Husbands, you are to lead your wife spiritually. You are to love her romantically. And you are to satisfy her physically. Those are God-given commandments and responsibilities. And the neglect of such renders your relationship with the Lord distant, your qualification for leadership null, and your witness to the world weak.
Here are some practical things that you can do to cultivate spiritual unity in your marriage.
1. Recognise your wife as equal with you, as a fellow heir of the gift of life. She does and should have her own relationship with God, and while you are the head of the wife you are not necessarily her mediator. She does not have to go to God through you. She has a direct connection with the living God through Jesus Christ and the indwelling influence of the Holy Spirit. She is equally accepted, equally justified, equally redeemed, and adopted as a person of worth, dignity, and value. And if you are going to have spiritual unity with your wife, you need to understand who she is in the sight of God that is first and foundational.
2. You are to know your wife emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That is, you are to study your wife, understand her personality, understand her strengths, understand her weaknesses, understand her struggles, and understand her condition emotionally, mentally and especially spiritually. You have the responsibility to ensure that your wife is stable and balanced and growing. And in those areas, you must live with her in an understanding way. Some men can be married to their wife for ten to fifteen to twenty or thirty years and yet say, “I still don’t understand my wife.” If this is your condition, you’re not fulfilling the biblical command to live with her in an understanding way. So you must know your wife in every way. I’ve been married for almost 50 years. And I continue to seek to deepen my understanding of my wife, especially as she goes through many, many challenges in her own ministry, and thus you also need to understand the pressures your own wife faces. You need to understand her peculiar psychological and emotional makeup. And especially you need to be aware and concerned about her spiritual condition.
3. Exhort and encourage your wife’s spiritual life, by your words and by your example. If you want to develop spiritual unity you must implement these practical suggestions. Exhort and encourage your own wife’s spiritual life by your words that you speak of encouragement and your example that you manifest by your own life. You lead and influence your wife by your words and by your example. And I encourage you to be constantly seeking to nurture and encourage all the exhortations of one another: encourage one another, exhort one another, pray for one another, help one another, etc. are, first of all, to be applied in the context of your home. And if you want to develop a deepening spiritual unity with your wife, you need to exhort and encourage her regarding her own spiritual life. It is not enough that you go to church together. It’s not enough that you show up with her at your family devotions. You need to give her words of encouragement regarding her own spiritual life.
4. Arrange a time to ensure that your wife has her own spiritual relationship with God. If you want to develop spiritual unity with your wife, arrange a time to ensure that your wife has her own spiritual relationship with God. Now, if your wife is married and has young children in the home, she’s very busy, she’s very pressed, and her responsibilities are great. She may be sick and tired. And she’s absolutely worn out. I’ve talked to many, many young wives or middle-aged wives in America and in different parts of the world. And they all sadly, grievously confessed that due to the pressures of their schedule and their responsibilities that they have little time for their own spiritual life and their relationship with God.
Men, your responsibility is to ensure that your wife has time for her own relationship with God. Do whatever it takes. It may mean you care for the children or hire a nanny. You make sure that your wife gets sufficient rest. You make sure that you know your wife’s spiritual condition and you help your wife not just to go to church, not just to go to a lady’s meeting, but to have time alone with God and reading her Bible, and praying to God and worshipping God in secret. Your responsibility is to arrange the schedules so that she has that time.
When I was in seminary, my wife and I were very young. We had three children that were four years old and under. And our home life was very hectic. But my wife arranged a schedule whereby she could have some time when the children were down and taking a nap, some time during the day when she was seeking to walk with God and to read and pray. Men, Make sure your wife has a relationship with God. Make sure your wife has time along with God.
This article is the transcript of the talk by Brother Andy H. in the meeting held in October 2021 entitled ‘The Pastor And His Marriage’.
Please click here to read Part 1 of the article on ‘Don’t Neglect Your Wife’ by Bro. Andy H.Please click here to read Part 2 of the article on ‘Your Wife’s Identity And Ultimate Purpose’ by Bro. Andy H.Please click here to read Part 4 of the article on ‘Cultivating Spiritual Unity In Your Marriage – Part 2’ by Bro. Andy H.Please click here to read Part 5 of the article on ‘Cultivating Romantic Affection In Your Marriage’ by Bro. Andy H. Please click here to read Part 6 of the article on ‘Cultivating Physical Intimacy In Your Marriage – Part 1’ by Bro. Andy H.Please click here to read Part 7 of the article on ‘Cultivating Physical Intimacy In Your Marriage – Part 2’ by Bro. Andy H.