As newlyweds, one of the first times my husband, Tim, led me in prayer aloud, I made the awful mistake of laughing at him when he stumbled over his words! Many years into our marriage, Tim still remembers how uncomfortable I made him feel.
Most couples have difficulty developing an intimate spiritual life not just in the early stages of marriage, but throughout their lives. Yet there's nothing more significant than consistently and intentionally coming together before God to know him better and to serve him more fully. Unfortunately, according to author Neil Clark Warren, only 10 to 15 percent of couples really enjoys true intimate spirituality.
Why is spiritual intimacy difficult to achieve? For Tim and me, so much seemed to compete for our spiritual affection. The desire for spiritual intimacy was there, but we got lost along the way and eventually became discouraged. Here are other barriers that can prevent you from being on the spiritual-intimacy track:
Stress. When you're stressed, all your energies are focused on protecting yourself and solving the problems that created the stress in the first place. That leaves very little energy to develop a deep relationship with your spouse and with your Lord. Managing everyday stress is a problem everyone needs to work on.
Time. In his book Margin, author Richard Swensen states that the average couple spends as little as four minutes a day in meaningful couple time. It's hard to spend much more when you're also balancing the demands of a job and children. But as my mother told me when I was a teenager, "If you don't take time for the Lord now, you'll never have time later on." Make time with both your spouse and God a high priority every day.1