Reading Your Bible Could Save Your Spouse's Life
Reading your Bible could save your spouse’s life.
Allow me to explain. First, a little backstory:
My husband and I are opposites in many ways, and one particularly annoying polarity is in our sleep habits. He can sleep anywhere, anytime. Literally. When he was in seminary, he would fall asleep sitting up at the dinner table. He says that sleep is his spiritual gift.
I, on the other hand, need conditions to be perfect before sleep can occur. The room must be dark, it must be completely quiet (or blissfully noisy thanks to my sound machine) and it cannot be too hot or too cold. Also, I prefer to sleep under a weighted blanket. And my pillow must be just right. If all of this sounds rather diva-ish, then I will humbly accept that label. I am not high maintenance about my clothes or hair, and I don’t spend my days barking orders to a personal assistant. I just struggle to sleep.
The other night, I tossed and turned and spent several hours wishing I was asleep. Finally, in the early morning hours, I drifted off…only to be jolted awake by the dear husband’s alarm. He pushed snooze. Nine minutes later, the alarm went off again. I growled at him to get up or turn it off. He pushed snooze again. This repeated several times, with my requests being accompanied by various pokes and jabs, and my temper rising. In total, dear husband pushed snooze five times before I finally got out of bed and stomped to the living room. In my sleep-deprived state, frustration had quickly blossomed into full-on rage and I was afraid I might smother the poor man with his own pillow if I didn’t leave.
What happened next is key. You see, once I got out of bed I did what I am in the habit of doing every single morning – I went to the living room couch, snuggled under a blanket, and opened my Bible and journal. My current reading is in Luke, but I was so grumpy that I knew I needed to start somewhere else. But where? The Psalms maybe? There are some angry Psalms that I figured I could relate to. Maybe Lamentations? I was definitely in the mood to lament. Instead, I opened my Bible rather randomly and landed in I Peter 3. My eyes instantly landed on a passage I had underlined:
“Live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (I Peter 3:8-9).
Ouch. I knew this was God’s word for me this particular morning. Live in harmony with one another…Be compassionate and humble…Do not repay evil with evil…As I read, my anger receded. As I read, conviction humbled me. As I read, my heart changed.
I no longer wanted to murder my husband.
Reading my Bible had saved my spouse’s life.
I don’t know what your marriage is like. Maybe you never get angry and you are perfectly sleep-compatible. Maybe you have never stomped away from your spouse or repaid evil with evil. Maybe you are currently very concerned for my husband’s safety. (Don’t be – I took a little liberty with the title. See Matthew 5:21-22 for how anger is like murder.)
The point is that if I had started my day any other way, our relationship may have looked very differently. If I had started my morning on Instagram, would I have been able to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit prompting me to forgive? If I had started my day with a quick workout and shower, would I have had the space to process my own selfishness and consider how I could be compassionate toward my husband?
It was starting my day in the usual way, with time in God’s Word and prayer, that changed me. By the time dear husband staggered into the kitchen for his morning coffee I could greet him cheerfully, without a trace of anger. That would not have happened had I skipped my Bible reading. My frustration would have simmered and bubbled over in a snarky comment and our interaction that day would have been colored by resentment. I know because I’ve done exactly that.
I know your mornings are busy. Your days are busy. But that is precisely why you must make time to start each day with intentional time with God. You must read the Bible because it is there that you will find direction for your days and the strength to walk in that direction daily. We are sinners, living in a fallen world, with an enemy who is trying his level best to destroy our marriages and undermine our faith. We can’t afford to skip reading our Bibles. It just might save your spouse’s life.