As this year comes to a close and a new year is about to begin, many of us are reviewing 2016 and setting goals for 2017. Those goals usually revolve around the vision we have for our health, career, and financial prospects.
But what about your marriage?
What goals do you have for it? In what ways would you like your marriage to improve in the next year?
Before you can answer those questions, you need to assess and acknowledge the current state of your marital union, and here are 15 questions to help you do that, courtesy of author and pastor Kevin DeYoung’s blog:
- How often do we laugh together?
- When is the last time we had a meaningful conversation about something other than our schedules or the kids?
- Do we ever turn on music and sing and dance and act silly?
- How many times in the last month have we prayed together or read the Bible together?
- Do we ever hold hands?
- Has our physical intimacy grown cold, infrequent, or a source of too much pressure and stress?
- When is the last time we said “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you”?
- When is the last time we said “Thank you” for regular, ordinary tasks like making dinner, doing the dishes, paying the bills, fixing the car, or folding the laundry?
- When is the last time we (cheerfully!) said, “How can I help you this week” (and meant it)?
- When is the last time we surprised each other with a gift, a note, or a night out?
- Have we raised our voices at one another in the last month?
- Are we more eager to spend time with someone at work, at church, or at the gym than we are with each other?
- When we have time together at home, just the two of us, is the television always on in the background?
- Are there hurts or sins or fears that we need to disclose to each other?
- How might the love of God the Father, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit shape our life together in this season of marriage?
While this list of questions is not perfect or exhaustive, it provides a launching pad for having a conversation about your marriage. Most problems in a marriage are the result of neglect – neglect in nurturing the relationship, neglect in talking to each other about the relationship, and neglect in being intentional about growing a healthy relationship.
Start your 2017 with a commitment to pay attention to your marriage, and the first step in that commitment is to have a conversation.
So, how’s your marriage?