How do you and your spouse plan to grow together spiritually? For most couples, it is trying to get to church every week, or at least somewhat regularly. But just having a Sunday to Sunday plan isn’t enough for the most important aspect of your marital health.
- An athlete doesn’t train one day a week.
- A student for med school doesn’t study one day a week.
- A diet doesn’t work if you’re on it only one day a week.
- You don’t talk to each other only one day a week.
- You get the idea….
Actively cultivating your spiritual growth as a couple throughout the week will draw you closer together relationally, bring deeper understanding, infuse your marriage with more grace, and increase your satisfaction at every level. Here are five spiritual practices you can bring into your marriage to grow together spiritually at home:
1. Commit together
Throughout the pages of the Bible people are called to commit to God. At our wedding the verse we chose was from Joshua 24:15 “…choose this day whom you will serve….as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Talk together about the importance of nurturing your spiritual growth throughout the week. Make a commitment together to take steps of intentionality in growing your relationship with Jesus.
2. Read Together
It’s important to feed your mind and heart on the same spiritual food throughout the week. Ideally this could be part of your daily routine together. For some couples, because of work schedules and children’s activities, they can only fit in a few days a week. Decide what will work for the two of you to read together and then try to stick to it.
You may choose to read through one of the books in the New Testament. Perhaps you will take turns reading. If this is a new practice for you, begin with just a paragraph or two. The book of James can be a good starting place.
Another option would be to read the same daily devotional. Even on the days you can’t read together, you will be learning the same truths. Here are a couple of online links to resources we like: Our Daily Bread and My Utmost for His Highest.
3. Pray together
Everywhere we travel for Build Your Marriage conferences we talk to couples who know they should pray together but for some reason they never have. Praying together is an intimate expression of our hearts before God. Our faith is very personal, but it was never meant to be private–and especially not from our spouse!
Praying together doesn’t have to be long and drawn-out. Praying together can be as simple as asking for God’s blessing on your marriage. You might ask each other what you can pray about. Then give your spouse the gift of hearing you pray for them. From there, perhaps the two of you will eventually focus on your family, work pressures, or even your friends.
4. Give together
One of God’s tests of whether He is truly first in our lives is if He is first in our finances. Everything we have is from Him and entrusted to us as stewards. As such, we honor Him by giving the first portion of our income to Him. It’s a Biblical practice (Malachi 3:8-10) that we are to engage in thoughtfully and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7).
From the beginning of our marriage we have always given at least 10% of our income to God. Even in graduate school when we made $500/month, we gave $50. We’ve seen His faithful provision time and again. Giving together takes you on a spiritual adventure of faith, trust, and unity that invites God’s blessings upon you. Sometimes the blessings are financial, but there are always spiritual blessings.
5. Talk together
Bring spiritual conversations into the flow of your week. At the dinner table ask, “Where have you seen God at work lately?” If you have children at home, this will let them hear the two of you talk about God’s activity. It will also give your children the opportunity to talk openly about God’s presence in their lives.
Tell your spouse things that impressed you in your daily reading. Share where you are being stretched. Talk about your struggles and encourage each other to trust God.
Growing together spiritually at home is doable with a little planning and proactivity. It will take some time to build these new practices into your weekly rhythms, but as you do you’ll grow closer to God–together–and you will build your marriage.