The following is an overview of a conversation between Roy Baldwin and pastor Willie Batson, founder and lead coach of W.C.Batson Coaching Services, as part of a series on Marriage. In this episode, the two discuss what it means to be spiritually intimate with your spouse, and why it is an important aspect of your marriage.
“So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessings at the appropriate time.”Galatians 6:9
Its no secret that marriage isn’t a perfect fairytale ending: it can be messy. A great marriage, however, does not need glitz, glamour and even excitement. On the contrary, what we really need to be focused on is how much depth there is in our relationships. Depth can be given through good communication, and being kind to each other. The bedrock for an enduring and deep marriage, however, is Spiritual Intimacy.
Developing and maintaining spiritual intimacy in a marriage isn’t easy. It’s important to read your Bible and pray, but it’s a lot harder to show and demonstrate what spiritual intimacy is, especially in marriage. If you gain one thing from todays conversation and developing spiritual togetherness in your own home, it’s to live according to Galatians 6:9 and to NOT GIVE UP!
The Value of Spiritual Intimacy
One of the key things to keep in mind going into this is that Spiritual Intimacy will NOT make your marriage perfect. What it will do instead is keep you in touch with the CREATOR of marriage – the One who has the answers to your most deep-rooted marriage challenges. Spiritual Intimacy allows you to connect with one another at the deepest levels of your soul, as well as link you with God’s purposes and plans for you. It allows you to bless each other with God’s love, and unify both of your deepest desires and values.
As you and your spouse grow spiritually intimate and submit to the teachings of scripture, your biggest goals and beliefs will be in harmony with one another.
Tending the Soul of your Marriage
Faith in a personal God who loves you and is concerned for your well-being is fundamental to a deepening spiritual intimacy in your marriage.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.Ecclesiastes 4:12
Experiencing God together helps develop spiritual intimacy
There are many ways for you and your spouse to experience God together:
- Worshipping together – At home, in small gatherings, at church
- Read the Bible or a devotional book together
- Talk about what God is teaching you in your individual devotions and studies.
- Attend or lead a Bible study with other married couples
- Make your devotions simple and brief
- Be accountable to each other, sharing and receiving correction from each other
- Compliment your spouse on his/her spiritual growth (no matter how small it may be.
Together, you should seek God’s will for your life and marriage, while also counting the blessings God has given the both of you. Encourage the expression of spiritual gifts in ministry as a couple. You may have different interests, but if you can find a place where you can minister as a team, you will strengthen your spiritual togetherness.
Do not underestimate the power of prayer in your marriage.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-6
Les and Leslie Parrott report that couples who frequently pray together are twice as likely as those who pray less often to describe their marriage as being highly romantic. These couples also report considerably higher sexual satisfaction and more sexual delight. While these are certain great benefits, prayer can mainly:
- help you with your perspective on problems.
- help you reorder your priorities.
- Give you a sense of purpose.
With the importance of prayer established, how can you make it a significant part of your marriage?
- You can agree together that you will make prayer a priority in your marriage.
- You can keep the prayer time brief. It is not necessary to pray for hours as a couple in order to have a meaningful prayer life. If one of you is not comfortable praying aloud, the shorter time will be encouraging, and you can always extend the time when it is mutually agreeable.
- You can include words of thanksgiving for your spouse, along with praying for his/her needs.
Define and Understand your shared core beliefs, allowing those beliefs to be lived out in your marriage.
- What do you believe about life, death, God, marriage, family, etc?
- Do your core beliefs include a personal relationship with God?
- What do you believe about Jesus and his teachings?
- What are your beliefs about forgiveness, hope, or pain in the world?
- What difference do your core beliefs make in your daily life?
- If someone looked at your life and marriage today, what would they say are your core beliefs?
- Are you living out your spiritual core beliefs day by day, or is your faith in a God a “Sunday thing”?
Having shared core beliefs lived out in the lives of couples is related to higher marital satisfaction and a more connected relationships.