Of the various “types” of intimacy in a marriage, the pursuit of spirituality together is one that’s often forgotten. When schedules get busy and life is chaotic with jobs and chores and kids, seeking God with your spouse too often becomes last priority.
But spiritual intimacy is immeasurably powerful, and its fruit flows into and invigorates all other facets of a marriage.
Even the most happily married couples eventually discover an innate longing to bond with their lover in a deeper way, not just for comfort, not just for passion—but also for meaning.
Our lives go on day after day. They may be successful or unsuccessful, full of pleasure or full of worry. But do they mean anything? Only our souls can answer.
For married couples, spiritual meaning should be a shared pursuit. Sharing life’s ultimate meaning with another person is the spiritual call of spouses—of soul mates—and every couple must answer that call or risk a stunted, underdeveloped marriage. Like yeast in a loaf of bread, spirituality will ultimately determine whether your marriage rises successfully or falls disappointingly flat.
The spiritual dimension of marriage is a practical source of food for marital growth and health. No single factor does more to cultivate oneness and a meaningful sense of purpose in marriage than a shared commitment for spiritual discovery. It is the ultimate hunger of our souls.
Marriage, when it is healthy, has a mystical way of revealing God; a way of bringing a smiling peace to our restless hearts.
When researchers examined the characteristics of happy couples who had been married for more than two decades, one of the most important qualities they found was “faith in God and spiritual commitment.” Religion has been proven to provide couples with a shared sense of values, ideology, and purpose that bolsters their partnership.
Marriage is closer to the nature of God than any other human experience. God uses the metaphor of marriage to describe relating to humanity: “As a bridegroom rejoices over this bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” God loves the church, “the brides,” says Paul, not as a group of people external to himself with whom he has entered into an agreement, but as his own body. And similarly, when a husband loves his wife and a wife her husband, as extensions of themselves, they live as “one flesh”—as soul mates.
Loving your partner as yourself is probably the single most wholehearted step you will ever take to fulfill the love of God. Such a step, of course, could never even be contemplated without the enabling grace of God. While many marriages are undertaken—and even manage to last—without a conscious reliance on God’s help, there are no meaningful partnerships without the continuing secret touch of God’s grace on the soul of the marriage.
There is no better time than the changing of a calendar year to resolve to ignite the spiritual intimacy in your marriage. A new year means a clean slate and a natural pause to dream with your partner of what you’d like to prioritize and set your hearts upon together in the coming 12 months.
A true focus on God will reinvigorate your entire marriage. Trusting and seeking God together leads to intimacy in all corners of your relationship. Don’t wait to make spiritual intimacy a priority.
We’ve put together a new free eBook called Believing Together: A 7-Day Devotional to Revive the Spiritual Intimacy In Your Marriage. It’s only available for a limited time! Each day, you’ll be guided through a key relationship question, a one-page devotional, and a Bible passage. It’s a great way to jump-start your spiritual intimacy and prepare your marriage for rich depth in the years to come. You can click here to learn more and download it for free.
This post is adapted from an excerpt in our recently-expanded book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.