Tuesday, June 18

5 Questions to a Better Marriage

Back in February I came across this great article that listed 10 things that made all the difference in a couple's marriage and was intrigued.  I searched a little deeper and came across these 5 questions.  Basically, every Sunday night you get together with your spouse and ask the same five questions to one another.  I mentioned the idea to Josh and he was on board for giving it a shot, too. 

I cannot tell you how much this has helped our marriage.  Not only has it strengthened our relationship, but it has opened up doors that we didn't realize were closed.  It has brought us closer to the Lord and to one another.  By far, this has been one of the best things that Josh and I do as a married couple.   I have recommended this to some of our closest friends, but today I want to urge you to give it a shot with your spouse as well!  I promise you, it will be WELL worth it. 

Okay, here are the five questions!!  Remember, the husband AND the wife have to ask each other all 5 questions.  Josh and I just take turns asking and answering each one...

1. How did I make you feel loved this week?

This question has become one of my favorites.  Josh tells me something I did to make him feel loved and sometimes the thing he chooses is not what I was expecting!  Once he told me that getting text messages throughout the day made him feel loved, well that is an easy one, and I had NO idea how much it meant to him until he told me!  I have to say, I now find myself going out of my way to try and make him feel loved.  I never realized that it was something I hadn't really done before. 

It has also helped him realize what speaks to my heart!  For example, I HATE when Josh has to go out of town... HATE IT.  But, I married a hunter and with that comes weekends alone.  One particular weekend (after we had started this little tradition) he headed out of town.  I went into our bathroom to change from work and on the bathtub was my kindle, a bottle of wine and a note... He had downloaded a brand new book for me to read, and the note held directions for what I was to do.  It completely melted my heart.  Later that night, while brushing my teeth I found another note tucked away, then getting into bed, another one under my pillow.  I thought he had completely outdone himself.  The next day I found two more notes, one in the spoons, "I wish we were together so we could spoon" (TOTALLY cheesy, but I loved it) and then later another one in the microwave.  It didn't take him long to do, cost nothing and made me think of him the entire weekend.  That is one of my favorite memories of our marriage so far and I don't think it would have happened without this question being asked. 

Another prime example of something that made me feel EXTREMELY loved...

2. What does your week look like?

This seems like such a simple question, one that most couples probably ask already.  But to me, it has blossomed into a spiritual question that has helped me pray for my husband.  More on that later though.

3. How can I make you feel loved or encouraged in the days ahead?

I adore this question for many reasons.   I am a woman, and with that my mind, heart and feelings change by the minute.  What made me feel loved last week might not make me feel loved this week.  By asking this question he gets an insight to how I am feeling and what I will need based on what my upcoming week looks like and helps him to prepare in advance.  It's wonderful!

4. How would you like to be pursued in sex/intimacy this week?

I thought this question would be SO awkward to ask.  And, at first it was a little bit.  But as we grew closer together this question became easier to answer honestly and openly.  Having an intimate, physical relationship with your spouse is incredibly important.  Not everyone likes the same things and this question helps eliminate those uncomfortable or disappointing moments.  Sometimes it's as simple as "please give me back rubs," or "let's listen to music together."  Other times the answer is a little more direct; those ones are my favorite because it opens up lines of communication that might otherwise be closed.  Men and women are so, very different... This question is incredible for giving ideas that one or the other wouldn't have generated on their own.  I must say, number 4 has really enhanced our love life in ways I didn't think were possible! 

5. How can I pray for you this week?

If you are only going to do one of these questions, I urge you that it be this one.  Can you believe that before we started this process, I didn't pray for my husband regularly?  It's so embarrassing to admit, even shameful.  As a Christian woman, it is my job, my responsibility to be in prayer for those around me.  Not just when I laid my head down at night and rambled off a list of things to God as I drifted off to sleep... But to be in constant prayer, for specific things.  God tells us in Matthew 7:7-12;

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

This is where question two comes into play.   If Josh has a day that is going to be particularly long or stressful, he tells me exactly what it is that I can lift up in prayer.  I have found that not only does praying for my husband bring me closer to him, it also brings me closer to the Lord.  I want to encourage you today not only to ask your spouse this question, but also your friends, your family and even your coworkers.  The power of prayer is incredible... 

And that's it!  It usually takes about ten minutes, tops... Everyone has ten minutes to spare!  I promise you, it will be the best ten minutes you spend with your spouse that week (unless question #4 unlocks some really powerful stuff... in which case it might be the second best ten minutes you spend with your spouse ;) !)  Please give this a try, and not just once; make it a weekly tradition.  The more consistent you are, the more powerful it becomes.  And please, if you try this, let me know!  Encourage your friends and family as well and watch it transform relationships right in front of your eyes.  I DARE YOU...

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