The key to knitting may be a goal of marriage
In your marriage one key will unlock the path to deeper companionship: love. Paul prayed for the Colossians church that, “their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love” (Col. 2:2). If common relationships within the Body of Christ are knit together by love, how much more should the love between a husband and wife knit their lives together? However, remember that love involves choice. Love is the daily decision to give, serve, and communicate in a kind and respectful manner. These actions always knit two individuals together.
Therefore, if you sense a lack of companionship and a distance in your relationship with your mate, ask yourself in what ways you are choosing to live selfishly. I can assure you that in each of these selfish decisions you are choosing not to love. The easiest way to begin building companionship is to reverse course and simply do the opposite behavior in love. If you have been stubborn, yield your rights and seek a compromise. If you have been insensitive and harsh with your words, choose to speak kindly and listen more. The intimacy and friendship you desire and long for will result.
But, you may be thinking, How do I get the willingness to make these changes? Where do I get the love? We are so far apart now. How can we get back to where we once were? The answer is simple. If you want to return to your first love relationship with your mate, return to your first love with Christ.
Why do I say this? Because every marital problem is first a spiritual problem. When you hold resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness toward your spouse, you are naturally distancing yourself from God by these sinful actions. First, get yourself right with the Lord, then you will be in a position to receive His grace and power to do what’s right toward you mate. The fruit of His Spirit reigning in you will always result in love (Gal. 5:22-23). If you want God’s help to change you must confess your personal failures in your marriage and receive His forgiveness. Scripture declares, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).
Now let’s consider the specific issues that must be addressed in your relationship and how to make these practical changes.
Spiritual companionship. Your spiritual relationship with each other is truly the core of your marriage and it enables all other areas of your relationship to work well. But, can you say that you have real spiritual companionship with your spouse? Do you pray together regularly concerning the needs in your marriage, your personal life or your family? Do you discuss the things that you are learning from your personal devotions or from the latest service you attended at church?
These are the areas you need to address if you want to enrich and deepen your spiritual companionship with your mate. Sadly, many couples have very little desire to even take the time to develop this kind of companionship. Many times men and women confess that they have better spiritual fellowship with a friend at work or church than they do with their spouse. Is this the case with you? Are you willing to take specific steps to develop a deeper spiritual relationship with your spouse? If so, what should you do?
First, begin praying together. There is no single Scripture that commands couples to pray together because it is assumed that two Christians would naturally do so. Peter encouraged husbands and wives to have the right attitude toward each other so their “prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
In this passage, Peter assumed that married believers would pray together. It was also the most natural thing for Paul to encourage husbands to share spiritual truths with their wives (Eph. 5:26). Why would these actions be naturally assumed? Because this kind of behavior is how Christians interact with one another.
Therefore, take the time to share with your spouse what God is teaching you and pray for each other. Think about it. If anyone took the time to personally share himself with you in this manner, don’t you think you’d grow into a deeper friendship with this individual?
If you want companionship to grow in your marriage, then make spiritual fellowship a priority. Determine the best time of day to pray and talk together. At times in your relationship, such as before children arrive or during retirement, it’s easy to be spontaneous and take time to pray and fellowship with each other.
Simply take the opportunities as they arise (Eph. 5:15-16). However, when you have multiple pressures such as your career requirements, your children’s needs, or ministry responsibilities, you must purposely set time aside. If you don’t make the time, you will never find the time.
If you would like more information on the marriage ministry of Pastor Steve Carr or his book Married and How To Stay That Way, please visit Covenant Keepers
Excerpt republished with permission from Covenant Keepers by Pastor Steve Carr, Copyright 2013