Entreaty from Shared Reading and Reflection
He began to entreat Him earnestly. Mark 5:10, NASB
Entreating your spouse can be scary. We recommend shared reading as a neutral setting to promote vulnerable exchanges—another term we use for entreaty.
Teresa and I have benefited from reading together books on communication, parenting, goal setting, and sexual intimacy. As we share ideas, insights, hopes, and fears about a topic, our closeness deepens.
As today's Scripture passage points out, entreaty is based upon a personal trust that the entreaty will be made with all earnestness and honesty. The key to this in our marriage relationships is the vulnerability we risk when we approach our spouses with that kind of earnestness. That implies trust in our spouse—a trust that he or she will want to hear what is on our heart and mind.
Many of the couples we work with have benefited from shared reading followed by a time of reflection. Books or other writings often serve as a neutral third-party source of ideas to help stimulate discussion and interaction. We might encourage couples to take turns picking reading material. For example, this month he may pick a popular Christian book or a world events magazine. Each spouse then reads the selected material, particularly noting items of keen interest. Maybe they take turns reading one chapter at a time, or perhaps they read aloud to each other. The couple then schedules times of reflection to comment on the reading and share particular items of personal or practical interest. This setting gives couples an opportunity to be more vulnerable about their ideas, desires, and wishes.
This plan opens the doors for entreaty between the two, and that helps them cultivate closeness and intimacy in their marriage.
What special materials can you read that might help promote openness and honest entreaty between you and your spouse?
Lord, make me open to the ideas, feelings, and opinions of this special person in my life.
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