It was always my understanding that to grow spiritually with your spouse, you had to start your spiritual journey in the same place. That isn’t usually the case for a husband and wife. After all, everyone evolves in their own way, or so I thought.
My husband and I didn’t always go to church, we rarely read the Bible together, and praying wasn’t a huge priority. Our hearts were in the right place, but we had no clue of the treasures the Lord had in store for us if we would only put our faith in Him!
When one of my parents died suddenly from COVID complications, I was frustrated, confused, and angry at God, but in a short while, I was reminded that God never left my side, especially during this trial. In fact, it was during this time that He carried me the most.
Our lives were forever changed because of this pivotal moment as our relationship with Jesus Christ grew exponentially. While it wasn’t exactly an overnight transformation, my life felt like a fairy tale because I had always dreamed of having a Christian family like this.
Since marriages aren’t usually strengthened as a result of a tragedy, what’s the best way to grow spiritually with your spouse and have an amazing marriage – at the same time?
Let’s look at some possible solutions!
How to Grow Spiritually with Your Spouse
I’ve heard many spouses state that they began their spiritual journey alone. While I presumed my spiritual life would advance in much the same way, my husband surpassed my expectations.
As I became more passionate in my journey with Christ, so did he. As I wanted to engage more in Christian fellowship, so did he. I know that I am blessed to have a husband that wanted to grow alongside me like this.
Not all husbands and wives have a spiritual connection like this. We are not all equally yoked. We are advised not to be yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14) in marriage, but we often choose our spouse based on other attributes.
You can take action to help your spouse grow spiritually with you, even if he or she is not as passionate about the Lord as you are right now.
1. Be a Good Christian Example.
Show your spouse your passion for Christ! Read your Bible, find a church home, and start praying! Your spouse will see your example and will surely be moved and forever changed by the spiritual practices you embrace.
We are advised to be Christ-like with our behavior, but how can we emulate Christ well? The fruit of the Spirit gives us the moral foundation of Christ and should be the spiritual foundation for our lives.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23a (HCSB)
Ask yourself which of these traits you already have instilled in you and which you need to work on. Strive to be like Christ in what you do and say to your spouse, and they will see the wonderful change in you.
2. Invite Your Spouse to Join You.
We often find it difficult to be vulnerable around the people we are closest to. After all, they do know your strengths and weaknesses, so they are in the perfect position to hurt you.
Give those people, especially your spouse, a little more credit, though. You might be surprised at their answer if you just ask them to do a Bible study with you or to say a prayer before dinner.
And really, if you think about it, what’s the worst that could happen? What do you have to lose in taking the risk?
They might decline, but the truth is, they will probably be agreeable to something that could bring the two of you closer together and give you everlasting joy!
Take Paul, for example. He was in some of the worst circumstances imaginable, and yet, he found joy because of Christ who lived inside of him!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – Philippians 4:4 (HCSB)
Remember that the joy you have in Christ cannot be taken away from you – regardless of what your spouse does or says!
It’s worth the risk of embarrassment and is certainly worth sharing with the one you vowed to spend your life with!
Don’t get me wrong; an instant change is unrealistic. Don’t get upset with your spouse if they don’t come around at first; it could take years, but it’s worth the effort to put yourself out there. Try not to get too discouraged if you don’t see immediate results!
Continue to have a relationship with God in front of your spouse, and shine your light on them through courageous persistence. You never know when that day will come when it will make a difference!
3. Pray for Your Spouse.
As you probably know, you can’t control your spouse’s actions, but you can control your own actions and reactions. Praying for your husband or wife is an excellent step to take.
Whether your spouse has joined you on your spiritual journey or not, you should pray for him or her and their relationship with Christ.
If you are not a prayer warrior, you can start by writing in a prayer journal, praying scripture, saying a prayer out loud, or just praying with all your heart.
God just wants to hear from you! After all, you are His child, so speak from the heart as David did when he went through many trials, tribulations, and celebrations in the Psalms. If you are new to praying, praying through the Psalms is an excellent start!
He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His Name’s sake. – Psalm 23:3 (HCSB)
4. Be a Godly Spouse.
What is a godly wife, and how is she different from a secular wife? How can you be a godly husband? To be a great Christian spouse, you need to embody Christ’s love to the best of your ability.
We learn that love is patient and kind; love does not envy, and it is not boastful, arrogant, rude, self-seeking, irritable, and it does not keep a record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
That means you should strive to have those traits with those you love.
Another great source for learning how to be a godly wife is Proverbs 31. She supports her husband, fears the Lord, and brings him good all the days of her life. A great example of a godly woman is found in the story of Ruth in the Bible.
A godly husband is often loyal, honorable, and generous. Ruth’s husband, Boaz, is an excellent example of a godly husband, as he demonstrated these characteristics.
For more information on how to build a spiritual marriage, consider allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read and study the Bible. Read even more about marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33.
5. Work on Your Faith Together.
Often, we get caught up in our own world. We forget that we are partners in marriage, that it takes two to tango, and that our spouse might need a little help in the faith department.
While you may be gifted in one area, your spouse may shine in another. For example, my husband is a social butterfly, so in that realm, he flourishes. I, on the other hand, tend to be more studious and dedicated to reading books.
We complement each other well; he is able to encourage me when I don’t want to be in a room full of people, and I can expand his knowledge on subjects that might not seem that simple to grasp. It’s a good fit, but it wasn’t my doing; God gets all the glory here!
God created us so that we could work together in life and build upon each other’s talents and skills. We are to build one another up so that we can experience spiritual growth together.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11a (HCSB)
That means that it’s important that you help your spouse in the areas he or she is weak and let him or her shine when they are at their strongest.
Be a blessing in his or her life, and help them be a better version of themselves. Not only will you end up with a greater partner in life, but you’ll also be glorifying God!
Recommended Resources to Grow with Your Spouse
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas – talks about love, respect, forgiveness, happiness, and so much more. It was designed to make you think outside of the box. What if God wanted you to be holy more than happy? What would that look like?
Christian Marriage Devotional Book for Couples by Teri Reeves – helps you improve the communication in your marriage and strengthen the romantic connection the two of you have. Learn all kinds of insight as you walk through this devotional book step by step.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman – aids you in growing together as a couple by learning which of the 5 love languages you need the most and which your spouse needs the most. Learning this simple thing can make a huge difference in your marriage.
The Power of a Praying® Wife by Stormie Omartian – helps you if you’ve decided to take the advice and pray for your spouse. There is also a book for husbands to pray for their spouses. What a game-changer! Learn the power of prayer this way!
Growing closer to God is an important part of every Christian’s life. As a Christian, you probably want to know how to grow spiritually with your spouse, so I hope that these suggestions prove useful to you.
As you strengthen your bond with the Lord, imagine growing closer in your marriage! Having both at the same time is a true success story, and I hope you have one as I did!
Just keep in mind the main tips – be a good Christian example, invite your spouse to join you, pray for them, be a godly husband or wife, and work on your faith together!
Before you know it, you will grow spiritually with your husband or wife and see positive changes in your life that can only come from the Lord above.