There’s a strong case to be had for what I call “springboard devotions” between husband and wife (this could also be applied between friends, as well, should you not be married). It works like this:
Husband and wife get together, each with a Bible in hand — in fact, a different version of the Bible may be of benefit if interested in comparing versions. Before opening their Bibles, they open with a word of prayer — something like, “Lord, thank you for this time which we are about to have together, sharing and understanding your word. Please lead us and guide us, for Christ’s sake, Amen.”
Next, they open their Bibles to an agreed-upon spot — the Lord has been invited in on this, so God will help to direct them where to turn to. Husband begins (takes the lead, demonstrating the way, providing an example to follow, as he is supposed to). Suppose the passage is Psalm 127:1:
Husband begins to read, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build labour in vain.” Husband stops right there, feeling somewhat convicted.
“Hum, darling …. do you suppose we are really building our relationship and our family upon the Lord?” he says.
Wife responds, “That’s a good question.”
And so the conversation goes on. And so it should.
The devotion doesn’t stop there, however. After the brief (or perhaps long) discussion on godly house-building, the wife picks up on verse 2 (the husband having completed the rest of verse 1).
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.”
Not sensing any particular “unction” or “go ahead” to speak, the wife defers to her husband, and lets him go on.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward,” he reads.
“Hey, that’s wonderful. Let’s pray for our children.”
Husband and wife pray. And then converse about the wonderful blessings that God has given to them in their children. They go on — for 10 or even 20 minutes — discussing their children’s future. And they pray for them, something they haven’t done, perhaps, for a few days. But this verse, well, it has inspired them.
Wife continues at verse 4, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.”
“Darling, do you suppose we ought to be having more children?” she says. We are still young. And the Bible, well, it says here that our children in our youth are like “arrows” to us. They will help us later on. And God will use them.” This one really causes them to talk. And they talk. And they talk. And they talk!
Finally, the husband finishes verse 5: “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
“Father, thank you for our children. Thank you for our house. Thank you that you are helping us to build our relationship an our house upon you and your word. Guide us all, we pray, for Christ’s sake. Amen.”
This, then, is an example of what I call a “springboard devotion” — allowing God to use devotional times between two people (and especially husbands and wives) to help them to discuss what is really important in their lives.
Just some of the effects of “springboard devotions” are:
1. Enhance communication between husband and wife, allowing misunderstandings to be resolved, godly desires to be realized, and causing the husband and wife to maintain trust (or to begin rebuidling trust where that trust was once broken), so that a real sense of joy, fulfillment, and peace can overtake them and their relationship,
2. Help the husband and wife to gain a common point of focus for their relationship, and thus provide a godly “reason” for that relationship to exist and continue (this will combat the fiery darts of doubt that Satan sometimes throws at spouses to try and separate them),
3. Bring the relationship of the husband and wife to submission to the will of God, as they learn to “do things God’s way”, and consequently receive God’s blessings for their lives and their family, including future generations that will also inherit a blessing, according to Exodus 20,
4. Clear up misunderstandings concerning God’s character and God’s will, so that both the husband and wife can learn to “rest” in God’s presence and in his will for them and their family.
These are just a few of the many blessings that could and likely will be yours, if you pursue “springboard devotions” together on a regular basis.
Try them. They could — and likely will — revolutionize your lives.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)