Can you believe another year has come and gone? We can hardly comprehend how quickly last year flew past. And now we are stepping into a New Year. There’s no doubt that “time flies by fast!” (That is, unless you’re waiting for something important to happen. Then it creeps along.) The questions we want to ask you as you step into this new year are: What is the present state of your marital union? How are you doing in your marriage? Do you both feel good about the direction your marriage is headed right now?
You might think that things are going along fine. Or maybe you think things are really good between you or really bad. But how about your spouse; does he or she feel the same way? You might think you know the answer to this. But you may not. That’s what we’ve found. Many spouses are absolutely surprised when they actually talk to their spouse about this type of matter. They thought they knew what their spouse felt. But they were wrong.
So, what we’re asking you in this Insight is not to assume that your spouse feels the same way as you do about the state of your marital union. Actually talk about it together. It’s the start of a year that appears to be wide open in establishing a good beginning. So, ask, listen, and then share your point of view, asking your spouse to listen to you, to the same degree that you listen to him or her. Repeat this process until you both feel heard and validated. It’s a great formula for building your marriage relationship in a healthy, loving way.
How’s Your Marital Union?
So, what do you ask each other as you talk about the state of your marital union? They’re the same questions we asked each other this week. These are questions that Debi and Tom Walter (of The Romantic Vineyard ministry) put together and shared on their web site. They graciously gave us permission to share them with you. And we highly recommend that you do. This is because they are impactful, thought-provoking, relationship growing ones. We also encourage you to visit their great web site at Theromanticvineyard.com.
But first, here is something they write for you to consider and then the questions follow:
“It is also good to think of how we have invested in our primary relationship—our marriage. This is why we should consider the following questions in order to determine the state of our marriage union. Don’t delay. Before you know it next year will be knocking on our door. Today is the only day we can influence for either good or evil. Let’s choose the former.”
Please know that Debi and Tom and Steve and I have good marriages (not perfect, but really, really good ones). Part of the reason for this is that we do this type of thing to grow our marital partnerships. We encourage you to do the same. It can really enrich your relationship.
Now, as you ask each other these questions, work together to NOT turn them into argumentative points. Instead, work to truly listen to each other. And respectfully work on getting to a place where you hear your spouse and feel heard. Even if you need to navigate through some tough discussions—that can be good. The goal is to grow closer in your connection and the loving direction you take your relationship.
Your Marital Union Questions:
So here are the questions we encourage you to ask each other and then discuss together:
1. What significant discoveries have you made about yourself? Think on what you’ve learned in personal Bible study. Talk openly with your spouse about the challenge this has been for you or the victories you have had.
2. What are at least three ways God has blessed us this year? Spend time thanking Him specifically together in prayer.
3. What has been the biggest challenge for us and our marriage this past year? How have I helped or hindered you in dealing with it?
4. When we consider how we communicate, how are we doing in terms of openness and depth of conversation? How do our needs and expectations differ?
5. In what ways have you felt cherished by me? [DO you feel cherished by me? And if not, what can I do or not do to help you to know that I treasure you?] Spend time evaluating this question together.
6. In regard to our sexual intimacy, how satisfied are you with our relationship? In what ways can we grow in our love and understanding of each other?
And we want to add one more:
7. How can I be praying for you?
We hope you find these questions to be helpful in growing you closer to each other. Remember, the goal isn’t always to “think alike.” You are two different people joined together in your marital union by God. God joins you, but He also created you as individuals. So it’s only natural that you won’t always think alike. However, you can work to “think together.” Put intentionality into walking in agreement down the same path in your marriage.
“May we all purpose this year to be more intentional in how we spend our time!”
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
Start the New Year by growing your marriage. We give a lot of practical tips to help you grow in your marriage partnership in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else so you can invest in their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the “Now Available” picture below to do so:
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