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In the previous part, we went over 4 practical ways of developing spiritual unity with your wife. We will survey 3 further ways in this article.
5. Schedule, a regular and consistent time that you can have spiritual fellowship with your wife. I don't mean you're going out to buy something together. I don't mean you're going to the church together. I don't mean you're out in the park with the children together. All of that is necessary, and all of that is good. But you've got to arrange a time where you can have eyeball to eyeball, soul to soul, some type of spiritual relationship and fellowship with your wife, and of interacting with at an intimate and useful level. You know what she's thinking. You know what her needs are. You're open with one another. You know how to communicate. You can draw out your wife. You can minister to her. Get out of your own little world and ministry and get into her heart and soul.
I encourage you to schedule a regular consistent time for fellowship with your wife. Schedule a specific time that you can read something together regularly and consistently as much as possible. Pray together with your wife. Now, I'm not talking about family devotions. I'm not talking about going to church where you're all sitting in the same prayer meeting. I'm talking about some time where you all can sit down together and discuss spiritual things in the Word of God. I'm not talking about sitting down for hours during the day. I'm talking about arranging a schedule and leading your home where You and your wife have some time where you can sit down and communicate with one another.
The problem with most preachers and young men is they are so busy because they think God's Kingdom needs them more than anyone else in the world. And they cannot neglect the kingdom of God in order to sit down and hold the hand of their wife and tell them how much they love them or try to pray with them. Hear me carefully. That's a lie from the pit of hell. Schedule time that you can read and pray together.
As I said, my wife and I've been married a long time. But we still read the Bible together, we read devotional books together, we read biographies together. And we have done this over these past 50 years. And of course, now we're all alone with no children, and we spend time praying together. If the only time you're with your wife is with other couples or the only time you're with your wife is in the church or the only time you're with your wife is with the children or the only time you're with your wife is when you're in a large crowd, then you cannot and will not develop a useful relationship with your wife.
I encourage you to schedule a regular time for interaction with your wife at a significant level over the Word of God, and get on your knees and pray to God together, since you are fellow heirs. That means you both have access as one to God. And there are few things that have melted and blended my and my wife's heart together more than bowing our knees before the living God in the place of prayer and pouring our heart to God for one another, for our marriage, for our children, and for our ministry. Few things will weave together two souls like coming before the altar of God. I encourage you to do that, men. And you must lead the way If you are too busy to talk to your wife, if you are too busy to know your wife struggles, if you are too busy to spend time with your wife discussing significant spiritual things, then you are too busy to be a servant of God.
6. If you want to develop spiritual unity with your wife, you must be quick to humble yourself and confess your faults, your failures, and your sins. James 5 says, ‘Confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed.’ And oftentimes unconfessed sin and unreconciled relationships and insensitivities on the part of the husband are not dealt with due to ignorance or neglect, or pride, stubbornness, or selfishness. But men, you must lead the way by example and work hard to resolve the conflicts in your relationship with your wife. You will, as you well know, have conflicts in your relationship with your wife. But you must lead the way and be an example of humility with a willingness to acknowledge your faults and sins and confess your sins to your wife. And as I've said many times, if you've never confessed your sins to your wife, you're either the best husband in all of India or you've got a dull conscience or a proud heart or an ignorant mind that is not sensitive to how you sin against your wife. So I encourage you if you want to develop true unity in a relationship, keep short accounts. And be diligent to confess your sins and to lead by example.
7. Arrange some time that your wife can fellowship with other women. Arrange some time, if possible, from time to time, that your wife can fellowship with other women. If she's locked up all day in the home with a bunch of children, and the only person she sees is you, then she is not going to grow and develop as she ought. Your responsibility is to lead your wife spiritually, to know her spiritual condition, to provide a time where she can rest and relax and read and pray and to schedule time for useful conversation, fellowship and the sharing of hearts.
Well, there are many other things I could say in that regard. Just because you live under the same roof, just because you go to the same church, just because you have the same children of the same name doesn't mean there is spiritual unity. Just like your relationship with God must be cultivated by means and diligence and planning and responsibility, your relationship with your wife must be the same. And if you're thinking, “Well, I don't have time to have a relationship with my wife, I'm too busy serving God,” One day, you're going to stand before God and He's going to say, “What did you do with that greatest gift I gave to you? And the greatest gift I gave to you is that woman right beside you.” And if she didn't become the woman that she was supposed to be and she didn't develop and mature spiritually as she ought it may be, in certain situations, that the fault lies to some degree with a failure of the husband to know, to understand and to lead his wife, but due to ignorance or neglect, or selfishness or preoccupation with his own life, he has left her behind.And he's simply satisfied that she cooks the food, cares for the children, cleans the house, and every time he needs sex she dutifully gives it. She's not your cook. She's not your nanny. She's not the maid. She's not your concubine. She is the greatest gift God ever gave to you. If she is not becoming everything God wants her to be maybe it’s because you haven't loved her as Christ loved the church and gave himself to her, and washed her by the water of the word so that she might be spotless and blameless without any such wrinkle, that He might present to himself, the church in all of its glory.
And while your wife has her own relationship with God that she must answer for, to some degree, you play a large part in helping her on her way to heaven and making sure that she is growing into a woman of God. I can tell a lot about a man when I meet his wife and talk to his wife and see the demeanour of his wife, and see how his wife conducts herself. It is a reflection of either the man's responsibility and love or the man's failure and neglect.
A wife is like a flower that is partially open. And with the proper sunlight, watering and care it can bloom into a beautiful flower and even bear fruit. Your responsibility is to pray for her, to shower her with love, and to be an example before her that she can become everything God wants her to be. Women are different in their personalities. My wife has an unusual personality. And I don't suspect or suppose that many women are going to end up like my wife. But your wife needs to become all God intended her to be within the context of her own personality. And that's going to only happen as you lead in developing spiritual unity with your wife.
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 3 of the article on ‘Cultivating Spiritual Unity In Your Marriage - Part 1’ 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.