One of the more common complaints I hear from spouses is when one of the partners
in the marriage talks about being alone—in their union. These lonely spouses
perceive a seemingly invisible barrier between the spouses. It’s a level of
communication they cannot change.
“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
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 non-negotiable 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.
Do you have fear or inhibition between you and your spouse?
Do you harbor frustration, impatience, or other forms of anger toward your spouse?
Are you holding on to unforgiveness because of something your spouse has done in the
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
1. Ask the Lord to give you time, context, and courage to discuss these questions with your
spouse. Plan a few consecutive date nights where you can talk. No dinner and a movie;
just you and your spouse, eye-to-eye, communicating.
2. Will you help me in this (name a specific area of temptation) in my life?
3. What is God doing in your life–the good and not so good?
4. What specific areas do you continue to struggle?
5. What have you lately read or heard that is helping you in your sanctification?
6. How can I serve you in a (name a specific area of sanctification) in your life?
7. What has God taught you recently? How have you applied it to your life?