As a Christian, the most important aspect of my life is my relationship with God. My life is all about Jesus. He is my identity, my passion. When Debbie and I read and discuss the Word together, we are sharing the most important facet of our lives. We are connecting in a profound, powerful way. We are moving together toward the same horizon – experiencing the presence of God together in our life and marriage. This promotes spiritual oneness, communion with God and unity with each other.
When you participate in a weekly Bible study with a group of men or ladies where everyone is studying the same passages and each person discusses what God has personally shown them and how it has impacted their lives, a deep bond develops. You become concerned about what is going on in the lives of all of the other people in the group. Your care and love for each person in the group increases. Your desire to pray for each participant grows. When you have a bible study with your husband or wife, the impact is even greater. It develops spiritual oneness in the marriage.
Ephesians 5:26 directs the husband to emulate the headship of Jesus by leading his wife spiritually through continually cleansing her with the Word of God. When a husband studies the Bible with his wife, he is fulfilling this responsibility. Debbie shares with other wives that when the two of us look into the Scriptures together, and she sees me surrendered to what God is saying, it makes it much easier for her to confidently follow my lead. She further states, “It is much easier for me to submit to Sam, when I see Sam yielded to God”.
Also, having devotions together can ward off potential conflict. When there is a difference of opinion, we find common ground by together investigating God’s principles in the matter. This helps us get on the same page in our differing perspectives. Regularly reading the Bible together, especially passages that address relationships, prompts us to openly discuss issues in a non-confrontational environment. It helps cleanse the relationship of misunderstanding and hurts because considering the Word together channels our thinking away from separate opinions into God’s frame of reference.
You might be thinking, “If having regular devotions as a couple can so profoundly affect a marriage, why don’t the majority of couples pray and read the Bible together?” I think there are three major reasons.
First, some couples are not aware of this practice. As a young couple, we had never considered a regular devotion time until a couple visiting from a local church knocked on the door of our basement apartment. We had only been married a few months and were new to the neighborhood, so we were eager to make friends. Little did we realize that when we opened our door to them, they would be the catalysts to open our relationship to a fascinating growth spurt. When the visitors discovered we were already attending a church of a different denomination, they immediately presented compelling arguments for beliefs that differed from ours. We basically knew how our church stood on the matters, but were unable to support our position with Scripture. We promised to consider the issues they had discussed with us, and then we said goodbye. Although our paths never crossed again, we were motivated to set aside our preconceived ideas and thoroughly investigate the Bible. We purchased books that covered both doctrinal positions. We would read a portion of the books together, then look up and discuss, in context, each Scripture referenced. Every day we prayed that the Lord would reveal Truth. When God individually stirs the heart of a believer, he or she is warmed and strengthened, but when husband and wife experience this together, it seems like the Spirit of God wraps around them and their bond is intensified. This pursuit drew us closer to the Lord and each other. We found ourselves looking forward to our special time when the three of us could connect. We determined it would become a lifelong habit.
Second, the average couple claims they are too busy. The demands on their schedule are too great to fit this spiritual discipline in. I have discovered that Debbie and I have to daily carve out specific time for this and make it a priority or it will not happen. It may require getting out of bed twenty minutes earlier or skipping a TV show or simplifying our routines. We now fit this into the beginning of our morning. Other couples like to conclude their day with prayer and bible reading. We know some couples whose jobs demand that one of them travel out of town over night. They have often devotions by phone or Facetime.
Lastly, many husbands fail to implement this practice in their marriage because they have never seen it modeled and don’t know where to start. Our new couple’s devotional, Time for Three daily directs a husband and wife to specific Scriptures and provides insights that apply the passage to both their life and marriage.
First, we encourage the couple to decide together what will be the best time for them to have daily devotions. Then, we remind them that this is a time of worship in which the two of them marvel at the character of God revealed in His Word each day. Next, we exhort the couple to:
- Pray that they will both sense His presence and that their hearts will be receptive.
- Read the recommended Scriptures for that day out loud.
- As one of them reads the devotion to the other, allow time to acknowledge how the Bible backs the principles that are presented.
- Discuss how the points relate to your marriage, how you should respond, and how you can use these biblical principles to encourage hurting couples the Lord brings into your lives.
- Conclude your devotion time each day thanking God for one another, and the truths that were conveyed through His Word.
We challenge couples to make this practice a habit for life. Consistency will add stability and connection to their relationships. Taking time to consider aspects of our Creator and His principles results in an incredible, spiritual bond where transparency and confidence in our relationships flourish. “After twenty-five years of training couples to live according to the Word of God, we can proclaim that this practice is a necessary step to maximizing a marriage.”