“What does Spiritual Intimacy look like in marriage?” This is one of the most often asked questions by both premarried and married couples. In the Merge workbook, spiritual intimacy is defined as: “together, growing in your relationship with Jesus Christ. This involves three general items/steps: (1) knowing Jesus as your savior, (2) continually recognizing your dependence on Him and (3) seeking to grow in your relationship with Him.” I’ll break down this definition in a future post, but for the purposes of this post/series, I am sharing how the spiritual disciplines can be used to grow in your marriage/relationship.
On Sunday mornings at Watermark, our teaching team is leading us through a series called “inTIMEacy” – a series on how we can grow in our relationship with Christ and intimacy with the Lord. In this series of posts over the next few weeks, I will break down each one of the messages into a series of key takeaways and then share how each discipline applies to you in your relationship with your significant other, whether married or premarried.
Our Senior Equipping Director, Blake Holmes, started the series on March 2, 2014. You can find the full message here – I’d highly recommend it! In this message, Blake discussed:
• What are (and what are not) the spiritual disciplines?
• Why should we practice them?
• How should we practice them?
Everything you read in here and listen to in Blake’s message will benefit your personal relationship with Christ and will help you grow in your intimacy with the Lord. More than anything remember that any discipline takes TIME – enjoy this series on inTIMEacy.
For the Married:
How do you practice the spiritual disciplines in marriage?
• Spiritual intimacy involves more than just trying harder – it involves training over the long haul.
• How do you share what you’re learning with your spouse? How often do you share? When do you share with your spouse?
• There are many ways to draw near to the Lord, both individually and as a couple. Your time with the Lord should include God’s Word, but when, what, and how you draw near is up to you. Take some time this week to discuss with your spouse how you’re doing spiritually with the Lord and with each other. How can you take one step of growth spiritually as a couple?
For the Premarried:
In his book When Sinners Say I Do, author Dave Harvey writes about ‘getting the top button right’. When you think about a button-down shirt, if you get the top button right, all the other buttons fall in place. The analogy carries over to spiritual intimacy as a premarried couple – if you are aligned in your spiritual beliefs, you can figure out the rest. If not, then all of the other ‘buttons’ will be out-of-place.
The most important question you must ask someone when you are dating is where they are spiritually. What do they believe about Jesus? Sin? Salvation? What’s their story/testimony? And is what they claim, backed up by how they live? Is there Galatians 5.22-23 “fruit of the Spirit” exhibited in their lives? Do they have a daily, constant, abiding and dependent relationship with the Lord (John 15:5)?
Before you marry someone, you better know what they believe and why they believe it. Too often this is the last conversation couples have with one another and it really should be the first.
Your turn: How well are you and your significant other doing in the spiritual disciplines? Are you making the TIME to hang out with Jesus and share with each other what you’re learning?