How My Life and Marriage Changed
After I Started Reading the Bible
I’d called myself a Christian for decades before I delved into the Bible. Don’t get me wrong. Almost each January I’d start reading, but would rarely reach the second book in the Bible, Exodus, before my resolve waned.
I’d set that precious book aside in favor of an escapist novel or a Netflix series I had to binge watch. I could always read it later, right? I mean, what could it matter to me, a woman in the 21st century?
Well, it turns out it matters quite a bit. I’m a slow learner in lots of areas of life, so it took the greatest low point of my life for me to reach for the dusty Bible I’d called my life’s guide. Sitting on the floor, with divorce on my mind and loss heavy in my heart, I screamed out to God, “Why aren’t you here? Why don’t you love me?”
I am here. Read my love letters to you.
What could it hurt? Everything in my life was a mess. I’d tried all the worldly answers: prescriptions, retail therapy, porn, food, friendships…but none of it helped.
So in the lowest of lows, I picked up my Bible, muttered a feeble prayer, then dove in. But this time, I didn’t quit at Exodus.
Within ten months, I’d finished the last chapter of Revelations. This isn’t the real celebration – it’s that my life looked markedly different from that tear-filled day. The words I was reading were transforming my heart and my life.
And this is what I learned.
I realized that prior to my rock-bottom moment of despair, wondering why my marriage wasn’t all I wished it were, I was a buffet-style believer. I’d chosen the parts of the Bible that fit my perception of how my life should be, but left the rest for everyone else. I gossiped about others, entertained lustful thoughts, and let anger dominate portions of my life. It’s much more comfortable to ignore what is contrary to a lifestyle that feels good. Being a follower of Christ means believing in all of His words. This is an area where I still struggle at times, but He’s lovingly walking me through it.
I also learned that as I set my heart and mind on how God perceives me, I was released from my struggle of needing the affirmation of my husband and others in my life to give me purpose and meaning. I couldn’t know how God saw me if I didn’t read what He’d said about me. The more I read His words, the more I sought God for my identity and purpose, not others.
Focusing on my own walk with the Lord by immersing myself in His word also freed me from constantly worrying about my husband’s relationship with Christ. After months of digging into God’s word, I noticed my husband reading his Bible from time to time. When I finally stopped nagging him, he had the freedom to make his own choice. I found freedom in knowing I am not responsible for my husband’s spiritual life.
Reading the Bible also planted the Lord’s words in my heart and mind. Even now, when a struggle arises or a friend asks for help, I don’t immediately go to my own life experiences for wisdom. I ask, “What does God’s word say about this situation?” More and more often, I’m able to recall scripture to help in each situation – open the Bible to find it.
If reading your Bible feels overwhelming, there are great, free resources only a Google search away. Search “read the Bible in a year” or “Bible reading plans” for starters. I pray you don’t need a rock bottom, but instead take the bold move to prioritize and seek His word above everything else. Because when you do, everything changes.
Wife Step: Make a plan to read the Bible. There’s no one way to do this. You can crack open a book, pull up an app, or listen to an Audible recording.
You can start growing a relationship with God and with your husband by reading Dear Wife: 10 Minute Invitations to Practice with Your Husband.
Alynda lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and their two youngest daughters. She has a heart for God’s people who struggle with fear and anxiety. A redeemed survivor of sexual and physical abuse, she loves sharing God’s healing story with her brothers and sisters in Christ. She is a writer, blogger, encourager, editor, wife, mother, and grandmother. Intensely passionate about helping other women achieve healing from sexual abuse/assault, Alynda serves as a lay leader in a recovery ministry at her home church. She loves speaking with women about the healing the Lord has for them in all areas of their lives. She adores making friends (sometimes to her introverted husband’s chagrin) everywhere she goes. In addition to writing, editing, and maintaining faithbeyondfear.com, you may find her at alyndalong.com where she writes about understanding God’s great love for us. She also contributes to various blogs and ministries such as Jointhejourney.com. A member of ACFW, Word Weavers, International, and Roaring Lambs, she is completing her first manuscript.