Last year I co-lead a few discipleship groups with marriage ministry leaders at Watermark. We read through the outstanding book Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life, memorized scripture, and talked through specific ways we can grow as husbands, dads, leaders, and friends.
One of the projects towards the end of our time together was for each husband to ask his wife a specific set of questions. We put a list of questions together to help each husband get some feedback on how he can best lead and love his wife. The list of questions is far from perfect and complete, but at least provides a starting place for couples to have a conversation. In this post, I’ve taken our questions and modified them so that either a husband or wife can ask their spouse the questions.
Most couples I know struggle in the area of spiritual intimacy and having challenging conversations. In fact, my observation from 10+ years in full-time marriage ministry combined with feedback received from many couples confirms the challenges most couples face in this part of marriage. We don’t have good role models, and many of us (especially men) seem insecure in sharing what we’re learning spiritually. When you bring two people together in marriage, chances are good they’ll both struggle on their own and in sharing together.
Ask your spouse some honest questions about your marriage, specifically related to intimacy (Spiritual, emotional, relational, sexual). As your spouse responds, don’t defend, but rather listen, and then thank them for the feedback. Ask for clarification when needed. See your spouse as God’s provision to grow in Christlikeness and in your marriage.
It’s Question Time
Please take some time to ask your spouse the following questions (Note: there are a bunch of them, so know you won’t be able to discuss all of them in one conversation. Rather, pick a few of them to discuss together at any given time):
- How can I better care for you?
- How can I pray for you?
- Here’s how you can pray for your marriage in 2018.
- Where are we crushing it/doing great as a couple?
- How are we doing in our prayer life as a couple? How can we do a better job of praying together? Time? Place? Method?
- (Ask yourself) Is there anything I need to confess to my spouse?
- How am I doing at romancing/pursuing you without any expectation of anything in return?
- What are we each learning in God’s Word?
- How are we doing at pursuing friends/community?
- How can we better use our gifts to serve others? Are we sharing our faith with friends/family/neighbors?
- How am I doing at living with you in an understanding way? (Read 1 Peter 3:7)
- How can I pursue you better regarding sexual intimacy?
- On a scale of 1-10, with 1-“terrible” and 10-“all I ever hoped for,” how would you rate our marriage?
Take some time to encourage and affirm one another. Take some notes on how you can apply some of what you learned/heard from your spouse. And then take some time to pray for your marriage and for deeper marital intimacy (not just sexual).
I asked my wife these questions but got some feedback from her on my methods. I asked her these questions at 11:18 pm one night. This is something I don’t recommend! Instead, seek to find a time when you both have the energy for these conversations. Make sure your kids are in bed or are entertained with a book or movie. Give yourself some time and space to have a good heart-to-heart conversation.
My friends Tim & Emily compiled a list of questions they use on a weekly basis. Check them out at Today’s Letters.
A great time to have this conversation and ask these questions might be at your weekly meeting.