When I was single my devotional life was awesome. I spent at least an hour a day reading the word, praying, and reading a great Christian book. I’d get up early and do this all before the day had even started – and do it consistently. However, after getting married, this changed. Suddenly I found it a lot harder to carve out an hour for just me and God.
And here’s why.
When I was single my relationship with God was my first and main priority. And though I was a busy women, in University full time, working a part time job and involved in ministry at church, God was the one I went to for love, comfort and to process the events of my day. He was it.
God and I
After getting married, suddenly there were 3 more relationships added to the mix.
Alex and I
Alex and God
God and Alex and I
All four of these relationships take time and all four of them affect a marriage. I didn’t realize going in to marriage how hard it would be to manage all of these relationships. I figured my husband and I would naturally do devotions together, pray together and also have time to do individual study and prayer time, and have time to go on dates and just have fun. But it was more difficult than I imagined.
Instead of giving myself grace to navigate this new season, I became hard on myself and felt a lot of guilt. Suddenly it didn’t seem like I was close to God at all, or that my husband and I were close to God as a couple.
Over the past five years I’ve learned a lot about how to balance these important relationships, but I’ve had to let go of some of the unrealistic expectations as well. My relationship with God is not going to look the same in marriage as it did when I was single, and that is OKAY. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad Christian or that I’m drifting away from God. It doesn’t mean He is disappointed in me or pulling away from me.
It means I need more of His grace. And let me tell ya friends, there is always more where that comes from.
The funny thing is, just as I started to figure out a better rhythm in my relationship with God and marriage, I had a baby! Ha ha. When you add a baby to the mix – it all changes again. Some days I don’t even have time to shower, how am I supposed to find time to do my devotions and have quiet moments with God, Alex and I? Let’s just say a whole lot of grace has been poured over this change as well.
Here is what it looks like for me:
– My devotional time happens as I eat breakfast with Cohen, and is often interrupted. Some days it doesn’t happen at all. (right now I’m doing the Soul Detox reading plan through the You Version app, with the #shereadstruth community).
– Alex and I pray together almost every night before bed, but that’s only if we go to sleep at the same time. Our time of prayer is short and sweet. I’m just glad it happens daily!
– Once a week I have a nanny come for the morning and during the first of my 3 hours away, I take more quality time to study scripture, pray intentionally and listen to God’s voice.
Outside of these three things, my relationship with God, and with Alex has become more organic, more integrated into daily life. The times spent are not as intentional or set aside, but they happen. The in-depth conversations still happen, but not as often. And that’s okay.
Wherever you’re at right now, single, married, parent or not, your relationship with God always has room to grow.
But please don’t get caught up in the trap of guilt and shame. Please don’t let unrealistic expectations keep you from the Lord. He loves you so much and always wants to be with you. Even if it’s been years since you last took intentional, set apart devotional time, its not too late to start again. Even if you only have five minutes while your kids throw peanut butter covered toast at each other across the crumb-covered breakfast table, God is after your heart. Even if it’s less than it used to be, less than you want it to be, less than you feel you need – its enough for Him.
A whispered pray as you wash suds out of downy hair is enough.
A quiet recitation of a favorite verse as you fold laundry, warm from the dryer is enough.
A hymn sung softly to a sleepy child is enough.
His grace makes it all enough.
How about you, friend? How does your relationship with God fit into your day to day life?