Wednesday, 04 January 2012
I'm at odds with myself. My husband has been an agnostic ever since he came home from Iraq the first time; he's been twice. He's told me that he believes in a higher power but not organized religion. So during this whole research and conversion I've been going through, I've been keeping to myself. I try to explain things as I go along or if he seems interested, but I've tried not to be too pushy. I figured as long as he wasn't giving me heck about it, which he wouldn't do anyway, I would just have to be contented with that.
A couple weeks ago, he told me that he wanted to start learning about what I believe and trying to understand things. I was excited but pretty nervous. I didn't know where to start. I didn't know what direction to go in because I was afraid of laying it on too thick and scaring him away. So I've just been answering questions as he's had them but not really going in any kind of direction. He's asked about having lessons and I haven't really had the time to sit and consider where to start. I'm afraid that he's going to think that I don't want to teach him or share, even though that's not the case.
I've been studying the woman's role in Judaism, which is far less oppressive than some Christian factions. Women are viewed as being separate but equal -- so much for the submission factor, huh? From what I've read about traditional Judaism, women were given a greater sense of intuition than men when we were built. The more traditional role of the woman is as a wife and mother -- not being sexist here, our modern society just sees things differently now than they did then -- but the woman wasn't just that. She's the spiritual influence of the household. There's even a marriage contract (the ketubah) of a Rabbi's son that says the wife is obligated to teach her husband Torah. I'm assuming that's because even though there are many duties in the household and while raising children, women at home can find more moments during the day to study Torah while the husband is often away at work. So, as spiritual head of our household, it's MY responsibility to teach my husband and children Torah, especially since I'm the only one who is actually doing any studying.
That said, here is where I feel at odds:
"I know, and am persuaded by the Messiah Yahshua, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men." Romans 14:14
If he isn't actually considering certain things to be sinful, than for him, it isn't.
"And he that doubted is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23
So, if he's going along with me and what I'm doing as far as religion goes but he isn't doing it out of faith and obedience to that faith, then he's sinning. And I'm sinning for "making" him do things that aren't of his faith. Does that make sense? For him to be just going along with it, participating without being faithful, that's wrong. Right? Would it be better for him to stay as he is? Maybe that's why I haven't known where to start with lessons, I've been spiritually gagged until I talk with him about it. Since we are married, we are as one flesh.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24
Therefore: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." 1 Corinthians 7:14 One time when I told him of this verse, he said "Thank God I've got you, I'd be pretty lost otherwise."
I guess I need to have a long talk with him concerning just where he is exactly in his faith. Because I've come to the conclusion that I can teach him what he wants to know, but he doesn't need to be doing any of it unless he is doing it out of faith. My works and obedience are sufficient to cover him in his lack of faith, as we are one flesh.
What are your thoughts on this? And do you have any suggestions on where to start with lessons? There's a lot more to learn in Judaism than Christianity and I want to make sure that I do a good job teaching my family. The children are easier, they just enjoy whatever we are doing and they'll be so used to it that by the time they are older, it will all make sense. It's more difficult to teach an adult. Of course he's got a basic understanding of what's covered by most Christian churches. Which means there's also going to be a fair amount of UN-learning going on as well.
When I was learning, I just kind of studied whatever someone was talking about online. As far as the Feasts, I learned about them as we came to them and it took me four years of studying to even feel brave enough to participate. It was a lot of jumping around at first so I can't even go by that because I don't want to confuse him any more than he already is.
Have you ever experienced this or known someone who has converted to Christianity before his or her spouse? What can a wife do to help her husband experience the gospels? What resources might she use to help him learn?