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  • Christopher Thompson

The Devotional Gym

“We are stewards entrusted by our absent Lord with the care of His household and His interests, until He shall return.” — Counsels on Stewardship, p. 113

Stewardship is not simply managing our money. It’s much more than that. Stewardship is how we manage our entire lives, including our marriages. In the Tuesday morning session of the family ministries seminar series, “God, Money, and Intimacy,” Dr. Rudy and Janet Salazar took a deep dive into what they believe is the antidote for a broken marriage. This dynamic duo was transparent about the struggles they faced. “It was rocky during those first five years, and we even talked about divorce.” Yet here they are, after nearly forty years of marriage, as living testimonies of growth and commitment in marriage.

That commitment doesn’t just happen magically. Marriage is challenging, and in the session, attendees were challenged to seek a deeper connection to God through personal devotion as the key to a revived and restored marriage. The Salazars shared practical advice and strategies to help ensure a vibrant devotional life. The components of meaningful devotional time are simple yet effective: Bible study and prayer.

Janet encouraged attendees to help ensure that their prayers are more focused by (1) praying aloud, (2) writing prayers in a journal, and (3) drawing/sketching prayer reflections. Bible study can be enhanced by taking copious notes, including (1) questions and curiosities about the text. Then, read various translations of the text in order to (2) write an original paraphrase of the text along with other elements that speak to you personally. Finally, (3) use your imagination to explore what you see, think, and feel about the text.

To close the session, Dr. Rudy shared the story of a bodybuilder he met. He approached him and

asked, “What’s the secret to getting into such good shape?” The man responded, saying, “Every day my coworkers go home, buy a pizza, sit on the couch, and watch soap operas and movies. I go to

the gym six nights a week.” If we want to develop a more intimate and loving marriage, we have to first be closer to God. When we get in the devotional gym daily, the intimacy with God builds intimacy at home. By seeking God daily, we come to see our spouses more clearly. Falling in love with God again leads us to fall in love with our spouses again.


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