We tried. And it was not good.
You try doing bible study with a vicar with an encyclopedic memory. He already Knows the answers. And the context. And the original Greek. Plus, we have different approaches: He’s broad sweep, I’m details. He’s all ‘-ologies’ and ‘-isms’ – I’m starting-block and practicalities.
Of course in some things, we’re the same. Unfortunately, these are the bad things. We’re both stubborn and opinionated and competitive. This should not matter when reading the Bible. But it does. One of us will point something out. The other will say ‘yes of courseIknewthat, AND…’ Or, we’ll read the same passage but reach very different conclusions. ‘I just don’t see how you’re getting this from that.’ Two hours of ‘discussion’ later and we just want to go to bed. Separately.
So now, we read the Bible apart. We talk about what we’re learning and it’s a joy to hear it, (especially without hobbling together verse by verse). Occasionally I worry that we’re doing this wrong. And I know of others who seem to find it a whole lot easier. But it’s what works for us.
We’re (slightly) better at this. We pray separately in the mornings and together last thing at night. We always pray for hurting people, for our families and our non-Christian friends to know Jesus. We might even mix it up with something Totally Unscheduled. We pray differently too. I’ll launch into an arrow prayer in the middle of a conversation, Glen’s more the marathon man. I remember friends, Glen remembers verses. I pepper prayers with urgent bullet points, he’s lyrical and reflective.
Glen’s a human beat box. He sings in the shower and preaches in his sleep. He does LOUD: meaty worship with guitars and drums and the bass turned up to 11 and a half. People – lots of them. Discussion and debate and hugs.
I like quiet. Still corners and gentle conversation. Space – to stretch and think and listen. Sneaking in and sneaking out. Hugs – but in moderation (and with advance warning). People – only in small quantities, so I can get to know them. And time out afterwards to recharge.
Sometimes we look at each other and it seems bonkers that we’re married. (Other people do this too). But in a messy way, it works. Because at the centre, we love the same Jesus. And there are different ways of showing that love.