Nuclear Power for Couples by Greg & Erin Smalley

Like nuclear fission, couples with God as their cornerstone have more potential power than they could ever imagine. A key lesson for couples is how to tap into that power through intentionally connecting to God and to each other. Ephesians chapter three provides context:

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge –that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Practice spiritual disciplines together

The key to God’s unlimited power source is to practice daily spiritual disciplines together –that’s the “being rooted and established in love” part of the passage. Remember that you don’t have to be one of those couples who rise in the morning together and devote an hour to prayer. The goal is to work toward finding additional ways you and your spouse can connect spiritually within the scope of the husband’s leadership style as he supports and nurtures his wife’s spiritual gifting. Here are some of Erin’s and my favorite spiritual disciplines for couples:

  • Praying together (Matthew 18:19)
  • Using encouraging words with each other (Hebrews 3:13)
  • Studying God’s Word together (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Attending church together (Hebrews 10:25)
  • Giving and uniting in sacrifice to do it (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
  • Witnessing and making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • Caring for orphans and widows (James 1:27)
  • Studying sermons together (Acts 2:42)
  • Meditating on Scripture (Joshua 1:8)
  • Fasting together (Matthew 6:16-18)
  • Memorizing Scripture (Psalm 119:11)
  • Participating in praise and worship (Psalm 95:1-2)
  • Observing a day of rest (Exodus 20:8-11)
  • Reading a devotional together (Psalm 119:105)
  • Participating in Sunday school or small groups (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Keeping a journal of the specific ways God has helped our marriage (1 Samuel 7:12)

Love God wholeheartedly, and then love others.

As we plug into the right power source, we have what we need to live out the second part of the great commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). This gives us an important order. First, we love God wholeheartedly, and then we love others. The point is that we can’t love others without first getting our hearts full of God’s love. Once we harness God’s nuclear energy within our relationship, then we are to give it away. Think about it: nuclear energy is a mighty force, but it’s useless if the energy isn’t used for something productive.

Nuclear energy starts by rearranging uranium neutrons in a process called fission. Fission releases energy that can be used to make steam, and the steam can then be used to power a turbine to generate electricity. 14 A typical nuclear power plant supplies enough electricity to power 893,000 homes. 15 A nuclear generator the size of a hot tub can produce enough electricity to supply twenty thousand homes. 16 In the same way, the incredible spiritual energy between a husband and wife is unleashed. Don’t keep this power bottled up!

Erin and I have found that developing shared dreams as a couple is like unleashing nuclear energy in and through our marriage. The nuclear math of marriage can be changed again: 1 + 1 = infinity.


This excerpt was taken from Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage by Greg & Erin Smalley. Save 20% on the softcover in February!

Copyright © 2016. Used by permission of Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.