If you're a spiritual person, how do you pursue that spirituality with your spouse?
When I was single I assumed that if I married a God-lovin' man, we'd automatically grow together spiritually. Instead we've learned that without intentional effort, we'll naturally lead independent spiritual lives that only occassionally comingle.
Admittedly some spiritual "together-ness" occurs through shared values (our Christian faith) and shared experiences (being a part of the Columbia Church family). But as a twenty-something single I always envisioned a deep spiritual bond between me and prince charming. And a few years and a marriage into it, I still crave that. In Genesis God describes this craving as a man and a woman becoming one.
While incorporating Scripture reading and shared prayers into our family life are two helpful avenues of an intimate spiritual life, I still feel a tug in my soul that thirsts for more. A tangy realizaton one morning brought the matter into sharp focus. If someone asked me what Ben's deepest spiritual struggle or greatest spiritual fulfillment was, I could not easily answer. As his wife I want the privilege of knowing those details. That kind of vulnerability creates intimacy.
Identifying the problem gets us only halfway there, especially in our relationship where I naturally process all my thoughts out loud and Ben more naturally processes his thoughts internally. As a by-product of a hearty conversation with some of our closest friends, we came up with two questions that aim to lead us into greater spiritual intimacy with our spouses.
Q1: Where did you struggle today?
Q2: What good did you experience today?
The word "today" appears in both questions to imply the consistency with which we think these questions should be asked. For us, we set a 30 minute time window for the discussion, in an effort to be consistent with the other demands of the day.
We also want to stay true to the purpose of these questions -- focusing on knowing one another better as spiritual beings. One purpose can be exposed through a third, underlying question: How did both of these things affect your thoughts and attitude toward God? The discussion is not simply a time to vent; rather, the discussion is an opportunity for both of us to listen to and speak into the spiritual wellness of one another.
As Ben and I have explored these questions together, our conversations have been rich and honest. Most of all, I've enjoyed pausing for just a short time to hear the heart of my God-lovin' man and in turn to share with him my own spiritual struggles and joys.