Why the Habit of Studying the Bible Can Make Marriage Messier And Linkup

Back in the early days of my marriage—when it was at its messiest—I faithfully made time for God and His word. It seems like this sacred habit would’ve kept my marriage from sliding into a ditch, so to speak.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Sacred Habit

Therefore, it might seem counterintuitive for me to encourage you to make studying God’s word your daily habit in an effort to heal and strengthen your marriage—though that’s where I’m eventually headed. 😉

In fact, not only did this spiritual discipline not keep my marriage from being messy, I might even go so far as to say that it actually increased the messiness of my marriage for a time.

Um, what??

Yep, there was something of a correlation between the messiness of my marriage and how much I pursued time with God!

What are my reasons for saying this?

1. Habits are nothing more than repeated practices.

If I’m only reading God’s word and praying for the sake of reinforcing (in my mind) my husband’s guilt, I miss the point of the Spirit’s indwelling of my own heart. My motives for reading and my willingness to listen and apply what God teaches ME are essential to making my spiritual disciplines effective. Sadly, I was often guilty of this back in the day.

[Tweet “A habit—even a good one like reading your Bible—doesn’t guarantee an easy path. #motivesmatter”]

2. Some good habits take years, if not decades, to bear fruit in our lives.

I’m not saying that when I studied God’s word and prayed in those early days of my marriage, God didn’t bring any fruit out of that in my life and marriage. He did. It just wasn’t as bountiful and strong as it is now. And sometimes I didn’t see the growth that was really taking place in my heart, rather than in my marriage.

Ultimately, God’s refinement of my heart through my spiritual disciplines took (and takes) time. We have to accept that God is not interested in quick fixes.

Which brings me to another reason . . .

3. God uses the dry and messy moments in marriage to teach us to wait on Him.

Therefore our sacred habits, no matter how consistent or effective, requires that you and I view our time with the Lord as an opportunity to go slow and know Him before we grow in Him.

My final reason . . .

4. Satan sees our sacred habit and wants to discourage us in that pursuit.

If there’s anything that chaps the side of the Evil one, it’s seeing a believer desperately and continually pursuing God and His word. You and I can expect that we will face hindrances, obstacles and painful struggles all along the way—especially when we are carving out the habit of seeking God and His word in an effort to strengthen our marriages.

Now, with all of that said, carving out time to study God’s word is, in my opinion, absolutely one of the first steps toward bringing healing and health to a messy marriage!

It’s an investment that in time will bring rich dividends, not only to your marriage, but to your life!

[Tweet “Studying God’s Word can bring healing to your marriage, if approached with the right attitude.”]

From my vantage point, establishing a sacred habit is one of the hardest things for people to do, probably because of all of these reasons and more! So I want to share some practical and biblical insights next week that can ignite a fire in your heart—making this habit your daily priority, which can and will in time bring healing to the hurts of your marriage.

[Tweet “Christian bloggers, come join the “From Messes to Messages” linkup! #MessyMarriage”]

 

What has been your biggest challenge in creating the habit of studying God’s Word in your life?

 

What has made a difference in your ability to establish it?

 

You’ll find a “wealth” of information and resources for financial insight and support at Power Over Life, where you’ll also find a quote from me, along with quotes from many other marriage experts. We’re sharing how important it is to deal proactively with your finances in marriage. So if that’s a need in your marriage or life, I hope you’ll check them out. 🙂


Here are some lovely linkups I joinChristian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Writer Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.

Messy Marriage

  • Mary

    You described exactly how I feel at times when I am seeking to spend more time in God’s word. Number 4 really resonated with me. I feel I battle with Satan often when things are going better for me. He doesn’t want to see me leaning in and seeking truth from God. Thanks for pointing me to developing this lifelong habit of studying God’s word even when it is challenging.

    • Yes, Mary, number 4 is a biggie! But there’s often a sense that if we do all the things right in our walk with God that He should “make our paths straight.” It’s just that sometimes we confuse “our preferred path” with God’s rocky and windy road. Life as a believer is never a cake walk, and if it is, you might want to consider who you’re really following–because it probably isn’t God! 😉 Thanks for encouraging me, my friend!

  • Beth, “My motives for reading and my willingness to listen and apply what God teaches ME” is right on. It’s funny how we read something or hear a sermon and think of someone else!! Thanks for keeping it real.

    • I suppose that’s something that Satan gets involved in too–trying to convince us that our mate’s are the ones with the problematic sin. But I think most of the time, my own pride has drawn me toward this option, Debbie. Thanks for encouraging me that I’m speaking truths that need to be said. 🙂

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    What a great post, Beth! In a sense, committing to studying God’s word, and implementing it in your life, is like surgery. It’s gonna hurt for a while.

    I’d add this, that Satan is looking to take good habits and tun them wrong. He would make a Pharisee of each of us, if he could.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/02/your-dying-spouse-278-prayer-for-enemy.html

    • Very good point, Andrew. That could be a third option really, since that “surgery” God does can really “bleed” all over the place at times. Also love your last thought. I think that’s spot on–making us into Pharisees is the devil’s continual focus! Thanks my friend!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    How many times have I read my Bible and thought, my husband or so and so really needs to read this? Remembering that during my time in His Word, God wants to speak to MY heart is crucial. Times I haven’t been in the Word….probably pure laziness or distraction or allowing the “I’m too busy” excuse to creep in. Getting my time in the Word first thing in the morning is crucial for me. It’s first on my “To do” list and usually my day flows better because of it.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Oh yes, Bev, I’ve been there and it kept me cycling and recycling in the messy marriage years longer than it should have. Yes, my priority to my quiet time has become a non-negotiable at this point in my life. Other things have to shift to accommodate my time because I enjoy it so much. Thanks for joining the conversation and for encouraging me in so many ways!

  • Susan

    Bull’s Eye = 4 times. You nailed this, Beth – it is absolute Truth. The comments below are “right on” also. Always good – but this week? BEST!

    • Thanks so much, Susan! Your enthusiasm and humbling words really encourage me, my friend!

  • Definitely, for me, the biggest obstacle to personal study is the tyranny of the urgent. There’s always something visible and practical that needs to be done, and if I choose that before (or instead of) my study time, I reveal the focus of my heart’s affection.

    • Yes, that’s probably the main reason so many struggle to get their quiet times in on their day–they simply have too much to do. Besides the “urgent” can be in the form of a crying child or baby. That’s someone you can’t ignore! But yes, Michele, we still need to make this time happen each day. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably here, my friend.

  • Reminder to myself from what God has been speaking to me, to also be doers of the Word, take action. Not always easy, but with GOD!

    • Yes, that’s so true, Jenn. We can’t just read the word and not do it or it will make us “couch potato” Christians who are “working out” our salvation. Thanks for your encouragement, my friend!

  • So many excuses can keep me from studying the bible, but one thing that really helps me is reading the bible every day with my son. Children can prompt us to do so many things that are good for us. Suddenly the reason is for more than me.

    • What a great way to get it into your day, Theresa. I think that’s a great suggestion and so glad that you are encouraged by that time not only relationally but spiritually!

  • Patricia A Krank

    It is a challenge at times but so worth it. I used to find myself becoming distracted by texts, or a phone call, or the fur ball in the corner. I would get up to take care of it only to find another thing demanding my attention. By then I would decide it was too late in the day and I had too much to do to finish my QT. Starting EARLY is the solution to that problem for me . . . before the texting and phone calls . . . and if it is dark enough the fur balls can’t be seen!
    My best ideas come from time spent in God’s presence because they are coming directly from Him. I want to live in “the best!”

  • Beth, This is so very true. I wrote about this same exact topic in relation to prayer. It’s so very true that on the way to a better place things can get very messy. We must keep going and not give up. What you wrote is so encouraging and insightful to help us keep walking in the right direction. I loved this!

  • Studying God’s word daily can be a huge challenge even though it is desperately needed in marriages…
    The challenge I used to have was distractions… But I started ensuring I made my time with God first and all other things next, and I also make sure to turn off wifi and silence my phone…these have helped quite a lot.
    Have a super blessed March Beth!

  • What has been your biggest challenge in creating the habit of studying God’s Word in your life? This was my habit prior to marriage and I was able to maintain it probably because we had a similar mindset around the habit of studying God’s Word. With young children, it became a bit tricky but being an early riser allowed for me to have quiet time even if it was only 5 minutes. My children are grown now.

    What has made a difference in your ability to establish it? I recognized that nothing is too insignificant for God. That quiet time reinforced God’s goodness because believe you me I prayed about everything – missing homework, missing clothing, bad behavior, teachers, my husband’s job, etc and strength and wisdom to juggle it all. You know what – God always came through.

  • This is really so true, as we are not guaranteed an easy anything in life! But staying in the Word, we can have confidence that whether it’s hard or easy …He’s growing us in faith.
    Happy Wednesday! Megs

  • pioneerpat1

    Sometimes it is the way we view things. I try to read a little something on the BART in the morning, it gets me off to a good start. Some people make Starbucks the priority.

  • Brandi Raae

    Thanks for writing such wisdom. I love the slow, know, grow. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Literacy Musing Mondays!

  • It is easy to want to give up when we don’t see progress in our lives, at least for me. Great words for me today!

  • Beth, I agree whole-heartedly! I think think God sometimes makes things messier, too, so we can see our need for Him. Because He isn’t satisfied with our mediocrity, He stirs things up! Thanks for sharing and hosting. I’m pinning and sharing. Have a great week-end!