By Aaron Wilson
I can tell you many details about my wife—right down to what her favorite breakfast cereal is. But if you ask me what book of the Bible she’s currently reading, some weeks I’d sadly be at a loss.
Our zeal for engaging one another with conversations about prayer and Scripture tends to ebb and flow. As a former small group leader, I’ve found this to be the case in many marriages, regardless of what stage of life couples are in.
To battle this tendency, here are four tips that can help spouses be intentional in supporting each other’s daily devotions.
1. Protect Time and Space for Daily Devotions
Does your spouse have guarded space in their day when they’ll have the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with God? If not, consider ways you can create protected margin in their life to allow for distraction-free devotions.
Can you watch the kids by yourself for 30 minutes each night to allow your wife time upstairs with the door closed? What about cleaning up the kitchen solo so your husband can have time to pray?
When your spouse knows you’ve got their back spiritually, they’re more likely to be consistent in having a devotional routine. Instead of you both opening the Bible when you happen to find the time, intentionally carve out sheltered margin in the day for your better half so they can dig into God’s Word and heart.
As a side benefit, you’ll also find that accountability happens naturally when you’re proactive in giving your spouse the gift of protected time with God.
2. Have Devotions Together Once a Week
Spiritual disciplines like Bible reading don’t just happen; they’re planned. If you long for your spouse to join you for shared time in the Word, you first need to schedule it.
Couples never drift into practicing spiritual disciplines together. Netflix binge-watching? Yeah, that could happen spontaneously. But Bible reading? Well, unless you and your spouse plan to get locked in a church library overnight, you better make room on your calendar first.
Set a goal of having devotions together once a week. It might be awkward at first, but the more time you spend discussing Scripture and praying, the closer you’ll grow as a couple.
Just be sure to not criticize your spouse during shared devotions. Sure, he or she might stumble over those biblical names you can pronounce with ease. Maybe you have a tendency to yawn when you pray out loud. Let these idiosyncrasies become traits you treasure instead of nuances to nag about.
3. Plan a Date to Go Bible Shopping
Mobile devices and Scripture apps provide more freedom than ever to have daily devotions. However, these tools also give way to a myriad of possible interruptions.
ESPN notifications, Pinterest boards, and Facebook updates all compete for our attention when we delegate devotions to the digital realm. And if we’re honest, God’s Word sometimes starts to look stale when we know there’s a bounty of trivial entertainment awaiting us at the mere touch of an icon.
If you get distracted trying to host a quiet time in the virtual world, know your spouse is probably struggling too. As a couple, you can counter this by investing in traditional paper Bibles to use during daily devotions. Not only does this protect against spiritual distraction, it can also play to your spouse’s strengths.
Is your husband an inquisitive type who’s always asking questions? A study Bible might be a great fit for him. Does your wife like to write? A journaling Bible might be just what she needs to grow spiritually.
Plan a date that involves a trip to your local Christian bookstore. Talk to each other about the features that appeal to you in a physical Bible. As you discuss how each of you enjoys studying Scripture, you may discover something new about your spouse that deepens your relationship on a spiritual level.
4. Ask Your Spouse Questions
When you have questions about what you’re reading in the Bible, where’s the first place you go? Is it a commentary? A Christian podcast? A search engine? While these resources can be helpful, why not start a little closer to home by taking your questions to your spouse?
No matter how similar you and your spouse’s personalities are, recognize that God has equipped your better half with a unique way of seeing the world and processing information. As such, husbands and wives complement each other in the way they study and respond to God’s Word.
So here’s an idea: try reading the same book of the Bible as your spouse for one week. Then, be intentional about discussing your thoughts (maybe during those shared devotions you’re going to try).
You might just discover your husband or wife is more of a theologian than you thought.
AARON WILSON (@AaronBWilson26) is associate editor of Facts & Trends.