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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sorry if you’ve been waiting all day for today’s Intimacy Challenge post. Starting today, I’m switching over to evening posts instead of mornings so that it will give you an opportunity to plan for the next day. It also will work better for my writing and posting schedule. (Today jet lag got the best of me, so hopefully future posts won’t be quite this late!)

As I have said repeatedly, intimacy involves the fullness of your being: spirit, soul and body. Today’s post is going to focus on spiritual intimacy. If you are not a person of faith, this post may not hold a lot of meaning for you; however, perhaps it will give you insight into what you have been missing in this very important dimension of your marriage.

If you are a believer, then this post is one of the most important of the series.I believe that when a relationship has spiritual intimacy at its core, all other types of intimacy are easier and richer as a result. I know that my wife and I feel that this is the primary propelling force of the wonderful intimacy we share.




Day 7 for Wives
Spiritual Intimacy



In many marriages, and possibly in yours, the wife acts as the primary spiritual leader of the household. This can be because the husband isn’t as interested in spiritual matters, because the wife is more involved and invested in the church, or it might be because the wife is more comfortable expressing her faith out loud.

Even if your husband is walking in his authority as the spiritual leader of your home, there is more you can do to encourage and support him in this endeavor.

Many husbands are intimidated by their wives’ spirituality. Your husband doesn’t like looking inept or inadequate at anything, and if he feels he can’t compare to you spiritually, can’t speak as intelligently as you can about God and the Bible, can’t pray as eloquently, he will be hesitant to do anything in the spiritual arena at all. He will leave it to you.

The mistake some wives make is that they think if they act more spiritual it will spur their husbands to do the same. The truth is that the more you push your faith upon your husband, the more likely he is to shrink back.

Think about whether you have been “pushing” your husband to be more spiritual in ways that might feel disrespectful or demeaning to him.



Today your challenge is to encourage your husband spiritually. How can you do that?

The truth is that getting your husband to lead more strongly in the spiritual arena isn’t that different than getting him to step up to other leadership responsibilities. Regardless of where your husband is in his faith journey, encouraging him in this comes best through respect, admiration and trust.

The first part of today’s challenge is to spend ten minutes in prayer for your husband’s spiritual life. Specifically I want you to pray for him the prayers found in Ephesians 1:15-20 and Ephesians 3:16-19. These are GREAT prayers. I have made ready-to-print prayer cards for each of these prayers. Print them and place them somewhere that you will remember to pray them daily for the remainder of the challenge.

Here are some other things to consider doing today for as part of your challenge:
  • Tell him that you are thankful that God has placed him as the spiritual leader of your home. Acknowledge your trust in him in this regard.
  • Ask his opinion on a faith matter that you would like to discuss. This isn’t Bible quiz time. Particularly if he is not strong in his faith, make it a general question. Thank him for being willing to share his insights.
  • Explain to him what you are learning about how the different kinds of intimacy are linked together. Tell him that you want to grow in spiritual intimacy with him in order to grow in the other areas. Ask him how he thinks that could happen.
  • Pray together for your marriage and for your family.
  • Ask him how he is feeling about your church (assuming you attend together). Are there places he would like to get more involved, maybe together?
Beyond these ideas, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways to encourage your husband in his spiritual walk today. Then do the things He shows you.

"What is one thing you think we could do as a family this month to grow together spiritually?"









Day 7 for Husbands
  Spiritual Intimacy


 
Did you know that you are the spiritual leader of your home? Regardless of how “spiritual” you consider yourself to be, God has placed a mantle of authority on you in the spiritual realm to lead your family to places of deeper faith and more vibrant personal relationships with Jesus.

What does it mean to be a spiritual leader? Contrary to what you may believe, it has nothing to do with how many verses of scripture you memorize, how many years you have been in the faith, how eloquently you pray, or how many hours a week you spend in church! It also does not matter whether you consider your wife to be “more spiritual” than you are.   

What matters is what God says, and He says that you have the spiritual authority to lead your wife and family in this important dimension of your family’s life.

Think about what it means to lead your family spiritually, and ask yourself how you are doing with this important assignment.

Today’s challenge is to take step forward in your spiritual leadership capacity by encouraging your wife in her spiritual walk.

The first part of today’s challenge is to spend ten minutes in prayer for your wife’s spiritual life. Specifically I want you to pray for her the prayers found in Ephesians 1:15-20 and Ephesians 3:16-19. These are GREAT prayers. I have made ready-to-print prayer cards for each of these prayers. Print them and place them somewhere that you will remember to pray them daily for the remainder of the challenge.

Here are some additional things that you might consider doing as part of the challenge to encourage your wife spiritually.
  • Tell her that you are learning more about what it means to be the spiritual leader of your family, and tell her you are committed to growing in that capacity. Ask for her prayers and support.
  • Ask her about a spiritual matter that you would like the two of you to discuss. You don’t need to make it deep or heavy. The point is to get in the habit of talking together about the Lord.
  • Explain to her what you are learning about how the different kinds of intimacy are linked together. Tell her that you want to grow in spiritual intimacy with her in order to grow in the other areas. Ask her how she thinks that could happen.
  • Pray together for your marriage and for your family.
  • Ask her how she is feeling about your church (assuming you attend together). Are there places she would like to get more involved, maybe together?
Beyond these ideas, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways to encourage your wife in her spiritual journey. 


"What is one thing you think we could do as a family this month to grow together spiritually?"

4 comments:

Kate Aldrich said...

Awesome, Scott! I know that I pushed for too many years. As with all things it is when I stepped back, that my hubby was able to step up and lead. Great practical advice!

Jamie Bishop said...

Thanks for the cards. Great idea! That's so much easier for me to remember if I have something like that I can keep in my purse or with my tablet. It's interesting...as I was struggling spiritually and my husband saw what his addiction was costing him (my soul, as he says in our testimony), this was all he needed to not only break the chains of bondage, but to step up and lead us as a family. Funny how God works sometimes. :-)

Bradley Watson said...

Truly have been challenged with your posts these past few days. Thanks.

Scott said...

Kate - It's true that you can't push on a rope. You just get a tangled mess.

Jamie - I'm glad you liked the prayer cards. This kind of thing is a useful reminder for me as well.

Bradly - Glad the challenge is challenging you!

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