Hi ladies. I'm having a bit of a spiritual/religious dilemma and would love some insight. I am baptized Catholic and grew up as such. Went to church on Sundays, said my prayers before bed and eating, Sunday school, communion, confirmation, everything. My father is Protestant and my mother and her side of the family are Catholic. As I got older, my mother began to question herself about regarding herself as Catholic and started to explore other religions and spirituality. We did not attend church regularly anymore or say grace as often as we should have, but there was always an understanding that God was a presence in our lives.
I do believe in God, but admit that I am not a practicing Catholic any longer..and have not been for many years. My fiance is not baptized and does not affiliate himself with any certain religion. We are getting married by a non-denominational reverend in an outside ceremony. I'd like to think that God looks down on us that day and accepts us as married, however I know that in the eyes of the Catholic church, we are not married. To be honest, that hurts. I talked to my fiance tonight about doing a convalidation ceremony in a year or two and he wasn't exactly up for it. He feels like he should be able to believe and trust in God without having to define himself as Catholic or any other religion. I totally get where he is coming from, but I also have this uneasy feeling that I am committing a terrible sin when it is supposed to be one of the most special and beautiful days of my life. When we have children, I want to be able to guide them as they develop their spirituality and I want to be able to teach them about God. But part of me feels like a big scam.
My fiance and I have read all the books, talked to others, talked to each other about anything and everything when it comes to our future marriage, our future children, our morals and values, finances, everything. We are on the same page about all of these things and only VERY recently did I start to feel uneasy about the religious part. I feel silly and selfish for not being a practicing Catholic but still fearing being punished somehow because we are not marrying in a church.
I don't really know what I'm looking for here in regards to responses. I guess, the main thing with me is my future children. I think that growing up as a practicing Catholic really helped me understand and build a relationship with God, even if I don't talk to Him nearly as often as I should nowadays. What are your thoughts on this? Can I raise my children as Catholic, if we so choose, even if my husband is not Catholic and our marriage is not recognized by the church? Can I raise my children to trust in God if we choose not to baptize them at all? Am I going to Hell for committing this sin of getting married outside of the church?