Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Scriptural Directions for Developing a Spiritual Partnership

By Daniel W. Trathen, D. Min. Ph. D.

The New Testament is filled with exhortations and commands which all use the phrase “one another.” These can serve as encouraging directions for developing a spiritual partnership within marriage. * If you are seeking more spiritual unity in your marriage I recommend you and your partner study and seek to implement these 16 Scriptural imperatives. As you think about each one, ponder the meaning of the verses as well as how your partner would like you to display them in your relationship. In addition, I have included other suggestions, helps, and accountability questions that can be used to enhance and deepen you and your partner’s spiritual unity.

“May your love increase and overflow for each other.” — I Thess. 3:12
“Love one another deeply from the heart.” — I Peter 1:22
“Love one another.” — I Thess. 4:9; I John 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12
“Prefer one another.” — Rom. 12:10 (KJV)
“Edify one another.” — Rom. 14:19
“Serve one another in love.” — Gal. 5:13
“Carry each other’s burdens.” — Gal. 6:2
“Be patient and bear with one another in love.” — Eph. 4:2
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.” — Eph. 4:32
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” — Eph. 5:21
“Bear with each other, and forgive…each other.” — Col. 3:13
“Teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” — Col. 3:16
“Encourage each other.” — I Thess. 4:18
“Encourage one another and build each other up.” — Heb. 10:24
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” — James 5:16
“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.” — I Peter 5:5

*All of these scriptures use the Greek phrase meaning “one another.”

Suggested Activities for Developing Your Spiritual Unity:

  1. Read a short devotional guide at mealtime or bedtime. One reads and the other person prays. Daily alternate who reads and prays.
  2. Read of listen to short Scriptures — read together, then share applications and accountability.
  3. Read a book of the Bible together, and then discuss what you read.
  4. Directed prayer — pray for specific areas each day.
  5. Spontaneous prayer (of praise, thanksgiving, confession, for needs).
  6. “Spirit checks” — weekly checks on one another — accountability and prayer.
  7. Family devotions.
  8. Sharing time at end of day.
  9. Topical Bible study.
  10. Journal individually and share with one another periodically.


  1. Take the initiative.
  2. Be responsible in seeing that you allow time for this.
  3. Hold each other accountable.
  4. Be consistent.
  5. Refer to the list of “one anothers”, e.g. “teach and admonish one another”, “Encourage one another and build each other up”, “Spur one another on to love and good deeds.”

Questions to Use in Keeping Each Other Accountable:

  1. How is your relationship with God right now?
  2. What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
  3. What has God said to you in this reading?
  4. Where do you find yourself resisting God these days?
  5. What specific things are you praying for in regard to others?
  6. What specific things are you praying for yourself?
  7. What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete? What task seems overwhelming?
  8. What habits intimidate or seem to control you?
  9. Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
  10. If Satan would try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?
  11. Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
  12. How is the time area of time management? Are you keeping a healthy balance in working, family time, and time of being alone?


Biblical truth, prayer, support, and caring accountability are all ways in which the Holy Spirit uses to keep a Christian marriage deepening and dependent on Him. Marital oneness cannot be acquired without the presence of God in our relationships. May God bless you with His healing and holy presence as you seek His promises and transforming power.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man that falls and has no one to pick him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Eccl. 4: 9-12 NIV).

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