Few things in a marriage are as important as spiritual intimacy between a husband and wife.
Spiritual intimacy is a sense of unity and mutual commitment to God’s purpose for our lives and marriage, along with a respect for the special dreams of each other’s hearts. It’s the greatest depth of intimacy we experience in marriage.
It’s helpful to view intimacy in terms of the acronym INVEST: Intimacy Necessitates Value, Energy, Sacrifice, and Trust.
Value is essential to spiritual intimacy.
This means we value God’s purpose for our spouse’s life and the dreams of their heart. Contrary to what some chauvinists may believe, a marriage is not considered godly if one spouse is more important than the other.
A godly marriage happens when two people who are created in God’s image join together to help each other fulfill God’s calls on their lives.
When you value each other spiritually, you partner with God to help your spouse reach their spiritual potential.
Energy is essential to spiritual intimacy.
This means committing to pursuing God as individuals and together as a couple. This means putting in the spiritual work. Pray together. Invite God into your circumstances.
Few things are more powerful than a man and woman holding hands, praying for their children, their jobs, their finances, and their lives together. Apply energy to your spiritual life. Pray together, worship together, and seek God together.
Sacrifice is essential to spiritual intimacy.
This means sacrificing the desire to only promote yourself or worry about yourself. In other words, you give of yourself on behalf of the other.
Both men and women have a natural selfishness. Without God’s help, we will only care about ourselves. Spiritual intimacy will not occur unless we both put our own needs behind meeting the needs of our spouse. The ideal marriage is two servants in love.
Finally, trust is essential to spiritual intimacy.
This means creating an atmosphere where you can share your deepest spiritual desires and dreams—and so can your spouse. Once you’ve shared your dreams, your spouse must honor them, respect them, and treat them carefully.
Research has shown that the deepest fights in a relationship occur on a “dream level”—what our hearts long for the most. In our marriage, Karen dreamed of financial security. Because I didn’t value our finances in the same way she did, I ended up becoming her dream-breaker.
I didn’t respect the things that she felt deep within her heart. It hurt our marriage and inhibited our spiritual intimacy.
Your spouse’s deepest longing may have to do with minimizing stress, raising children, or keeping a simple, well-kept home. Do not disrespect or damage your spouse’s dream!
If you’re going to have spiritual intimacy in your marriage, you must INVEST in it. Value God’s purpose for your spouse, pursue God together, sacrifice your own needs and desires, and create a safe atmosphere where you can help your husband or wife fulfill their dreams.