Staff Picks – Awaken Love

March 16, 2017
Note: Throughout this series one of our staff members will be giving you a recommendation and/or a brief review from the world of music, movies, TV or literature. Hopefully this will serve as a way to see inside the head of our staff members and direct you towards some listening, viewing or reading material for your own personal growth and enjoyment. Today’s post is from our worship director, Mark Ott.

One of the books I’m currently reading (with Dana) is a devotional for couples called Awaken Love by Kyle and Desirae Idleman. It is a daily devotional with short readings for each day.  The book walks you through the book of Song of Solomon, loosely using ideas and themes found in a verse or passage as a launching point for a discussion on some topic about healthy and godly marriages. I also really appreciate the sense of humor this couple has and the laughs Dana and I have shared as we read this together.  Each chapter has a ‘song’ title to describe the topic – and the songs are old school hits from our youth or current hits that our kids know better than we do.  Basically, it’s a chance for us to kick things off with a little reminiscing and some fun together.

Devotionals for couples are everywhere, but I think most couples don’t find the time or motivation to take advantage of what’s available. Dana and I have had our ups and downs on this path like any other couple.  But some of the best times in our marriage have been the ones where we’ve found time to do a short devotional together on a daily or regular basis.  There are two 365 day devotionals for couples by Dennis and Barb Rainey (from Family Life) that we’ve used, as well as many others.  Some we liked, and some didn’t last very long.  But what we really like is spending time together – just Dana and I – as a couple working on US.  I love getting her all to myself and I love how much it says to her about my heart for her.  For husbands who never seem to be able to get their wives attention, this is a really powerful opportunity to both lead and to share your love for her beyond just simple words of affection.

The world we live in does not do a lot to help us know God’s plan for marriage.  Since He is the one who came up with the idea and designed how it works, we think it is a no-brainer to be intentional about studying what God says about marriage and relationships.  Too often, I think Christians assume we understand love and relationships because we hear about them and watch them in our entertainment all the time. But we miss the one important reality that most (if not all) of these inputs are speaking to us from human wisdom.

On April 28-29, Dana and I are going to lead an evening/morning seminar on marriage at Hope.  I would invite you all to be a part of it.  But more than a seminar, I invite you to start being intentional in building your understanding of marriage. This relationship is so central to passing on our faith and is the most powerful tool we have to train our kids for healthy relationships.  Marriage, as God designed it, is under attack every single day. Some of those attacks come from culture.  But others come from our selfish flesh or our ignorance of what God says. Whether it is this devotional or any other one, I encourage you to find one and to set aside some time every day with your spouse to seek the Lord together. Enjoy learning about and sharing the relationship that God has given you.