Early this morning I was drinking coffee and reading the first five chapters of Psalms, since it is the first day of the month. I noticed Brooke was drinking coffee and looking at her phone. Then and there I made a decision. It’s a decision that earlier in our marriage I have been scared to make but has gotten easier over time. I asked her, “Are you reading your Bible?”
There is so much communicated in that simple question and so much good that can come from it. But the husband who wants to see his wife have unhurried time to read the Bible may need the same four things I needed when I first made the decision.
The Courage to Ask
I pray all the time. As a pastor of a local church, it’s literally part of the job. I pray in public more often than practically anyone else I know. It’s not a problem for me. But to pray in front of my wife has always been just a little different.
Her knowledge of me and her knowledge of what I am praying about creates an emotional hurdle I must climb in order to pray in front of her. I felt the same way about asking her if she is reading her Bible. If there was an argument last night, or if she knows very well that I have sinned, it’s not easy to ask. But easy isn’t the plan, leading well is the plan. And that requires courage.
The Plan to Carve out Time
Brooke and I bounced from reading plan to reading plan, and sometimes not reading much at all until we landed on a specific time and place. It took some forethought and some coffee, but we did it. Here is what we did. Almost every morning I wake up first. My job is to put the coffee on and get started with my reading. I read one chapter of Proverbs each day, usually while the coffee brews. Then I wake Brooke up with coffee and a reminder to read her Bible. I finish with reading five Psalms and our church’s reading plan, while Brooke uses the plan from first5.org.
The Concern to Hear About Obstacles
We have been married for 21 years. For each of those 21 years, I have wanted Brooke and me to be Bible readers. She would have found a lot more help from me if I had been willing to listen to what was keeping her from reading. Once I asked how I can help, and once she was convinced that I really wanted to change my life to lighten her load, she just told me. If you really want to help your wife to read the Bible, ask her how you can help.
The Effort Required to Lighten the Load
If you ask what you can do to help her consistently read the Bible, you are likely to get an answer. That answer is going to change your life, your rhythms, your habits. For me, it meant I can’t go to the gym when I want to. I had to decide that I am going to make the coffee practically every day (which Brooke really likes for me to bring her while she’s still in bed). Small adjustments to my life meant such a large impact in hers.
A family that reads the Bible is a beautiful thing. Like most aspects of a happy family, it’s not accomplished by each individual doing their part, but by people working together.