| Written By: Dewey Wilson, Ph.D.
One the most popular verses of Scripture used at Christian weddings is Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and the two of them shall become one flesh”. So, if asked what do you think it means “to become one flesh?” Some might respond that it means separating from the security and protection of parents or care-givers in order to have a single identity as husband and wife. I would admit this response is pretty accurate. However, this one flesh identity doesn’t simply appear once the couple says, “I do”. It is created over time, and in order to experience this type of relationship to the fullest, it requires that the husband and wife be connected emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Connected emotionally means each spouse seeks to understand, recognize and meets the emotional needs of the other. Being physically connected not only involves being on the same page regarding sexual expectations, but it could also mean agreeing on the practice of good personal hygiene. Spiritual connectedness begins with a common belief shared between husband and wife that salvation only comes through receiving Christ as Savior, then through a shared commitment to grow and mature spiritually, both individually and as a couple. When spouses are connected in these ways, there is a better chance for intimacy to exist in the marriage.
However, virtually all Christian husbands and wives who profess they experience a real “In-to me-you-see” type of intimacy in their marriage all share one common thing. In addition to those things already mentioned, they say having a strong commitment to prayer, individually and together is the differentiator. But isn’t it strange the thing possessing so much power to bond husband and wife in marriage is also the area where most Christian spouses tend to struggle the most? If this describes you, you might consider the following:
* Set a time to openly discuss each of your views regarding prayer. You might discover that the absence of prayer in your life could be fueled by the lack of knowledge about prayer and how it is done. If so, there are a myriad of free resources available on line designed for learning more about prayer. ?
* Commit to begin praying a certain amount each week. This actually means both individually and as a couple. We suggest you determine both the specific time of day and the length of time you will set aside for your prayer time. Being realistic in the time you commit can determine success or failure. Remember, making a commitment to pray 3 times weekly is much more likely if you are currently not praying at all. You can add more days each week once you are consistent. And, don’t be too hard on yourself or each other should you miss a day every so often.?
* Pray in the manner that it most comfortable for each of you. You do not have to pray out loud for God to hear your prayers. Respect each other’s desire to pray silently opposed to being judgmental. The same person doesn’t always have to lead. We often take turns when we pray together.?
* Consider using a prayer guide or even write out your prayers and read them to each other. Praying together can feel awkward for a lot of spouses. You most likely have heard someone who has the ability to pray eloquently. Chances are they have been at it a long time. Praying is basically talking to God, so simply develop your own style.?
* Be real. No one knows you like God. He created you. Make one of your goals learning to be more transparent to each other and to God. You will find that the more vulnerable you are to both God and each other, the more you will learn about both.
Learning more about prayer, and making it a consistent part of your daily life, both individually and together, will enable you to experience intimacy in your marriage like never before. And, who among us wouldn’t want to experience true God designed intimacy? Remember, if we want something different, we must do something different.