Couples bible study/devotional recommendations?
February 24, 2010 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Couples daily devotional/bible study recommendations?

My wife and I are having trouble finding a couples devotional that we will both find enjoyable and informative. There is just so much out there that walking into a bookstore and searching the shelves would take ages. Therefore we are requesting the help of the hivemind in our search

About us:
  • We are in our early thirties, married for 6 years, with a 4 year old son.
  • We believe the bible to be the inspired word of God, and that it is wholly truthful and accurate.
  • We are Southern Baptist, but our study material doesn't have to be 'branded' as such.
  • We have no specific topic we are interested in, but we would like it to be something we can do together before going to bed, and to be relatively short sessions. (Short like 15-20 minutes or so) - The length of the study as a whole is not terribly important..a few weeks would be good.
  • We would like something heavily bible based, with little of the authors own commentary..more of a guide through relevant bible passages on a given topic.
  • The study in question does not have to be labeled for couples, but that would be nice.

  • Further information that may help:
    We have already done the Fireproof study, which we both found pretty good. We both went through the Experiencing God study, but at separate times (me in high school, her a couple of years ago) and we both didn't really enjoy that one quite as much.

    We are open to many concepts, but are very devoted and not interested in material that challenges our beliefs or advocates non-christian viewpoints. (Meaning please don't recommend material pushing us to abandon our faith or some such thing)

    Thanks for your help....after getting some ideas here we can sift through it all and hopefully make an informed decision. We can also stack some items on the back burner for once we are finished.
    posted by AltReality to Religion & Philosophy (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
    Bible Alive fits the bill fairly well; short daily reflections on Bible passages. . I know my parents both find it very inspiring and helpful.

    It is a Catholic publication, but I hope it can be useful to you.
    posted by Petrot at 2:35 PM on February 24, 2010

    It's not specifically for couples, and I'm not sure it's what you're looking for, but my mom really likes "Our Daily Bread." I'm sure the publishers have other similar devotionals as well.
    posted by odayoday at 2:54 PM on February 24, 2010

    I have a feeling you would really enjoy John MacArthur's Drawing Near: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith.
    posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:58 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

    I don't really have any suggestions for couples devotionals in particular, but are you looking for books you could just read together?

    You could read John Piper's books and then go through the study guides together. His books are more challenging than most devotionals. You could also use something like J.I. Packer's Knowing God Devotional Journal.

    There are devotionals gleaned from theologians and pastor's sermons. Here is a daily one for Tozer. Here's a book with daily readings from C.S. Lewis, and here's another one.

    Since you are looking more specifically for just bible-based books, and less commentary, you might be interested in reading John MacArthur's Daily Readings from the Life of Jesus Christ.
    posted by pecknpah at 3:10 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

    This is not a direct answer to your question (and you may have already done this), but have you thought of creating your own study? I think it would be wonderful to take passages, read them together, then create a series of questions that would help take you to a deeper understanding of the passage in terms of the two/three of you.

    For example, take turns reading passages to your child. Then each of you speaks of what the particular passage means to you. Then you can question what it means in terms of you and your partner together, what you can commit to as a partnership, then what you can commit to as a family. Then each of you go around and bring up examples/behaviors/insights, etc.

    You could create any sort of a list of questions, actions, etc. that is persona/relevantl to your family an apply them to a study of any part of the bible.

    Creating your own, from the primary source, seems like it might take your study even deeper than going from a secondary source. Or at least a great addition to it.

    posted by Vaike at 3:26 PM on February 24, 2010

    I love Tim Keller (the pastor of Redeemer Pres in NYC) for many reasons, but his Bible studies are definitely a big one! His study on Romans is especially awesome.
    posted by fantine at 5:00 PM on February 24, 2010

    "We are open to many concepts, but are very devoted and not interested in material that challenges our beliefs or advocates non-christian viewpoints."

    I can't be sure of the particulars of the tenets of your personal beliefs from your question, but I think you'd find A Course in Miracles worthwhile, and challenging, particularly for people in a loving relationship, where forgiveness and respect for an "other" are daily necessities. And I might also recommend to you that look into De Colores or the Cursillo Movement, which, while not particularly couples studies, are individual studies which help partners find and understand their own limits and strengths in faith, and ways of accepting the limits and strengths of others.
    posted by paulsc at 6:50 PM on February 24, 2010

    Seconding Keller's studies (but I'm biased - he was my pastor when I lived there). Lots of great ones, especially for couples. Find them here.
    posted by allkindsoftime at 3:53 AM on February 25, 2010

    I urge extreme caution with A Course in Miracles.

    Consider the perspective of Benedict Groeschel, a Catholic priest who was a friend of the author during the time it was being written and until her death:

    Groeschel initially read the Course as "religious poetry," but grew steadily more negative in his assessment of it as the years passed and sales of the three volumes passed into the millions of copies. From his point of view, A Course in Miracles served to undermine authentic Christianity more effectively than just about any other work he could recall, and while he was inclined to reject the position of St. John of the Cross that "these things are diabolical unless proven otherwise," doubts had crept in over the years. Most troubling to him by far was the "black hole of rage and depression that Schucman fell into during the last two years of her life," the priest explained. She had become frightening to be with, Groeschel recalled, spewing psychotic hatred not only for A Course in Miracles but "for all things spiritual." When he sat at Schucman's bedside as she lay dying, "she cursed, in the coarsest barroom language you could imagine, `that book, that goddamn book.' She said it was the worst thing that ever happened to her. I mean, she raised the hair on the back of my neck. It was truly terrible to witness."

    As reported by Randall Sullivan, author of The Miracle Detective.

    I wish I could have found this on a less dodgy website, and I can't recommend that you click, but here is the link for the source of the quotation (which is apparently from Sullivan's book with permission).
    posted by jamjam at 11:16 AM on February 25, 2010

    This new series looks interesting since it is mostly focused on daily bible reading and reflection: God Sightings

    Beth Moore's Voices of the Faithful is a good daily devotional that has a missions focus.
    posted by roaring beast at 9:14 PM on February 25, 2010

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