Have you struggled as a couple to have consistent devotions during your marriage? Well, you’re not alone! We have had trouble since day one to have anything at all, let alone consistently. We knew it was important to read scripture and pray together as a couple, but it was like agony to do so and became a bone of contention over time. We thought if we weren’t having an hour (or more) of very serious devotions that we were failing as Christians. We couldn’t live up to that expectation of our own making, so what did we do? Nothing. Really. Nothing. Good grief.
Then just a few years ago our friends from Inverse Ministries, Clint and Penny Bragg, were staying with us and shared what they do each Sunday evening to connect with each other and have devotions. It’s simple – and has been life-changing for us!
We set aside an hour each Sunday evening. It’s the time of the week that works for us, too, but yours could be any day or evening during the week. The point is to make it work for you! We even put it on our schedule in Outlook. We highly recommend this. It won’t happen on a consistent basis each week if you don’t schedule it – and I assume since you’ve read this far, it’s something you want to happen. Have you noticed that we only schedule this ONCE per week? That’s the other idea we gave up – having devotions as a couple each day – like it was going to make us more holy Christians. Ha! No wonder we ended up doing nothing! (What we do each day is for another post.)
Now, what do we do to connect and share during this time? Glad you asked.
The first few minutes we go over both of our schedules for the week. We make sure we know what appointments or plans the other one has and the things we are doing together. That doesn’t sound very devotion-y, does it? But it keeps misunderstandings from happening during the week because someone wasn’t aware of an event. And since we are also trying to connect as a couple during this time, this is important. We are both on the same page now.
The next thing we do is share a scripture that spoke to us during our individual times with God during the week. Or we might read a devotional like “Night Lights” by the Dobsons. Penny Bragg wrote a weekly devotional called “Dance Lessons” that we highly recommend. Why? Because it was the one that we started with and God proved to us we could actually do this dance on Sunday evenings by sharing just a short devo and answering some well-thought out questions with each other. There are lots and lots of devotionals available so go to the bookstore or get online and peruse whatever strikes your fancy – but get one you both like. Make it short and easy!
After that, we share what we need prayer for. And then we actually pray for each other, our marriage, whatever is going on with the kids, the couples we work with and whatever God puts on our hearts. Sometimes we “banter” back and forth with the prayers, sometimes one of us prayers a whole bunch and then the other one does. Sometimes it’s longer, and sometimes it’s shorter. We’ve learned to let the Spirit lead us and not get worked up about the length of the list or the length of the prayers or the time spent or not spent.
Then – we’re done! We’ve spent from 20 minutes to an hour or more. Though we schedule an hour, we don’t look at the clock about having to fill that hour! We just let it flow and trust God to connect our hearts with each other and with Him. And it’s been a life-changing thing. We are closer to God, each other and truly look forward to the time each week.
Here’s to a new thing in your lives together!