Why should men propose on one knee?

About a year ago, I traveled with a group of friends to Washington D.C. While there, we decided to visit the National Mall after dusk. We had heard that the area is spectacular with all of the evening night lights a glow. After walking around the pool to the various memorials, we concluded our tour at the Lincoln Memorial. I remember I was reading the Gettysburg Address, which is engraved on one of the walls of the memorial, and was interrupted by my friend jabbing me in the ribs with her elbow to direct my attention to a young couple who were at the feet of President Lincoln.

The young woman was facing him, her hands over her mouth in utter shock. The young man had a beautiful diamond ring in his hand and was down on one knee looking up at her. We automatically knew what was going on with that iconic gesture. He was asking her to spend the rest of her life with him in matrimony.

We get down on one knee in church and in front of royalty, but why does a man do it in do it before the woman he loves? And why should we hold on tight to this well known tradition?

The origin of this tradition is unknown, but like I said, the action itself has been around for centuries. Catholics bend on one knee as a sign of respect toward the tabernacle before taking their seats for the Mass. Knights bend down on one before the king when being knighted and when presenting themselves in a show of honor to royalty. In war, the losing party would kneel in front of the army who won the battle in surrender.

Respect. Honor. Surrender. Those are the reasons behind the bended knee in a marriage. As a sign of respect, the man lowers himself as an act of humility before the woman he desires to spend the rest of his life with.

Furthermore, when he is on one knee, the man is faced to face with the woman’s womb, where life is created. He is honoring her body and honoring her as the Lord’s creation, which deserves to be revered.

A man is surrendering himself and the rest of his life to her. He is surrendering bachelorhood for fatherhood in promising to raise children with her and remain faithful to her in all things.

I don’t know where that young couple from the Lincoln Memorial are now. Last time I saw them, I was leaving the monument and turned to see them sitting on the steps of the memorial discussing how they were going to tell their family and friends the big news. I don’t know whether they knew the significance and beauty behind his act of bending on one knee, but I do pray that she understands the gift of himself that he gave to her.

_______________________

560303_10151049006362011_1779988895_n-2Hannah Crites is a freshman at Franciscan University of Steubenville majoring in Theology and Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism. She hails from Denver, Colorado and enjoys eating Twizzlers, long walks on the beach, talking in a horrible British accent, and the word “discombobulate”. Check out more of what she has written at http://youngcatholiccentral.wordpress.com/

96 Comments

  1. You spelled propose wrong in the title… Fix it quick! Before someone else see’s it.

    By jay | 3 years ago Reply
    • “Sees” does not have a comma.

      By Lisa | 3 years ago Reply
      • “Sees” doesn’t have an apostrophe.

        By Lisa | 3 years ago Reply
        • Pedantic nitpickers should keep their peace when reading a post that borders on – if, in fact, isn’t thoroughly – fine prose. Beautifully conceived, written and expressed, Hannah.

          By Dave | 3 years ago Reply
        • Why does that matter. Everyone does mistakes duh..

          By Alaina | 3 years ago Reply
  2. Thank you for your article! It’s beautiful.

    By Amy Ann | 3 years ago Reply
  3. Amazing post! As men, we should keep this tradition alive!

    By Christopher Warren | 3 years ago Reply
    • Amen !

      By Ash | 3 years ago Reply
    • Why? Women should get down on one knee to men.

      By Feminist | 3 years ago Reply
  4. Great article! I never knew that, so it was really great to hear why the proposal on one knee is so significant.

    By Anna | 3 years ago Reply
    • She literally said she didn’t know why but was infering.

      By E | 3 years ago Reply
  5. Great post! 🙂

    By Alex | 3 years ago Reply
  6. Thanks Hannah. It was a good read and very meaningful as well. Cheers!

    By Lester | 3 years ago Reply
  7. Americans never kneel before royalty. Just a heads up 😉

    By Jack | 3 years ago Reply
    • They kneel before the burger king.

      By Jill | 3 years ago Reply
  8. Paul, in Corinthians and epistles, says in various ways that the groom is like Christ, and the bride is like the impure church whom Christ purifies. The husband saves the woman from her original sin, and she serves him in gratitude, becoming a model for how the church responds to Christ’s love, manifest by the husband. A biblical view of marriage could also be honored if the husband would consent to washing and annointing the feet of his bride, to which she would reply by washing his face.

    The genuflection to one knee rises in prominence during medieval times, to clarify that those who obey the church and its altars, a knight in battle, or royalty in their livelihood, are only in partial submission. We genuflect in church to respect the altar and the institution. When we pray to god, as you might expect, we are in total submission. That’s why in most denominations you descend to both knees when a pastor or minister calls you to prayer.

    By Ben | 3 years ago Reply
    • What you said there is not a hundred percent biblical. I would like to point out that a husband doesn’t save his wife from original sin. The only way for sin to be removed is by submitting to Christ. A single act of marriage does nothing for sin. Paul was talking about how a husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church (just want to clarify again that sin is not a factor here). And the wife should submit to her hisband as the church submits to Christ.

      By Clodhoppers | 3 years ago Reply
    • Honestly i like the artical better. Some people do not believe in “Christ” or “God” so why would she write a artical on that if she wanted good reveiws. I do not mean this with any offence i have many church friends but lots of people would read your comment and honestly not care. The artical acctually has meaning.

      By sara | 3 years ago Reply
  9. What a great article! I had never thought about the meaning for bending on one’s knee at mass and how it is related to doing the same action for a proposal. It shows great respect, honor, and giving of oneself to the other. Getting down on one knee is a simple act but has great meaning, and hopefully it never fades.

    By Tanya | 3 years ago Reply
  10. Paul, in Corinthians and Epistles, says in various ways that the groom is like Christ, and the bride is like the impure church whom Christ purifies. The husband saves the woman from her original sin, and she serves him in gratitude, becoming a model for how the church responds to Christ’s love, manifest by the husband. A biblical view of marriage could also be honored if the husband would consent to washing and annointing the feet of his bride, to which she would reply by washing his face.

    The genuflection to one knee rises in prominence during medieval times, to clarify that those who obey the church and its altars, a knight in battle, or royalty in their livelihood, are only in partial submission…God comes before all these earthly authorities. We genuflect in church to respect the altar and the institution. When we pray to God, as you might expect, we are in total submission. That’s why in most denominations you descend to both knees when a pastor or minister calls you to prayer.

    By Ben | 3 years ago Reply
  11. Well said, I’ve never thought of it that way. A man surrendering his Bachelorhood to embrace fatherhood. Beautiful indeed. Thank you!

    By Manuel | 3 years ago Reply
  12. While I can respect the intention behind getting down on one knee, I’d have to disagree. I think kneeling before one another suggests inequality. I kneel before God because I worship Him and I recognize that He is infinitely greater than me. When a man kneels before a woman (or a woman before a man), that implies that one is a trophy or a prize of some sort that is to be revered. As you mentioned, the man literally lowers himself before the woman. I would reserve that humility for God- not (hu)man. If I am ever proposed to, I’d like it to be face-to-face, as equals. That said, I also don’t want a ring (it is a useless material object reminiscent of possession), so maybe I’m just an unconventional weirdo.

    By Jo | 3 years ago Reply
    • You are not alone my friend. women these days want equal everything and yet they treat their men like garbage. Toss em away and collect half of what men made his whole life working for the women he treated like royalty. While she’s sitting at home doing nothing and still complain a lot when their husband gets home.

      By Bacores reed | 3 years ago Reply
      • So true, scrap this worthless unequal tradition

        By Kmonster | 3 years ago Reply
      • NOTHING????????? I am single and a man just know there is something named ENDOMETRIOSIS many women have it and do not know! Many have it and still …………. cook, clean, lift, SERVE MEN and the hardest part SMILE THOUGH THE PAIN plus other female issues / conditions! Men sometimes have a running nose and back pain and they are “out for the count” I THANK GOD FOR WOMEN!!!!! They are stronger, shhhhhhhhhhhhhh think back to the jar….. your sister / mom / auntie open we males say “I loosened” it for you! Women who toss men away prob were found in the club, bar, New Years eve party or are playettes …………… You are looking in the wrong places!

        By Ricardo | 3 years ago Reply
    • I know what you mean.

      By John | 3 years ago Reply
  13. My husband and I went out ring shopping one day and decided to get married. No proposal, just a joint, mutual, loving decision just like the rest of our marriage. Less than six months after we met we were married in the church and eight years, two kids, and six houses later we’re still madly in love.

    By Jennifer | 3 years ago Reply
    • Lucky you Jennifer…….My first husband put my ring under our Christmas tree, no knee bent. Married 17 years happily with three children, or so I thought, then he decided to have an affair and run off with a co-worker. They are still together, have a child together. I remarried a man, 8 years after that first divorce,who did not kneel to propose either. Took the ring out at dinner and handed it to me. Again, I assumed without his asking, but me asking, is this you proposing to me? He said yes, became abusive and now divorcing him. I think men, real men, should kneel.

      By Miki | 3 years ago Reply
      • I think you sold yourself short by accepting the ring with no feeling behind it. But men should not kneel.

        By REKLESS | 3 years ago Reply
  14. A wonderful sentiment, sadly, coming from the ’60’s many traditions had been roundly rejected by the libertine attitudes of the times. The value of traditions was undermined by the self directed and self centered attitudes that were the new “religion” of the times. Many of us bought into this cultural revolution as we were engulfed in the wave of rebellion against the things of the generation that brought us Vietnam, materialism, etc. So we replaced and repaid these perceived abuses with sexual libertarianism and “freedom”, disrespect, arrogance and substance abuse -all of which in hindsight can be seen as misguided, Godlessly wrong, disrespectful and destructive to ourselves and others – indeed not without a high price to pay then and thereafter. In fact, our culture is still paying the dear price for this rebellious and turbulent time of arrogant Godlessness. So, now we teach our children not to do as we had done but rather to adopt those traditions that do have very significant meaning and great value. We teach them that there is a holy God who has set up for us standards by which we should live so that we may gain the best that life has to offer us. Yes, we do not want our children to surrender the gifts that the Savior has offered to us. Yes, we would ask our sons to get down on one knee as a sign of honor for his future wife. We want our children to reap all the rewards that the Creator has to offer and to become honorable, faithful and Godly people unlike many of their parents as products of a time when we thought we would blaze a better way for the world only it did not happen that way. In fact, there is nothing new under the sun and time has proven to those who have the courage and the humility to admit that the age of Aquarius was a giant farce and offensive to righteousness. God bless the youth of today who appreciate the wisdom of tradition and are blazing the trail that should ever have been abandoned!

    By Paul Joseph | 3 years ago Reply
  15. PROPOSE not purpose

    By Geri B | 3 years ago Reply
  16. I mean no disrespect and I think this article is great, but I wanted to let you know that I know the photographer who took that image and I feel they deserve to have proper credit to have their photo posted on your blog and maybe an email letting them know you used an image that was created specifically for a client of theirs.

    Just as you took the time and effort to research and learn about the content you published on this blog, that photographer took much time and effort to learn their trade, and create their art. Sometimes that can take years of experience and education and not to mention a large investment in software and equipment that they had to learn how to use professionally as well.

    Again, I mean no harm by this comment on this post, but from a fellow Franciscan Alumni who to a Franciscan student, I would hate to see anyone get upset or take legal action for posting photos without proper permissons and encourage you to seek out more information on image usage rights.

    By Alexander | 3 years ago Reply
    • Thank you. We purchase the rights for all our images through istock and lightstock.

      By Admin | 3 years ago Reply
  17. On the other hand, seeing as, by definition, tradition is an action that serves no actual purpose and is done only because of an irrational feeling of obligation, people can just do whatever they want. I’m sure most couples could think of something that has more meaning to them than the most cliched proposal action ever. Plus, whatever supposed meaning there is behind the one knee proposal is obviously either insincere or ineffective almost 50% of the time as half of all married couples get divorced and one can assume almost all proposals are done on one knee. What is the point of carrying on someone else’s tradition, or any tradition for that matter? As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, people should do what they want, not just take part in a sheep culture. Also, what is the point of spending an exorbitant amount of money on rings? Rings are pointless. If a couple wants everyone to know they are married, why wouldn’t a couple $10 rings from ebay be just as good? Use the money on something useful, like food or rent.

    And finally, the social doctrine that the man has to do the proposing is stupid. Why can’t women propose?

    By Patrick | 3 years ago Reply
    • WELL written and major points made.

      By Kmonster | 3 years ago Reply
  18. That was beautiful…!!!
    Wish all men realize the meaning of this act and do it from heart in its fullness!!!
    Praying for all the proposals happening at this moment around the globe to fruit with joy and life filled holy families!!
    Thanks for the sharing!!
    God bless you…

    By Matt Pratt | 3 years ago Reply
  19. as much as i heared. before God should kneal on right or bouth knee and before humans (kings & gals) on left knee..

    By :) | 3 years ago Reply
  20. Had s wonderful read!I too present seminars on relationships and our identity being a Catholic wife, mother and missionary. We need more of this and the like!Thsnk you.

    By Diana Mascarenhas | 3 years ago Reply
  21. Beautifully written article. I realise I’ve been ignorant to the deeper meaning of this ubiquitous gesture.

    By Ash | 3 years ago Reply
  22. So, I realize that the comments saying that husband and wife are equals, the man shouldnt need to lower himself by kneeling have merit. It is true, he doesnt need to. But may I also say, it is a grand testament to the *nature* of love that he does anyway? When you love someone, you don’t feel worthy of them. You don’t feel that you earned, or have an allotted love required to be returned, even if you desire it. (Though you might be wounded or put-out without it, especially if it was promised you.) Think about it. On the occasions that we do have that additude of “I EARNED you, you OWE me love,” it either is pride, greed, or lust that fills us, not love. Why? Because though we are finite creatures loving other finite creatures, that love taps into the infinance of the Divine Lord, it’s source. Love is so supernatural, infinite, that we instinctively sense the its magnatude as far more than the worth of our meger selves.
    But infinite is given back infinity, when two equals love each other, right? Sort of. Love isnt ours, remember, but something we tap into that comes from God himself, we dont own it. Some people scoff at the idea of “three in a marriage,” but that is what marriage is. Two insignificant specks unworthily gifting each other an infinity, that was first gifted to unworhty them.
    So when a man lowers himself on one knee before me one day, I will let him. If he trusts that I love him, then he should know we are dealing with the divine. Likely, he will kneel before me for about five seconds, after that, I’d join him on the floor! After all, we are in the presense of that same Divine Royalty, that same holy Majesty as in the tabernacle; he and I shall be thanking God that we three shall marry.

    By CH | 3 years ago Reply
  23. I already have a wife& 2 grown up kids but anyway ur article is an eye opener and does make sense. Thanks&God bless u always Hannah. 🙂 🙂

    By John | 3 years ago Reply
  24. Very beautifully interpreted!

    By Juliana Tay | 3 years ago Reply
  25. Very well written, informative, interesting, concise. Great job.

    By Debbie | 3 years ago Reply
  26. This is amazing!!! I never knew that!!!

    By Cynthia | 3 years ago Reply
  27. Kneeling is definitely a symbol of surrender, but it’s also a symbol of giving up your power unto someone else. Standing face to face shows respect and honor in the context of equality and integrity without sacrificing the inner strength needed to work together towards a common bond.

    By Joey B | 3 years ago Reply
  28. Thank you For the Article. It’s nice and meaningful.

    By Greg D’Cunha | 3 years ago Reply
  29. Fantastic article! Thanks Hannah!

    By Renée | 3 years ago Reply
  30. Love this! I didn’t see where you gave credit to the photographer? Did I miss it? It’s Ben Sasso’s work, he’s an amazingly talented photographer. I’m sure he’d be flattered you used his work on such a sweet article.

    By kelly | 3 years ago Reply
  31. Probably too late to edit but ought not it be ‘propose’ instead of ‘purpose’ in the article title?

    By Toni Vercillo | 3 years ago Reply
  32. Thank you for this beautiful reminder. I was married for 21 years and yes my amazing husband did just that, surrendered his life for me and our incredible boys now 20 and 16. It was a snow storm in November of 1991 that brought him down on that knee. Daryl and I were married on 7-11-92 and six month later he was diagnosed with MS. We became battle buddies. Our faith grew! As the Apostle Peter said, “Where else would we go , Lord?” Daryl taught us humility, and how to suffer well. My warrior is resting in peace in the arms of our loving Lord. I feel so blessed to have experienced Christ’s love through Daryl. I have no doubt he is on a knee helping us all get to heaven! Faithfully departed 9-28-13.

    By Ann | 3 years ago Reply
  33. Love this post! And even if I haven’t experience this kind of proposal with my husband, i still feel blessed having him in my life for 5 years as a steady boyfriend and now 7 years as a married couple. ☺️

    By Pilgrim Jet | 3 years ago Reply
  34. My hubby of 21 years, proposed on one knee in his dress blues from the army while I was at work. It was awesome! Still in love all this years later even with many bumps and turns on the road and three beautiful mini “us’s.”

    By Kelli | 3 years ago Reply
  35. Hey! This has nothing to do with your post content, but the photo you used belongs to Ben Sasso, and if you have permission from him to use it, right on! But if not, I would suggest choosing a different photo. Just a friendly heads up!! 🙂

    By Meagan | 3 years ago Reply
    • Thank you. All of the rights for our photos are purchased through istock and lightstock.

      By Admin | 3 years ago Reply
  36. “Catholics bend on one knee as a sign of respect toward the tabernacle before taking their seats for the Mass” — no, no, no. That is NOT why we genuflect.

    We do not genuflect out of “respect.” It’s an act of WORSHIP. It’s an act of worship and reverence toward Christ, who is really and fully present in the Eucharist as His Body and Blood.

    So, no … it is not merely an act of “respect” and it is certainly not directed toward the Tabernacle. It’s directed at what — or rather, who — is in the Tabernacle.

    Whatever point you’d like to make about how men should do proposals is fine — but misrepresenting Catholic teaching and practice while doing so is irresponsible and misinformed.

    By Ken | 3 years ago Reply
  37. I love it! Thanks for sharing.

    By Tiffanie M | 3 years ago Reply
  38. BEAUTIFUL. Printing this one out and giving it to all the young men I know!

    By Nancy Campbell | 3 years ago Reply
  39. This is a local cultural aspect that I have always struggled to accept. In the country where I was born, a man does not propose on one knee, as you only genuflect to God, and to God alone, as a gesture of adoration. I didn’t propose to my wife on one knee, I wouldn’t ever, and I just couldn’t. And even though I am very diligent on forming my two sons as true Catholic gentlemen, I feel inclined to discouraging them from doing so, even if we live here.

    By Mauricio Perez | 3 years ago Reply
    • In Catholic history, the right knee is reserved for God and the left knee is for royalty or other dignitaries. So as long as you prepare your sons to bend the left knee when proposing, they are fine. I think the biggest issue is trying to keep our children Catholic as they approach adulthood, so they don’t succum to modern secular relativism or other destructive philosophies.

      By Tommaso Gambucci | 3 years ago Reply
  40. As an individual with Cerebral Palsy, I feel disadvantaged in this manner. Should my proposal be considered less genuine, spiritually or otherwise, because of physical capabilities?

    By Eric | 3 years ago Reply
    • I love you and I fully expect you to propose in the most comfortable manner possible.

      By Shira | 3 years ago Reply
  41. “Furthermore, when he is on one knee, the man is faced to face with the woman’s womb, where life is created. He is honoring her body and honoring her as the Lord’s creation, which deserves to be revered.”

    Really Hannah? What is the sacred basis of this statement? Moreover the idea of “surrender” and “humility” are total bias. Why should these virtues apply solely to the men in this instance?

    This “Theology of the Body” nonsense promoted by the Everts and others has little to do with Catholicism; it’s feminist vanity expressed theologically. Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin are merely sideshows. Quite disgusting.

    By Seriously? | 3 years ago Reply
  42. @Seriously?

    If you read the post with an open mind it should be fairly apparent that Hannah’s overall point was that the physical act of bending his knee before the woman he wishes to spend the rest of his life with, is an outward gesture that indicates the deep respect he has for her great worth and God given dignity, as well as how greatly he cherishes the person that she is. Not to mention it is an acknowledgement in humility that he has no right to her heart but is willing to give himself totally to obtain it. Unless you specifically disagree with this idea, why the need for calling her and the Everts out like that?

    Well written post Hannah, much food for thought and reflection here! Keep up the great work and God Bless!

    By Thom | 3 years ago Reply
  43. I really enjoyed this article. 🙂

    By Deacon Pat | 3 years ago Reply
  44. I love this article. I knew what it meant, but wanted to read about it. It is a blessing when a man gives himself like Jesus Christ

    By sue | 3 years ago Reply
  45. I have made it my desire to never read other people comments because it’s a disgrace but to offer GOOD words, i love your explanation, nobody knows all truth but God..

    By sue | 3 years ago Reply
  46. This is a sweet romantic sentiment which has become tradition. It is so ingrained in western culture the idea of the man *not* kneeling down is tantamount to heresy. Yet, would it be any less sweet or romantic for the man to guide his Intended to a seat and (while) standing offer his heart to her for life? Is this intrinsically heartless or crass? Christianity mandates the man is the “Head” and the “Authority” of the marital relationship, but all that power is intended to be used in service, not self-service. Especially, in those Christian relationships why would the man initiate his future headship by taking a lesser position, the submission-position of bowing on one knee? Non sequitur. It would seem to me taking a superior position of standing before his future wife as she sits in the special seat would signify and ensconce his headship, oversight and protector-ship. The bottom line is it is a tradition with no known basis other than the mind of man in antiquity. Oh yeah, while you are investigating these things, keep in mind the common sentiment that the wedding rings are a circle, a symbol with “no beginning and no end.” Sounds nice and sweet except Christian wedding vows are only, “…’till death do us part.”

    By Venn Alle | 3 years ago Reply
  47. What is your opinion on women proposing .? What about girls making the First Move on a guy that they’re crushing on .?

    By nezbur12 | 3 years ago Reply
  48. Hey Hannah! I read the article, which I enjoyed in plenty.. I then read the little “about you” paragraph.. You are such a cool girl! I personally, enjoy talking in horrible British accent as well (my sister has a better accent than me, such a bummer…), I love Twizzlers too! and I looked up the word you like… I enjoy saying word like these too! one of my favorites is, “presumptuous”… 🙂
    Please, do get back to my message
    -Sofi

    By Sofia | 3 years ago Reply
  49. Good Job Hannah! No matter what is being said here- folks are talking, expressing opinions over what you felt in your heart to propose.. Well done and great topic.. Keep on keeping Sister! – YSIC

    By Jac | 3 years ago Reply
  50. Getting Married, had to go down on one knee at a time to get down the stairs, to carry her up one knee at a time across the threshold. – Ancient Joke.

    By Manpreet Matharu | 3 years ago Reply
  51. I really loved reading this! Thank you for writing it! Cheerio mate

    By Kim | 3 years ago Reply
  52. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful 🙂 In crafting a speech about humility and service I stumbled upon your post. I wondered about this act of bending the knee as well. I love the imagery of your illustration. I thank you in advance sharing this thought process not only with me, but those with whom I will be speaking to as well 🙂

    By Walter | 3 years ago Reply
  53. In my mind eye I see the bending of one knee as submission to the person to whom you are bending. At the same time, you are in a pose that allows you to quickly rise and defend that person.

    By Feather With Spots | 3 years ago Reply
  54. I know this article is a little old, but I just happened upon it. It is a very sweet article, and I enjoyed reading it.

    I decided to leave a comment and mention something about kneeling and what it represents. Though I do not disagree with what has been already said in the article. Rather, just wanted to add to it.

    In Hebrew, words and concepts are more defined by their consonants. The vowels more often than not differentiate noun and verb as well as cause inflection. Now this is not always 100% the case, but is generally how it works. For example, the consonants MLK: MeLeK means king. MaLaK means to reign, MaLKah means queen, and maMLaKah means kingdom. (I capitalized the root consonants in each word.) All these words have a similar concept, and they all root in the consonants MLK.I say that to say this:

    There is a connection between kneeling and blessing in the Hebrew language. BRK is the three consonant root we are dealing with here. BeReK means knee, and BaRaK means to bless. So in the Hebrew mind, to bless someone and to kneel are connected ideas. If anyone wonders why it is so important to kneel when we pray (though we aren’t commanded to ALWAYS do so, but taught Scripturally to do so when able and appropriate), you see the connection between kneeling and “bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me.”

    We often see in media depicting various cultures people offering gifts from a knelt position. Now, while we have to be careful considering that kneeling is also a sign of submission and worship, it can also have a connotation of blessing (lit, to make happy), gifting and service.

    Consider that long before you ever knelt to Him, Jesus knelt before His Bride (the Church), washing the disciples’ feet. You could consider that a proposal of sorts. Jesus taught us that to be first, we must be servant of all. He is the Lord of all because He was humble before all and served all before Himself. And without forfeiting His authority, He knelt in servitude, giving Himself for us and to us.

    So with that said (I could go on and on, but I imagine with prayer and consideration, anyone could extrapolate where to go from there), again I say I do not say this to disagree with the article but rather to agree with it only bringing forth a different perspective and angle on it.

    I add these things because of how much I enjoyed reading it, and hope you are all blessed by the same.

    By Timothy Moore | 3 years ago Reply
    • I understand the idea behind your comment. However, today’s woman are not grateful unless things go their way. Christ is Christ and nobody (his church as bride) would question his authority or walk over Him. Woman unfortunately have been conditioned to question everything their husband does because they feel like their his equal or even sadly…their superior. It’s sad and to the point that if God has men as authority over women (I Cor11) and women don’t respect men as that, they’ll face God’s judgement. Men and woman have to respect God as head, Jesus as Lord, men is next but that’s where Satan has tricked women into thinking they’re man’s equal. I’m fine as a man being third in the chain of command but woman seem to be mad because they’re fourth.

      By Ronn | 3 years ago Reply
      • Ronn, if you think that women are somehow inferior to men, then you should grow up and actually think about women as humans, not as slaves or toys for men.

        By Mary | 3 years ago Reply
  55. This is stupid. The only reasonable conclusion of this utter stupidity.
    Have some self respect and grow up and stop living in a childish world. Be mature and grown up about these huge decision and discuss them rather than beckoning and letting yourself to some Stoooooopid useless and CORNY “tradition”.

    By Robert | 3 years ago Reply
  56. Thank you so much for writing this article. Truly an affirmation. Blessings!

    By Victoria | 3 years ago Reply
  57. I know why a man is on one knee, and if you would like to hear what I will share then you know how to contact me.

    By XpC_PhantomVk | 3 years ago Reply
  58. The Bible teaches men to love their wives and for wives to honor and submit to their husbands. The gestures are backwards…the woman should take a knee showing her willingness to submit. The guy has already declared his gesture of love by considering her to be his wife.

    By Ronn | 3 years ago Reply
  59. SURRENDER ????????? I’m not surrendering to any one shape or THING…SURRENDER sounds like your giving up on everything….a guy already “surrenders” when he signs that “death wedding certificate”… good luck in your future endevors …because not a chance will I “surrender”

    By Mike | 3 years ago Reply
  60. I’m a romantic; and I don’t mind each sex paying a special deference to the other, so long as it’s mutual. A man paying a woman special respect, sure I’m on board with that. But isn’t each and every instance of the reverse now decried as “sexism”? I’d love to support you on this, but where is the mutuality? He spends a substantial percentage of a year’s pay on a diamond, goes down on his knee to present it as a symbol of his earnest intent to devote himself to protecting and providing for her till death, and in exchange, she does what exactly?

    By Tim Goldich | 3 years ago Reply
  61. Man on bended knee showing humility, respect…and surrender. Interesting if The explanation is only pure conjecture. But it begs the question of what does the woman do in return? She doesn’t get on bended knee to accept. Does she surrender? Or is she by accepting saying he should stay on bended knee in their relationship? Is he agreeing to so so by proposing this way? It is a sexist and stupid ritual and one that conveys the wrong message. Besides it just might ruin a good pair of pants.

    By Larry Palmer | 3 years ago Reply
  62. Was looking for the origin of the tradition, not “I don’t know where it came from but here’s my creative ideas why you should”. No disrespect meant, but REALLY?

    By Rick Rock | 3 years ago Reply
  63. If the man descending to his knees symbolizes respect, honour and surrender, shouldn’t the woman descend to her knees to say yes to him?

    By Phelia | 3 years ago Reply
  64. I’m glad you wrote this article. It proves further that not only is the ring, wedding ceremony, but also the bowing on one knee is all a part of pagan idolatry to worship earthly “royalty” and the sun or moon God or goddess. It is made clea in the bible that the man is the king and should bow to the woman but both bow to God. Bless up

    By Kaleb | 3 years ago Reply
  65. “I took an arrow to the knee.” Is an old Norse saying for getting married. That’s why men get on one knee. Mind blown. #skyrimtruths

    By Dillon | 3 years ago Reply
  66. Such a significant … Deep act of culture…
    Now its the other way around..
    Or you may find your ring in a glass while in a restaurant..
    Things have changed….

    By Thembisile | 3 years ago Reply
  67. Great couple!
    Beautiful words!!!

    By Fr. David Lord | 3 years ago Reply
  68. You said “””surrendering bachelorhood for fatherhood in promising to raise children with her and remain faithful to her in all things.””” Is great I really loved it. Thanq you Hannah. I’ll definitely propose to my honey with that intentional meaning…. Thanq soooo much

    By sreehoney | 3 years ago Reply
  69. This topic, a man kneeling during a proposal, was put on my heart and into mind today out of no where and I say that because I’m single and not dating anyone. It all came to me rather fiercely and viscerally, which compelled to look into it. In doing so, I came across this article which left me wondering about some things that I’d like to express. Why are women EXPECTING that they should be proposed to on bended knee, and what does it mean to them when it happens, and is that perception rightly justified? In alignment with God’s plan and will for marriage.

    The female fight for equality is constantly being waged and fought on many fronts, but sadly I often see women becoming the very things that they fight against (unfaithful men) in the process and that’s because people on both sides often think the equality (in human terms) is like math. (e.g. That both sexes should be exactly the same in every regard and that there shouldn’t be any real differences between them at all). Nothing could be farther from the Truth (His), which is why I’m also wondering where such a heartfelt gesture of respect, honor, and desire for unitive love comes about from with the woman during or after the proposal, excluding the marriage rite of course?

    The man is EXPECTED by many (women) to place himself in a position that “could” very easily be misperceived and misunderstood when it comes to what he is actually saying to the woman he loves, and (hopefully) with whom the Lord has directed him to be united.

    You see NO ONE can give that which he or she no longer has and as long both the man and the woman have given their live’s fully and completely to the Lord beforehand (the proposal), then their lives are no longer solely theirs to give to one other in the same way they did to the Lord as “singles”. As a man, my life belongs fully and completely to both Him and me, but Him first, and that new life (or the “new man”) He’s created now searches and waits to be united to another with whom the Lord has done the same. Please see the “Be Satisfied with Me” prayer from Saint Anthony of Padua for clarification on that.

    Given that, the bended knee proposal signifies acknowledgement of all of that before the woman I’m proposing to becomes my spouse as expected and I say expected because if it’s right then the Lord has already directed and formed it (and will continue to see it through) in both of us.

    Such a proposal is asking the other to completely unite the fully formed life she already has with God to my own with Him, and in so doing we both know that we’ll cease to exist as we were before because He’ll make us into a completely new creation, one, with Him. I cease to exist solely as I was without her as my wife, as she does with me as her husband.

    The man offers that to his future wife with full faith and trust in the Lord that she will say yes without question, and I for one would hope that she would have the Spirit move her to do the same. Get down on her own knee, to show her understanding and acceptance of all this, death to our old lives and birth of our forever new one with Him. She is not my Lord or Savior anymore than I am hers, so why should either gender perform any action, for any reason, that could be misconstrued or confused to present something otherwise?

    In Christ,
    Andrew

    By Andrew | 3 years ago Reply
  70. Aw!!! That was superb.

    By Saba | 3 years ago Reply
  71. With all due respect, getting on one knee to ANY other person is almost a blasphemy the way I see it. We must ONLY bow before the Lord Almighty and not to anyone else even if it’s the partner and love of our life.

    When the devil was testing Jesus trying to put Him to the test, Jesus told him that man must ONLY bow to God. When a man started bowing before Paul after the latter performed a miracle, Saint Paul told him “Stand up, [..] I am only a man myself.”

    Additionally, since bowing means submission, the Bible tells the woman must submit to their men and not the other way around. We know from close life experience that women are stronger than men and therefore they must willingly submit.. The wife is the base of every house while the man is the head of the house. Since the woman is the most important part of the household, she must submit to her man with great love and appreciation but also NOT TO BOW TO HIM as well.

    Therefore, remember that you might be committing blasphemy if you bow before a woman or if a man bowed before you if you were a woman. ONLY GOD IS TO BE BOWED FOR!!!

    Thanks for reading and may God bless you!

    By Arsen | 3 years ago Reply
  72. If no one can remember why it’s done, then it should be dispensed with. If it was done for purpose of suggesting subjugation to another person’s power, then it should be dispensed with. If one half of the partnership is genuflecting, then the other must do it, or it suggests inequality and subservience. Since there is much symbolism throughout the marriage process, my beliefs are every bit of valid concerning ongoing symbolism.

    By NomdePlume | 3 years ago Reply

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