There is no one way to grow spiritual intimacy in marriage.
I’ve struggled with this myself because my husband and I have very different styles of approaching spiritual growth.
Neither approach is wrong, and yet, in marriage two are to become one. So how do you combine styles, preferences, and ultimately, work together to grow spiritual intimacy in marriage?
Just like personal spiritual intimacy, there will be ups and downs. There will be times that you feel the passion stirring in your marriage, the closeness with God and the desire to spend time reading His word and praying.
But there will also be times that time seems too short and you find no real desire to spend time with God in your marriage.
These fluctuating seasons are normal! Don’t let a season of dryness discourage you. It is in these dry times that our discipline and commitment will carry us through.
Let’s look at 5 Practical ways to grow spiritual intimacy with your spouse. Remember to make each your own. And most importantly, remember to assess your expectations.
I know I’ve let my romanticized idea of spiritual intimacy get in the way of what God really wanted for my marriage at the time. Spiritual intimacy doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes work. Start small. Set achievable goals.
Once your time spent together with the Lord becomes a habit, you can begin to deepen it and grow it.
1. Pray Over Your Marriage, Spouse & Life
First, it is important to spend dedicated time in fervent prayer individually praying over your spouse and your marriage.
Doing this will prepare and shape your heart to approach your marriage and love your spouse as God has called you to.
Second, set aside time with your spouse to pray together.
Remember to start with small increments of time. I suggest starting with 5-7 minutes if this is something new.
Here is a list of ideas to pray over together:
- Specific areas of your marriage
- Your spouse’s struggles and successes
- Guidance and direction from God
- Learning to love your spouse as God has called you to
- Sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy
- Finding ways to be intentional with each other
Devotions are a great way to get in the habit of spending time together with God.
There are a lot of short devotions you can do with your spouse. Find 5-10 minutes to go through a devotion together. This can be daily, a few times a week, or weekly. I’ve found some great devotions by searching google, blogs, or Amazon.
Devotions are a great way to build the habit of spending time together. They help to structure the time spent and are typically very engaging.
3. Study God’s Word Together
Reading God’s Word is one of the most powerful things you can do both personally and together in your marriage.
Most of the time, my husband and I choose a book and start reading through it. But I love, and really recommend, finding a reading plan.
God’s Word has the power to shine truth and hope into your marriage and every part of your life. Spend time reading it and memorizing it together with your spouse.
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4. Serve Together
God calls us to serve Him in all that we do. Marriage is no exception.
One of the biggest mindset shifts we’ve had in our own marriage is that it isn’t designed solely for us. Our marriage was designed primarily to glorify God.
In order to find true joy and intimacy in our marriage, we must be going after the Lord and seeking to glorify Him in every way.
This means we must surrender our time to the Lord, our goals to the Lord and our finances to the Lord.
Ask God to show you how He wants you to serve Him in your marriage. It may just start with serving your spouse. But finding ways to serve together is a powerful way to deepen your spiritual intimacy in marriage.
5. Challenge & Encourage Each Other
As your emotional and spiritual intimacy grow, you will be better equipped to challenge and encourage each other from a place of love.
The most important part in this is to seek God and to do it from that place of Godly love.
Before you offer a challenge to your spouse, be sure to pray about it and align your heart with the Lord. Don’t take this as an opportunity to push your will on your spouse (as hard as it may be!).
And above all, be sure to encourage your spouse often. Words have power to uplift and to inspire. Use your words to encourage your spouse in their walk with God, in their daily life, in their work and in your marriage.
Don’t let this list overwhelm you or discourage you. It’s important to start small when seeking to deepen your spiritual intimacy.
And it is also essential that you first work to deepen your personal spiritual intimacy with the Lord and seek His will in this for your marriage.
Surrender your heart to the Lord and He will guide you in your spiritual intimacy in marriage.
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