I’ve heard too many times that a husband or wife isn’t “at the same spiritual level” as the other. This is usually followed by some type of disappointment or frustration and a wish that the other person, who is inevitably described as “further behind”, start catching up.
While I can somewhat understand how this could be a problem, what I’ve come to appreciate in my own marriage is peristaltic movement in our spiritual growth.
Think of an earth worm for minute. It inches forward while while a portion of it holds tight, the next part moves, and so on and so on. This is how I vision a healthy marriage moving along a spiritual journey as well.
The husband or wife moves forward and then after a short amount of time and understanding, the partner moves forward, in the same direction, as well. Each is always connected, always appreciated, always joined in a common direction.
Could we move together at the same time? I suppose, but that isn’t how it has worked in my marriage. For many years my wife was out ahead of me and I resisted moving forward. Once I started inching forward though I found out how enjoyable it was to move forward quickly. When I moved forward I also was closer with my wife. We moved in the same direction and there was shared vision on where we were heading. In areas now I’m moving ahead and she is following lovingly.
I’ve come to understand that being on the same spiritual level can be a bit dreamy – while it could happen, it probably would only be for a very small period of time. If we were moving at the exact same level at the exact same time it would mean that we were growing at the exact same rate. (Or not growing at just stagnating at the same level).
A healthy marriage is a growing marriage in the Lord, appreciating what your partner has to offer and where they are leading or watching. When you move forward in leadership pray about the direction together and lovingly move forward. When you are “behind” (in a supportive position), celebrate the person ahead of you and start preparing for your own growth to lead soon.