Many times my wife and I have set out with good intentions to do activities to keep our marriage growing intimately with the Lord. Many start with good intentions and end by giving up, getting distracted, or starting something else. .
We started our marriage with reading some great devotional type books for young couples-Lifemates, Moments Together for Couples, and Moments With You. After a couple of years, we came to come to the conclusion that we desired something deeper.
This is where our first failure came in. We began to study a book of the Bible using agreed upon passages, first apart from each other then together sharing what we had learned. This was with great intentions, but it was more challenge than we were ready for. The harmful part is that it faded away before we even realized it and caused some hurt feelings in the process. Just like we do in our own relationship with God, it is important that we start with baby steps and grow with consistency and devotion.
6 Steps to Grow Spiritual Intimacy
There are many things that couples can focus on in their marriage for spiritual intimacy. Here are just a few ideas that we have found and consider to be “wins” in growing spiritual intimacy in marriage.
1. COMMIT. I believe this is where you have to start. Starting without the heart of both the husband and wife committed will end in unmet expectations in the marriage. Take time to ensure that this is something that both of you would like to have in your marriage. If not, then you know that this is where you stop in your baby steps and begin to pray for God to work in your spouse for such a desire.
2. AFFIRM. This is not an easy task and it takes work. I believe this is because we have not seen it done in many of our families for about three generations. Look for ways to affirm your spouse with the ways that you see God working in his or her life. First, this deepens your relationship with God as you are seeking Him for what He is at work doing. Second, it deepens your relationship with your spouse because you are listening and noticing God in her life. Affirmation can communicate in many ways. It can also be in nonverbal actions. Take time to affirm what you see and hear in your spouse.
3. PRAY. Prayer may sound like it is just a baby step, but as I work and listen to families I have learned through the years that prayer is a big baby step. Without the first steps, prayer in the marriage can end in some negative ways. Insecurities like jealousy, insufficiency, and pride interfere in a prayer life for couples. That is why commitment before a prayer is important. This allows trust to be established. Trust allows people to be authentic, which is vital in our relationship with God and our spouse. Another great attribute of trust is that it builds confidence, and a confident prayer life can change a marriage. Hearing each other’s prayers also helps us to hear what God is doing in our spouse’s heart. It is one of the most intimate things a couple can do together.
4. READ. It does not have to be complex. It just needs to happen. Our intentions at the beginning of our marriage were in the right spot and I even believe from the Lord. We just made it too complicated for where we were. Devotion books were not bad, but they are not God’s word. I believe it is is essential that just like prayer we need to be reading God’s word together as a couple. We are currently reading through the Bible together-one chapter at a time. It is a lofty goal, but measurable which is something we need too. Building confidence is just as important to remain in your commitment. Most importantly we are in God’s word together. It allows another opportunity in our marriage to hear from God.
5. TALK. Take time to talk about what you are hearing and learning. Share struggles. The things that you are not wanting to hear and are finding God wants to change in your life to look more like Him. One of the leading reasons I hear marriages are ending in divorce is from the lack of communication. Communication comes in two ways, listening and speaking. Both words here are active verbs and take a lot of work. Talk about the things that you are learning and growing in. Chances are both of you are learning and growing in the same ways.
6. PRAISE. Praise God for what He is teaching you and doing in your marriage. I was always taught to give credit where credit is due.
The steps to grow spiritual intimacy in your marriage are not complex. When you walk through them one step at a time, you will see your love for God and your love for your spouse grow more than you “could ever ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20)
What are you doing to grow spiritual intimacy in your marriage? Is there something that you have found successful for your marriage?
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