(Note: Although the topic here is church, I’m not interested in any debates about Christianity, religion, or whatnot. I’ve found what’s right for me, so let’s take that as a given. I’m just looking for some opinions and input from folks. Thank you for respecting that provision.)
I’ve recently started attending church, taking my 2-year-old son with me. A local minister stopped by and invited me, and I figured it was worth a try. I’ve been floundering, recently, and nothing else has seemed to help. Maybe I was a bit hasty in writing off church back when I was 12 years old and rejected it.
So I went. It’s a teensy little neighborhood church, just across the school playground, with perhaps 30 people there for the worship service. Friendly bunch, and the tot and I can walk there easily. Can’t hurt, right?
What I found was a sense of hope, and friendship, and a lot of other things I’d been missing in my life. So I’ve been going back, every Sunday (and the occasional Friday evening ice-cream social for the kids).
My boyfriend was Catholic when I met him, but nowdays, he’s an atheist one day, a Christian the next, and an “I-don’t-know-what-I-believe” (I told him the term is probably “agnostic”) the next. Yes, I acknowledge: his spiritual discovery, his business. I refrain from discussing any of those points with him, because it invariably leads to heated debates and a lot of animosity. (For the record, I also refrain from preaching, witnessing, or anything of the sort, because I believe it’s a private matter, up to each individual. I have no intention of pushing my own beliefs on my BF, or on anyone else.)
However, an old friend of mine (close friends for about 16 years, now), who is a devout Christian, told me that I could expect one of two reactions from my BF: 1) BF would be supportive and enthusiastic about this new part of my life, and want to become involved in it, or, 2) BF would be resentful and jealous about this new part of my life, and do everything he can think of to dissuade me. My friend called it a “backlash.” I scoffed, oh no, BF understands, he’s been to church enough to know and understand, he went to Catholic school, blahblahblah.
Well, I’m sure you can guess what’s happened. BF doesn’t like me going to church. He says I act like his mother, going off to church every Sunday. He rants at me about how God isn’t doing anything for him, because he’s broke and despondent, so why should he bother with church? He says church is boring, religion is boring, etc.
Keep in mind, this same BF told me not even two months ago that he’d gone to talk to his priest for advice, and that he was praying for me.
So what in the world is going on here? I’m puzzled, to say the least. My boyfriend is jealous (?) about me going to church for an hour and a half once a week? Or is that what it is, at all? Has anybody ever heard of anything like this? How should I deal with it?