These days, it seems we all have busy lives. Because of this, it can be a challenge to find spiritual harmony in your marriage–particularly if you and your spouse were raised in different faith traditions. Maybe you each want to find your own path toward spiritual growth, but you’re feeling a bit of a clash in your relationship.
Whatever your situation, it’s possible to grow spiritually as a couple. It’s possible to find that deep meaning you’re both seeking, and you can do that together. Let’s talk about what that might look like.
Seek Shared Spiritual Intimacy
Rather than trying to force yourselves onto the same page, focus on seeking shared spiritual intimacy. It’s not necessary to rush or push one another toward any specific outcome. Instead, growing spiritually is a journey you’re on together, just like your marriage itself.
Focus on the closeness you and your spouse can cultivate as you grow together. Talk about spirituality and be open to listening to one another’s hearts. That’s much more positive and productive than trying to influence each other’s pathway.
Recognize Your Spiritual Differences
Whether or not you share the same faith, it’s important to recognize and respect your spiritual differences. In what ways do your beliefs or preferences differ? How can you honor where each of you are on this journey together?
For example, one of you might be more intellectual when it comes to spirituality. Maybe that spouse prefers to dig deep, to study, and to use all the historical and contextual information they can get their hands on to build a case for their faith. On the other hand, the other spouse might be more contemplative and emotionally-driven on their faith journey. Neither of these is wrong.
Find Your Common Ground
When you’re busy with careers and raising a family, there’s not time to try converting each other to your specific set of beliefs. Instead, it’s important to find your common ground. What aspects of spirituality do you agree on?
Sit down together for a heart-to-heart about your beliefs. If you like, make a list of the things that are most important to your spiritual growth, and share these lists with one another. You might be surprised what this exercise reveals about your spouse, and you may just find that you agree on more than you thought.
Focus on the areas where you agree, and start there. What nurtures both of your hearts and spirits? Maybe you can share worship together. You might be able to join a small group that focuses on spiritual intimacy.
Look for Other Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage
Disagreements around spirituality can sometimes drive a wedge between spouses, but that doesn’t have to be the case. When you focus on spiritual intimacy and look for other ways to strengthen your marriage, the positives can naturally begin to outweigh the negatives. Here are some other areas you can focus on together:
- Deepening your intimacy
- Improving your communication and problem solving skills
- Developing more empathy for one another
- Finding a new shared activity to enjoy
- Opening up more time in your busy schedule to prioritize each other
Taking a relationship assessment such as SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts – which is great for any stage of marriage) will help you get to know one another on a deeper level. Pair the assessment with its companion book of the same name, or try our book, Strengthen Your Marriage, to reinforce the strong foundation you’re already building.
Do you and your spouse have deep spiritual disagreements? How have you worked through those over the course of your relationship? Leave a comment below and share your story.
Thanks for trying to send me a Norwegian version of your last blog!
But this translation service is not doing a good job on spiritual and marrigal matters,
so please send your original English blogpost!