Too Much Jesus? 7 Ways Hyper-Spirituality Hijacks Happy Marriages

A time to pray, a time to touch and agree.

The Sanctuary of Marriage

I remember a funny moment when we were a young married couple moving into our very first home over 24 years ago; it was a quaint, 2-bedroom townhome with hardly any furniture, but a lot of love.

Now, if you’re like me – raised by a Holy Ghost filled, fire baptized Mama who believed in the power of prayer and God’s protecting angels – there’s one thing that EVERY new home needed way before welcome mats and housewarming gifts. Can you guess?

You got it! Oily, finger-drawn crosses above every door and window in the house LOL!

I’ll never forget the day Mama came over to anoint our new place. Making her way around the entire house, praying in the Spirit, she headed upstairs:

Hubby (following Mom, smiling back at me): Where you going, Mama?
Mama: I’m going upstairs.
Hubby: In our bedroom?
Mama (approaching the bedroom door): Yeah, boy.
Hubby (sliding Mom back into the hall, closing the bedroom door): Ummm, naww, that’s OK, Mama. That’s our sanctuary – Jesus don’t go in there LOL!

Even Mama had to come out the Spirit for that good laugh!

That memory prompts questions for husbands and wives in the church today:

Is there too much Jesus in your marriage?
Are you a hyper-spiritual spouse?

Let’s dive in, Cleavers, and take a real look at marriage in the body of Christ, intimacy, and the role of God, husband, and wife.

God’s Place in Marriage

christian marriageIt’s true. We want God to be the center of our marriages. Did you ask God for a “God-fearing” man or woman – since He’s that foundational third cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12) that can make a marriage unbreakable?

Well, I’m sorry (not sorry) to have to break it to you, Cleavers, but God alone is not enough to make your marriage work {insert gasps}! Yes, our Playbook said in Ecclesiastes, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” – BUT IT DOES NOT SAY THAT IT’S UNBREAKABLE.

Yes, you married a man who faithfully attends church. Yes, you married a “praying woman”. Yes, s/he was a wo/man of God who loved the Lord. And yet, according to new marriage and divorce statistics released by The Barna Group, the divorce rate for the body of Christ is just as high as those who have not accepted Jesus Christ (over 30%).

So, what gives?

Are You Speaking in Tongues More Than You Tongue Kiss?

One of the most important tenets of a successful, happy marriage is communication. And, did you know that intimacy – physical and non-physical – is a key facet of communication in marriage? And, do you realize that real intimacy must be drenched in honesty and transparency?

Going back to our 3-fold cord of God, husband, and wife – 2 cords cannot rely on 1 cord to do all of the work. While husbands and wives can depend on God for wisdom, guidance, and direction – the intricate “work” of “doing” marriage is the responsibility of the man and the woman.

Bishop Noel Jones had an interesting take on the roles of man, woman, and God in marriage at this year’s Young Leaders Conference (paraphrase):

If you’re expecting God to keep your mate while you do nothing but give your time and energy to the things of God, you are making a huge mistake! There are some lines God won’t cross!

You see, Cleavers, if it wasn’t good for man to be “alone” (Genesis 2:18), and Adam already had God – there’s something that husbands and wives can give each other in this earthly realm that God will not. That’s not His responsibility – but ours.

So, we can’t be so “sold out” for God that we “sell out” our marriages and the needs of our spouse. This is why Paul hints at the fact that those who are single care for the things of God. When you make those covenant marriage vows, you’re committing to a life of service to your spouse – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, and the wife seeking to satisfy her husband.

Tell-Tale Signs of Hyper-Spirituality in Marriage

So, what does hyper-spirituality look like in a marriage? Here’s a brief checklist of examples – do any of these voices or mindsets sound familiar (in no particular order):

  1. “God gave me this {church, ministry, business} and called me to glorify Him – so I don’t have time to ____.”
  2. Every disagreement includes or ends with a scripture lesson nag of what your spouse did or is not doing – including cross-references.
  3. More time spent in prayer for others (the sick, needy, even the marriage) than laying hands on your spouse; some form of “Kingdom work” comes before sexual intimacy.
  4. Seeking “signs and wonders” outside and above the marriage; seeking the deep things of God before the basic responsibilities of marriage.
  5. The inability to have a meaningful, transparent conversation with your spouse without quoting scripture, using “churchy” cliches, or anything relating to “Jesus” at all.
  6. Wives who broaden the context of being “discreet and chaste” (Titus 2:5) to the bedroom.
  7. Manipulating scripture to either limit or avoid intimacy and service; hiding secret issues behind piety rather than seeking help.

So, What’s the Play Call?

Ask yourself, “Am I destroying my marriage in the name and for the sake of Christ?”

God forbid. Your marriage, your home will always be your first ministry, and God will not require, nor cosign, that you neglect your spouse for the sake of Him.

If you sense that there’s an imbalance in your marriage, or if you know that you have not been as present as your husband or wife needs you to be – apologize, talk with your spouse, and listen to their heart. Ask God to guide both of your perspectives on marital responsibilities and serving one another, and how to best manage your outside priorities and goals. Remember, the relationship between the church and God is mirrored after marriage – not the other way around (Revelation 19:7-9). Your marriage is paramount!

Know that as you honor your spouse, you are honoring God – and that’s the conclusion of the whole matter.

Love y’all!

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