September 12, 2016

Dear Esther,

I am writing because I have a dilemma. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 11 (I am now 44) and have been following Him ever since, was baptized as an adult. I am now a mom with three young children (10, 8, 4), and I am married to a Catholic man (he does not attend church anymore because he is “disgusted with the changes.”

He attended so we could be married (he made a very big deal about being married there) and then again so our two older children could be “infant baptized.”

I have been bringing them to a Christ-centered and Bible believing church. I have invited him several times to church usually because of something to do with our children. Well, fast-forward to now—my older children have been going to church and Sunday school with me to AWANA, where I teach and to Christian school all their lives.

Both kids have accepted Christ as their Savior and have asked to be baptized. I keep praying for my husband.

Our church is offering a Believer’s Baptism next month and both kids have asked to be baptized and I believe that they are mature enough to make that decision. So my daughter asked her dad if he would come to our church because she wanted to be baptized. He proceeded to yell and scream at all three of us:

“You were already baptized as babies and you do not need it again, and your mother has disregarded my religion and beliefs.” He went on to say that he wasn’t going to step foot in a Baptist church. Well he made both kids cry, and he said a few other things and I got the kids off to bed, reassuring them they could be baptized if they want, and told them I would talk to him again about it.

I am not sure what I need, just a listening ear or advice. I have been reading your RR column since it started and I enjoy learning what others are going through and how you have helped them and in turn helping themselves.

I know I have support from my family for my kids and of my husband’s sister (she left the Catholic church after fifty years). She accepted Christ as her Savior and was baptized about a year ago. I do not think I am wrong for wanting my children to grow up with God and Jesus as then center of their lives, not Catholicism.

I guess I am wondering if I am guiding my children in the right direction, please help if you can.

Your sister in Christ,

Dede

Dear Dede,

The best thing you can do is to keep praying for your husband’s salvation and for peace in the home. It sounds like your children are getting good Christian teaching. But they are about to learn more about the growing pains of life considering that their father does not want to participate in the things that are important to them.

It does not sound like your husband is going to get involved in anything to do with Christianity at this time. At least he has allowed them to attend a Christian church and school. That is a huge plus. You are not wrong in wanting to raise your children the way you are.

But now you are facing the consequences of marrying a non-Christian, which we are cautioned not to do (2 Corinthians 6:14). But I am sure you did the best you could at the time you decided to marry him, and perhaps did not fully understand that we are not to be unequally yoked.

Sadly, the spiritual imbalance in your marriage is prevalent in many marriages today. The best suggestion I can give you is to try to explain to your children that their father is not doing this to hurt them, but that he is quite confused about who God really is.

Maybe you could ask their aunt, who is the former Catholic, to speak with your children and try to give them moral support. Perhaps she can attend their important functions along with others in your family. As their mother, it is important to show Christian love toward their father and not show a lot of anger and disappointment.

It sounds like you are doing a great job raising your children and that they love the Lord. You are in a challenging situation but we serve a great God, and we know He can calm to storms of life. Your efforts will reap many blessings for all of you.

As far as the water baptism, it is not a requirement for salvation. But it is admirable that your children want to be baptized to publically show love and allegiance to the Lord. But they may have to wait until they are older if their father is so strongly against it right now. If his only gripe is that he refuses to get involved, then it might be all right to go forward with the Believer’s Baptism event without him.

Perhaps your husband’s redeemed sister would be willing to carefully speak to him, to see if he might accompany your children when they get baptized. If she cannot get through to him, I think you should drop the idea of trying to get him to participate.

A lot can change with time, especially with fervent prayer. Be grateful that you have been able to raise your children as Christians thus far without much opposition.

Our mighty Lord and Savior is surely looking out for your entire family. My prayer is that this situation will make your husband think more about why he himself does not attend a Catholic church. It sounds like he’s outnumbered in the household with a Bible believing family!

May the Holy Spirit get to your husband soon and open his spiritual eyes so he will come to know the real Jesus of the Bible. Never give-up on your husband; keep praying and believing for his salvation and for peace in your home.

In the meantime, continue being the wonderful wife, mother and believer that you are. Your faithfulness is evident; you are a tremendous blessing to your family. I wish you all the very best.

In God’s love,

Esther

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).