On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate communication with your spouse? Whatever the number, I’m sure you will agree that communication in your marriage takes work – a lot of work! And, even with good intentions, your relationship with your spouse can easily take a backseat to parenting, work, running a house, and life.
At the beginning of the year is the perfect time to get a game plan for helping build a stronger marriage. Answer these three questions about the focus you place on your spouse:
- Do we have consistent conversations that do not revolve around our kids?
- Do we often spend time talking about life, music, culture, sports, or other interests?
- Do we have regular date nights without our kids?
If you can’t answer yes to all (or any) of these questions, don’t beat yourself up. Most couples with whom I talk can’t answer yes to all three of these questions.
Since you are answering questions honestly, here’s one more: Do we consistently read the bible together as a couple? This one is a really important question to answer because committing to reading the bible together can be one of the healthiest choices you and your spouse can make for your marriage.
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow.”
– Hebrews 4:12 HCSB
If you have spent time reading the bible alone, then you know the impact God’s Word has on your life. It challenges, encourages, convicts, and strengthens you as a person. The same can be true for your marriage. As the two of you spend time together in God’s Word and in prayer, this time will strengthen you both while also strengthening your marriage.
Here’s a few suggestions to kick-start the process:
Get It On The Calendar
This commitment will probably never get started if you don’t get it on the calendar now. Why not have a date night and share with your spouse your desire to commit to time in the Word together? Before heading home, get a plan and get a date on both of your calendars.
Consider A Little Help
There are countless resources available to help you get going. Consider a devotional book, a DVD series, or app to help guide your conversations. You can also use the sermons your pastor preaches each week or a study your small group is using at church.
Get Some Wisdom From Proverbs
Did you know there are 31 chapters in the Old Testament book of Proverbs? Reading a chapter together each day can be a great way for the two of you to start or end the day.
Take Turns Leading
To keep things fresh, you can take turns leading the conversation or reading from the bible, devotional book, or app. You can read and then allow your spouse to respond to the passage.
Always End In Prayer
Before ending your devotional time together, talk about what is on your mind. Share prayer requests. You may even want to keep a prayer journal to use during these special times between the two of you. Pray for one another, your marriage, your children, and more.
Remember, the two of you are in this together. You may not always see things eye to eye. Working hard to build a stronger marriage takes exactly this – hard work!
Like what you read? Get Jeffrey’s newest book for parents: Raising Successful Teens