On Bible Reading, and Conversation in Our Homes
Does your Bible reading result in spiritual conversations in your home? By “spiritual conversations”, I mean conversations between spouses or friends, and what we call “family devotions” - deliberate, structured times of teaching in the home about God and the gospel. I would like to offer two simple suggestions for freeing you and simplifying this act of spiritual conversation, by connecting it to your Bible reading. And while our various life contexts will vary, these apply to everyone - married or not.
First, as you read your Bible, prayerfully seek to talk to someone else about one thing - just one thing - from your reading, at some point in the day. These conversations needn’t be long. In fact, they should be as long as the conversation requires. Just simply talk about whatever hit you - about God, about you, or about grace. I often find these 5-10 minute conversations with my wife in the morning (when we can have them) to be greatly edifying.
Second, when you are reading, and something grips you, write it down, in order to organize your thoughts, in order to share with someone else. Just 2 or 3 points. I often find these thoughts from morning reading carry over well to dinner table conversation. “So I was reading this morning . . .” Our best “family devotions” are simply our family talking at the dinner table about something I read that morning.
Why all the talk of sharing what we read? Because some of the Bible’s riches can only be discovered and mined in community. And those riches are the very food our souls were designed to eat. We need God, more than anything. We get Him through His Word, prayer and fellowship, and especially when all three are working together.
Now, a word about spiritual conversation in marriage. I married “up”, and I have sometimes thought of my wife as my spiritual “superior”. Many men do. If that’s the case, O man, do not let feelings of spiritual inferiority recoil you from initiating spiritual conversations in your home. She might know more than you. Doesn’t matter. “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2) You are designed to lead, protect and provide, and you do all three as you talk about God with your wife. “I was just reading ________, and I liked how . . .” That’s enough. And, O woman: affirm and support your husband as he initiates. The spiritual music we make together is much more beautiful than what we create alone.