Marriage provides incredible opportunities for two people to grow as Christians. The intimacy of a husband and a wife unlocks doors which can be utilized for mutual benefits. No one will ever know you better than your spouse. No one will appreciate your spiritual strengths, and no one will experience you at your worst than your spouse. He or she knows how and when you are tempted.
At our best, that means we can help get each other through the spiritually tough times, for example with a promise from the Bible at the end of a tough day shared at just the right moment. Sadly, at our worst, that means we know exactly how to push each others’ buttons! Use the countless opportunities and resources the Lord has blessed you with as a Christian couple to grow, grow, grow.
Family worship can be as simple as reading a portion of the Bible at the dinner table, singing a Christian song, and praying together. Like individual disciplines, consistency is more important than the length of time or even the depth of material covered. Select a time when you are usually together (for our family it is dinner time). Leave a Bible on the table with a book mark in it. Purpose to read a little each time you’re together. You could sing a familiar hymn or praise song. You can even sing-a-long with a Chris Tomlin YouTube video. Then pray for a prayer request relevant to your family.
Certainly, family worship looks different depending on the contours of your family. With little children, these times need to be brief. But brevity doesn’t mean that they will lack meaning. You will be surprised at the times one of your children recalls something helpful that was said during family worship. As the children become older, they can participate in reading the Bible, forming questions, or even accompanying the singing if they play an instrument. If you don’t have children, you can enjoy rich times of prayer and Bible reading together.
Marriage also provides an opportunity for the right kind of love triangle. As two people draw near to God together, they discover that they are also drawing closer to each other at the same time.
Seek to develop the habit of regularly asking each other for prayer requests. While you should try to be faithful to continually pray for each other throughout the day, sometimes stop and spend a moment or two with the Lord in prayer right there. God has told us to be, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The cares of couples can weigh a family down. Take advantage of the Lord’s offer to unload them on his strong shoulders.
Too many couples do their spiritually growing in isolation from each other. Take time to check in with each other. What is your husband reading in his Bible lately? Who is your wife meeting with for spiritual encouragement? Is your spouse reading a helpful book? Should you find time to read it after he or she is finished?
Is this about accountability? Yes, but it ought to be far more than just jabbing each other to be more faithful. Hebrews 3:13 commands all of us, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” The command was issued to a group of persecuted people that were being tempted to turn away from Jesus. The verse also shows, however, that our hearts are like modeling clay—they dry up and get hard if they don’t receive the daily water of encouragement, comfort, or exhortation.
God made marriage. He wants every marriage to be a portrait of Christ and the Church. God made your marriage. God gave you your spouse. He or she was hand crafted before time by God for you to be married to right now. God wants you to grow together to glorify him as a couple better than you could do on your own.
By John Crotts