Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reading the Bible Together

Hey all,

Finally getting to a reader question about reading the Bible together as a couple: "What are some good ways that you guys have found that allow couples can get into the bible together?"

This has been an issue that Melissa and I have struggled with ourselves throughout the course of our relationship. From the day we started dating, we have tried to make reading the Bible together a priority in our relationship.

Here are a handful of the things we have learned:

1) Just like an individual relationship with God has ups and downs, so will your combined time with God. We have had stretches that we have done fantastic with setting aside time and we have had other times that we have done a horrible job. As you talk about your collective relationship with God, keep in mind this will be a conversation that will need to be revisited from time to time.

2) People connect with God differently. This was, and continues to be, the biggest struggle for us with spending time reading the Bible together. We simply approach and respond to the Bible differently. I like to read and then dive deeper into the notes or a commentary and then discuss it at length. Melissa likes to read a passage and then just let it sink it. We had to learn, and continue to learn, that this is ok and that one approach is not right or wrong, just different. At times we do it my preferred way, other times we do it her way and other times we find something in the middle. (For more about this, check out our past blog called "The Best Present Ever."

3) Unfortunately, we have not found very many resources to be helpful. We have tried a handful of devotionals written for couples and tend to find most of them rather annoying and shallow…but we’re both pretty picky when it comes to these kind of materials. The one that we have found to like the most is Closer by Jim and Cathy Burns. Each devotional starts off with Scripture and then has a story to go along with the message. Personally, I think the discussion questions at the end are the best I have seen in a couple’s devotional as they are really practical and have led to some great conversations.

The biggest thing I’d recommend as far as devotionals or Bible Study materials is simply to try different things and see what works for you. Head to www.cbd.com and do a search for books and guides and see what you find.

A couple of hints for those on a tight budget:

- Many libraries will order books suggested through a very simply request process. That way you can try a handful of books without cost to you.

- Most publishers, and even Christian Book Distributors or Amazon, will provide a sample of their content online. This way you can go through a couple of devotionals for free to get a feel for the material.

4) We also like to listen to sermons and then talk about them afterwards. Sometimes we’ll listen to them together, especially during long car rides, and other times we’ll listen to them apart (even different ones) and then discuss them later. Some of our favorites are Rob Bell and Shane Hipps from Mars Hill Bible Church and Perry Noble from New Spring Church.

Hope this helps! We’d love to hear what devotionals, resources or books others have tried and enjoyed…we’re always looking for new ideas ourselves.

Jake

How do you and your significant other spend time together with God?
Is there a devotional or book you have used that you really enjoy?

3 comments:

  1. You can even do this over a long distance relationship. My girlfriend and I are reading through the book of John. Even though we might read the day's chapter at different times, we can still discuss the passage and it's ideas the next time we talk.

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  2. Great tips you guys!! All of this is so very true!! My husband and I are working through a healthy balance with all this- but I must say our times together with God are sooooo refreshing!!

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  3. I am encouraged daily on how my husband and I are more and more comfortable sharing the Bible with eachother, praying before dinner (even in a restaurant), turning to prayer on even the smallest of concerns. How the Lord blesses us when we just offer ourselves up!

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Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.