I have been married to my husband for almost 6 years, we've been together 7 years and we've known each other for almost 20 years. We have 3 children together (and another child from his previous relationship)
With all that being said, he asked me the other day if I would support him if he went into ministry. He wants to use his GI bill $$ to go to college to become a minister/preacher. He has a well paying job and he was suppose to go to college to basically get licensed and a degree in his field now.
He really wants to start a youth outreach program (god centered). But yet he doesn't put his all into his own 4 children. Don't get me wrong, he's a good father/daddy to them, but his focus isn't always on them 100% when he is with them.
How can I support him in this foolish life choice/quest of his? I love him very very much, but this path he is going down is not one I want to be part of AT ALL! He talks to his friends about me and they say that he should follow his path and I will somehow find the lord thru him. I am literally fuming right now!!!!!!
I need words of wisdom. What should I do?
I literally can't work. I have 2 kids that aren't in school. The money that I would make would go to daycare costs and gas money to/from work/daycare. It's basically a hopeless situation.
I have no friends/family either that are close enough or able to watch the kids either.
I don't think it's a good path for him to pursue as a father/husband/provider. But the force that is pulling him to his calling is strong.
I feel betrayed. Not only that god is his #1, but also that he'd rather devote his little spare time to other people than to his own kids/wife.
That sounds like a very scary position to be in. There's some good advice already on this thread. Mine is to minimize your risk. If you know you don't have people or resources, I would definitely ask what you can do to get some. I don't think it's necessarily simple or obvious but it's better to plan before shit hits the actual fan now that you're aware that it might.
It would be nice to see this all blow over but whenever I think of conversions it's a ramping up process by people who really don't want to think rationally ever again. I don't understand why they do that.
If he really wants to do this, then perhaps he can start in his free time, you know after work, after being a husband and after being a father to his kids, whatever time he has left he can spend on his youth outreach program.
You test the water first before you jump in, right? Perhaps this might be a way to put a bit of a brake on him?
I wish you all the best, it must be quite the predicament for you to be in. My heart goes out to you.
He really doesn't have free time. He works M-F around 8am-6pm, he travels for work and his hours are set by him and if he visits all his accounts he can come home early.
The kids are 9, 5, 4, and 4mths, so as you can imagine there isn't much time extra.
I am a stay at home mom who takes care of everything from the kids, house, bills, yardwork, animals, and chores. He has minor chores that I ask him to do.
I think a youth outreach program is a great idea. But I don't think he should expect or rely on $$. He should do it out of the kindness of his heart and not expect $ in return. A lot of kids would greatly benefit from a male role model and to be taught a trade that they can use in real life.
BUT, I think his kids should get that from him FIRST. He is already at work most of the time. He has maybe 2 hours with them when he gets home from work and the weekends are considered family time.
Thank you for you words and help :)
It burns me out too. I wish he didn't have to work so much, but due to the economy and the cost of living and kids, it has to be done. I wish I could help out financially, but being we live in such a rural area and daycare costs, my employment earnings would be cancelled out w/daycare & gas.
I looked into being foster parents. It is something that can be a family effort and something that can benefits all involved. He approved, but he wanted to focus god on the foster child. I told him love and security should be the main thing. If the child was old enough and express interest in god, then go ahead. But don't add to it.
Ministers are lazy if you ask me. I think most adults have a duty to pay it forward to "lost souls". And I think you should do it while holding down a legitimate self sufficient job. Not instead of.
As to the question, if your husband has to go Christian, that's his call. But I wouldn't stay married. And, I'd start the dialog on how kids in a multi-faith home are expected to behave.
I'm sorry you're in that position. There are no really sweet answers that just fix the problem that I can see.
Have you told him in so many words that you are an atheist and explained all that it implies (no belief without evidence, no "anger" at god - no proof god exists, etc.), or does he just think you "lack a personal relationship with Jesus" and that's why you don't go to church? It's so difficult to come out to people we love that sometimes it's easier to just let them think whatever rather than confront them. He needs to have a clear understanding of where you're coming from, and you need to know how and why he came to the conclusions he has reached. Hopefully, such honest communication is possible for both of you.
If he understands what atheism means, then he needs to understand what his choices mean to you. He is basically saying that magic and superstition and involvement with other believers is more important than his own wife and children. And, unless he is some sort of charismatic preacher with his own TV show and megachurch, the earning power of a pastor or chaplain or religious counselor isn't all that great - which means that you and your children may have to make material sacrifices to support his whim.
I would ask him why his friends' opinions are more important than yours. A good relationship is based on mutual trust and RESPECT. What about his obligations to the physical and emotional well-being of you and your children, who he vowed to honor and support? Yes, compromise is a part of marriage, but it should not be all on your part. I would also mention that good deeds and charity begin at home - let him spend more quality time with his own children before reaching out to others. At the same time, you can let him know that you support his good intentions and charitable feelings - but advise caution in the way that he applies them. Emphasize that there are plenty of charitable "good" things he can do without becoming involved in religion.
This is a difficult position to be in with no easy solutions. I think that open communication is the best approach.