By Barbara Rainey
Stress is normal in all marriages in every season, but it has been elevated beyond the ordinary for many marriages in these days of pandemic. Communication keeps relationships running smoothly like oil in a car engine reduces friction, but so often our conversations remain factual, superficial.
We need help knowing how to go deep.
Just as counselors wisely ask questions of couples to help them open up on a heart level, so reading a couple’s devotional regularly can invite and ignite conversations that create transparency and oneness.
Moments with You is a best-selling couples’ devotional book that Dennis and I wrote several years ago and it’s now available free here as a daily subscription to your inbox. Each daily installment provides a short conversation starter as you read it together or as you read alone and then take the risk to invite your spouse to read it with you and talk more.
We also have a 90 second audio with daily family tips, by Dennis, that you can sign up for too. Both of these are housed on our new website, TheRaineys.org, along with other content from both of us. Click here to subscribe.
Here is a sample of the Moments with You daily devo for you to taste. This one I wrote is focused on wives, but the application works for both spouses.
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. John 7:24
It’s so easy for a woman to look at her husband and say: “He’s sure not very _______.” “He doesn’t _______ or _______ or ________.” “I wish I was married to someone more like ________.” But every time you say or even think something along these lines—every time you focus on those inevitable aspects about him that are disappointing or negative—you catch him in a comparison trap. You forget that God has a plan for your man that is different from the one He has for somebody else’s husband. You ignore the fact that your job is to respect him, to be used by God to help reveal that plan in his life, whatever it may be. When I married Dennis, I had no idea we would end up doing the kinds of things God has led us to do. It hasn’t always been easy to have Dennis Rainey for a husband. It would have been so easy at times to settle back and say, “I wish he was more like so-and-so,” rather than being content with the one God had given me and helping him develop into the man God wanted him to be. There are so many things that Dennis does well. There are a lot of things he doesn’t. But when I’m lasering in on those things he doesn’t do quite so well, I’m expecting him to be someone he’s not. No, he’s not perfect. Neither am I. Nobody is. But I believe that God can change your heart as He does mine when I slip into seeing only the imperfections. The key is recognizing what you are looking at in his life and being willing to let God adjust your focus from the negative to the positive. Discuss Spend some time encouraging each other right now. I’m sure both of you could use some building up. Pray Ask God to adjust your view of each other toward something more grateful and positive.
What did you think? Would reading these regularly, as often as you can, help your marriage?
Every marriage needs outside help to nudge it in the right direction. In this season of more time at home I hope you will add this to your routine to invite God’s Spirit to build more connections, more closeness, and more companionship in your marriage.
“… you do not know what tomorrow will bring,” (James 4:14), so invest in your marriage today and every day. As my son Samuel is now calling it, Planting Sequoias, and grow deeper roots in your marriage.
To read a sample chapter of Barbara's new book, My Heart, Ever His, or to purchase the book click here.
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