For the last 10 years, I have worked full time with couples preparing for marriage, couples starting their marriage, couples with no kids, couples with babies, couples who wish they never became a couple and just about everything in between. The challenges always change and the opportunities never cease.
One area where many couples struggle is the area of spiritual intimacy.
- For couples in the premarried stage of life, this is the most important topic they need to discuss but often becomes the last area they talk about.
- For married couples, spiritual intimacy should be the backbone of their relationship but instead becomes something most couples don’t even know how to discuss.
- And for couples who are struggling, this is the one thing they need to focus on and the one thing that can bring them back together.
When we use the word intimacy, we often think of physical intimacy, a.k.a. sex and romance. While this is certainly an aspect of marital intimacy, it’s not the only area. We also need to consider relational intimacy (friendship, companionship, see 124 Killer Date Night Ideas), emotional intimacy (a subject for another post on another day), and spiritual intimacy (see also this post my friends at Fierce Marriage – Devotion: The 3 Proximities of Intimacy). Today I want to focus on the spiritual aspect.
What is Spiritual Intimacy?
For the sake of clarity, spiritual intimacy can be defined as together, growing in your relationship with Jesus Christ. And when I say the word intimacy, I mean “to fully know and to be fully known.” In other words, intimacy with God would mean that we know Him and move towards fully knowing Him. In marriage, we know our spouse and move towards fully knowing them and being known by them.
At some point in the future, it would be helpful for me to write about different aspects of spiritual intimacy (i.e., bible study, prayer, community, service, church membership), but for this post I simply want to point you towards a few tools/resources that I believe will help you grow in spiritual intimacy.
In a previous two-part series I shared 8 barriers couples face when it comes to spiritual intimacy and 8 ways to overcome those barriers. I don’t want or need to rehash those here, but I would recommend reading those posts to help you work through some of the challenges you might face when it comes to spiritual intimacy in your own marriage (Why is Spiritual Intimacy a Challenge for Couples & How to Overcome Common Barriers to Spiritual Intimacy).
What I do know is that spiritual intimacy is part of God’s design for oneness and can be a tremendous gift in your marriage. Below are two recommendations:
1. Read the Bible together, or read the Bible separately but share with each other what you’re learning. I am a big fan of Watermark’s guided reading plan, Join the Journey. The Journey provides you with a clear roadmap of what to read each day along with some great commentary and discussion/reflection questions. Read the Journey devotional, answer the questions and share your responses with your significant other.
2. Check out this couple’s devotional/instavotional called Two As One from Ryan & Selena Frederick at Fierce Marriage. People often ask me for a recommendation on a good marriage book/devotional to go through together. Finally after all of these years of marriage ministry, I have my go to resource to send them. This 30-day devotional features a daily image and quote (think Instagram post), some brief, Christ-centered, biblically-based commentary, a few discussion questions and a place for both the husband and wife to capture their prayer requests in writing.
The reason why I like this resource is that it helps guide you into having spiritual conversations with your spouse. This resource provides a practical guide to learning more about God and more about your significant other. In addition, this couple’s devotional helps you pray together and gives you insight into what your significant other is thinking and feeling.
I have 3 copies of this book to give away. To win a copy of the devotional, answer the following question: What is one suggestion you have for other readers (and for me!) on how to grow in spiritual intimacy with your significant other? Leave a comment below, on Facebook or on Instagram, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll draw 3 names to win a copy of this great resource from Fierce Marriage.
1. How are you and your spouse doing in the area of spiritual intimacy?
2. What are some ways you can grow in sharing what the Lord is teaching you with regard to spiritual intimacy?
3. Check out some of my other posts on spiritual intimacy in marriage: