How to Support Your Husband’s Quiet Time

Posted by Naomi Vacaro on

Being Helpful without Judging or Nagging
Emily Miller

I began having a daily quiet time when I turned thirteen. I’ve done it every day since then: Bible, journals, candles, coffee, and an overwhelming amount of gel pens. Reading the Bible is deeply enjoyable to me, and I have struggled very little with keeping this daily rhythm of time with Jesus.
All these things can make me uniquely discouraging to people who aren’t as painfully conscientious, habitual, and word-oriented as I tend to be.
My husband of seven years, father of our three sons, spiritual leader of our home, and continual example of Christ-likeness is reading through the Bible for the first time.
One common misconception about quiet time is that Bible knowledge equals godliness. This isn’t true. You can memorize the Bible and be an unbeliever. You can teach the Bible and actually be a false teacher skillfully using knowledge to distort the truth.
Quiet time is a means of grace by which our faith is nurtured and strengthened. If we read the Bible in the morning and then live our day as if we’ve never heard the Gospel, our knowledge doesn’t mean much.

My husband heard the Gospel and believed in Jesus. He has proven genuine faith by faithfully living out the Gospel he’s heard. He shows his genuine love for Jesus through daily repentance, selfless service to others, and steady reliance on God in every season. And my husband struggles with reading.
Here are some principles I’ve learned:

1) Don’t become your husband’s mom.
I’m a wife. It is not my job to tell him what to do or to shape his character. I can help him, not order him around. I can encourage him, not try to mold him into the man I intend him to be.

2) Pray a lot and say little.
Maybe your husband wants to have daily time with Jesus and finds it really difficult to make that happen. Pray for him. Show God’s grace by being patient and not focusing very much on something that is likely discouraging for him.
Maybe your husband is disinterested in reading the Bible. Your words won’t force him into the heart hunger that drives us to Jesus each day. So, pray that God would stir his heart. If God leads you to say something, say it boldly, kindly, and humbly. And then, continue to quietly model your delight in spending time with Jesus.

3) Discern, don’t assume.
It’s easy to equate a lack of quiet time with a lack of character. We do this to ourselves, and we can do this to our husbands. Maybe your husband is tired rather than lazy. Maybe he is really, truly not a morning person. Maybe he’s genuinely forgetful instead of disinterested. Maybe reading isn’t easy for him.
Discerning what’s actually going on helps us to be gracious instead of frustrated.
In the early years of our marriage, I tried to make Leigh’s quiet time happen. I would try to get him up early in the morning (it would’ve been easier to stir a hibernating bear). I’d nag him right before he fell asleep. I’d buy him notebooks and suggest reading plans. It didn’t happen.
So, I started being thankful for him instead of discontent with him. I prayed and knew that God would continue His good work in his life. I realized that Leigh has struggles with reading and forgetfulness that I don’t have to deal with.
In the end, I just enjoyed my husband and continued to enjoy my own daily time with Jesus.

The desire to read the Bible continued to grow in Leigh. He again expressed this to me and instead of saying something along the lines of “Just do it,” I asked if I could help.
We’re using the same reading plan. I read in the morning, and he listens to a Bible app during the quieter hours of his work or on his way home. He’s still forgetful and I’m still painfully organized, so he asked me to text him once a day to remind him of what we’re reading. We’re working as a team, leveraging my strengths in this area as I lean on his strengths in many others.

Friend, don’t fret, nag, or be frustrated. Trust God! Don’t be afraid of being more disciplined in a means of grace than your spouse. Don’t use the nourishment you get from your quiet time as a weapon against your husband. Don’t make his quiet time about your expectations.
Delight in Jesus. Love and honor your husband. Be as patient with him as Christ is with you.

Practical Suggestions:
1) Focus first on your own habit. Ask for his help!
2) Grow your love for your husband. Write something you appreciate about him every day and then pray for him.
3) Use all the tools for yourself! If reading is hard, listen to a Bible app! If mornings are rushed, have a lunch-break quiet time! Ask a friend to text you a reminder every day! Be creative.
Emily Miller
Emily began having a daily quiet time at the age of 13. This habit has been one of the few constants in her life as she transitioned from being a missionary kid in Mongolia to a barista in Oregon to a stay-at-home mom in central Florida. The Word of God has anchored Emily to Jesus through depression, struggles with doubt, health issues, and her son’s cystic fibrosis.

Bible Reading Christian Living Marriage Quiet Time Relationships Spiritual Growth

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  • So beautifully said. In our relationship it is me that has a hard time reading and forgetfulness and well, what I call squirrel. I am very easily distracted.

    I have learned to have my quiet time just before I go to sleep at night. This helps me quiet my mind and focus it on God and pure things. Which helps me to rest properly. Getting up early just has never worked with me and my sleep disorder. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Jackie Miller on

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