As one who didn't go to church growing up and who converted to Catholicism only for my husband, I have grown more spiritually by the "forced" attendance in church. I sat through masses with little interest until I became a song leader and began being a part of the mass. It made me have to be aware of where we were in the service so I would know when to get up to lead the singing. Then, I began talking about my faith on forums where Christians hated Catholicism and spouted off falsehoods about what we believed, and that made me want to know more just what my church officially believed so I could rebut their charges. So unbelievers and judgmental Christians also were responsible for my growth in faith.
I also began reading the NIV Bible, which was easier for me to understand. I began wanting to know more and to try to understand what it was saying. A few of my online friends took it upon themselves to explain the Bible to me at my private forum and I feel much closer to God, both in prayer and at church, than I did in the past.
Once, in the days when I fought going to church, my husband, who was a missile crewman, was out on alert and it was up to me to go to church without him. I thought to myself... oh good! I can sleep in! Well, as I lay there dozing and enjoying my free Sunday, I started feeling pretty guilty about deceiving my hubby, so I dragged myself out of bed, threw on some clothes and raced off to church, getting there late and slipping into a back pew. As I sat down, the priest was saying, "Why do we go to church?" I looked up at him guiltily wondering if he was aiming that at me and saw that he wasn't aware I was even there. He went on to say we go to church so that we won't forget God. He said we get caught up in our busy lives and many times church is the last thing on our list of things to do, but if we give into this mindset, it eventually gets easier and easier to skip church and that is one hour a week we could have honored God. I really felt that God was speaking to me that day and I resolved to get a better attitude about going to church so that my kids would want to go, too. When they whined about having to get up early on Sunday and asked why we had to go, I'd tell them... you can give three hours a night to watching TV or playing video games, isn't God worth one little hour a week? They never argued with me about that. Only one of my three goes to church now, but I'm hoping one day they'll return--but only because THEY want to.