Over the last seven months, we have talked about so many things that we can do to further our relationship with our spouses. We have talked about putting their needs and desires above our own. We have talked about respecting them and studying them and spending more time together. We have talked about shifting our perspective and making every moment count. Today we are going to be changing gears slightly. Today we are going to talk about how to improve our marriage by investing in our own spiritual well being. That’s right, you can strengthen your marriage by making your relationship with the Lord a daily priority. You can strengthen your marriage by setting aside some alone time every day.
Ephesians 2:10 Amplified Version
For we are His workmanship [His own masterwork, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
If we are going to be the best version of our selves that we can be which in turn will make us the best husband or wife we can be we need to make spiritual investments by having a personal, intimate relationship with the Father. We have to pray and read the Word if we want to 1. get to know Him better and 2. grow and develop into the person He has created us to be. The Lord has big plans for us. Such big plans that we can not accomplish them alone. We have to have His help. One of those plans is to have a marriage that models Christ and the church. However, we can not model what we do not know. So spending that time investing in learning, reading, and praying is critical for us personally and relationally. If we will take the time to invest in our spiritual wellbeing we will see not only relational gain but more abundant life in general.
Let’s spend some time talking about how to develop a personal quiet time every day.
Going to Church Won’t Cut It
I figured I would grab your attention early in this blog by making this statement. A statement I fully stand behind by the way. Let me set this section up by saying this. I love the church. I love the fellowship that it brings and the discipleship. I love corporate worship and I love sitting under Pastoral leadership. Going to church is important and we are told in the Bible that it is beneficial and needed.
Hebrews 10:23-25 Amplified Version
Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word];and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
Here is what I am saying.
We can not go to church once or even twice a week and think that is sufficient for us to sustain an intimate, thriving relationship with the Father.
That does not work in our physical relationships and it will not work in our spiritual relationship either. Will it get us into heaven, yes, if you have asked Jesus into your heart, but there is so much more abundance on this side of heaven that comes with regular time in prayer and study. We have to have a daily rhythm if we are going to navigate marriage and life in general well. So if you are going to church, GREAT! Keep going but take time every day to have some one on one time with the Father as well.
Ways to be Intentional about Spiritual Investment
- Find a time and a place(s) that works for you!
We can not go into this with the mindset that it has to look a certain way or that it has to look like someone else’s time. We all live different lives which means our personal time with the Lord will look differently. Go with what works for you. It may be an hour or it may be 10 minutes. It could be in the privacy of an office or it could be in the car rider line. The point is not the length or the spot its the quality time spent. God honors when we take time out of our day to draw closer to Him.
- Find a theme
There is absolutely nothing wrong with just opening your Bible up in Genesis and starting to read. In fact, I am in the process doing just that right now. However, when we do it that way we can hit Numbers and Leviticus and gets super bogged down and stop reading. I have found it helpful to pick a topic and turn my focus on reading and studying about it. It can be whatever interest you the most. It can also be whatever you struggle with the most. When I first started spending time daily with God I was really bad at praying. So I started there and found passages that talked about prayer.
- Bring in other resources
Find books, devotions, audiobooks, websites, podcast, or anything about what you are studying and incorporate that into your time as well. You may spend one day reading your Bible and the next day listening to a podcast. Every day does not have to be the same.
- Talk to God
Take time to talk to the Father. I encourage you when you pray in your personal time to just have a normal conversation with Him. It does not have to be poetic or rehearsed or use perfect wording. Just talk to Him like you would a friend that had come by for coffee. Use real words, tell Him your real concerns, present Him with your real request, praise Him for all He has done, and then listen as He speaks back to you.
Your time is your time. It does not have to be perfect it just needs to be regular. How beautifully wild is it that the God of the universe wants to spend time with us. He is so big, He created all things and He literally keeps our world spinning and yet He desires to spend one on one time with us. He truly is a good Daddy. And if we are willing to spend this time we are so much better for it. I can tell you with 100% certainty that my life, my marriage, and I am so much better since I have been intentional about this. Life still happens but I feel that I navigate things so much better when I have spent that time with Him.
How Does This Help My Marriage?
- If it makes you better it will, in turn, make your marriage better
When we are growing and learning it will have a positive effect on our relationships as well. As we mature spiritually we also mature naturally. We make better decisions because of the wisdom gained from the Lord and when better decisions are made certain struggles can just be avoided altogether.
- We Can Share What We are Reading and Learning With Our Spouse
What you are learning about can be a great conversation piece with your spouse. Share with them a passage that you have read or an author that you have discovered you like. Share with them a struggle or a victory that you are praying for. If they are having a quiet time they can share what they are learning and praying about as well. You or your spouse could give greater insight into a topic that you may be focused on. The possibilities are endless when these conversations start happening.
- Have a Devotion or Prayer Time Together
If you are both interested in the same topic use it and have a time of study and learning together. Find a book and read it and then come together and discuss it. Take some time and read your Bibles together. Praying for each other and with each other. Again it does not have to look at a certain way, it just needs to work for you.
There is so much to gain here and nothing to lose. Spiritual Investment will bring you some amazing gain. One is a better version of yourself which leads to a better marriage. It may be hard at first but keep going, don’t give up. The Lord will honor that time and it will be time well spent.
You can do this! We are praying for you!