes in God”. But there were so many wonderful things about him…we ended up married…happily. Somehow I knew in my heart that he did believe. He is also very intelligent, which seems to be an extra obstacle to belief for some people.
I spent the years of our dating and early years of our marriage trying to share (or maybe force) God on him. We had children from my first marriage and two of our own and I tried to use this as leverage. Sharing a beautiful gift became a point of contention between us. It got in the way of deepening our relationship due to my resentment.
It was then that a very wise woman, my mother-in-law, Rita, who is like a mother to me and someone who I am very comfortable sharing with, gave me the piece of advice that changed everything! She told me to be quiet. To leave him alone. To have my own faith life and be a model. To LET GOD DO GOD’s JOB!
My repeated pleas for him to join the team with me pushed him farther away from being able to travel his own road. It clogged up his ability to hear from God because I was so loud and annoying!
I followed her advice. It was actually quite refreshing. I lifted from myself the responsibility for his path and focused on my own, which needed a lot of help too! I grew into a relationship with the Lord that was all my own and in doing so realized that that is the only way it can be. While God is very present in our marriage relationship, we each love God differently.
Once I stepped away, he found his way to our prayer group, a Cursillo, a men’s group and on to the Deaconate. What wonders God has in store if we let God do it God’s way! The gifts are far better than we could ever imagine! And in many cases, like ours, God uses my husband’s relationship with God not only to lift up our marriage, but the faith lives of hundreds more!