If you are looking for the top traits of a successful spiritual marriage, you may be wondering if your marriage is up to par, wishing you had a spiritual partner, or wonder how to turn your relationship around. These are all great points that will be answered in this article.
As we look at what it takes to have a winning spiritual marriage, we’ll look at science-based evidence, Biblical principles, tips to make it happen, and reflective questions for each point.
We all want to have successful marriages, but according to the American Psychological Association, about 45% of all marriages in America fail. That’s why it’s so important to understand and implement the top characteristics of a successful marriage.
So, now the real questions are: Is your marriage spiritual? How can you have a healthy spiritual marriage?
We’ll answer those questions and more in this article, but let’s first talk about what makes up a successful marriage.
If you’re in a successful relationship, you’d probably agree that your partner meets your needs, which makes you happy. If you aren’t sure how to meet the needs of your spouse, you may not understand what his or her needs are. Don’t worry; this is normal; most people are experts when it comes to meeting the needs in a relationship!
Tony Robbins lists the six basic needs of a relationship as
To achieve a healthy marriage, you need to meet those needs and make your spouse happy – something you should want to do!
This article will break those needs down further into practical steps that you can take right now. Plus, you can print the free worksheet to go with this article to answer the reflective questions about your marriage.
What is Spiritual Marriage?
A spiritual marriage is a spiritual connection between two souls, a godly union of twin flames (soulmates). This happens when two spiritual souls – a husband and wife, enter into the covenant of marriage. In a spiritual marriage, there is a close companionship where two souls become one, according to God’s covenant of marriage.
If you want a spiritual marriage, seek God first, make a commitment to God with your spouse, and abide together in an effort to become one soul. This means you must care for and about your spouse, through thick and thin, while you both together seek God’s wills for your lives so that you may one day be joined together again in marriage in heaven.
God’s goal for marriage was so that no man would be alone in this world but would instead find his or her soul companion – someone who would seek His divine grace and favor. God’s purpose of marriage is for you to serve Him and honor the relationship between the Godhead (the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God).
Another way to look at a spiritual marriage is as the communion of two souls. Communion means that two people are joined together in an intimate connection, where they share their faith with one another. It’s about as close as you can get to another human being.
Top 25 Traits of a Successful Spiritual Marriage
1. Prioritizing God First
One of the key traits of a successful spiritual marriage is putting God first. This means that the long-term goal is to have God as the center of your lives. Healthy relationships with God being the central foundation have a much higher chance at success because they know and understand God’s will and purpose for marriage.
Make sure your marriage has God as the focus. This isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish, especially if you have an unbelieving spouse or are super busy with everyday life. It’s far too easy to put God on the back burner, but He should come first if you want to have a good marriage.
Tips to Put God First
- When you do something, ask yourself if it is a God-centered choice.
- Talk to your spouse about your priorities and/or get them straightened out.
- When you say or do something, determine if it’s something God would want you to say or do.
- Make a conscious effort to add God to the center of your life.
2. Commitment to Spouse
According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of married couples in America state that the second reason they get married is because of commitment! I would classify this as a big characteristic of a lasting spiritual marriage. Loyalty is someone who will stick around!
Loyalty was always the number one trait of a successful spiritual marriage in my book – exactly what I wanted in my future husband. I wanted to be with a husband that wanted a lasting marriage as I did. Loyalty will get you through the long haul; you just need a spouse that is as committed to the marriage as you are.
Commitment in marriage is critical because it provides security and strength when you encounter challenges. Many couples decide to end relationships when things get too hard instead of digging their heels in and committing.
People are bound to make mistakes, and relationships encounter serious problems that aren’t easily resolved, but if you work hard to restore your relationship back to health, you can survive conflict and honor God with your determination and persistence.
Tips to Show Commitment to Your Spouse
- Commit to drawing closer to your spouse.
- Don’t run away during arguments.
- Take the word divorce out of your vocabulary.
- Don’t make threats to leave when arguing (even if it works)!
- Reassure your spouse that you are not going anywhere.
3. Marital Expectations
Dr. Neil Clark Warren explains in his book, Date or Soulmate, that he’s counseled hundreds of couples before marriage and determined one of the top traits of successful marriages is an agreement on marital expectations – whether they are traditional or nontraditional.
Dr. Warren explains that a couple should have compatible ideas about the responsibilities and roles in the marriage. So, in your marriage, which duties belong to which spouse? As long as you are happy with the division of duties, go for it!
Even if you are married, I would highly recommend checking out that book. It really changed my perspective on relationships!
Tips on Marital Expectations
- Talk to your spouse about which responsibilities belong to which person.
- Determine who is best suited for which role in your marriage.
- Ask yourself if you are both happy with the division of labor in your family.
- Talk to your spouse about any concerns you may have on this issue.
4. Studying the Bible Together
Reading and studying the Bible together as a couple is a key characteristic of a successful spiritual marriage. While we can pray to God to tell Him our side of things, listening to God is just as important, if not more so.
The Bible is a crucial instrument for a spiritual marriage. It offers solid guidance on how to have a lasting and successful marriage. Plus, there are general lessons on how to live a godly life, how to pray for your spouse, and how to be a Christian spouse.
The guidance for marriage that we find in the Bible is so valuable that it must not be ignored. Study the Bible on a daily basis with your spouse.
Another idea is to just read the Bible together and discuss the passages you read. Find a way to connect as you read more about the precious words spoken in the Bible.
Tips on Bible Study
- Talk to your spouse about reading the Bible together.
- Find a free Bible study online you both would enjoy and do it together!
- Purchase a Couples Study Bible.
- Ask God to put the desire to study the Bible on your spouse’s heart.
- Immerse yourself in God’s Word!
You must be in communication with God. That means you’re speaking to Him regularly, asking Him for answers to the problems you face daily, and thanking Him for blessings. Do this with your spouse!
I’ve heard many people say that they don’t like praying with other people, but that is when prayer is most powerful! We must pray together, not just for the other person.
Talk to your spouse about your desire to pray together, and if he or she isn’t interested, pray for them! Pray that God put the desire on their heart!
This is a very crucial trait in your spiritual marriage. Consider keeping a prayer journal; write about what’s on your heart.
In my shop, I have free prayer journals and paid ones, so check that out. Even keeping a notebook and pen works! Just write your heart out!
With our hectic schedules, it’s easy to miss things – even something as important as prayer! Learn how to pray and practice praying every day. Set reminders on your phone to remind you to pray, if needed.
One way you can pray with your spouse, other than before you eat, is to text prayers to your spouse. Pray for your marriage, your family, your spouse, and everything in between.
Be sure to count your blessings. Remember, prayer isn’t a one-sided conversation. Keep track of your prayers to see how God answers them.
Tips for Prayer in Your Marriage
- Set reminders in your phone to pray on a regular basis.
- Remember how prayer can improve your life.
- Start a prayer journal to record your prayers.
- Send your husband or wife prayers during the day.
- Talk to your spouse about praying together more.
6. Honest Communication
Effective and honest communication is one of the building blocks of a healthy spiritual marriage. If you don’t talk about what’s going on, you will let it all bottle up inside of you, and that isn’t healthy!
It’s important that you communicate with your partner often and clearly (and not just via text messages). Don’t rely on one form of communication with your spouse (i.e., nonverbal, verbal, emotional, sexual).
When you communicate, do it kindly and with respect but also be honest about your feelings and emotions. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior, expecting your spouse to “guess” what’s wrong.
Don’t allow communication to be a one-way street either. Be a good listener! Show understanding when your spouse shares with you!
Tips for Honest Communication
- Show kindness and respect when you communicate.
- Watch your tone.
- Use positive, honest communication with your spouse.
- Be a good listener and aim to understand.
When you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s easy to take them for granted. According to relationship expert April Masini, couples who show appreciation create more opportunities to connect with one another in a positive way.
Small appreciations reduce the natural frustration that comes with being in any relationship!
In fact, 48% of couples who broke up (in one study) stated that the reason for the breakup was a lack of appreciation. In my opinion, that makes this a pretty important trait of a successful marriage! Plus, the basic need, as mentioned by Tony Robbins, for “contribution” is validated when you show your partner appreciation.
Tips to Show Appreciation to Your Spouse
- Show and tell your spouse that you are grateful for all they’ve done for you.
- Make a conscious effort to say “Thank You” daily to your spouse.
8. Conflict Resolution
While it’s probably true that no matter how much you try, you are bound to get on your spouse’s nerves and vice versa.
What you can do is be productive when you fight; work toward resolving issues by showing love and acceptance rather than bitterness and frustration. Successful couples know when to let go and when to give in to their spouse!
Aim to be agreeable rather than argumentative, and fighting won’t last as long – a faster road to make-up sex!
Don’t go against your values; just stand your ground on things that are worth arguing over.
Respect your spouse’s side, and agree to disagree when applicable. If you want your marriage to last a long time, you need to learn to be empathetic and apologetic. Know when to apologize and do it with ease.
In winning marriages, there’s quick and easy forgiveness. This includes not nagging about the past. Life is too short for resentment.
Deal with your feelings, let things go, and move on!
Tips to Show Good Conflict Resolution to Your Spouse
- Let the small things go!
- Look at your spouse’s point of view more often!
- Be agreeable rather than argumentative!
- Offer forgiveness and apologize often.
- Don’t nag!
Love God first; this is called Agape Love – an unconditional love He has for us. Love your spouse unconditionally, as well!
Love involves many spiritual gifts, according to 1 Corinthians 13.
- Is Patient
- Is Kind
- Does Not Envy
- Does Not Boast
- Is Not Rude
- Is Not Self-Seeking
- Is Not Easily Angered
- Keeps No Record of Wrongs
Kindness means you do the little things to make your spouse happy. Compliment and praise him or her for all the things they do – things you may be taking for granted. Being kind is one of the greatest traits of a Christian marriage. Show kindness and humility at every opportunity.
Humility is having a realistic appreciation of your strengths and weaknesses. Take the blame when you are in the wrong and accept outcomes – even when they don’t turn out the way you had hoped.
One quality that seems to always help couples through adversity or any obstacle is mutual respect. Having high esteem and respect for your spouse is an essential ingredient in a lasting relationship – during both joyous and challenging times, explains Elisabeth J. LaMotte, a psychotherapist and counselor.
Becky Whetstone, another specialist in marriage counseling, says that another way to honor or respect your spouse is to show that you want the best for them and wish them no harm.
Respect is treating your spouse positively, acknowledging who they are and what they are doing. People with respect in their spiritual marriage know the secret to happiness involves fairness and a positive attitude. Show respect for your spouse to validate their need for “significance” – a key trait of a successful spiritual marriage!
Cherish your spouse, according to God’s plan, by showing them how much you value them. Treat them like the unique individual they are, the person you had a wedding with and fell in love with long ago!
Learn your significant other’s love language (touch, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and words of affirmation), so you will know how to show your spouse love in the way that speaks to them the most.
Tips to Show Love to Your Spouse
- Express love for your spouse in everything that you do.
- Show your spouse affection!
- Learn your spouse’s love language and act accordingly.
- Accept unexpected outcomes.
- Make your spouse feel like they matter!
- If you struggle with patience, learn to relax and center yourself.
Patience isn’t the easiest virtue to adopt in a successful marriage, but if you treat your spouse as you would like to be treated, you’ll find happiness faster, and the little things won’t get to you so much! Show your spouse patience for a long and happy marital union!
Tips to Be Patient
- Treat your spouse with respect.
- Count to 10 before saying something profound.
- Relax more. Take deep breaths.
- Practice mindfulness.
This topic encompasses a lot of different things – joy, fun, happiness, and making beautiful memories. Create a joyful, peaceful, happy home for your family. Work at maintaining a positive atmosphere – one that you and your spouse are comfortable in. These are keys to a successful spiritual marriage!
Have fun with your spouse. Go on vacations together; travel the world if you can. Tammy Nelson, a relationship expert, explains that the more fun you share with one another, the more you will enjoy being together and the less bored you’ll be over time. Find an activity you can enjoy doing together and have some fun!
Don’t forget about positivity. Everyone wants to be praised and appreciated; too often, we criticize and complain about our spouse instead of lifting them up. Be polite; show love; give compliments and strengthen the connection and love you have with your partner by giving praise! Your bond will grow so strong if you approach life this way!
Tips to Be Positive
- Plan a fun activity for you and your spouse.
- Make memories with your partner.
- Determine how you make your home a happy one.
- Be positive.
- Compliment and praise your spouse.
One of the key traits of a successful spiritual marriage is trust. Trust is part of the glue that holds a relationship together. If you lose trust, the relationship will crumble and fall down.
If this is a problem area for you, discuss expectations with your spouse. Communicate what you have, trouble understanding. Knowing your spouse tells you the truth is vital to a happy marriage.
Tips to Trust Your Spouse
- Believe your spouse.
- Have faith that they will be reliable, responsible, and worthy of your trust.
- Communicate with your spouse any trust issues you have.
- Pray about your trust issues.
- Work together as a team on any trust issues.
Support validates your spouse’s need for certainty, so believe in your spouse! True support can bond the two of you together for life. Offer encouragement whenever your spouse needs it.
According to a study done by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, couples who celebrated each other’s accomplishments as if they were their own were happier. Work with your spouse instead of against him or her, and you’ll both have a better life!
Tips for Showing Support
- Believe in your spouse.
- Be encouraging.
- Work to be on your partner’s side every day.
- Support your spouse in every way.
One study found that people who considered their spouse to be their best friend were nearly twice as satisfied in their marriages as those who did not.
Working together as a team is what makes you a strong couple. Be the yin to your partner’s yang. If you’ve seen couples races on television, you know that those couples make a huge effort to encourage and build each other up.
If you have financial problems, work together to solve the problem rather than arguing about it. Consider yourself friends, teammates, and lifelong partners – because that’s what you should be!
Tips on Being Friends
- Work with your partner rather than against them.
- Make your spouse your best friend.
- Act as a team!
Compromising is all about making sacrifices for the person you love. Often, this just means agreeing to disagree about issues. Don’t try to anticipate and avoid problems; work together to solve them. This will give you a healthier, stronger relationship.
Tips for Compromise
- Make sacrifices for your spouse.
- Agree to disagree.
16. Spiritual Harmony
A man and woman in a successful spiritual marriage typically have the same spiritual beliefs, but they might also just respect each other’s beliefs. Talk to your spouse about what you believe; share your love of God to build strong spiritual intimacy!
If your spouse is willing, worship the Lord together; go to church services together; praise God together as a married couple. What a joyful thing to share!
Spiritual intimacy is a fundamental characteristic in a winning spiritual marriage. When you have spiritual intimacy, you allow God to guide your path, not this world. This means you trust His plan for your life and for that of your spouse.
In Date or Soulmate, Dr. Neil Clark Warren defines spiritual harmony as the deeper context within which a person perceives their life to be lived. With your partner, make sure you respect their beliefs.
If you differ, just be a good example to your spouse and show him or her how a Christian’s life is different (better) and why.
Tips for Spiritual Harmony
- Try to find a like-minded spiritual person to marry.
- Accept the beliefs of your spouse.
- Share your faith with the one you love.
- Allow God to take control of your life.
- Trust God’s plan for your life.
17. Making Time for One Another
To meet your spouse’s need for variety and to grow the happiness in your relationship, find ways to bond. Find more about what your spouse values, is passionate about, and would love to do more of! Do more of those things!
Find common ground or figure out how to best connect with what they are into by making the uninteresting interesting to you. For example, if your husband loves to hunt, learn about the different types of guns or animals.
If you struggle to find time for one another, learn to balance your work/home life better.
Tips for Making Time for One Another
- Connect with your spouse in a real way.
- Find new ways to bond today.
- Plan date nights where you can enjoy each other’s company.
18. Shared Values
Men and women may view shared values in different ways. To me, shared values include family expectations, hygiene, politics, and religion. Enjoying the same views on life can lead to marital success and a happy couple because the compatibility needed is present. Without that, life can be pretty rough.
If you don’t have a spiritual husband or wife, you can still follow Biblical marriage principles. You may not have had a Spiritual wedding, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change in the future.
Pray for your spouse. While a spiritual marriage means at least one person is a Christian or is Spiritual in some way, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the sparks alive even if you lack the Spiritual side. Maintain an intimate relationship with your spouse and follow the Bible to determine what to do next.
Tips for Having Shared Values
- Be receptive, open, and accepting.
- Pray for your spouse.
- Look for godly advice in the Bible if you don’t have shared values.
- Enjoy the shared values you have with your spouse.
Faithfulness is probably one of the most important traits of a successful spiritual marriage because it means you have not gone outside of the marriage for any satisfaction. Keep your thoughts pure by meditating and thinking about good things, godly things. Avoid temptation.
If you’ve had problems with faithfulness in your marriage, seek marital counseling. You can probably get free marital counseling from your pastor or preacher. If your spouse will go with you, all the better!
Tips for Faithfulness
- Avoid tempting situations and scenarios.
- Have godly friends.
- Keep your thoughts pure (Read Phillipians 4:8).
Sex IS a characteristic of a healthy marriage, and it’s strongly linked to happiness in marriage, but if there is any distance between you and your spouse, try working on the physical side of things. Often, the verbal and emotional parts will fall into place once you have been physically affectionate with one another.
Most successful couples know the importance of sexual intimacy, as it is one of the needs that require fulfillment. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time for this crucial trait of a successful spiritual marriage in their lives; however, without sex, aren’t you just having a non-romantic relationship?
If you are attracted to your spouse and have a great deal of sexual compatibility, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a successful marriage.
Tips for Sexual Intimacy
- Enjoy sexual intimacy with your spouse.
- Read Songs of Solomon 4 together!
- Don’t forget to engage in foreplay!
Intimacy is more than just sex. Intimacy is the level of closeness you share with someone. This strong closeness is reserved for the person you spend the most time with, your best friend. If you have godly friends, you may feel intimate with them because you share the Spiritual side of a relationship.
Intimacy should be something you build over time with your partner. Intimacy is all about being known, understood, appreciated, accepted, and respected.
Openness and vulnerability are a big part of intimacy. Only about 1 in every 100 marriages is super simple and just flows easily. The rest can succeed if both spouses show openness and a willingness to put in the work needed to overcome problems.
It is recommended that couples who have yellow flags in their marriage seek marital counseling before a problem escalates. Research shows that most couples wait six months into a conflict before getting the help they need. Don’t do that.
Ditch the technology for some period of time, like an hour every night, so that you can foster a deeper connection with your partner. Being “unplugged” gives you a chance to be present with your spouse. Avoid the noise and distraction of your phone to improve and solidify your marital health!
Tips for Intimacy
- Be affectionate and keep the sparks alive!
- Cuddle with your partner!
- Get the marital help you need if you see yellow flags in your relationship.
- Take time away from technology to give your spouse attention.
22. Listening & Understanding
Listening, showing empathy, and being understanding are all key traits of a successful spiritual marriage. Listening is a critical active process that shows you care about what your partner says and is concerned with.
To be an effective listener, you should pay close attention, show genuine concern, have open body language, and ask follow-up questions when the time is right. A big part of listening is showing emotional intelligence, which is the ability to show appropriate emotions, control your own emotions, and read those of others.
Another way to be a good listener is to mirror what your partner has just said. Say something like, “What I heard you say is…” Then, repeat back what you heard them say. This can save you from many misunderstandings.
M. Gary Neuman, a psychotherapist in Florida, says that no problem is unsolvable if you listen to one another and practice teamwork. Make time to listen to each other each week and have date nights, and your efforts will pay off tenfold! Listening is a powerful tool to use to solve problems and strengthen your spiritual connection!
Empathy is putting yourself in your partner’s shoes; it’s all about being able to relate to them and how they are feeling.
Kendra O’Hora, Ph.D., a marriage and family counselor in Maryland, says that empathy doesn’t mean you have to have experienced the feelings in order to understand. Shared experiences aren’t needed in order to have empathy. Just understand what your spouse is trying to say on an emotional level.
Tips to Listen and Understand Your Spouse
- Recognize the difference between hearing and listening when your spouse communicates with you.
- Listen intently, paying close attention to your spouse.
- Work on the amount of emotional intelligence you have.
- Practice teamwork with your spouse.
- Try to really understand what your spouse is saying.
- Show empathy as much as possible.
23. Care and Compassion
Compassionate people put the needs and desires of others before themselves. They are sweet, thoughtful and seek only the best things for their spouse.
Carin Goldstein, a marriage and family therapist, explains that compassion requires empathy and the ability to make your spouse feel appreciated, respected, and cared for. Compassion really fuels intimacy, partnership, and connection. It’s an essential food for a healthy marriage.
Tips to Show Care and Compassion
- Be kind to your spouse.
- Take the time to understand your spouse.
Unity is probably the chief characteristic of a godly marriage because it is the purpose of marriage, according to the Bible. God designed marriage to be two souls united into one.
What does this mean for marriage today? Work with your spouse to grow together; be yourself but make decisions and take actions as a married person. Share responsibilities, thoughts, feelings, and love!
Tips for Unity
- Share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse.
- Listen to what your significant other has to say.
- Focus more on “we” instead of just “me.”
- Give your partner love freely!
The final trait listed for a successful spiritual marriage is trustworthiness. Don’t gossip about your spouse with your friends; keep confidences. Be a reliable, trustworthy person, and keep your promises.
Dr. Jeremy Nicholson says that the key to finding the right partner is to look for someone who is conscientious and has a great deal of self-control. This person would have good judgment and would make wise choices. They would also keep their promises and any secrets you were to share with them.
Tips for Trustworthiness
- Don’t gossip about your spouse.
- Keep the secrets of your spouse private.
A Spiritual Marriage Video
In this short video, Jasmin Terrany talks about what spiritual marriage is!
Remember that every marriage is unique, and not all marriages are going to work in the same way. What makes a spiritual marriage different is that you have God in your lives.
Do you have a successful marriage? What do you think about the traits of a successful spiritual marriage listed in this article?
At Sharing Life and Love, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment or contact me via the contact form on this website. Also, don’t forget to download your free spiritual marriage worksheet!
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