I am the world's worst blogger when it comes to doing themed posts. Those of you who had mega cute Valentine pictures, and what I love most about my man posts this past week, sure do know how to make a girl feel bad....it's cool, though :)
So here is my Valentine blog. I thought I would share with you one the top things Chris and I have learned that has revolutionized our marriage.
We call it the "3 Questions" game. We play this ANYTIME we go out together or have a planned time for conversation together after the kids are in bed (yes, with 3 little ones, we have to schedule weekly conversation time on the calendar......it's not the only thing we have to schedule :) Here's how it goes: We each have to come up with 3 questions that we BOTH have to answer honestly, and the question has to be about a previously decided topic for the night (marriage, our relationships with the Lord, parenting, future goals, hopes and dreams).
For example, some of the questions that came up on our Valentines date night were:
What is the one thing that you enjoy most about our marriage right now?
What is the hardest thing for you in our marriage right now?
Would you rather me help you more in the home or outside of the home? What can we do to cover the area you do not need me most?
What is your biggest personal struggle with sin right now? (This one really helps us learn how to pray for each other and hold each other accountable.)
This practice has taught Chris and I to be intentional about improving our marriage on a regular basis. We think of it as a "marriage debriefing". While it seemed a little silly at first, I have seen the benefits, and I hate going out without playing "3 Questions." It seems like a waste of a date...and we don't get enough of them to waste even one.
You know how counselors and pastors always say that you need to work a date night into your budget no matter what? That it is that important? Well, I don't totally agree with that statement. I believe that while date nights are great, you have to be intentional about them if you want to see improvements in your marriage. And let's face it, no matter how good your marriage is, there's always room to improve.
If Chris and I just go out to a movie and spend the evening sitting beside each other watching a screen, but don't take time to talk openly, don't make adjustments, and don't make plans for the future, we may have had a good time, but we wouldn't be any better off than if we each had taken time by ourselves to relax. We relaxed together and that was it. Tomorrow we will have the same problems we had yesterday.
We have learned that we need to be intentional...we need to debrief, make adjustments, and get a game plan for the future. We need to know what we are doing that's working and what isn't. I need to know what makes Chris feel loved and how he needs me most right now. And the right now is a biggie. I have realized that my answer to one question tonight may be totally different to the same question 3 months from now. As seasons change, so do our needs and the way we each feel loved. Right now, I feel loved most by help...any act of service that will bring a little relief is the number one way Chris can show me he loves me. However, before I had kids and when time was a little easier to come by, I was really liking me some gifts...or some quality time. A new outfit or a nice dinner out would say, "I love you" like no other. Not now, just give the kids a bath and I will know my man loves me. :)
I am convinced that a good marriage can fail because we failed to be intentional about making it great.