Working on Spiritual Intimacy in Your Marriage

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When you pursue a vital, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ—individually and together—you will experience true oneness, trust, and security.

Some people struggle to get their spouses interested in spiritual things. If you find yourself in that place, here are some ways you can make spiritual intimacy more appealing.

* Present your case. Talking to your spouse about spiritual matters may be difficult for you. Counselor David Clarke offers some advice: Tell your spouse you want to discuss something important and ask when would be a good time to talk. Avoid making an emotional argument for your case. Instead, make your approach logical and practical. Your point is not to pressure or appear spiritually superior. Understand that he or she won’t respond right away. When you sit down to talk, tell your spouse you don’t want him or her to respond now (give your spouse time to process what you will say). Present your case in a straightforward and brief way (keep it to five or ten minutes). Tell your spouse that your marriage is missing something—and you realize it’s spiritual intimacy. Then list the benefits: If you spend time together praying, reading the Bible, and attending church, you’ll grow spiritually as individuals; you’ll create physical and emotional intimacy in your marriage; and you’ll receive God’s blessing. Ask your spouse to think about what you’ve said. It’s okay if he or she doesn’t respond immediately because you’ve clearly stated the need, established spiritual bonding as a priority, and set the stage for strategy.

* Focus on your own spiritual life. The Bible teaches that it’s possible to win a spouse to Christ without even saying a word. You can draw your spouse to Christ by exhibiting a faith that’s authentic. Share your spiritual life with your spouse. Ask if it’s okay if you periodically talk about your spiritual life. Share how God is guiding and teaching you. Reveal spiritual triumphs and disappointments. Mention what you’re praying for, and share God’s answers to your prayers. Don’t let your spouse’s apparent lack of interest discourage you. Tell your spouse gently and lovingly when you see God working in his or her life. Pick the occasions as God guides, and say only a sentence or two.

* Look for incremental growth. Don’t expect too much too soon. Suggest that you’d like to pray together, and look for an indication that your spouse is open. Then begin by thanking God for your spouse. Keep it brief. Then ask your spouse to pray as well. Affirm whatever growth you see. Above all, don’t give up. Imagine how God is working in your spouse’s life and how he is preparing to do great things in and through both of you.

When you as a couple work together to grow spiritually, your relationship will deepen. When you pursue a vital, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ—individually and together—you will experience true oneness, trust, and security.


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