One of best things my wife and I have done for our marriage is intentionally making time to spend together, just the two of us. We’ve learned that this is absolutely essential for maintaining the close relationship that we need in order to have a healthy marriage and family.
We try to make time for a least a few moments each day, but sometimes we need a bit more time. So we have regular date nights where we can spend a couple hours together. Every now and then we’ll have the opportunity to spend the majority of the day together, just us. Those are treasured times.
Of course, they don’t just happen. Amber and I have to plan them, commit to them, and follow through. Intentionally making time for each other is a discipline.
I think that if you look at most of your relationships, you’ll find that you do this with your closest friends, mentors, and advisers. You have that extended, dedicated time for each other.
Don’t forget God.
Do you do this for God? Do you spend time alone with God daily, weekly? Do you ever set aside a whole day or a large portion of your day just for prayer, Bible study, and sitting quietly with him?
Every analogy breaks down at some point, but here are some ways spending alone time with God is similar to dedicating exclusive time to any relationship:
- It’s a bit awkward at first; you might not know what to say
- This will inevitably drive you to say more than you should
- After a significant time investment, that awkwardness will melt away to an easy familiarity
- Silence will then often be sweet and full of meaning
- Even after this, it will take work to maintain the relationship; you will be constantly challenged
Tips to develop a habit of spending alone time with God
First, determine if you’re ready to get outside your comfort zone. God never leaves us as we are. When we come into his presence we leave changed people (Tweet this). He is always at work in us. When you dedicate time to being alone with God, you are opening yourself up to a new level of intimacy with him. It won’t always be pleasant, but I promise it will be worth it.
Schedule your time. What gets scheduled, gets done. This is–in my opinion–a fact of life. Put your devotional time on the calendar, and treat it like you would any appointment with a VIP.
Don’t over-program. It’s great to go through a devotional book, keep a prayer journal, and perhaps even explore the liturgy as part of your personal time with God. That said, don’t forget to save a few moments to just be with him, without talking. I recommend Lectio Divina as way to practice listening to God.
What’s your greatest challenge when it comes to spending alone time with God? Let me know in the comments!