At CMDN RICanuck wrote that he won’t pray with his wife nearby anymore. This comment struck me because I had never seen this stated so plainly. Rather I see the admonition to pray with wives, that couples who pray together stay together, that praying with wife is being spiritual leader, and so forth. I have heard that from men who I know are red pill guys, it is not an issue that readily lends itself to a predictable posture from men of red or blue pill status. I have an opinion about it however, and it will likely rile all sides among confessing Christians.
Since I became a Christian I’ve been full circle on this. For one thing, I never liked praying together with the wife nightly, holding hands, all that. For as much connectedness it was to yield, the nature of said connectedness was of a certain type, and it fits the title and initial purpose of my blog.
Some may say that crying together is intimacy and connection. And, I suppose it is, but I will not agree that it somehow deepens a relationship necessarily. In fact it can make a man start dreading the nightly prayer because he may not want to get into that frame of mind (crying) in some sort of routine manner. I figured out that this IS the prayer language of many wives. A pastor I heard once called it the gift of mercy. Make no mistake; I’ve nothing bad to say about anyone’s prayer preferences at all. If one gets refreshing and feels as if they have edified Christ and borne petition to the Lord then I agree with them for them in what they pray. But its not my prayer life and style to stay in that vein in each and every session where I enter prayer deeply.
I figured out that there were two parallel dynamics at play, maybe even three. There is of course a sincere desire in these wives my to have a prayer life, but in addition they are finding a massive geyser of empathy in this that they were likely craving (as women nearly all do) from the husband. It occurred to me that maybe this is another real reason for the desire to pray together, and a reason it is so heavily touted as such a powerful relationship ingredient.
There is more. It is not possible for men to pray as he wants to, to pray as long or short as he may wish, to pray when he actually feels like praying (and this is important to me in that I do not like to pray with my mind not devoted to the task, as if by rote)
I realize that what I am stating is personal preference. I also absolutely do not wish to say there is anything wrong with anyone’s prayer style or habits. If you pray at night with your spouse, great, that is excellent.I want to add that I am speaking not about times when a man leads his family in prayer, nor about other aspects of Christian husband-hood and fatherhood. I highly recommend a man lead prayer for his family. There are spontaneous occasions and routine occasions for men to do so. Its powerful and calming for a man to lead in prayer when a trauma or adversity manifests.
However there are a couple of other things about this; I am too strongly convinced about the female imperative to seek empathy from any source anytime to not have the suspicion that there is or can be a nefarious drive at work, unbeknownst. This combines with the churchian church telling men in all the man shaming sermons that part of stepping up is to be the spiritual leader of the home. That is defined with a task list that I have sarcastically referenced as making cut out Bible figures while wearing a robe and sandals. The force of the church telling men to do this, but more, telling women to EXPECT this, coupled with the woman’s instinctive or inadvertent realization that these activities are all great sources for empathy make this yet another unrealistic expectation Christian women take with them into relationships. It is also something to control, an added task/rule list which some thrive upon. And, ideally here it is specific in its admonition to men about men.
Men who have been raised in the churchian evangelical feminist culture they will gobble it up and dish out the desired empathy, and it will either content the wife, or not. For those who are not prone to fall in line, maybe they came to faith as adults and were not subjected to decades of shaming sermons, they will either begrudgingly do it or not do it at all, which will make princess unhaaaapy. In either case, this is a massive boost to the already potent combination of the princess and the Personal Jesus ™
There are myriad other possible reasons a given man may be reluctant to do this, and I’m interested to read comments, even those that inevitably will scripture lecture me on why a man needs to chase these balls when they are thrown.