Every year as our church starts a new RCIA class, I pray that my husband will attend and be moved to commit to joining the Church. I pray, I ask others to pray, but I actually haven’t really discussed it in depth with him or prayed with him about this decision.
And every year, another class of RCIA starts and ends without him joining. As it is that time of year at our parish again, I’ve mentioned it to him, passed on the information and have been fervently praying for his spiritual conversion.
As I sat Sunday waiting for Mass to begin my thoughts wandered to my reasons for wanting him to join so badly. Do I really want him to truly spend the time and get to know God, or is it about joining the Church to be with the kids and I? Why is that introductory meeting of RCIA so important to me? Am I hoping they can reach him on a spiritual level and talk to him about faith in a way that I, as his wife, have been unable? Why have I not been able to fully share my faith and that of the Church with my husband?
As his wife, I should be uniquely qualified to share my own faith journey and offer my help for him to start his own. For some reason, after more than a decade, I am still finding it difficult for us to open up to each other in this way. Our difficulty discussing things of faith was exposed to us during our pre-marriage counseling in the Church. The deacon who married us, and subsequently baptized our children, has strongly encouraged us over the years to actively work on this aspect of our marriage.
While sitting in Mass, it hit me that I need to focus on this in a different way. First, rather than praying he attend RCIA, I should ask my husband to pray with me to ask for God’s guidance in his spiritual journey and to ask God to help me model my faith in a way that will inspire my husband. That alone would be a big small step for us. I need to adjust my focus away from hoping near strangers at RCIA class will get him started on his path, and work harder sharing my spiritual journey with him as his wife.
Second, I need to always prayerfully remember that everything happens on God’s time, not according to my own agenda, needs or wants. I need to ask God for, and listen for, his guidance on how to best serve my husband as he searches for his own personal relationship with God.