Learning to be Spiritually United With Your Spouse

Written by Gina Lee, Contributing Writer

Learning to be Spiritually United with your spouse

Image courtesy of [thepathtraveler] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

This past January, my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. Not too long yet, but long enough for me to realize we’re just getting started. I heard somewhere that it takes about 8 years to truly get to know someone. Friendships don’t tend to last that long, and even if they do, most people don’t spend as much time with a friend as they do with their spouse. And hopefully you’ll be married longer than you were ‘under the care’ of your parents. So that leaves marriage in a unique category of ‘the longest earthly relationship you will ever have’.

Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things…”

 

Since marriage is designed by God to be such a long relationship, it should grow, mature, and change. The verse from Hebrews above says marriage should be held in honor. There’s two ways I think of honor. The first way to ‘honor’ something is by not approaching it or touching it, like an heirloom vase. You clean it, admire it, but for the most part don’t actually use it. The second way I think of it is that you ‘honor’ something because you use it often, like a kitchen appliance or car. You use it daily, so it gets cared for, maintained and updated due to it’s importance.

Allow me to take an example from my husband. He bikes to work. He bikes for fun. He likes to bike. Because of that, he likes his bike. He doesn’t have a super spendy bike, but it’s a nice one that took time to pick out. Its chains get cleaned often, the brakes get adjusted, the tires are replaced with better ones, and the whole bike gets a tune-up at least once a year. He might not say his bike has a place of ‘honor’, but just based on the time and attention it gets, it is honored. Marriage is {hopefully} honored in this same way.

Now the balancing act comes in. While you focus effort on maintaining and caring for your marriage, you still have your relationship with God to maintain and grow. It’s true that furthering your individual relationship with God affects your marriage for the good, but it can sometimes feel like a hard balance to keep. Something I feel we’ve recently begun learning in our marriage is that it’s not so much about balancing the two, but instead meshing the two. While there is value in having daily personal time with God, there is also value in doing it together. Aren’t we ‘as one’ to God anyway? Maybe there is more value in pursuing our relationship with God together as a married couple, rather than only focusing on it separately? Just a thought.

For sure it’s new territory for us. We haven’t been great at sharing deep prayer requests with each other, or seeking God on our faces together that often. But we’re starting to. And it. is. awesome. But it’s also hard. It means being even more vulnerable with each other. Baring souls with one another is much harder than baring bodies. I think this is the point Paul is trying to make in 1 Corinthians 7.

“My desire is to have you free from all anxiety and distressing care. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord; But the married man is anxious about worldly matters—how he may please his wife—And he is drawn in diverging directions [his interests are divided and he is distracted from his devotion to God]. And the unmarried woman or girl is concerned and anxious about the matters of the Lord, how to be wholly separated and set apart in body and spirit; but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs—how she may please her husband. Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (Amplified)

 

That last part Paul writes, the part that says “to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord”, I think this is key. It’s becoming more apparent to me that the only way to not be distracted or divided from the Lord by being married is to fully unite with your spouse. Not just physically. Not just mentally. But fully unite spiritually. This is the part that doesn’t just magically happen when you say ‘I do’, or when your have your first…er…intimate encounter together. It’s the part that takes effort. And work. And time. But uniting spiritually is also the part that grows, and deepens, and brings your marriage closer to God, as one in Him.

It’s been a lot of fun to be married lately. We’ve been staying up way too late, getting to know even more about each other. Talking about where we see God moving in our lives, ways we can pray for each other, and where God might have us in 5, 10 or 15 years. I’ve enjoyed praying together, beyond the ‘basic’ prayers (mealtime, bedtime…) Reminds me of when we were engaged, and we’d sit together and talk for hours. It’s a little funny to me, that after 8 years of marriage we still have things to discover about each other, and we have so far to go in truly meshing spiritually.

I think we’ve just scratched the surface, and it only gets better from here.