I’ve written about 4 Ways to Grow Intimacy in Your Marriage before, but today we’ll be looking at one aspect of intimacy – spiritual connection – and how to grow it as a couple.
Only a secure connection with your spouse will build a marriage that lasts.
But there’s more to connection than talking and touching. Aside from the physical, emotional and mental elements, we also have a spiritual dimension.
This is the one couples often skip – either because it’s non-existent or because they don’t think it’s important.
But, it’s more important than you think!
Here are 4 ways to build spiritual intimacy with your spouse:
When God created you, He made you with a hole in your heart only He could fill. Although some of that hole gets filled by your spouse, they can never entirely fill it.
They weren’t meant to. God was.
Learn to go to God to have your needs met, to have that hole filled by Him. Couples often suffer needless pain because they place all of their expectations on each other instead of asking God to meet their needs.
They nurse blame and hurt when their spouse doesn’t meet their needs. These will eventually turn to resentment and bitterness and dissolve intimacy.
Why is it important to have God meet your needs?
Because, when God is meeting your needs, you demand less of your spouse, and somehow that sets them free to meet your needs because they want to, not because they are forced to.
Three things happen when you take your needs to God:
a) You feel less anxious about our needs.
b) You set your spouse free from having to be everything to you (something they can never be anyway).
c) You set your spouse free to change.
In the absence of demand, force
2. Share your personal walk with God.
Share with your spouse the personal growth you are experiencing, the insights you gain from studying the Bible during personal devotions, how God is working in your life, and the things He is teaching you.
Richard and I share almost daily what God is saying to us, things we are learning, and spiritual struggles we are having. Knowing each other’s spiritual struggles helps us pray better for each other.
You and your spouse will grow spiritually at different rates. That’s OK. The important thing is that you are both growing. Be patient with each other, but continue sharing – even if you say you are learning nothing and struggling to connect with God.
This vulnerability will strengthen your bond and create intimacy.
3. Pray together.
Praying is one of the most intimate things a couple can do, but it may feel awkward if you haven’t done it before.
It’s not praying well that matters. Just praying and talking to God as to a friend will draw you together.
Start by each of you praying a short prayer. If one of you is extremely uncomfortable praying out loud, then let the person most comfortable pray until the other one is ready.
Why is it important to pray out loud? Listening to your spouse talk to God is an intimate thing and will bind you together as you share in their bond with God.
Here are some tips for praying together:
As you pray together you will begin to pray about deeper, more intimate things. Your transparency and vulnerability will grow and this will bind you together as a couple
The Bible is an expression of God’s mind, and when you read it together you are connecting with His mind. This has to have a bonding effect.
Hebrews 4:12 tells what God’s word does:
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
God’s word cuts through all
There may be some things blocking your ability to build spiritual intimacy with your spouse.
Were you taught that God is confined to church only and you don’t talk about Him at other times? Maybe you have secret sin and you are blocking God’s work in your life. Maybe you are new Christians and you just don’t know how to talk about God. Maybe one of you is not interested in spiritual things.
Don’t let the excuses prevent you from having spiritual intimacy with your spouse.
Note: If your spouse is not interested in spiritual things, don’t try and force him or her to become interested. (This is a topic for another day).
“As you connect to God as a couple, He gives you a healthy, vibrant passion in all three areas of intimacy: spiritual, emotional, and physical. With God as its source, your passion for each other will never be exhausted. Never.” [i]
Wow. Who wants to miss out on that?
Is your marriage lacking spiritual intimacy? Make a point of growing this part of your relationship so that you can experience full intimacy with your spouse.
[i] Dr David Clarke, Kiss Me Like You Mean It, 140