In the biblical marriage of Moses and Zipporah, Zipporah stepped in at a time in Moses’ life that God was going to kill him, in Exodus 4:24-26. He had not obeyed God, by failing to circumcise their son and God was about to deal with Moses.
What I often think of about this interaction is that only his wife was close enough both by physical proximity and spiritual awareness to step in and help Moses. It brings up an interesting insight. A spouse is privy to “inside” information about their husband or wife by way of being so close to them, interacting with them, daily, and having hints as to where they are in their spiritual walk with The Lord. From those dual points of closeness that we share we gain the opportunity to share observations with each other – out of love. Much different than nagging or complaining, a husband and wife can bless each other and strengthen their marriage by providing helpful critiques of their spiritual walk. So here are 7 constructive spiritual critiques you can offer your spouse:
- Perhaps you should pray. When it comes to making decisions we need to spend time in prayer. The challenge comes in that we often get so caught up in what is in front of our eyes that we can’t see the working of The Lord. But we become “help-full” when we can guide our spouse toward talking to their Lord about decisions that need to be made.
- Find a ministry. Our ministry service to the Lord provides a place of interacting, meeting with, knowing and learning of God. As the old hymn goes – only what you do for Jesus will last. Being involved in serving God puts purpose and meaning in our life, which revitalizes how we feel about ourselves and how we then treat each other. Help your spouse get active, serving the Lord to help inform their sense of worth, well being and relationship with Christ.
- Take “that” to the Lord. A common characteristic of the miracles and ministry of Christ is His consistent retreating from the crowd to spend time alone with God the Father. If Jesus found it necessary to get away and spend time with the Father, then it would probably work pretty good for us too. Often after that quiet time with the Lord, He comes back and demonstrates the fullness of His power. Encourage your husband or wife to take a retreat and spend concentrated time alone – with God.
- Sharpen Your Iron. Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that in the same way that iron is used to sharpen another piece of iron, people sharpen us. As a spouse we have interest in our spouse at a level that few others do. Encourage them to keep friends and relationships around that sharpen them. Because if iron sharpens than the absence of good iron makes a person dull. Check those friends!
- Why are you there? Complaining about a job or people we have to deal with is easy. The strength of a spouse is in their ability to help each other see where they are and who they encounter as an opportunity to be a blessing. Perhaps their job really is a pain in the neck but also a place of becoming a blessing to the Lord too. Encourage them to see God in “it”.
- See the Big Picture. When Boaz and Ruth married do you think they knew that in a few generations (after their death) David the King of Israel would be born and be this great servant for the Lord? God has plans beyond what we can see, the challenge is to be faithful where we find ourselves – today. It is part of a bigger struggle and story that carries spiritual weight that we are unaware of where we stand today. Point out that disappointment and hurt it not to disappoint or to hurt but it connects us with God’s bigger story. “Let’s just be faithful to God.”
- Your spiritually out of whack. Like Zipporah did for Moses or Abigail did for Nabal in I Samuel 25, sometimes a husband or wife has to help their spouse see, “You are out of whack with God”. Zipporah’s action saved Moses’ life and he went on to do great things in the Lord. Abigail’s action saved Nabal’s life in the short term but he never did draw closer to the Lord. The result is not the point, our job is to be honest and share – you are out of whack.
The most important attitude we must keep when trying to walk with our husband or wife is spiritual humility. We/I don’t have all of the answers, it is in our gentle, humble nudging and pointing our spouse back to Christ that we fulfill our godly purpose best in our marriage. Without humility we enter into judging our spouse. So, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)