You close your eyes, fold your hands, and let your chin fall, ready to pray for the first time with your beloved leading. You wait for his words to come. With every passing second, you realize you might have just asked him to do something he’s never done out loud before, especially not in front of his fiancé, whom he is desperate to continue to impress until she says I do.
If you have ever felt like you and your fiancé’s prayer lives are on opposite ends of a spectrum, know you’re not alone. Many times in the Catholic faith, we are used to reading pre-written prayers or praying silently along as someone else leads. There are few times we are asked, or encouraged, to lead a prayer without any sort of prompt.
But now that you’re engaged and starting a journey toward the aisle--and heaven--with a partner, there are bound to be more occasions of unscripted, and it may be a first for you. As women, we often desire concrete spiritual leadership, i.e. a man tuned into his loved ones’ spiritual welfare.
For many men, this is something new to grow into during engagement--not as the result of any weakness or deficiency on their part, but simply as a result of this being unfamiliar territory. There’s a new, more serious call to spiritual strength in engagement and marriage than in just friendship or dating. That means that the firsts he will experience will be as your family’s spiritual leader, as he prays around the dining room table or at the beginning of a meal while you are on a double date.
While your fiancé experiences many firsts in his spiritual life during engagement, you will, as well.
In marriage, men and women are each called to lead in different, unique ways.
Invite each other to pray when you’re together, prompt one another with prayer ideas, and ask your love to pray for you in specific needs you have. I also encourage you to pray, both silently and aloud, for your husband-to-be. Use the resources around you to pray for his career, friends, faith, health, and priorities.
Praying in front of one another does not always come naturally. As you become husband and wife, I challenge you to pray daily for your marriage, friends and relatives, and specific needs you personally have. A nightly routine will bring fruit in engagement and set up a firm foundation to cover your marriage, family, and friends in much needed prayer.
When you do finally make your way down the aisle and find yourselves praying before meals, at bible studies, and passing accidents or emergencies while you’re in the car, I challenge you to use both the pre-written prayers of our Church and spontaneous prayers of your heart. Because as you grown in your shared prayer life, and as your husband grows as a spiritual leader, the most powerful place to be is on your knees.
About the Author: Sinikka Rohrer is a Christian wedding photographer and Spoken Bride vendor on a mission to encourage brides with practical and spiritual encouragement on the way to the aisle. She is a lover of all things healthy, early morning spiritual reads, and anything outdoors.