I once sent the following e-mail to fifteen married men that I admire and respect. Their ages ranged from about 25 through to 80.
“We may be great friends or I may barely know you. But I’m sending you this e-mail because frankly I think I’m rubbish at praying and reading the Bible with my wife. You may be too, but I’m keen to hear any ideas you have or things you’ve done (or heard done) over the years that have been helpful. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, no doubt Emma will thank you on the last day.”
I’ve compiled their shared wisdom below:
1. The devil will do everything in his power to stop this from happening.
2. Try to make sure that what you are reading, thinking, or hearing in sermons is always on your lips. Sometimes the less formal the better.
3. Things get more difficult the older you get, particularly during the early years of kids when you are both sleep and energy deprived.
4. Always pray at mealtimes, before you go to sleep and particularly when you feel conscious of a special need.
5. There is no magic formula. The Scriptures leave a lot of room for flexibility.
6. Lower your expectations. If you think each time needs to be an hour-long session with a deep and meaningful at the end, then you will never find the time. Start small. It’s better to keep it short and regular than long and months apart.
7. Make it normal. Aim to get it to the point where it feels weird not to pray and read your Bible before you eat, sleep, have a coffee or what ever it is you do.
8. Take the lead.
9. Use things that help. Prayer diaries, CMS prayer points, the church prayer diary etc.
10. Double up. If you’re leading a Biblestudy or preaching on something that week, read the passage together.
11. Be flexible and expect things to change. Life changes and you will need to adopt new systems that meet the needs of new circumstances.
12. Don’t feel guilty. Feel responsible.
13. Make a weekly commitment to a date night, find a book of the bible you can read together and then do it before you ‘date’
14. ‘No bible, no breakfast’ or ‘no bible, no bed’
15. Have a daily memory verse.
16. Read a bit of a Psalm before going to bed each night.
17. Don’t lose sight of grace.
18. Find a time that’s convenient for both of you.
19. Decide together what Bible passages will be most helpful for you to grow together in Christ.
20. Pray about it individually.
21. Talk about it.
22. A daily book of devotions can be helpful. Oswald Chambers’ ‘My Utmost For His Highest’, or ‘Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon are both good.
23. Be flexible and always adjust to each others body chemistry. Tiredness is a big factor, but it’s not impossible to find five minutes at some time to come together before The Lord.
24. Ask another couple to join you in what you are reading.
I pray these ideas are as helpful to you as they have been to me.
Question: How do you go at reading the Bible with your spouse? Have you got another one I should add to the list? You can leave a comment by clicking here