Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spiritual Intimacy II

Hold Hands

Image by B Tal via Flickr

Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 (HCSB)

This passage gives insight into the spiritual nature of marriage.  I have already written about my understanding of weaker nature in a previous post.  I believe that there is scarcely a more important spiritual discipline than prayer.  This passage from the Bible place marriage in highest esteem among spiritual disciplines.  Follow my logic if you will.  This passages suggests that effective prayer is subordinate to understanding and honoring your spouse (wife in this case).  That is a profound statement in my estimation.  Earnest prayer can be hindered by broken marriage relationship. 

Spiritual significance of understanding your spouse

Understanding is one of the greatest gifts that you can give another human being.  This should especially be true in marriages.  The gift of understanding touches a deep emotional level that releases feelings of good will.  Understanding in a marriage can go much deeper than the emotional level.  There is a connection that occurs in which the other person becomes so connected that they often understand the other person without ever having to express it with words.  I would distinguish this from "jumping to conclusions" which typically put the other in a negative light.  It is more concluding how the spouse feels in a compassionate, empathetic, and caring way.  I notice at times when I come home sometimes the day has worn on my wife.  At that moment I can move to a deeper spiritual understanding by being her helpmate (that is fulfill  my spiritual role as her husband) or I can think, "better avoid her she having a bad day."  Understanding in this way is more than a mere thought of "I get it."  It is an understanding that moves to action in the best interest of the other.  When you can do that then you are cultivating spiritual intimacy in your marriage. 

Spiritual significance of honoring your spouse

Both men and women are commanded to honor their spouse.  Men are commanded to honor their wives by appreciating their great value. Women are commanded to honor by respecting their husband.  When a husband and wife act mutually in this manner then they are spiritually intimate.  It is a great blessing when husband treat their wives with the high value that God sees in them and women treat their husbands with the respect they long for.  This type of action is bonding in a deeply spiritual way. 

That is not to say it is always easy to act in this way.  However, if your goal is spiritual intimacy then there is nothing greater than understanding and honoring your spouse.  

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