This blessed Veronica and I a while ago when we read about how this pastor and his wife (Noël) spent time together in the scriptures and in prayer. We have done this though a couple books, and it is a rich time to sit together with the word.
On some nights I suggested, and Noël readily agreed, that we invite Jesus to join us in a special time of fellowship with him and each other. We know he is always present with us, as he promised (Matt. 28:20). But it is fitting that we fix our attention on his presence from time to time in a special way, and more consciously include him in the fellowship. The way we did this was to choose a book of the Bible—for us this time it was 1 John—and read through the book together pausing to pray between the sections.
I recommend this to all Christian couples unless you have a better way to include Jesus in your fellowship together. The idea is that Jesus is speaking to us through his word (we do not seek communication beyond what is written; rather we seek Christ’s comfort and counsel and worththrough what is written). So we begin with me asking the Lord to come and join us in a manifest way by his precious word and do in us and for us and through us all that we need as husband and wife and parents and pastor, etc.
Then I read the first paragraph and stop. We linger over that part of the word, taking turns praying out loud about what it brought to our minds. When it seems we are done responding to that section, Noël reads the next paragraph. Then we pray again in response to whatever that section brings to mind. When it seems we are done, I read the next paragraph. And so on as far as we have agreed to go. You can agree to spend an hour or more or less. Or you can agree to pray all the way though the book or just two chapters.
May I urge every couple to consider how you will confirm in your married life the affirmation of your heart that Jesus is real to you and that he is your friend and that he is precious. I think that if this is really true, it will seem strange to you not to invite him to some special times of fellowship with the two of you. What you will find is that a depth and power and sweetness and richness and authenticity comes into your married life as never before.
Obviously it’s written for married couples. But as long as you modify it accordingly, this kind of a thing might bless you if you’re dating on the way to marriage or engaged as well. Or, maybe you can just file it away for the future. But if you try it and it blesses you, let me know!