Author's Note: This post needed some art. Instead of attaching stock photos of some random happy couple, I thought I would include a few shots of a happy couple I know personally. But just to keep things honest, know that we rarely pose for pictures on those days when things aren't quite so happy.
If imperfect and normal families like ours aren’t careful, the weekly grind can easily squeeze out opportunities to meaningfully connect in our marriages. Weekdays are busy, but weekends are, too. We can find ourselves going months without having an intimate, life-giving conversation.
When it gets to that point, attempts for husbands and wives to share can often turn into arguments, usually because the two of you are so disconnected. Short, efficient bursts of information become the norm because one or both spouses don’t have the energy or patience to invest in the relationship. Things can quickly escalate into a fight.
We know this is happening at the Johnson house when most of our conversations revolve around family logistics. Jenifer refers to this as “who’s on first” communication. It’s often necessary, but rarely very meaningful. Or fun. When we get to that point, we are managing an organization, not leading a family. And certainly not experiencing the joy of marriage. It takes work to get out of that cycle.
One discipline couples can employ to fight against that is to take time every weekend to talk through a few key questions. Weekends work best because time is more flexible. (I know your weekends are busy, too. But let’s be honest: you probably chose to involve your family in all the craziness you encounter on weekends. So if you can’t make time to talk about some key things with your spouse, you are officially too busy. And you have the power to change that.)
The key is to ask questions that have positive answers. You want to avoid relationship diagnosis questions that leave room for criticism and personal attacks. Questions should help you to reflect on the previous week, make the most of the weekend, and gear up for marital health and teamwork in the coming week.
There are plenty of places to find good questions to ask (that internet thing is pretty useful), but I came up with ten that might serve you well on a Saturday morning over coffee. Why not give it a shot this weekend...
Three questions about last week:
What is something I did to make you feel loved this week?
How did I do at showing my appreciation for you?
Did you see any answered prayers this past week?
Three questions for the weekend:
What burden are you carrying that we can manage together?
What will we do this weekend to focus on our marriage?
How would you best feel pursued by me?
Three questions about next week:
What does the coming week look like for you?
What’s the best thing I can do to let you know that you are my priority and my joy?
How can I pray for you in the coming week?
Bonus question for anytime at all:
How do you see God at work in your life?
Start asking some questions of your spouse! Then take time to really listen to what they tell you. In our busy lives, nobody accidentally falls into a satisfying marriage. You have to make it happen. So start making it happen this weekend.
Q. What are some other good questions you regularly ask your spouse?
*Check out my brand new book: The Talk(s): A Parent's Guide to Talking about Sex, Dating, and Other Unmentionables. It has been developed to assist parents as they help their kids navigate our hyper-sexualized culture. Whether your kids are 6 or 16, it provides practical help to help your kids to make wise choices in a messed-up world.
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