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Dr. Neil Clark Warren - Christian Dating, Singles

Relationships and Spirituality - Part 2

  • Dr. Neil Clark Warren for the eHarmony Research Library
  • 2003 6 Jun
  • COMMENTS
Relationships and Spirituality - Part 2

How and why does the agreement on spirituality between two people play such a vital role in their partnership? Perhaps the most central part of our personality is that part which we refer to as spiritual. When we have blending and harmony between two people in the spiritual area, we become woven together at our deepest levels. I'm convinced that two people who are spiritually alive and vital and who use that spiritual vitality in relation to the other person ultimately end up with a great marriage. When we fail to have spirituality in common, so much about us fails to bond.

In our previous article we examined the essential internal nature of Spirituality. Now we're going to talk about two of the greatest gifts spirituality can offer a relationship.

Spiritual Health = Emotional Health

When you are spiritually alive you are almost always emotionally healthy. I have talked all over the country about emotional health. As a psychologist, I believe that emotional health is the single most important factor in whether a marital relationship works well or not. As a matter of fact, our research indicates that 75 to 80 percent of all marriages that don't work involve at least one person who has what we call an emotional health deficiency. So, emotional health is crucial to selecting a person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

Now, interestingly enough, in my way of thinking, emotional health is almost always built on spiritual vitality. Spiritual health is under emotional health.

  • Get yourself into a right relationship with God and the likelihood is that you will have a right relationship with yourself.
  • Get yourself into a right relationship with yourself and the likelihood is that you will be able to engage in a right relationship with your spouse.
  • Get yourself in a right relationship with your spouse and I virtually guarantee you'll be in a right relationship with your kids.
  • Get yourself in a right relationship with God, yourself, your spouse, and your kids and the likelihood is that you will be in a right relationship with society in general. It all starts with a good spiritual relationship.

It all starts with spiritual aliveness and vitality. When you are spiritually alive and vital--when it's really a situation in which there is all kinds of spiritual health flowing through you--almost inevitably the rest of your emotional world is going to be healthy.

Spirituality as an experience always translates into spirituality as a set of deeds. I don't know anybody who can just be spiritually healthy in the area of prayer and not show the effects of that in relation to the persons in their life.

I'm always reminded of the apostle Paul and how he encourages us to test the spirits within us. In the 5th chapter of Galatians he talks about those qualities of life that make it obvious that you have the Holy Spirit as Paul is talking about within you. He says that there are nine qualities of life that determine if a person has the Holy Spirit in them: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and control.

When I see a person who is loving and peaceful and joyful, who is patient and kind and good, who is faithful and gentle and has self-control, I know in a minute that they have the spirit of God within them. They have the Holy Spirit. You can't get those qualities apart from having the spirit of God within you. And you can't have the spirit of God within you and not show these qualities of life.

Spirituality as an experience always translates into spirituality as a set of deeds. So, if you're going with someone right now--you're considering this person as a possible mate for you for the rest of your life, and spirituality is really important for you--and you sort of wonder if this person is spiritually healthy, whether this person is well-based spiritually, look to see if the set of deeds that you see emanating from them is the set of deeds that correspond with what Paul was talking about in his letter to the church at Galatia. If those deeds do exist you can depend on the spirit of God being within this person.

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