You’ve heard it said that a married couple should read the Bible and have a couple’s devotional time. While it sounds wonderful to connect over God’s Word and to share your heart in prayer, it can sometimes be a little awkward. (Or was it just us?…)
As newlyweds, with stars in our eyes and passion in our hearts, we couldn’t wait to start our life together. We started going to church on a fairly regular basis, and we just assumed a couple’s quiet time would naturally follow.
But we quickly found that connecting through prayer and couple’s Bible study seemed awkward and forced. Unfortunately, we stopped shortly after we began, and a gap started to grow between us.
Fast forward several years later, and we realized that the distance in our relationship was caused because we weren’t connecting spiritually. We knew we needed to make couple’s Bible study a priority again, and we started seeking God together.
How to Start a Couple’s Devotional with Your Spouse
Guest Post by Sarah Ann of FaithAlongTheWay.com
For years I was under the impression that a couple’s Bible study time needed to be deep and intense. Truthfully, neither of us were ready for that yet! Instead, we started small by talking about a verse we had read or a sermon we had heard.
Starting with simple conversation made both of us feel comfortable and natural. As time goes on, this simple conversation will lay a foundation of trust and create a safe place where you can share your heart.
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a daily couple’s devotional time may be unrealistic. As you begin, aim to pray and read the Bible together once a week. Schedule it on your calendar if need be, and if one of you are out of town, Facetime together if possible. Most of all, if you miss a week or life throws you off track, give yourself grace to restart at any time.
Be understanding and respectful.
As a woman, I am the “talker” of our relationship; I am more comfortable opening up than my husband. When we were first married, though, I was concerned about his lack of sharing and talking during our couple’s devotional time. Honestly, I was frustrated that he didn’t seem to want to talk for hours about God’s Word. Plus, my hubs doesn’t like to pray out loud (even with me!), and that bothered me quite a bit.
I quickly realized, though, that everyone comes from different backgrounds and with a different perspective on their relationship with the Lord. God didn’t call me to be perfect in my views and opinions, just to be flexible and understanding of others.
Choose your study material carefully.
When we first started our journey toward a healthy spiritual life as a couple, we started reading a devotional specifically made for couples. While it was fine, there wasn’t much spiritual meat to it. In fact, it often told a story rather than digging into a Biblical concept. Truthfully, we weren’t getting a whole lot out of it; we were simply checking it off our t0-do list.
Even as beginners, don’t be afraid to pick up God’s Word and read a few verses or a chapter together. When just starting out, choose one of the Gospels and read a portion each time you have a devotional together.
Choose a simple study method.
The S.O.A.P. Bible study method is an effective, yet practical, format you can follow as a couple.
Have one of you read aloud the passage or verse.
Discuss what you each notice about the Scripture. Think through and discuss:
- What did you learn?
- How did God speak to you through this passage?
- What is happening?
- Who is speaking and to whom?
Share how you can apply this passage to your personal life, marriage, and family.
Take some time to pray aloud and together.
Use quality tools to make it easier.
After a while, we realized there were wonderful tools out there to help us grow spiritually and make our time in God’s Word easier. These helped us to dig deeper in God’s Word by clarifying confusing passages, and helped us to keep track of what we learned.
Our favorites include:
- Consecrated Conversations Devotional Experience for Couples – This devotional experience is deeply rooted in biblical truth! Our favorite part of this devotional is the ‘Converse + Reflect’ section at the end of each week. It encourages couples to think and pray through certain aspects of their relationship and have the courage to work towards change together.
- Bible Gateway.com– This free site allows us to search quickly and easily for verses we are trying to recall.
- The Family Bible Study Toolkit– These printable templates (with designs for men, women, and even kids) help us to study the Bible in a variety of ways, record both our quiet time notes, and track prayer requests.
- Nave’s Topical Bible – This resource allows us to quickly search by topic and then connect the Scriptures that talk about that subject.
Whether you’re seasoned in couple’s Bible study or just starting out, don’t let it intimidate you. While it may feel awkward and a little unsure at first, it will grow your relationship with the Lord and will help your marriage bloom! It’s so worth it!
How do you connect with your spouse through Bible study and prayer?
What methods are your favorite?