Want a happier, more fulfilling marriage? One route to greater intimacy in your relationship is to grow closer spiritually.
Studies show that couples who share a steadfast devotion to their spiritual lives have happier marriages than those who don’t. While that sounds appealing, how does the couple who’s never been “religious,” or those who come from different backgrounds get started? Here are some ideas for you to consider….
Six Tips to Help You Grow Closer Spiritually
One of the reasons couples get into the habit of not engaging together spiritually is that their calendar is jam-packed with other things. Here’s a simple truth: If you’re too busy for spiritual things, you’re too busy. Either that, or your priorities as a couple need some adjusting.
Make an appointment during the day to read together from a spiritually oriented book, devotional, or the Bible. Even if you can only find 5-10 minutes each day at first, it’s well worth it. In addition, set aside Sunday morning as sacred for things that are, well, sacred.
One of the things that may make having spiritual conversations difficult between you and your spouse is if the two of you come from different religious traditions. At first, you may only know opposite experiences—maybe your family was Episcopal, and theirs was Pentecostal. Take time to get your spiritual profile out on the table, and don’t be afraid to ask big questions about the things you don’t understand.
Try New Things
Once you’ve gained some understanding of how your two backgrounds are alike or different, don’t be afraid to try new things. Try worshiping together at a church you can agree to attend, or other new ways of coming together spiritually as a couple. The critical task is to make an effort to draw closer to God together. If you’re searching together, God will honor that.
One way to grow closer spiritually is to discuss what you’re learning. Something may stand out to you from the Bible, conversations with other people, or sermons you listen to together. Take some time together to reflect on those things.
It is also important to reflect on how your marriage can benefit from applying biblical principles. Go below the surface and dive deep into how you, as a couple, can enrich your life by listening more to God’s voice.
As you go on this journey, it can be helpful to find a spiritually mature couple you both respect to serve as a mentors for your marriage. They can help guide you as you walk down new spiritual pathways.
Ease into Hard Things
When you’ve never done something together, it’s important to give yourself time to develop new skills and habits. One practice many husbands and wives struggle with is praying together. It might not feel natural, and fear of saying the wrong thing could keep your words stuck deep inside. However, if you can get past the awkwardness, shared prayer is a powerful tool in your relationship that can strengthen your bond.
Perhaps start by reading aloud together prayers written for couples by someone else. Then, after you feel comfortable with that, try writing a prayer, and reading it to each other. Finally, after a season of this, see if you feel more comfortable praying out loud together without writing anything down.
Draw on What You’ve Learned
Growing and moving toward God is the goal, so don’t be afraid to evaluate where you are as a couple and make adjustments as you go. If you both stay committed to your goal to grow closer spiritually, you’ll be surprised at what it will do for your relationship.