One practical way to unify your marriage today
Admit it. We all secretly desire the rom-com marriage model. We want to bump into the person who, without any effort on our part, has insight into our souls. You know, that incredibly good-looking guy or girl who knows just what to do (or not do) to make our lives heaven on earth and to whom we will be happily married until death parts us.
If you are a Christian and meet this person at church, the expectation of smooth marital sailing goes off the charts. Not only is your heart racing, but meeting in church means you are guaranteed wedded bliss. Unfortunately, that's not true. Even among Christians, roughly one in three marriages end in divorce.
In over a decade of ministering to struggling couples, my husband and I find that although each couple faces unique challenges, they all have one thing in common: None regularly pray together.
Some argue that while roughly half of marriages end in divorce, that number significantly drops when couples pray together. It's trite but true: couples who pray together tend to stay together.
Two Bonding Benefits Every Praying Couple Receives
Prayer creates unity in a marriage. Mark 3:25 tells us, "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." When a couple prays together they do it as a team. They acknowledge their mutual dependency on the Lord and willingness to submit their wills to His will. Conflicts are easier to resolve under those circumstances.
Prayer also creates intimacy. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13). When a couple comes together to the Lord in prayer, they see each other emotionally and spiritually bare. It is a romantic notion that one person is born to be another person's soulmate. Soulmates aren't born; they are created on a wedding day and discovered in the intimacy of shared prayer.
If you and your spouse aren't praying together, below are five suggestions to help you get started. The first few times you pray together, it's going to feel super awkward. That's normal. But like any other spiritual discipline, the more you do it the more natural it feels.
Five Practical Suggestions to Start Praying Together
1. Discuss what you'd like to pray about and who is going to do the actual praying.
Write it down and read it, if that helps. You won't feel as awkward if you have a plan.
2. Decide on logistics.
When my husband and I began praying together, we did it in bed, back to back, with the lights out. Maybe you want to hold hands and keep your eyes closed. Decide what will work for you.
3. Each time you pray, thank God for one thing about your spouse.
Hearing your mate tell the Lord what he or she loves about you creates tender hearts that want to do more thoughtful things.
Before you say "Amen," sit quietly for a bit and give the Lord an opportunity to speak to your hearts.
Talk about what you prayed and ask if either of you felt like you received any direction from the Lord.
Jesus said, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20). Allow Jesus to bring healing and life into your marriage through prayer. You have nothing to lose, and years of a fulfilling marriage to gain.