Spiritual nurturing can be achieved by building simple practices into your marriage, then making them habits. Caring for the soul of your marriage doesn’t have to be boring, monotonous, or complicated; on the contrary, the simplicity with which we can connect closer to God and one another is comforting and uplifting. Incorporate each of these practices into your marriage, and watch your relationship transform into something even more beautiful than it already is.
1. PERFORM ACTS OF SERVICE TOGETHER
Marriage has a funny way of showing us how selfish we can be sometimes–just in our everyday life at home. A healthy marriage demands that we put one another first, letting go of that selfishness. By doing that, we begin performing acts of service for each other.
But take that one step further: working together, as a team, to help others in a shared experience helps us deepen our bond with our spouse. When we do good for others, the acts pull us out of our own heads and our own life and give us fresh perspective on how it feels to truly show God’s love to the world. We become part of something bigger than ourselves.
On many levels, it’s fulfilling to reach out to others, but it also nurtures our marriage and deepens our bond on a soul level. Reaching out in service to others cultivates intimacy between you and your spouse; not only does the act of service itself deepen your bond, the process of identifying and deciding which needs to fill and who to help also binds you closer together.
Some acts of service you and your spouse could consider providing include:
- Visiting the elderly
- Tending to the sick
- Serving at your local children’s hospital or pediatric ward
- Going on mission trips together
- Volunteering at the local homeless shelter
- Hosting, feeding, or mentoring college students
- Showing hospitality and generosity
- Opening your home to friends, family, or those in need
- Reaching out to widows, orphans, single parents, etc.
- Giving materially or financially to someone who needs it
- Participating in local prison ministry
- Preparing or providing meals
Performing acts of service for others doesn’t need to be advertised; it can be done in secret. And sometimes, secretly touching another life is more fulfilling than broadcasting your act to the world. Doing good in secret deepens the intimacy of the act, creating special memories you’ll cherish together for years to come.
2. WORSHIP TOGETHER
Worship is a dedicated time to slow down together, recenter your lives, stabilize, and renew your connection with God. When you worship together in community with other believers, you have a spiritual support system like no other. Couples who attend church together nurture the soul of their marriage.
Singing, praying, and learning from God’s word together revitalizes our spirits, and there’s nothing like coming together with friends who share our beliefs. Knowing we’re among other married couples and individuals who are also Christ-followers strengthens our resolve to remain strong in the faith ourselves, encouraging us as we move into the coming week.
We encourage you and your spouse to find a church home where you can anchor yourselves and establish relationships with other believers who will build you up and with whom you can take your spiritual journey. Worshiping together can transform our marriages, bring us closer to God, and teach us to love like Him.
3. PRAY TOGETHER
Married couples are happiest when they pray together, according to recent research by sociologist Andrew Greeley. They’re twice as likely to describe a high level of romance in their marriages, and they’re even more likely to report higher sexual satisfaction in their relationships than couples who don’t place an emphasis on prayer. In fact, frequency of prayer in your marriage is more important than frequency of sex in determining the health of your relationship.
Prayer connects us on a soul level, transcending superficial bonding and establishing us as true soul mates. You can stay busy in church and perform acts of service regularly, but if you’re not taking time to pray together, your marriage will suffer.
Prayer requires vulnerability; some couples are more comfortable will being vulnerable in front of one another than others. If you or your spouse has a difficult time with feeling uncomfortable with praying in front of one another, try reciting the Lord’s Prayer or dedicating a small amount of time every day for silent prayer together. The most important thing is to establish and practice that essential, soul-nurturing habit of communing with God together.
This post was written by Drs Les and Leslie Parrott. You can find their original post here: www.symbis.com/blog/3-ways-nurture-soul-marriage/