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Pause Switch to Standard View How do I save my wife from her church?
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Flag DaeSung February 6, 2008 9:50 AM EST
I am deeply spiritual but non-religious, and have been quite happy and content with my spirituality for over 20 yrs.  I have been married for almost 12 yrs and I think it's safe to say that my wife had no spiritual life whatsoever until a year ago.  She joined a local "bible church" (they are biblical literalists) and ever since then I feel I have all but lost her.  At first I welcomed the fact that she had finally discovered her spiritual side.  But in one year she has gone completely from one extreme to the other.  I have done everything in my power to respect and support her up to this point.  She takes our 3 children to the church.  I have gone to some services even though I can't stand it.  I let her go to bible studies three times a week and the rest of her free time is spent on religious study at home.  We have donated a large sum of money to this church.  I estimate she has purchased about 25 different bibles and probably 50 other religious study books and there's no sign of stopping.  She just got back from a mission trip in Africa.  Worst of all (ha ha) she is filling up my iTunes with crappy Christian pop (I mean, couldn't she at least start listening to Mozart and Brahms?).  I  joke, but frankly, I am terrified.  It's only been ONE YEAR.  Where is our life going?  We had a hard time doing things as a couple when it was just the kids taking up our time.  Now we are nonexistent.  Thank you for reading this far.  Here are my questions:  is it me, or is this (my wife's new obsession) absolutely crazy?  Am I right to be scared?  Is there some kind of support group or organization that can help me get her back?  Thanks...I'll shut up now.
Flag dcrockett357 February 6, 2008 10:06 AM EST
I know how you feel .
My wife goes to the episcopal church and it is only half as scary as what you are going through.
I don't think you need to panic.
You do need to ask her some questions as to why all of a sudden after 12 years of marriage the sudden turn about.
It is easy to become fanatical .
It's a form of addiction.
I was there many years  ago.
Has your wife ever displayed any addictive traits?
It could be a form of a personality disorder treatable by counseling or drugs.
but don't worry too much until she tries to excorsise you.
Ask your kids how they like the church.
Peace Dave
Flag DAH54 February 6, 2008 10:20 AM EST

DaeSung wrote:

I let her go to bible studies three times a week and the rest of her free time is spent on religious study at home.


You let your wife go to church? Does she need your permission? Just a thought here, but are you starting to fear that you are no longer worshiped enough? That your importance is less than what it was?

Flag princess0602 February 6, 2008 11:41 AM EST
I would think so DAH!  What a thing to say to this man.  The man has LOST HIS WIFE to this church and the relationship is non-existant at this time. I don't think he was EVER worshipped by her nor does he want to be worshipped by her.  I think he is grieving because he lost his wife...period.  Sometimes I wonder where your head is.

So, this is what happens, you pick a single word out of that entire post to pick at?  I don't believe the man intended to state that he "lets" her do anything just like I don't intend to state that  I "let" my bf go fishing last Saturday.  He is asking for help and advice not a critique of his words. 

Flag princess0602 February 6, 2008 11:48 AM EST
DaeSung,
It is never easy when someone that we love makes a drastic change and becomes someone that we don't know.  It is alarming to say the least and scary. 
It has been my experience that when someone makes such a drastic change that there is something behind the change.  People will search for salvation within the bottom of a bottle, line of cocaine, church, affairs etc...
Find out what triggered this change.  Get to the bottom of it. 
My sister made this drastic bible thumping turnaround also about five years ago.  She was unbearable to be around.  Her entire life and existence was about the church.  Her kids were not allowed to stay the night because we watched "normal" TV and not Christian Network or TBN.  They couldn't ride in my truck because I didn't listen to christian rock.  My brother in law became associate pastor of their church.  Blah blah blah
Ironically today she is back to normal.  Her pastor husband cheated on her with her best friend, the daycare worker at the church, and it snapped her back to reality.
Good luck to you !
Flag Sakhaiva February 6, 2008 12:07 PM EST
DaeSung - it will pass. It sounds like she is a new Christian (churches would call her a 'baby' Christian which is accurate.)

As long as its not some freaky sideline cult church, I encourage you to have patience. Life does have a way of working itself out, and she will more than likely eventually calm down and settle into the more beautiful aspects of Christianity, which are simple. I've known enough people go through this phase to realize that... it calms.

Maybe point out some scriptures that support marriage. You can google for them (and she'll totally dig it.) I'll give you some to start with:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
(iow, not ignore.)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)


Christianity teaches that her primary duty is to her family, then to the rest of the world. :)  So... perhaps you can use these or other passages to help bring her feet back onto the ground.  (Finding that nice stable 'middleground' is challenging but it pays off. It invites peace. But if you respond in anger or fear, it will only spring her higher and invite discourse.)

BTW - its wonderful that you tried her church.... its too bad she isn't willing to find one that you can tolerate visiting (maybe with some better music.)

Peace to you and to your family.
Flag KatherineOrthodixie February 6, 2008 12:37 PM EST
Some things to think about:
What is it that she is getting from this church, that was perhaps lacking in her life before?
Like dah, I couldn't help noticing the words "I let" - is that significant or meaningless?

But I agree that, if your wife isn't nuts, and the church isn't a cult, this first enthusiasm will probably work itself out.
Flag Hatman February 6, 2008 3:22 PM EST
DaeSung-
Although this method may be quite tiresome and even ultimately fruitless, you may need to study the Bible yourself, and after acknowledging the positives of this church, begin to gently point out how what they do and what Jesus says to do are not exactly on the same page.

I say "gently," because it has only been RARELY that anyone will thank you for pointing out their hypocrisy, ESPECIALLY if it's blatant and obvious, from my experience; to paraphrase Christ, such as these will take your pearls of Truth they do not wish to acknowledge, grind them in the mud, then turn to rend YOU.

I suspect, for example, that this "church" she's attending has 501c3 tax-exempt status, and may even fly the flags of the UNITED STATES and the state in which you live, too, right up there near the altar.

501c3 status conveys "corporate" status, and those who take this State "benefit" become ensnared thereby, for "Corporations" are subject to all the rules of the State, even over direct commands of Christ---which is how they become apostate, the "scarlet woman riding the back of the Beast" mentioned in the Revelation of John. 

If a "church" joins itself to a bankrupt State, they have substituted another Head than Christ to whom they must give their fidelity---and Christ says that you may not serve God and Mammon.

Besides, section 508 of the IRC states that churches are exempt from taxation ANYWAY---iow's, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to apply for and receive the subservient status a 501c3 conveys. 

A corporation, in law, is a "fictional person."  Fictional persons have no souls.

The very MEANING of the word "church" is "Assembly of the called out," not "Assembly of those who apply to the State for privileges and benefits."

Warmest regards-

Hatman
Flag dcrockett357 February 6, 2008 3:38 PM EST
[QUOTE=DAH54;268164]You let your wife go to church? Does she need your permission? Just a thought here, but are you starting to fear that you are no longer worshiped enough? That your importance is less than what it was?[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure if you are married or not but I have to tell you this.
It is the most sacred covenant you can be in.
It is a physical commitment.
A spiritual commitment.
An emotional commitment.
And you guessed it a 'legal' commitment.
There is nothing and no one and no thing save for God more important to me than my wife.
And God can be worshiped in many places in many ways.
not just a church or bible study.
so I will say I always make certain that what I do away from my wife is alright with her and she does that for me as well.
In other words we permit one anothers activities out of love and respect.
Peace Dave
Flag arctic.she.wolf February 6, 2008 5:12 PM EST
Have you told your wife that your feeling neglected? How is her newfound religion negatively effecting you or the family, and is it something you could join? even if you don't believe it? Is it hurting anyone? Maybe she just needs space to figure out her religon. Don't put down the church or pont out all they do wrong because if that is part of her, she will take it personal and feel like you are criticizing her and pointing out things about her beliefs that you disagree with and maybe even she won't believe anymore and lose her religon altogether. Then that will be on your head. Dont' take away something so precious to your wife. LET her have it and LET her enjoyu it.
Flag dcrockett357 February 6, 2008 6:59 PM EST
[QUOTE=arctic.she.wolf;269341]Have you told your wife that your feeling neglected? How is her newfound religion negatively effecting you or the family, and is it something you could join? even if you don't believe it? Is it hurting anyone? Maybe she just needs space to figure out her religon. Don't put down the church or pont out all they do wrong because if that is part of her, she will take it personal and feel like you are criticizing her and pointing out things about her beliefs that you disagree with and maybe even she won't believe anymore and lose her religon altogether. Then that will be on your head. Dont' take away something so precious to your wife. LET her have it and LET her enjoyu it.[/QUOTE]

sounds to me like you are JUMPING TO A CONCLUSION.
NO!NO!NO!
this guy wants his wife back.
there is nothing wrong with that.
he is looking for advice and help and you chastise him?
why would you do that?
Read the thread slowly and carefully and you will see what I mean.
Peace Dave
Flag Basil1951 February 9, 2008 2:09 AM EST
Earlier in our marriage, my wife and I both went through this fascination with Biblical literalism.  But we both grew past it.  I think most people who get involved in this type of Christianity eventually realize that in the long run it does not make sense. 

It seems likely that this group fill some need or void your wife felt.  Biblical literalist groups are very intensive.  They frequently provide a lot of concentrated discussion, scripture study, sometimes memorization, and a lot of reading --  in short, a lot of things to do.  That provides a sense of accomplishing something, of making progress.  It can be very seductive; you feel you are moving toward something you perceive as good and you see yourself as a better person for doing so.

Let her know your concerns, for yourself, for your children, and your marriage, and for her.  I recommend you suggest a compromise in where you worship or that your suggest that as a family you visit various denominations until you find one where you are both most comfortable, or least uncomfortable.

Be patient, be willing to compromise.
Flag oceansdaughter February 9, 2008 1:53 PM EST
Hi Dae, I would say to be patient and understanding, it could be that new convert Zeal that happens when a person discovers their spirituality, and things should calm down after awhile.  Just be open to her and try talking about your feelings in a non-judgemental way.  The very best thing would be if you could do as Basil suggests and visit churches together until you find one that everyone is comfortable with.  I know it is an upsetting situation that you are in, my heart really goes out to you.
Flag oceansdaughter February 9, 2008 1:53 PM EST
Hi Dae, I would say to be patient and understanding, it could be that new convert Zeal that happens when a person discovers their spirituality, and things should calm down after awhile.  Just be open to her and try talking about your feelings in a non-judgemental way.  The very best thing would be if you could do as Basil suggests and visit churches together until you find one that everyone is comfortable with.  I know it is an upsetting situation that you are in, my heart really goes out to you.
Flag Hatman February 9, 2008 6:45 PM EST
B-
I was briefly involved with the Scientology nutbars back in '74; glad I got shut of them right quick.  I did learn some credible things from them, but overall, their souls are black with revengeful thoughts and acts...hardly the practices of anyplace bold enough to call itself a "church."

Warmest regards-

Hatman
Flag sydneymoon February 9, 2008 6:52 PM EST

dcrockett357 wrote:

I know how you feel .
My wife goes to the episcopal church and it is only half as scary as what you are going through.


Oh dear...The Episcopal church is hardly a cult. What, pray tell, is remotely scary about it? :eek:

Flag dcrockett357 February 10, 2008 8:06 AM EST
[QUOTE=sydneymoon;277045]Oh dear...The Episcopal church is hardly a cult. What, pray tell, is remotely scary about it? :eek:[/QUOTE]

well scary may not be the best choice of word.
I just don't like so much ritual and liturgy in my service.
Especialy when so much of it it so old.
I grew up in the Presbyterian and Methodist church which are much more spontanious and progressive.
Peace Dave
Flag sydneymoon February 10, 2008 8:39 AM EST
Okay, not everyone likes the rituals.
However, we are progressive w/ our outreach and concern for social justice. This is a very big reason I stay w/ my faith community. :)

peace,

sydney
Flag kenteo February 18, 2008 10:57 PM EST
Dear Daesung,

    It is a process. I know it's hard for u to accept this change. It can be quite scary i believe. But don't try to change her, I guess u know u cannot change her at this moment anyway. Accept what she is doing, even if it is very difficult, but let her feel that u are around if she really need help during her spiritual quest.

    Try not to judge her as addictive. Because this may be the first time she ever felt a spiritual calling. You may not see it as a calling, but to her, I believe, is something important.  Is she going the right path is not a very important issue, ur love, understanding and acceptance is more important. I know it is easy said than done. But i believe this is the way to a win-win situation. Let go and let God.

Joy
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