Monday, June 27, 2011

Marriage Mondays ~ Reading 2gether?

How much of your talk time with your spouse do you spend on things of this world? If you're like us, your answer is probably "most of it."  Recently our conversations included topics like:

  • getting the house painted (must. do. this. asap.)
  • taking the dog to the vet  (never like to do this ... dog doesn't either)
  • the headlight out on my car (hate to spend time on things like this)
  • where to eat out for our anniversary (or ... what coupons do we have?)
  • how to pay for college (never ending conversation ......)
  • the mountain we call the ironing basket (in denial about this one)
What's on your list? Paul addressed marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 and described lifestyle differences for those who remain unmarried and those marry. He wasn't "marriage bashing;"  he was being honest about how marriage adds to our worldly concerns.

"The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband."  1 Corinthians 7: 32b-34 (ESV)

If we aren't careful, all our conversation and companionship can center around temporary things and the "stuff" of this life, with the potential to become rather narrow and "all about us."  

One way to broaden what we share and care about is to read together. Shared reads inspire, inform, and enrich.  Long drives or times away provide "windows of opportunity" to read together.  Even being apart presents a chance to read the same book and then share thoughts and impressions when you're back together again. Reading together mixes fresh ideas into our relationships, challenging us together, helping us grow together, and broadening our world together. 

Jeff and I just finished two books that have done just that for us.We just finished reading:
Paul is right in saying married people often become "anxious about worldly things," and too much of that distracts us from the bigger purposes of life and marriage as followers of God. Sharing a good read together gets the conversation started and reminds us of what lies beyond the laundry room, driveway, kids' backpacks, and bills. 

If you want to mix fresh ideas into your relationship, be challenged together, grow together, and broaden your world together, you might just start with a great book.
Jeff and I have just started to share our thoughts about our 2 great recent reads, and the Lord has planted common thoughts into our hearts and minds to use in our family. It doesn't just change us "individually," it changes "us" as "one."  

Pick a book you're excited about, and be flexible to embrace your spouse's idea and read their suggestion. Don't turn it down just because it's called something like "A Look at Life from a Deer Stand."  :)  In the pages of a book and in follow up conversations, you just might find hidden treasures in the heart and mind of your beloved!

Are you reading together? If there a book you've shared and been touched by together?

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7 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

trooppetrie said...

good morning. thank you for encouraging us to work on our marriage. This week i have a prayer request. I have not been around in about 2 weeks because in a matter of 2 days we lost my father in law and took custody of a 1 and 3 year old. i  still have my regular blog but have started a private blog about the boys. i would love to invite you but need a e-mail addy

Kalyn Comings said...

My husband and I have tried reading together, but he is  not a reader. (Slowly teaching him the benefits though!).  Instead, we try to focus on uplifting conversations - things learned in church, Biblical views on current events, etc. Some of my most memorable conversations are those Christ centered ones!

MaryPershing said...

Excellent post!  What great advise.  You are very right.  We have to make sure we don't spend too much time on the challenges we face in this world.  Our favorite conversations are the ones when we talk about what the Lord is saying to us in the Scripture that we are reading.  And we are both reading a book that is challenging us "Amish Peace".  It is excellent.  We've talked a lot about how we can implement what we are learning into our family and home life.

Thanks for your wonderful insights and for having such an open heart as you share.

Dancing together at the foot of the Cross,

Mrs Mary Joy Pershing

Julie_Sanders said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing another good title to share.

Julie Sanders

Julie_Sanders said...

You've had a heavy heart and full hands, then. It sounds like you will continue to have a lot to care for; I will pray for much strength and peace for you! I would love for you to send me an invite to the blog about the boys:

Blessings,  Julie

Julie Sanders

Julie_Sanders said...

I've had other wives say they struggle with the same thing. A few options:  Read aloud to him, listen to an audio version of a book, or ask him to read an excerpt ... instead of the whole thing. Great to hear that you are enjoying Christ centered conversation!

Julie Sanders

Kalyn Comings said...

Thanks for the tips - I am going to try those!