Q. As newlyweds (for 3 years) we don’t always ‘get it together’ but we are reasonably OK. We both feel that there’s more for us than we’re enjoying. How can we grow spiritually as a couple?
A. Right at the start, one vital piece of advice is that your best spiritual growth is assured only if you are in active and faithful fellowship in an Assembly of the Lord’s people. Get the Elders of your Fellowship on board with you in your Marriage. God has equipped them to care for you with godly oversight, and they are accountable to Him for the way you live in Him and prosper spiritually. Expect that, correctly, they will tell you that one of the finest ways to grow is to invest yourselves fully into the Body of Christ. Find what God has called you to be and do in the Fellowship, then be and do it.
Every aspect of your Marriage relates to growing in the Lord. Reading Eph 4 and 5 you will see that God intends that your Marriage should reflect the relationship between the Lord Jesus and His Bride, the Church. This doesn’t come about when you assert yourselves individually, but rather as you become one, each adding to the other in the roles God has designed for you.
While you don’t mention problems, they inevitably arise. Never let them become battles for one to gain dominance over the other. Rather see them as opportunities to protect and develop your unique oneness. Each of you should strive to see and understand the position of the other. THEN, seeing where God’s will for you fits into the scene, give place and adjust to Him. That’s where real growth begins.
Get seriously involved in understanding and embracing the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ. More than a good set of Bible Studies, these are not only essential ingredients for spiritual life and growth, but also more than valuable for building your Marriage! Start at Heb 5:11-6:3.
Learn what it means for a wife to support her husband and his ministry as his essential helpmeet. Learn also what it means for a husband to lay down his life for his wife. Eph 5 will help here.
As time goes by you’ll learn more of each other’s weak humanity. Don’t allow this to drive you apart, as the enemy intends. Rather use it as a God-given opportunity to give and receive strength to and from each other. See the good advice given in Gal 6:1-3.
God made you each so different, not to frustrate you, but to generate His growth in you. A wise couple will read the wise and life-giving words in 1 Pet 4:8-11 and learn to be God’s Agents bearing life, love and sustenance to each other. You have unique abilities from Him; serve each other with them. Humbly give; humbly receive.
You will grow spiritually! God has intended and planned it! Enjoy!