A lady once asked us how to get her husband to come to church with her. After a long discussion, we discovered that she had told him, “We both know that I am better than you because I go to church and you don’t.”
Is it any wonder her husband wasn’t interested in joining her in spiritual exercises?!
Appearing spiritually superior is clearly not the way to get your spouse interested in spiritual intimacy, but what can you do?
Assuming you are already praying for your spouse, here are six things to do:
You cannot change your spouse, but you can influence him or her.
Every action you take and every word you speak influences your spouse for better or for worse. Through positive actions and words, you can influence your spouse toward positive change.
Manipulation, guilt, spiritual superiority, and negativity are bad ways to try and change a person. These will all eventually fail.
Find out what makes your spouse feel loved and do those things. This is the best way to influence him or her. If your spouse’s needs are being consistently met they will be much more open to growing spiritually.
Please note we are assuming that your relationship is healthy and not abusive. Making yourself a doormat to an abusive spouse will only enable them to continue abusing you.
Tell your spouse you want to discuss something important and ask when would be a good time to talk. Be logical and practical, and avoid getting emotional about it.
Tell your spouse that you feel that your marriage is missing something – spiritual intimacy. Share with him or her the benefits of spiritual intimacy: by praying, reading the Bible and attending church together you will both grow spiritually; you will create physical and emotional intimacy in your marriage, and you will receive God’s blessing.
Ask your spouse to think about what you’ve said and to respond only once they have thought about it.
By growing spiritually you are putting yourself in a better position to influence your spouse. By exhibiting a faith that is genuine and a life that is changed you stand a much better chance of attracting your spouse to God.
Be a real Christian. At home. When no one else sees. It may be that your spouse is not attracted to your brand of Christianity because you are negative, critical, bitter or angry.
Ask your spouse if it’s OK if you talk to him or her about your relationship with God. If they are comfortable then share how God is guiding you and teaching you. Share answers to your prayers. Point out when you see God working in your spouse’s life.
Make your sharing brief; don’t lecture or preach. Be sensitive to your spouse’s response and God’s promptings so that you don’t overshare.
Don’t expect too much too soon. If your spouse appears to be open, ask if you can pray together. If they agree, then begin by thanking God for your spouse. Keep your prayer short and sweet.
Affirm whatever growth you see, but be careful not to appear spiritually superior. Say, “I like it when you pray,” or, “It makes me feel closer to you when you talk to me about God.”
If your spouse still shows no interest in spiritual intimacy then let it go. Force will drive a wedge between you. Instead, pray for him or her and remember that God is working in your spouse’s life to draw him or her into relationship with Himself. Let God do His work.
What can you do today to help your spouse become interested in spiritual intimacy?