Returning to church?

(11 Posts)
OrchidFlakes Fri 05-Jul-13 22:48:54

Not sure why I'm posting, just looking for a little solace I guess.

I have started to feel the urge to return to church. I haven't been as an adult but attended regularly as a kid and teen. I'm not sure why I feel the need to go but it's there and real.

My DH is agnostic and forcefully so at times and we've just had a debate which felt more like an attack on my faith and I feel wounded. I'm not sure if I'm just feeling more exposed with the feelings drawing me to return to church or if he was just crabby tonight.

I guess I just wanted to be a while among people who understand faith.

MojitoMagnet Fri 05-Jul-13 22:57:01

Hello. Just wanted to respond though not sure what to say. I'm sorry you feel wounded by your conversation with your DH. Not knowing what was said thins may be wrong, but could it be that the hurtful/attacky things from him were more about him feeling the need to defend himself very forcefully from something that hurt him in his past? If so, try not to take it personally.

It's fine to go to church without being really sure why you are there and without being sure what you believe. If you find it helpful and valuable to be there - even if you can't articular why you find it so, then that's the right thing for you to be doing.

MojitoMagnet Fri 05-Jul-13 22:57:30

articular = articulate

Wolfiefan Fri 05-Jul-13 23:05:06

I recently started attending services again. My DH doesn't. He'd never dream of telling me not to go or attacking my choices. If you want to explore faith then find a church community that lets you explore how you feel.

Tuo Sat 06-Jul-13 00:11:41

Hello OrchidFlakes...

I definitely understand your situation. I started attending church again about 3 years ago, after not attending since my teens. I had wanted to go back for some time, but kept making excuses (too busy, church nearest to us not really my style, kids too small, etc.) but at least in part I feared DH's disapproval. In the end, the opportunity presented itself when I was (very) temporarily living abroad with my kids but without DH. That experience was a positive one, and I was able to continue attending (with one of my DDs, though the other has voted with her feet...) once I was back in the UK. Taking the first step was hard, but from there on it has got easier and easier and my faith (and happiness in my faith) has grown exponentially. This place has been important to me too, and I guess I felt part of a Christian community on here before I really did in my RL church (though that came too).

My DH is fairly vehemently atheist. I have only ever asked him to accept my desire to go to church, and not to disparage faith (in general) or the church in front of the children. His views are known, but he respects my beliefs and I respect his lack of them... We have had moments of tension (I was a bit sad that he would not come to see DD2 baptised and confirmed - her own decision - for instance), and he does sometimes resent the time that I spend at church (which is not more than a couple of hours on a Sunday morning normally, but we both work so 'family time' is a bit limited I guess), but mostly it has worked out OK. I have never put pressure on him, or on DD1, to come if they don't want to, as I think that would be pointless and counter-productive. I hope and pray that one day they will want to... but I'm not holding my breath!

Would you be able to have a conversation with your DH along the lines of 'This is important to me and I feel I need to explore this properly an with commitment. I will not put pressure on you to do the same; however, I need you to agree not to put pressure on me the other way...'?

It seems normal to me that, as you feel yourself more drawn to God and to church, your DH's comments should feel more hurtful. Try not to see this as a negative thing (against your DH, or even against your desire to return) but as a positive one - a sign that you are doing the right thing in exploring these feelings and listening to God's call.

Do you have a local church that you already know and which you feel you can slot back into? If so, that's great; if not, don't feel rushed or get put off if the first one you try isn't what you're looking for. I was worried that everything would be very different compared to when I was last a regular attender a million years ago in the 80s, and at my local parish church it was very different (worship songs on powerpoint, a band, etc.) - too different for me, at least at first, although it's a great, and very popular church. I had to 'shop around' a bit till I found somewhere that combined being a bit more traditional liturgically (i.e. Holy Communion every week rather than once a month, traditional hymns that I knew, etc.) with being open and liberal in relation to the things that matter to me (attitudes towards gender and sexuality, openness to and dialogue with other faiths, etc.), but I got there in the end... and it was definitely worth it. I can honestly say that it has changed my life for the better in myriad ways.

I wish you luck, and hope that you will come back and tell us how you get on, either on this thread or on the Christian Prayer thread or the Religion Chat thread... all places where you'll find people who'll support you, as they did me.

lowercase Sat 06-Jul-13 00:18:34

There was a man being baptized in our church recently, expressing his gratitude ( through tears ) for his Christian wife who prayed for him for over 20 years, that he would find God.

I returned to church after a big break, I attend two different services, it's one of the best things I've ever done.
My relationship with God is getting stronger, I'm ( mostly ) filled with peace.

Don't ask for whom the bell tolls - it tolls for thee!

My best

yamsareyammy Sat 06-Jul-13 00:36:12

Does your DH support you in other things?

You thread made me think of this video I watched made by a member of my church.

He is a member of our church and his wife is not. I think they have made the situation work.

I hope it helps.

www.mormonchannel.org/Im-a-mormon?v=2240185994001

OrchidFlakes Sat 06-Jul-13 18:37:26

Thank you for all your replies smile

DH is generally very supportive but this is one we can't seem to agree on or get past. Although we have had a breakthrough today with him agreeing to look into baptism for our DS grin

I now need to go out and find the right church. We have recently moved to a new area so it may take a while as I know nothing about any of them!

Thank you for your support, kind words and shared experiences x

lowercase Sat 06-Jul-13 18:46:48

He is probably fearful that he will lose you / that you are mad!
Especially when we start saying the J word!
Lots of people thought I'd lost it, on the contrary, I feel I have found it.
What area are you in?

OrchidFlakes Sat 06-Jul-13 19:24:23

I'm in north London. On the Essex borders

Anyone know any liberal family friendly churches in our neck of the woods?

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