Growing in the Lord together as a couple is a beautiful and rewarding aspect of marriage. It allows you to witness qualities such as love, humility, patience, and tenderheartedness, which deepens your friendship with your spouse.
This connection can be referred to as “Spiritual Intimacy” – the closeness that arises when married couples share their spiritual journeys with each other.
By actively pursuing spiritual growth as a couple, your relationship will improve, your understanding will deepen, your marriage will be infused with more grace, and your overall satisfaction will increase.
By default, a Christian couple should establish a spiritual foundation in their home, basing their marriage on the purpose for which God established it. Before we look at the practical ways a couple can grow together, let’s highlight the purpose of a Godly marriage.
- Companionship and Intimacy: God created marriage to provide companionship and intimate partnership between a husband and wife. Genesis 2:18
- Mutual Support and Encouragement: Marriage is designed to offer mutual support and encouragement. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
- Procreation and Raising Godly Offspring: God intended marriage to be the foundation for procreation and raising children in a godly environment. Malachi 2:15
- Reflecting the Relationship Between Christ and the Church: Marriage serves as a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Ephesians 5:31-32
- Holiness and Sanctification: Marriage provides an opportunity for personal growth, holiness, and sanctification as couples learn to love, forgive, and serve one another. 1 Peter 3:7.
With the knowledge of the purpose of why God created marriage, let’s explore practical ways to grow spiritually as a couple
Here are four practical ways to tender and grow spiritual intimacy in your marriage:
1. Engage in daily spiritual conversations
Having discussions about everyday life issues is crucial for fostering communication and establishing a solid foundation in your marriage. Instead of engaging in casual small talk, delve deeper by sharing personal experiences where the Holy Spirit has taught you valuable lessons, perhaps from your workplace. Rather than asking generic questions like “How’s your day?” with surface-level responses such as “It was great,” “fine,” or “okay,” opt for questions that promote transparency and encourage deeper evaluation, such as “How’s your heart?”
Engage your spouse with purposeful and spiritual questions, such as “Where do you feel God is at work in your life?” or “How did you experience God’s grace today?” These questions and others like them provide excellent opportunities for meaningful and intentional spiritual conversations.
Additionally, it is important to discuss each other’s faults and wrongdoings in a loving manner, seeking ways to accommodate and make up for them. Some couples overlook the significance of addressing faults and finding ways to improve their actions. However, it is vital to recognize that neglecting these discussions hinders the development of spiritual intimacy, even for Christian couples. It is essential to pay attention to and openly discuss your emotions and hurts with your spouse in order to cultivate a stronger and more intimate relationship.
2. Engage in studying books on marriage, communication, and parenting together.
It’s common for couples to stop reading books on marriage shortly after getting married or a few years into their marriage. However, seeking wisdom and knowledge remains beneficial throughout the journey. Marriage is a life-long path that no one truly understands until they embark on it themselves. Therefore, it’s essential to continuously seek knowledge and wisdom to cultivate healthy relationships with your spouse, children, and family as a whole.
Read books on marriage
Consider reading a chapter of a Christian literature or devotional for married couples each day and then setting aside time to discuss it. This practice allows you to share ideas, learn from one another, and further foster spiritual intimacy within your marriage.
Book Recommendation: “Covenant Marriage: Building Communication and Intimacy” by Gary Chapman.
3. Study the Bible together:
Let the truth of God’s word govern your relationship with your spouse. In marriage, you receive the certification during wedding but are left to navigate and solve the challenges that come along the way. However, you don’t have to face them alone.
You have the Holy Spirit as your instructor, who will guide you into all truth if you allow Him. Studying the Bible together as a couple is not about preaching to your spouse. Instead, it is an opportunity to read portions of the Bible either individually or together and then come together to discuss and share what impressed your hearts as you read.
Engaging in such practices allows for holistic spiritual growth and enables you to learn from your spouse’s perspective on spiritual matters. During these discussions, ensure that each person is actively listening with the intention to understand, rather than merely formulating a reply. This approach fosters a deeper connection and promotes effective communication within your marriage.
4. Praying together
Prioritizing prayer strengthens relationships and increases the likelihood of lasting marriages. When we pray together, our feelings are intimately expressed before God. While prayer is deeply personal, our faith was never meant to be kept hidden, especially from our partner. Therefore, it is perfectly okay to set aside 3-5 minutes in your car or bedroom with your spouse to intentionally take turns praying for each other and speaking prophetic words into your lives. Be specific in your prayers and also remember to pray for the concerns your spouse has shared with you.
Building spiritual intimacy in your marriage requires prioritizing quality time with your spouse, even amidst busy schedules. This may require sacrifices, but the long-term rewards are worth it. By establishing a family that others look up to and by demonstrating the demands of a Christian marriage, you can inspire and teach others about the beauty of a committed relationship.