While God doesn’t intend for us to assume the Holy Spirit’s role, there are practical ways we can fan flames of passion for God’s Word in our spouses’ lives. Here are five clever ways to bless your spouse’s quiet time:
1) Plan a Date to Go “Old-School” Bible Shopping
While mobile devices provide more freedom than ever before to read the Word, they also bring with them a myriad of possible interruptions. ESPN notifications, Pinterest boards, and Facebook updates all compete for our attention when we delegate our quiet time 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 you spouse is probably struggling too. As a couple, you can counter this by investing in traditional paper Bibles to use during your quiet times. 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. Plan a date that involves a trip to your local Christian bookstore. Talk to each other about the features that appeal to you in an “old-fashioned” Bible. As you discuss how each of you best enjoys studying Scripture, you may discover something new about your spouse that deepens your relationship on a spiritual level.
2) Have A Quiet Time 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.
Make a point to spend at least one day a week having a quiet time together. 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. Sure he or she might stumble over those Biblical names you can pronounce with ease (That first one is me by the way). Maybe you have a tendency to yawn when you pray out loud (Ahem, and that’s my wife). Let these idiosyncrasies become traits you treasure instead of nuances to nag about. Learn to laugh together about such things. After all, no one said reading Scripture as a couple had to be boring!
3) Protect Time and Space for One Another’s Quiet Times
Speaking of schedules, does your spouse have space in their day when they’ll have the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with God? If not, what can you do to create it for them? Can you watch the kids by yourself for 30 minutes to allow your wife time upstairs with the door closed? What about cleaning up the kitchen solo tonight 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 quiet time routine. Instead of you both opening the Bible when you find the time (you know that won’t happen), intentionally carve out sheltered time for your better half so they can dig into God’s Word and heart. As a side benefit, you’ll also find that accountability naturally happens when you’re proactive in giving your spouse the gift of protected time with God.
4) Ask 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 famous Bible Study teacher? One of your pastors? Scripture itself might point us in a different direction first: our own family (Deuteronomy 11:19, Exodus 12:26).
God designed men and women’s brains to work differently. As such, husbands and wives complement each other in the way they view the world and think about issues. This also proves true when it comes to studying the Bible. 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 with your spouse (maybe during that joint quiet time session you’re going to try). You might discover your husband or wife is more of a theologian than you thought!
Oh, and to the ladies: men like to solve problems. Want to watch your husband devour the Word? Take your Bible questions to him before you go to the internet. (Sure he’s no Siri, but then again, marriage has been around for a lot longer than Google!) As a husband, I’m always personally motivated to study a Scripture passage when my wife asks me what it means.
5) Pray for your spouse
I saved the best for last. If you desire for your spouse to be active in a quiet time routine, you can serve them in no better way than by interceding in prayer. Prayer is a catalyst for Godly passion. All the best tips and tricks for self discipline pale in comparison to the power of calling out for God to move in your family’s life.
If you stopped knocking on your Father’s door some time ago, tired of bringing the same request over and over, remember your Lord’s call to “keep asking…keep searching…keep knocking” (Luke 11:9). Flex the fingers on your knocking hand, fold them in prayer, and cry out with faith-filled passion to the God who gives good gifts to His children.
So there you have it. Five ideas you can start implementing tomorrow morning to bless your spouse’s quiet time. Don’t expect an abracadabra moment to happen the first day, but be observant to the gradual changes your consistent acts of service, encouragement, and open communication create in your marriage. When these loving acts are bathed in prayer, who knows what God will do through them?