Along with physical and emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy is an essential part of a healthy marriage. It refers to a mutual commitment to God’s purpose for our lives and marriage, and a respect for the special dreams of each other’s hearts.
Spiritual intimacy is the greatest depth of intimacy we experience in marriage. Fostering this powerful unity begins with the acronym INVEST: Intimacy Necessitates Value, Energy, Sacrifice and Trust. Let’s explore how these relate to spiritual intimacy.
First, I value God’s purpose for your life and the dreams of your heart. We are each other’s dream-makers, not dream-breakers. This means we partner with God to bring our spouses to their full potential—and we do it as a team.
This means one spouse is not more important than the other. A godly marriage is made of two people created in God’s image, both pursuing God’s call on their lives.
Second, I put energy into pursuing God and building our marriage. One of the best actions you can take to create spiritual intimacy is prayer. Pray as individuals. Pray as a couple. Work at praying and seeking God together.
Karen and I pray together a lot. We’ve discovered that a couple is either going to pray…or they’re going to worry and fight. When you invite God into the circumstances of your marriage, you’re not going to fight about those circumstances.
Third, I sacrifice the desire to only promote myself. God looked at Adam—who was by himself—and said it was not good for the man to be alone. God then created Eve to help Adam reach his potential. He used Adam to help Eve discover her true potential.
He intended marriage to work as a partnership, which is why Satan didn’t attack the garden until Adam and Eve were together. In a healthy marriage, both the husband and wife have to sacrifice their natural selfishness in order to prioritize the marriage relationship.
Fourth, I create an atmosphere of trust. This means building a relationship where one spouse can share deep spiritual dreams, trusting the other spouse to honor those desires. Research has shown that the worst fights in a marriage happen when one spouse steps on the dreams of another.
That dream could be financial security. It could be a stress-free, orderly home. It could be children who feel loved and valued within the family. Whatever the dream, we have to recognize it deep within our spouse’s heart. Not only should we respect it, but we have to do everything possible to help them achieve it.
A godly marriage is a win-win proposition. When one spouse puts energy into the relationship, the marriage deepens. When one sacrifices for the other, the marriage grows stronger. When one creates a place of safety and trust, the relationship improves. Spiritual intimacy is the result.
Your relationship with God may be personal, but God also has a plan and purpose for your marriage. Nurture each other. Invest in each other. Seek God together as are a team. Together, work toward discovering and pursuing His call on your lives.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today