Do you and your spouse have regular devotions together? Devotions are a specific time when you both read the Bible–and perhaps a devotional guide–and pray together. Through our years of working with couples we have observed that only a small minority of couples actually have a plan for drawing close to God together.
As a follow-up to our post on 3 Ways to Cultivate Spiritual Intimacy we felt it would be helpful to follow-up with some practical next steps. For the health of your marriage, we are challenging you to begin now to incorporate a plan for growing together spiritually. And men, we are charging you with the responsibility to make sure this happens!
Before you panic, we have four simple steps to ensure success. Ready? Here are the four steps:
Taking the spiritual initiative in the home does not mean that you have to be the expert. This isn’t about having all the answers, knowing all the books of the Bible, or how long you’ve been a Christian. The only one who is putting that pressure on you is you. All you have to do is be the initiator and…
This isn’t something that will take a lot of time. Consistency is the key, not longevity. We suggest spending 5-10 minutes total a day. It could be that your schedules are such that a daily routine isn’t possible. So initiate a conversation where the two of you determine together what time of day is best and which days of the week are optimal.
Again, you don’t have to be the expert, just the initiator. Part of your plan is knowing what you are going to read. We’ve found that reading 2-3 paragraphs at a time and working our way through a book of the Bible has been a good pace. Perhaps you will start in one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) or a highly application oriented book like James.
An additional resource would be to use a devotional book which will have readings as well as suggested Bible verses to read. Here are some suggestions:
- Jesus Calling
- Our Daily Bread
- My Utmost for His Highest
- Quiet Times for Couples
- The 7-Minute Marriage Devotional Bible
When you’ve figured out what you are going to read, then it’s time to…
When you have your timing chosen and your plan figured out, take a deep breath and dive in! Again, husbands, you be the one who makes sure that the plan is enacted. At least initially we recommend that the husband do the reading out loud, though over time you might decide to take turns.
Be consistent in your time together. Protect against intrusions and excuses. There may be rare exceptions when you will choose to be flexible, but overall, you want to stick with the plan. Either before or after you read together, be sure that you…
We’ve written about praying together here and strongly urge you to read more about it. It is vital for the health of your marriage to pray together–out loud. Couples who pray together significantly decrease the risk of divorce and increase their intimacy and connectedness!
What have you done to grow together spiritually? Share your ideas below and build your marriage!