Relationship studies shows that faith is an essential characteristic of a vibrant marriage. However, a shared spiritual life is considered to be one of the most underdeveloped areas of married life. Individually, spouses say that praying, reading Scripture, and volunteering in the local church are highly valued. These activities are indicators of faith and spirituality. However, most spouses say that he/she needs to improve in the frequency of sharing their beliefs and spiritual experiences with each other. In my opinion, a shared spiritual life has a stronger presence than reported in most relationships.

I believe that couples unknowingly exclude some significant aspects of a shared spiritual life. Too often couples measure spirituality through Bible reading, prayer, solitude, or fasting. These disciplines reveal spiritual maturity, yet kindness, humility, deference, peacemaking, sincerity, compassion, mercy and fulfilling parenting responsibilities are often left off the list of characteristics associated with a shared spiritual life.

Couple exercise:

1) Choose one of the traditional spiritual disciplines and commit to a weekly practice of praying or reading Scripture together. 2) Share one or two examples of how your spouse regularly expresses kindness, forgiveness, compassion or fulfills parenting responsibilities. This exercise will help couples to celebrate a shared spiritual life.