We’ve been married for five years now. And through some really good times, and lots of really tough ones, our consistency {or inconsistency} with one simple commitment has reflected in every other aspect of our marriage. We don’t really have a name for it, other than “The Questions” but it’s a time we set aside to talk. The kids are asleep. The dishes are set aside. The phones are on silent. We don’t have TV, so that’s not a problem — but if we did, it would be switched off.

We’ve been asking each other the same questions, on a weekly basis (when we can), and reflecting on our faith, our marriage, our parenting, our home, and our lives — and this is where we stop to figure out where we’re going to go, how we want to get there, and how we might need to adjust our course along the way.

 

If there has been a Sunday-Evening-Question-Time where I didn’t shed a tear or two, I can’t remember it.

Not because the Hubs is mean to me or I feel sad about our lives. Usually hitting the pause button to reflect on our lives brings me an overwhelming sense of thankfulness — for the Hubs, our boys, life itself, and the God we believe makes all of this possible. The moment is an open-line of communication that silences all the other voices for a little while, recognizing that it’s really important to give time (and an ear) to the voice in our lives that comes second only to the voice of our Creator.

We begin with the Faith Questions — because every week those answers seem to provide significant foreshadowing for what all the rest of the answers will be. The relationship between that first question and everything else is uncanny. {Take off your shoes and observe!}

We start:

1. How is your walk with the Lord?
2. Who or what is on your heart this week?

Then we talk about how things are going at the Collie house.

3. How do you feel about this week at our house?
4. How was work (or working at home) this week?

We move on to talk about our own relationship — how we are connecting and relating to one another, what do we perhaps need to ‘deal’ with, are we effectively communicating? Do we feel loved?

5. How do you feel about the intimacy between us? {Awkward as it may seem at first, it is life-giving and good to talk about this!}
6. Is there anything we need to make peace about or let go of from this week? {Holding any grudges we need to discuss, mayhaps?}
7. How is our communication?
8. How have I honored and loved {or respected and loved} you this week? {This creates a beautiful opportunity to share positive things that were meaningful from the week just past — thank you for bringing me tea, letting me sleep in, saying those nice things in front of friends… You might be surprised by the things your spouse is blessed by that you never would’ve expected!}

We look out again to consider how we are interacting with the world around us:

9. What have we done to build friendships with other people this week? {This is meant to prevent us from getting too internally-focused.}
10. How have we given this week? {Not just financially, but also of our time, our hearts…}

And then, we move on to the final section, an area we care very much about, but put last, because if there are things we need to start implementing with regard to this, they will be at the forefront of our minds when question time is done.

11. How are we doing with disciplining and loving each of our children? {We discuss how things are going with each child, talk about areas where we might need to make strategic adjustments that could lead to better outcomes, and we are free to encourage or challenge each other if we need to discuss problems we see in our own or each other’s interactions with the kids.}
12. What have we done to tell our children about Jesus this week? {We end here, and this very important goal is at the forefront of our minds. We are a team, working together to achieve a heap of goals — but this is the number one priority. If we don’t succeed here…  are we really succeeding?}

So those are our Twelve Questions. Whenever we take the time {make the time} to talk these things out together, it is a breath of fresh air to our marriage and our lives in general. And considering how difficult marriage is, how many things are set against a marriage succeeding, I find it to be an important way of reminding yourself and your spouse that you’re not just in this for as long as you both shall feel happy about it — I meant it when I said as long as we both shall live. And I’m willing to put in the time and effort to make that happen!

If you’re not sure how to talk about your marriage with your spouse, how to just sit still and check in, how to take a moment to look into each other’s eyes, ask how are you and then wait for an honest and truthful response, this could be a great place to start. These questions are just our ideas of what we want to cover — and they can adjust as time goes by — or you could sit down and write questions of your own that are better suited for you and your spouse.

Don’t force it if it doesn’t come naturally… breathe, receive and extend grace… pray about what could work well for the two of you.

Are you and your spouse making efforts to build a healthy marriage? I would love to know how. And, can I encourage you to consider making this, or something like it, a weekly commitment — or even a monthly one? I believe it will be life-giving, and though it may seem awkward at first, perhaps eventually you’ll love it so much, you’ll cry on 12-Question-Days, too.

Last thought — I made a little Pinterest-esque printout for you in case you’d like to use these questions at home! Because I love you!

Here ya go… 

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment to let me know if you’re committing to 12-Question-Days, too, or if you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

xCC