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Jessica Armijo wrote:

Hi, guys —

. . . and thanks for your help with my question.

I've have 4 kids [who are] (11 [twins],10 and 5 years-old). I have been teaching CCD for six years now.

As I was getting ready to start the school year again teaching Kindergarten with my 5-year-old, I was taken aback when my husband suggested a 2-year break until we get to my son's First Holy Communion, which (God Willing) will happen in 3 years. He said due to our busy life styles and the kids' sports, it's too much to commit two hours a week and an hour on Sunday.

I disagree as I get so much out of sharing and teaching my Faith. My Faith has gotten me through this tough world and I want my kids to have that too. When I tell this to my husband he says not to compare my experience with theirs. In addition, I love the bond that I have with my kids and their innocent angel-like observations. This issue has come to a head and he thinks I'm being selfish. I know marriage is a compromise. He's suggesting that I get the materials and teach them at home.

I'm willing to do this but how does that help:

  • the other kids?
  • and my Parish?

When I question my husband, he gets defensive and feels like I'm questioning his Faith.

Anyway, I need some wise words to help as I'm really distraught about his reaction.

Thank you and God Bless.

Jessica

  { Do you have any words of wisdom on a time sharing disagreement between my husband and I? }

Bob replied:

Jessica,

This is certainly a tough spot for you. I would try to find out more about what his underlying concerns are—perhaps he hadn't fully expressed them or made them clear. Then you could have a dialogue about addressing those issues and see if there are other alternatives to solving them rather than pulling out of teaching.

For him to call what you do selfish is ironic because his attitude sounds a bit selfish. If my wife wants to do something, I don’t try to limit her but rather encourage it—he needs to do the same.

If I were his friend I would counsel him this way. Don't get stuck at an impasse but work to seek a resolution, knowing that you have done your part to truly understand why he is telling you to hold off. Say something like,

Honey I’m truly trying to understand your concerns about a conflict with the demands of teaching CCD, can you tell me more . . . ?

Then let him have his say without arguing his points. When he is through and you have no more questions to discover more about his thoughts and concerns, ask another question.

Is there another possible way we can solve this without having to sacrifice CCD?

If you can't figure it out together, let it go for two years. Your marriage is first and keeping conflict out of it must prevail. Don't harbor any resentment if you don’t have the outcome you want; God wants you to learn something from this too.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Paul replied:

Jessica,

Ditto to what Bob said. This might boil down to being simply a difference in the order of values, which is a common challenge in many marriages. When one partner's faith is stronger than the other's there is bound to be a little conflict.

Patience, understanding, and prudence are called for here. Pray that the Holy Spirit may guide your husband in making the right decisions for his family, always keeping God as top priority. It may be good to remind your husband that the religiosity of children almost always follows the way of the father. In the culture we live in, which militates against our good in so many ways, only faith in God can be their defense.

Peace,

Paul

Jessica replied:

Hi . . .

and thank you for this sage advice and the wise words.

My father and his mother were very active Catholics who taught us to pray the Rosary often. Missing Mass was never an option and I am grateful that my husband attends Mass with us on Sundays. The kids will see this too. I didn't realize this about the religiosity of kids, very interesting! Thanks!

Thanks Bob for the reminder about putting my marriage first without holding resentment. I will continue to pray on this and learn. My husband has been forthright about his feelings and I will listen with an open heart.

I will keep you and your team in my prayers for helping sometimes confused souls like me.

God Bless.

Jessica

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