Spiritual Reading With Your Partner: Benefits and Books to Read
We live in a day and age where social media has taken the place of snail mail. Phone calls have replaced in person conversations over coffee. Kindles and electronic devices have replaced old fashioned reading. Online dating is growing more than ever. But when it comes to working on relationships, we need to build in actual quality one on one time together.
One of the most rewarding activities a couple can partake in to grow in their relationship is spiritual reading. Taking time to read books that will bring you closer to God and his saints will also bring you closer as a couple. You’ll also fill the void often created by the lack of Christian culture in today’s world!
The benefits of spiritual reading with your partner
Spiritual reading can work wonders for you as a Catholic single. Picking up the Bible, books about the saints, or works written by Catholic evangelists can help you better understand yourself and the world in relation to Christ.
Did you recently meet someone through online dating and want to grow closer together as a new couple? Sharing books and spiritual readings with a partner allows you to both experience a wealth of additional benefits.
Here are some of the unique advantages you’ll find by spiritual reading with your partner.
1. You’ll establish a deeper connection
Isn’t a deeper connection with each other an ultimate goal of any dating relationship?
Spend time reading and discussing the themes of the material you’re reading together. You’ll deepen your connection with your partner. Idle chit chat is replaced with discussing important topics in life and you’ll find yourself delving deep into issues of social justice, morality and religion.
Since you won’t be relying on superficial talk, you’ll notice your relationship bloom and become stronger!
2. As a couple, you’ll grow spiritually
Often when we discuss something we are reading or thinking about with others, they can offer us a different perspective. Just yesterday, I was talking with a friend about an issue that we are both struggling with. She threw out a simple analogy that completely changed the way I was viewing my situation, and I have felt empowered ever since.
When you listen to your partner explain what something means to them, it helps grow your own faith and sense of empathy. While reading spiritual material together, you’ll discuss faith and spirituality on such a regular basis. You’ll find you’re both working through ideas and issues together and creating stronger connections to your own faith.
3. You and your partner will understand each other better
Religion isn’t the only thing you’ll create a stronger connection with! By discussing big ideas, you and your partner will begin to understand each other better.
When pouring over the pages of good spiritual works, we can gain an entirely different view and a new appreciation for the person we are with.
As wonderful as this can be, it may not always be comfortable. Don’t shy away from the tough questions when they come, because it is in exploring these hard areas that you will discover great growth.
4. Spiritual reading helps you build a foundation of communication
If there is any other skill that is more valuable than good communication in a relationship, humans are still trying to discover it. Today in the United States, 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Sociologists studied relationships for years to find the underlying cause of what divides two people once so close.
Poor communication is at the top of the list.
Spend time talking together over your spiritual readings. As a couple, you’ll reinforce excellent communication skills. Important listening and speaking skills arise throughout the time you spend reading together and will positively impact every area of communication in your relationship.
5. You’ll build a foundation of faith
If a couple is going to stand the test of time together, they must grow their foundation of faith together as a couple. By talking about faith and spirituality regularly, you can achieve this.
“Do whatever moves you to love,” Saint Teresa of Avila said when speaking about prayer and spiritual reading. Reading and praying together as a couple inspires you and your partner to live a life of loving God and each other. It opens up a loving conversation between us and him.
6. Spiritual reading helps you create traditions together
By beginning a practice of spiritual reading together now, you open the door to new traditions that you both will enjoy during your relationship.
Traditions are so incredibly important for us! Look at the Catholic Church, rich in tradition. Families also live by their own special traditions year after year. Spiritual reading can be a tradition that you will find sparks many more traditions for you and your partner throughout the years.
Spiritual Books to Read Together
1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
This memoir by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl has been devoured by readers for generations. After three years spent in Nazi camps where his entire family perished, Viktor writes about suffering. We can’t avoid suffering, but we can choose how we will cope with it.
As every relationship will have its share of struggles, this is an excellent book to read and discuss with your partner. Viktor navigates the meaning of suffering and how we can learn from it and use it to move on in our lives with a renewed purpose.
2. A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preaching by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Well known and loved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. passes down some of his most moving and powerful sermons in this book. His words focus on love, strength through hardship, empathy, and freedom for all humans.
This is a great work to incorporate in your spiritual reading as it focuses on topics like Christian teachings and social consciousness. From loving your enemies to dreaming together, his words will give you and your partner much to discuss!
3. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
If you and your partner are looking for spiritual reading that will help increase your fortitude, this book is a must. After receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, Professor Randy Pausch gave his last lecture on achieving childhood dreams.
Randy combined intelligence, humor and inspiration to provide a work that teaches us to overcome obstacles, enable the dreams of others, and to seize every moment. It is a book about living at your very best, with all that you have been given.
Reading this book together can create great discussion for you as a couple. Ask each other what gifts has God given you and how you can use them to our full potential in the space of time that God has given you
4. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
Communication is a problem in many relationships. But it’s important to add that communication about finances and important life matters rank high as things partners failed to adequately discuss.
In this book, Ray Dalio will teach you and your partner how to be radically transparent to each other while forming a meaningful relationship. Dalio gives hundreds of lessons built around cornerstones of radical truth and lays out the most effective ways to make decisions and approach challenges. These are skills you definitely need to make your relationship successful!
5. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
Falling in love is easy, it’s staying in love that’s the challenge. Focusing on five distinctly different ways that people give and receive love, this book is bursting with amazing information and advice for couples who are wanting to better understand how to love each other.
Do you show love through physical affection or by acts of service? Would you prefer to be given a gift or would you rather experience words of affirmation? Read this amazing work to find out the differences between your love languages and to better understand how to fulfill them.
6. The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis
For couples seeking to delve into a Christian and philosophical study of love, C.S. Lewis has just the work for you. Lewis pulls from Saint John’s “God is love” and discusses the different types and needs for love.
This is a great type of spiritual reading for those really wanting to explore love in its entirety: the feelings, pleasures and everything that is connected to loving God, the self, and someone else.
Start reading together today!
Spiritual reading is one of the best ways to grow your faith and your spiritual relationship with your partner. There are more helpful practices that you can start doing now to make your foundation as a couple even stronger.
Catholic Singles is full of information and advice to help guide you on your journey to a stronger relationship, or even a new relationship through online dating. Whatever your goal is, we are here to help you every step of the way.
Cassi Villanueva is a freelance writer and contributing blogger at Catholic Singles. Born and raised in the south, when she's not writing, she can be found spending time with her husband and four children in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA.