Last Thursday I had lunch with a good friend of mine. He challenged me to consider the value of praying and reading my Bible with my wife. I told him honestly I wasn’t totally convinced it was important. Don’t get me wrong, I think spending time in God’s word is important for me personally. I think it is important for my wife. I just wasn’t convinced that I needed to do it with my wife.
Then my friend – Jim Evans – made two points that changed my mind:
- Marriage is a sacred union, why shouldn’t we spend time in prayer together?
Jim pointed out that marriage is an extremely special relationship. The Bible compares it to the way that Jesus relates to the church! So, if I’m really going to understand my relationship with Ashley, I need to spend time processing my time with Ashley while also relating to God. I need to see my marriage in a spiritual sense. Maybe, by praying with and read my Bible with my wife I will do this.
- God called me to be a leader in my home. Am I leading my wife in a spiritual sense?
At times Ashley and I are more or less faithful and spending time personally with God. If we spent time together every day, we would help each other out. Why not take the lead and make sure that Ashley and I spent time together every day in God’s Word and in prayer?
Jim’s argument… or maybe the fact that he bought lunch for me when we met :)… Won me over. That night I went home and informed Ashley that we were going to read our Bible together and pray together that night. Ashley gracefully said yes.
It has been seven days now and here are a few things I have learned.
- I decided to start really easy. All I do is open a Bible software app (Logos) that I have on my phone and read the verse for the day. We talk about the verse for a couple minutes and then pray. In the past, the commitment of having to do a larger devotional reading, answering emotional questions and many other things made the task of devotions with Ashley seemed daunting. And in the past I didn’t spend time doing devotions with Ashley.
- It can be easy to forget. I was certainly not in the habit of making time for this each night. There have been plenty of times over this last week when I have walked out of my room in my pajamas to remind Ashley, “Hey hon, I forgot to do devotions tonight.” Then we sit down and do devotions. There have also been times when Ashley has reminded me because I forgot.
- I have to watch my attitude. Even in seven days I have run the risk of doing this devotion time just for the sake of getting it done. I’ve been grumpy and short for the Ashley at times. I need to remember that the reason I’m doing this in the first place has to grow together with my awesome wife.
- I have learned from her perspective. Ashley has a different perspective from me on many things. And I love hearing what she has to say about the different verses we look at.
- I have been clued in to the things that are on her heart. It is so easy to go through a day without really listening and knowing what my wife is worried about. Since we have started doing this practice I’ve gotten a little better at knowing what’s going on with Ashley.
- We have spent more time planning life together. Because we have spent time sitting down and talking about devotions together, other planning things have come up and we have worked through them. In the past, sometimes we have just raced through the night and watched a show or play a game and not had time to talk about important things.
- Now, both Ashley and I have spent time in God’s word every day and spend time praying about God’s word together. This is weird to admit but there are times as a pastor and wife that we have allowed other priorities to keep us from God’s word. Now that we are holding each other accountable and spending time together on this we are more regular.
I know I’m only seven days into this. But I’ve grown a lot and my love for my wife and my Lord. I hope to continue to grow and make this a habit in my life.
Now, we haven’t had devotions yet so, off to do that.