The Three Parts of Marriage (1 of 3)

A good friend of mine just celebrated her one year anniversary.  She commented that she made it through what people say is the hardest year.  I understand what she meant, but I would also argue that marriage should always be hard.  Not in a striving, miserable kind of way.  But in a way that you exert actual effort in making it what God intended. 

My dad once told me that three parts make up a marriage.  He said that marriage should be one-thirds spiritual, one-thirds emotional, and one-thirds physical.  In this little blog series, I’d like to share my views on the three, how they affect my marriage, where Kris and I get it right, and where we sometimes fall short.  “Fall short” is for you Uncle Ken.

Now, I do not claim to be an expert on the topic.  This is my second marriage, after all.  And, you might be reading this thinking, “I think marriage is four parts” or “I think marriage is this” or “I think marriage is that.”  Well, you might be right.  Share your thoughts with me, and maybe and we’ll both learn something new.

Today, I’m going to open up the dialogue with the spiritual part of marriage.

I believe when this part is done right, two individual people can come together in an extraordinary relationship.  When Kris and I first married, he didn’t feel he was a “spiritual” person since, in his mind, his spirituality was based on knowledge of the Bible.  As I began to share with him that his heart for other people, his simple acts of kindness, and the way he loved John Henry and I made him as spiritual as one can get, his understanding of it changed.

Kris and I don’t daily sit down and read God’s Word together.  So, perhaps, we fall short here.  But when I read a scripture that really grabs a hold of my heart, he is the first person I share it with.  When we pray together, it is always me praying out loud.  And, regardless of your thoughts on this, I am okay with it.  I’ll never forget in our first year of marriage we were lying in bed, and I wasn’t feeling well.  I leaned over and asked him to pray for me.  He said, “Okay.”  But after about 3 minutes of silence, I reacted, “Kris, pray for me!”

“I am!  You just interrupted me!”  He responded.

I couldn’t help but chuckle then, and I still get a kick out of that story today.  While, I am comfortable praying aloud, Kris would rather not.  However, he always prays aloud for our children.  And, that’s what matters most to me.

But, I know he prays.   He will often tell me what God is showing him about our family, about our business, and about our children.  And, I can’t tell you the number of times that we both came together and shared something we felt God was showing us to do, and it was the same thing.  That’s when the relationship becomes extraordinary – at least to me.

I respect Kris as the spiritual leader of our home.  And, he respects what God shows me.  And, while marriage offers the best place for raising children and offering companionship, it also offers the opportunity to learn valuable spiritual lessons of love, compassion, and commitment.  It provides a place to live as Christ-followers.  It is where God is considered in every decision.  It is where as individuals, we live as God has called us to live – and when we come together, God is glorified.


Filed under Love, Relationships, Spiritual Journey

5 responses to “The Three Parts of Marriage (1 of 3)

  1. I bet on Kris as a spritual man, who prays, serves, gives liberally, and protects his family. We ofetn get caught up in what we feels is ” spiritual” and miss the depth of the inner workings of commitment and character. I have truly enjoyed watching you and Kris discover yourselves on spiritual footings ; you coming from a very “word centered” dynamic and Kris who was not given to the usal sunday school flannel board teaching of biblical narratives. Way to go to both of you for working on making a marriage that has roots and depth.

  2. Karen

    I found this blog on the WordPress dashboard & had to look. My husband & I will soon celebrate our 29th anniversary.

    You’re right when you say it should be “hard”. When God puts 2 people together & tells you to make it work, it can’t be easy. I personally believe there is a mate for each of us, & all we have to do is pay attention to where God leads. Sometimes, I wonder if God’s sense of humor was showing when He mated Chris & I. We are totally opposite, in almost all things. Except our faith in God.

    Marriage is the hardest “job” a couple will ever love. I think the thirds description fits very well. It takes work, but given a chance to bloom it’s the most satisfying thing on this earth. It’s not for the faint of heart.

    I’ll be back to see the 2nd part of your series. Very nice.

  3. I haven’t been married since 1995. I’ve only been a Christian for just shy of 5 years. I sometimes wish God would send me a permanent prayer partner – someone to bounce things off of – someone to share my heart for the word. You’re very blessed to have this. 🙂

  4. dlkaufman

    I love what you said about “when we come together, God is glorified.” In over thirty years of marriage, I’ve learned that unity is what makes things work. If we don’t agree in the spirit, nothing goes forward. It is this unity that has saved us more than once. Things I felt important that Bill didn’t agree on (and vica-versa) later proved that they would have been disasterous if we had gone forward. Looking forward to reading the rest. Come visit me sometime at my new blog,

  5. The Christian Ranter

    I think that men and women do grow in their own unique ways spiritually. The part where you said that your husband tells you what God is showing him I think is key in connecting spiritually. So many times, we men may pray and do our own thing spiritually, but we need to let our women know or there will be no connection.

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