How To Keep God At The Center Of Your Marriage
By Nick P.
For those of us who are children of God, how do we keep God at the center of our marriage?
Sometimes, it can be easy to go astray and forget what should be at the center of your marriage. You may think it’s about raising children, or taking care of your spouse when they are ill, but I want to tell you that it’s really about how your marriage can glorify God; How it can deepen the relationship you have with Him and with your spouse.
I know for me, God was at the beginning of the relationship between me and my wife. In fact, God was a big topic of discussion as we moved through the stages of our relationship to eventual marriage.
When we were getting acquainted with each other, our discussions would cover our faith journeys, and how we came to believe what it is we each believe. And even though I come from a Catholic tradition, and she from a Methodist tradition, the bottom line is this:
We both celebrate one Jesus Christ, who came to die for our sins. No greater truth can be told.
The semantics and details of how we worship were slightly different, but the truth is the truth. We both rejoice in that truth.
Now that we are married, and have both have embraced each other in a covenantal union, how do we keep God at the center?
I’ve touched on some of these in a previous post, but for those who are seeing this for the first time, let me go into a bit of detail.
Prayer is our way of talking to God, but also listening and allowing God to talk to us. And while it is usually an individual thing, prayer can also be done as a couple.
For example, my wife and I pray together in the morning. It’s a simple thing, and part of our routine now.
I will get up early, because that’s my habit, and I make the coffee. I will usually wake my wife up with a cup of coffee, and then we will pray. Not always, however. There are mornings when it’s the other way around. There are days when I want to sleep in, or other days when I have made coffee, but am sitting at the dining room table in silence. If she gets up earlier than usual, she joins me in the dining room.
My point here: prayer is an important way for you, as a couple, to keep God at the center of your marriage. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, or change from day to day.
My wife and I have a routine. We start with The Lord’s Prayer, breaking that up in half with me starting and her finishing. I move into Hail Mary and she will say the Glory Be (or Gloria Patri). Afterwards, I will say a short ‘off the cuff’ prayer that helps us focus on what we need to for the day.
It takes us about five minutes, but we come together and glorify God in our very brief worship of Him.
Talking About Faith
I think it’s important for us to talk to our spouses about where we are in our faith. When we do that, we help carry each other in times when our faith journey feels dry.
For example, after our marriage, I was set on finding a Catholic church to worship in. After all, that’s the tradition that I came from when I moved here to be with my wife.
She, however, has been in the Methodist tradition for many years, and in fact, she works at the church she worships in.
While I felt welcomed at her church, I also resisted being there because it was a Methodist church. It wasn’t Catholic, and somehow I had developed a bias towards anything not Catholic.
It was starting to put a bit of a strain between us, but also it helped us discover we can be open and talk about where we are on our faith journey.
Ultimately, after trying several Catholic churches and left feeling a bit empty, I went where I felt God was calling me, which was to be a member of my wife’s church. This made it our church, and it allowed us to let go of the strain and come together, with God at the center.
Now, we are both very active in our church, and we are able to share what we are doing for the church, but also for the mission of Christ, which is to get the Good News of Jesus Christ out to the world. Sometimes we will use words, but mostly we do that through action.
Worshipping As a Couple
The strain we felt was because we were not aligned in how we were going to worship together. Early on we both felt it was important to worship together, and when we do, we feel connected in a way I cannot describe. It’s as if God puts us together in His hands and cradles us closer together in His love.
I also find now that when my wife is not with me in worship, I feel a bit empty. It’s not that worship is not impactful, but perhaps not as impactful as it can be when she is there to share it with me.
Plus, being in worship together allows us to talk about what we heard or saw, and how we each felt or thought about it. It gives us the opportunity to discuss the message, which is important for us in keeping God at the center of our marriage.
Finding Individual Interests
You might think finding something to do individually would take us further away from each other.
You see, each of us has individual talents and strengths that we are gifted with, and if we are not using those gifts, we are squandering our God-given talents.
When we use those talents, we are glorifying God, and are also allowing our spouse to see who we are in God’s eyes.
For example, my wife is quite talented in crafting. She paints and does some backgrounds that I absolutely love. She would be modest and say she is okay at it, but I would argue she has real talent. She is honoring and glorifying God with her ability to create something that perhaps others cannot.
It allows me to praise and encourage her to continue to pursue this course, which is where God wants me to be in this equation.
By praising her work, I am also praising Him. It allows her the ability to feel open to growing in this endeavor, which helps us both connect on a deeper level.
Keep The Faith
So how do you keep God in the center of your marriage? Or do you? If you haven’t been able to find a way, or you struggle with this, let me know in the comments below. I want to hear about your struggles, but also share other ways you have been keeping God at the center of your marriage.
Or perhaps you are not aligned in your faith in the marriage. That’s what happened to me and my ex-wife. We somehow started on the same path for our faith journey, but she diverted, where I stayed true. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. Either way, we were not aligned in our faith, and it ultimately ended in divorce.
Staying true to your faith, and also having your faith aligned as a couple is vital to keeping the marriage alive, but also keeping God at the center of your marriage.
Let me know what other ways you can think of to keep God at the center of your marriage below in the comments, and God Bless.