We are meant to be a team with our spouses, but how often do we check up on one another?
When the Bible describes a husband and wife as “one flesh,” the tense of “become” is actually present progressive (Genesis 2:24). That means we are constantly becoming one flesh, and will continue to do so for our entire lives. In the process of becoming one, you need to know about your other half. And while questions such as “What is your spouse’s favorite color?” and “How does your spouse like his/her coffee in the morning?” are important, those questions will only take you so far on your intimate journey with your spouse.
Marriage is meant to grow you. The following questions can help you and your spouse figure out your goals and work to succeed at them.
I would encourage you to ask your spouse these questions periodically, not just once. Make an effort to create a comfortable environment, so you can both feel free to share your mind without judgment. In the process of becoming one, depending on your spouse’s past experience with spiritual and emotional intimacy, there may be some hesitancy sharing from the heart. Pour yourselves a couple of cups of tea, sit down on the couch, and work through these questions.
Hearing your spouse answer these questions, you may be tempted to provide feedback. Men (generally speaking) may want to fix their wives’ problems or provide quick solutions to their wives’ dreams. Women (generally speaking) may want to nag their husbands until they’ve accomplished the goals they’ve shared with you. Wait until your spouse has had a chance to share, and then share your opinion if invited to do so.
I promise, you will be closer after sharing your ideas with one another. There may be some tension at first, and most likely even some disagreement, but take time to truly discuss these topics until you feel like you’ve reached a resolve. You don’t have to have your whole life figured out in one sitting, but you should be able to come up with a game plan for the next week or so.
- How do you feel? As a woman (again, generally speaking), I have a hard time navigating through my emotions sometimes. It’s nice to have my husband ask me how I’m feeling so I have permission to speak the emotions out loud. Most of the time, if not all of the time, he is my voice of reason as I realize my emotions are often based on insecurities.
- What are your dreams/goals for the next week/month/year? I love sharing my dreams and goals with others. Speaking my dreams out loud makes them more real for me. It also gives me permission to process out loud and help transform my dreams into a reality. Your spouse may not know what dreams he/she has, so maybe you can ask the question a different way (such as, What do you want to accomplish in the next week? or What is something you’ve always wanted to do but never took the time to do it?). Again, you don’t have to have your whole life figured out, but asking about your spouse’s dreams can help you accomplish what you didn’t think you could in the near future.
- How’s that going for you? Sometimes, we’ve already started working on our dreams. Some of us want to start our own businesses or get promotions at work or even heal a broken relationship with a family member or friend. Asking your spouse about the status of that dream can help him/her celebrate the progress he/she has made so far, and take practical steps to finish the task.
- How may I help you? We absolutely cannot accomplish our dreams alone. I’ve learned that very early on in my short life. Your spouse has been equipped by God with different strengths to help you see your life from a new perspective, or to develop skills that you wouldn’t be able to learn on your own. This is a good opportunity to provide feedback if it is welcomed. However, your spouse may just want encouragement or a listening ear, or even a hug. Be prepared to help in whatever way you’re able, and whatever way your spouse needs.
- How can I pray for you? Ultimately, our help comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-2). Praying for our spouses reminds us to keep our focus on the Lord and to trust Him with our plans. Without being holier-than-thou, we are also called to remind our spouses to trust God’s plan and to lean on His wisdom in all that we do. So, close your planning time together with prayer.
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