My wife, Jennie, and I were laughing about a conversation I had with our daughter about how opposites attract. After explaining this concept to her, I said, “That’s why your mom and I do so well together; we get along because we’re so different.”
Her exact response was, “You and Mom get along?”
There are no perfect marriages. Not at church, not from pastors, or therapists or neighbors who appear to have it all together. But God isn’t asking for perfect; He’s looking for fruitfulness. And the way to fruitfulness is by fearing God and being intentional in your relationship with Him. In a practical sense, it’s you and your spouse figuring out what time with God could look like in your marriage.
Your lives may already be full of jobs, kids, dirty dishes, soccer practice, the gym and a million other things competing for your attention. Where do you and your spouse begin carving out time to spend with the Lord as a couple? If you’re not sure how to start, try this: Begin small, and see where God leads.
Wherever you are
Jennie and I are trying to read through the Bible in a year. We may not be reading aloud every morning—on the couch with coffee in hand while the kids are quiet in their beds—but sometimes we sit on our patio by the fire in the evenings and read together. When we’re able, it’s awesome.
Other times, we’re in different time zones or just different rooms. I might be on a plane while Jennie is home with the kids, but we’re both finding time to read God’s Word every day. We’re both asking God to meet with us and speak to us. Then we catch up on what we’ve been learning.
If your schedule lines up, you and your spouse can sit down together or connect through text. Maybe you read on your own and check in periodically. Whatever you do, the point is to simply begin.
What works for you
Jennie and I consider our schedules, the season we’re in, who we are and how God made us. We find freedom in knowing there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to devotional time. You can’t look to what’s working for another couple and assume it’s going to work for you.
Pick a plan. Choose a devotional or reading plan; or maybe pick a book of the Bible that you’ve been meaning to learn more about. Then, just start.
Keep your ambitions realistic. Most diets fail because the goals or changes are too big, not too small. So don’t be afraid to start small. The point is to spend time with God as a couple and in whatever form it takes for you. And then do it again the next day. And the next.
Like the ocean that floods the hole you dug on the beach as a kid, God will fill any place in your life that you open and make available to Him.
Your presence is requested
Things that are “easy” to do are also easy not to do. If your time with God is merely a checkbox item on a to-do list, you’ll likely struggle to follow through.
It’s hard to make anything a priority if you’re only doing it because you have to.
Your motivation should be to simply spend time together with your Creator. What if you reminded yourself every morning that the God of the universe has your name on the palm of His hand? God knows how many hairs are on your head. He breathed the galaxies into existence, commands the wind and the rain, spoke you into being—and He cares about you! He cares about your marriage and kids, your aches and pains and struggles.
He’s extending an invitation, a seat at His lavish dinner party, saying “Your presence is requested.” And when that’s the fuel that propels you to meet with Him, you reorient your priorities and may even witness fruitfulness in all areas of your life, including your marriage.
As you seek to live a life centered on Jesus, there will be no limit to the peace, power, joy and fruit-fulness that come from spending time with the Lord together.