Monday, September 27, 2010

The Dating Scene

I had an awesome conversation the other day with a young woman. She is Catholic and she’s been dating a young man who is not Catholic.

“Should I feel bad not dating a Catholic guy?” She asked me. Considering that I dated and actually married a non Catholic myself, I had to answer, “No, why should you feel badly?”

“Because everyone says you should only date another Catholic. But I’ve seen so many Catholic couples who don’t follow the guidelines of the Church. They say they are Catholic, but they still believe abortion and birth control is okay. They have sex before they get married and other stuff. I wanted to find a guy who shared my morals and values and respects my faith. Not someone who just says he’s a Catholic but he doesn’t believe.”

I think she had a very valid point. What good is saying you are Catholic, if you don’t have The Faith?

What good does dating a Catholic just because they have “the name” but they don’t or you don’t really believe and try to live the faith?

This young woman and man have had serious discussions about raising children in the faith, how important the faith is to her and what it means. And he admires and respects her faith life.

My own marriage began as an inter-faith marriage. My husband had been baptized in a Protestant religion, but wasn’t brought up in a church. In fact, his family had bad feelings about the Catholic church because of issues that had occurred within their family and the Church. So he wasn’t too anxious to join the religion his family had misgivings about. But he had better morals and values and respect for me than any of the Catholic guys I had dated! He respected me as a woman, as an equal and admired the faith I had. He agreed to raise our children Catholic. I felt like God was calling us together and while it was hard to explain that to my family, they finally understood that this was a really great guy.

For three years he would come to Mass with me each week. We prayed together at home and I prayed for him to receive the grace of faith someday. Finally, right after our first child was born and baptized, it dawned on him what he was missing and he signed up for RCIA classes. We took them together and I found out even more about my own Catholic faith.

Today, 28 years later he is a Eucharistic Minister in our parish, he has done Eucharistic Adoration faithfully for 15 years at 2:00 AM and he is an excellent example of living his Catholic faith to our three children.

I looked at this young woman and said, “When you hear God calling to you this person, you have to trust it’s for a reason. As long as you always put God first, He will steer you in the right direction.”

So, while you are in the dating world, keep this in mind. Pray first, search for someone who matches your values and morals, pray for the grace to find a person who will be open to your Catholic faith, if he/she doesn’t already share it, and pray especially for an increase in faith for both of you so you can spend Eternity together in Heaven.

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