Commitment

Part 2: How To Stay Connected When You Aren’t Connecting

This mini-series is about connecting at a deeper level in the midst of dry and barren times in your marriage. The primary way we are highlighting how to connect better is through scripture reading together. Reading the bible, discussing it, and of course I would include prayer in this as well.

It’s important to address the deeper heart issues happening before we start prescribing tools like “how to help you have more meaningful conversations”, or “how to have a better sex life.”

I would encourage you to read Part 1 of this series (if you haven’t already) and then jump into this next part. For those of you who have read Part 1, I’d like to say that most of it is laying the foundation of why Scripture reading is important. It’s safe to assume that we all agree: reading the bible is a good thing for marriage.

If I’m honest, the part I struggle with is glossing over that fact: ‘Yeah reading my bible is a good thing for me and my marriage’—it’s like flying in an airplane over Europe. The view is good but the true experience happens on the ground, in the midst of the people, the culture, and the landscape. When we get granular with God’s Word, when we dive into the details and depths of it, my friends, it is soul altering!

We begin hungering after it; we desire more of it.

The more we learn about His character and His Sovereignty through His Word, the more we experience His power and grace in our lives ultimately influencing and shaping our marriage.

I know it’s not easy to sit down with your spouse and say, “Let’s read scripture together,” especially when you aren’t connecting. This is where I would like to lovingly challenge you my friend, to trust God, trust His Word, and take a step of faith.

Getting Started Reading Scripture

Here are a few tangible tips for getting started:

  1. Pick a book/chapter that the both of you can read each day/week and set aside some time to talk about it. Ask each other a few questions. For example: What is God teaching you in this scripture? How does it apply to where we are at? These conversations will undoubtedly drift towards relationship struggles, or the dryness of your wilderness so to speak. It’s in these conversations that we can and will experience connection…be patient with yourselves and with God’s Word. It is faithful and will not return void.
  2. Encouragement: Scripture is a solid way to encourage each another. What better encouragement is there than scripture?
  3. Prayer: There are a number of books about praying for your spouse and I have one that teaches us how to pray scripture over our spouse. For example, “God, I pray that my husband would know the extent of your love for him. That while we were still sinners, you died for us. Help him to know this clearly and confidently.” This prayer is rooted in Romans 5:8.
  4. “We already read scripture together” — If this is you, I would ask: are you diving deeper? Are you taking some time to research and discover the context of the scriptures you’re reading? This has been a game-changer for Ryan and I. Over our years of studying God’s Word we have used supplemental tools to help us understand scripture at a deeper level and IT IS MIND BLOWING.
    1. Some of the tools we use are Biblehub.com which provides all the different versions; you can look up different words in different languages—it is by far one of the best (FREE) online resources we have used.
    2. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology is also one of our favorites. Don’t let its size scare you. It’s intended to be, and is an easy read. It’s an amazing resource into understanding context, themes, historical culture, etc. It’s hard to put it down and it’s a very clear and easy read for anyone. Context of scripture brings depth and power.

Intentions of Scripture

Lastly, it’s important that we recognize the design of God’s Word. Did you know that he created it to accomplish a work in us, no matter the barren wilderness state that our marriage feels like it’s in?

Looking at Isaiah 55:10-11 we see the intentions of God’s Word revealed in scripture:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Again, God’s Word is designed to provide life and will not return void. A valuable note I found while doing some research on Biblehub.com was from Barnes’ Commentary on this specific verse:

“That whatever is his design in giving the gospel, it shall be accomplished. It is never spoken in vain, and never fails to produce the effect which he intends. The gospel is no more preached in vain than the rain falls in vain. And though that often falls on barren rocks, or on arid sands; on extended plains where no vegetation is produced, or in the wilderness ‘where no man is,’ and seems to our eyes in vain, yet it is not so. God has a design in each drop that falls on sands or rocks, as really as in the copious shower that falls on fertile fields. And so the gospel often falls on the hard and barren hearts of men.”

Sowing Seed, Trusting the Grower

Are you lacking connection and conversation in your marriage? I would ask you to consider reading scripture together as an intentional point of connection. I know it’s not easy, it’s uncomfortable, and from where you’re sitting, you’re not sure what the point of it is (I’ve sat there too)…but I would encourage you to pursue your spouse intentionally through reading and discussing scripture together. Trust God to reveal and accomplish all that he has set forth for you and your spouse. Don’t be afraid to start small, God is faithful to do what only He can do: cause growth.

I’d like to end with 1 Corinthians 3:6,7

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

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