Christian married friends, do you ever struggle with knowing how to connect with your spouse on a spiritual level? What’s the best way to do this? What should it look like? Or maybe you aren’t married yet, but desire to be one day, and you may have a specific idea of what you think it should look like one day.
We know that God’s Word teaches us that once you get married, you go from two to one. You begin to combine your lives! (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31)
My wife Emily and I have had the privilege of walking through pre-marital counseling with seven different couples leading up to their wedding. With each couple we’ve met with, there are many questions that we are asked, but one that has been consistently asked is: What does it look like to connect with each other spiritually?
First of all, I will say that the most important thing in a marriage is for both husband and wife to first have their own personal relationship and time with God. Our spouses cannot fill the void that only Jesus can. But in addition to this, we should also be connecting and growing together spiritually.
So far, our answer to that question has never been just one thing, and we honestly haven’t mastered this. We have learned, and are still learning how to connect spiritually. I believe this will be a lifelong process and can look a number of different ways.
As I’ve been reflecting on this, here are some thoughts and ideas that could be helpful:
- Pray together
Husbands are called to lead and set the pace in their marriage. This doesn’t necessarily mean the husband is more spiritual or even a stronger Christian, but the husband should be intentional to initiate a spiritual connection. If he never does, that’s not good. This can honestly overwhelm me at times because I’m insecure. I’ve had to work through that insecurity. One way I’ve grown in this is by praying with my wife. A goal that we have set together, is that once a week before bed, we pray together. We usually do this on Sunday or Monday nights. I truly believe it helps us connect and sets the tone for the week!
- Talk about a sermon together
Most of us hear a sermon every Sunday or some other time in the week. If you are hearing the same sermon, you can talk about what you learned, what stood out to you and what you’re processing. Now, if you’re a pastor and happened to be the preacher, that could get awkward! You may need to get creative. You could both look up and watch the same sermon together online. It’s a great way to foster a spiritual conversation.
- Read together
Obviously, the Bible is our main book. It’s consistent, absolute truth. Working to read and openly process God’s Word together is great, but we’ve also learned that reading a book together can be helpful. We often take turns reading a chapter out loud together before going to bed. We did this with the 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman and it was super helpful. Finding a Bible-based resource to read and talk about together is a great tool.
- Share about what you’re learning in your own personal time with God
As I said earlier, your spouse can’t be your #1, God is! But your spouse comes right after God. Each of you should first be having your own personal time with God. If God is what sustains each of us and our marriages, we should spend time with Him and talk about Him. What are each of you reading in your personal time with the Lord? What’s He teaching you? Even asking each other if you’ve been having a devotional can be great for encouragement and accountability.
Spiritual connection often happens over the things that may seem small. It should be intentional, genuine and real. It doesn’t have to be extreme, intense, or over the top, and it won’t be perfect! If you aren’t already connecting with your spouse spiritually, have a conversation with them about it and figure out what a good next step could be. If you are doing something together, that’s great! Challenge yourselves to be consistent. All married couples will struggle with this from time to time and every season may look different, but the important thing is recognizing the importance, communicating about it and being intentional to put a plan in place!