People often ask me “What is the ONE key to having a great marriage?” While I believe that there is not just one thing that makes a marriage great, I do know that spiritual intimacy is a key in building an incredible marriage. What is spiritual intimacy? I believe it’s an important component of a marriage that requires that both partners determine to be close to God and follow His direction for their lives. Any other way leads to disillusionment and dissatisfaction in a marriage as one partner (or both) seek fulfillment in other ways.
We hear so much about marriages that are in crisis because one partner is a believer and the other is not. Conflict also occurs in a marriage of two believers where one wants to go forward in God but the other does not share this desire. They are happy to have salvation, but, beyond this, they have little passion to serve God. When there is no understanding and agreement on this topic, many couples choose to live in a vacuum, living their own spiritual life and ignoring that of their partner.
Even when both partners call themselves Christians, this on its own isn’t enough to have a spiritually fulfilling marriage. In the luster of a new relationship, we often believe that we can change our spouse’s behaviors or attitudes. In fact, due to these beliefs, we often feel that we would do anything for the other. But as time passes, these feelings and motivations begin to fade.
This is when it is crucial for us to return to our Christian basics: love is a commitment, not a feeling. When we focus on this truth, our feelings and motivations for our spouse resurface again. Why does this happen? Because our relationship with Christ includes both the spiritual dimension and the currency of faith. When we make Christ the foundation of our marriage, we base our relationship on truth rather than the “facts” or natural realities that may or may not be too appealing at the time. Both partners loving Christ more than they love each other will lead to marriage that lasts a lifetime!