“Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:24-25).
The deepest and most intimate component in your marriage is uniquely spiritual. While many couples can disconnect in different ways, there is one that is nonnegotiable if you intend to love like Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25-33). That missing component is an intimate “three-person” dynamic between the husband, wife, and God. I’m not necessarily talking about praying together, going to church, reading the Bible, or other “churchy” things. It would be best if you were doing these things, but some spouses respond to this spiritual disconnect by saying,
We talk about God, pray together, and talk about church. Shoot, we go to church. Our kids are involved in the ministries of the church; we are active churchgoers. I attend the weekly men’s meeting, and my wife leads her Bible study. It’s not that we don’t love God or each other.
What I’m talking about is not necessarily what a couple or family is doing for their church. Some of the busiest church people can be some of the most disgruntled people in their marriages. The biblical term for what is lacking in this kind of marriage is koinonia, where we get our word communication, community, participation, or fellowship. Koinonia is a “three-person community” representing the most profound possible intimacy a man and woman can experience in their marriage.
True koinonia can only happen in your marriage when you share your full experience with God—the good and the bad of it—with your spouse, and your spouse is sharing their total relationship with God with you. That is a real community. It is a free-flowing, dynamic relationship without interruption or hindrance.
Koinonia will not happen if either one of you is unwilling to be transparent, honest, open, mature, humble, vulnerable, and intentional. If those character qualities are not present, there is no way for you to enjoy true oneness. Three of the more common hindrances in marriage are fear, anger, and unforgiveness. You could say these things are koinonia killers.
If you hope to not be alone in your marriage, you must work through these communication killers. Identify what is hindering you from having this kind of relationship with your spouse. Begin a process of change so you can successfully remove anything that is disrupting your conjugal community.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).