Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Matrimony

Here's your weekly bit of [unsolicited] marriage advice...
Last fall Andy and I led a Life Group for South Bay called "Marriage Built to Last". It's a video driven curriculum by Chip Ingram and was a great resource that I would highly recommend for other small group Bible studies.

One of the most valuable tools that I took away from the study was what Chip refers to as "The Conference".  This simple tool can open up some awesome discussions and really help you see what's going on beneath the surface in your spouse's heart.

There are 3 questions that the husband/wife are supposed to ask each other.
  1. What are you concerned about?
  2. What do you wish?
  3. What are you willing to do?
One spouse asks the other Question #1 and then listens intently without interrupting (no comments at all) as they answer. Then the other spouse answers the same question.

Andy and I will sometimes take a few notes while the other person is speaking to help us remember all that we said. You shouldn't feel any pressure or put any pressure on your spouse regarding question #3- "What are you willing to do?" It is not a requirement for your spouse to fix all your concerns or make all your wishes come true. Chip Ingram said the first time he and his wife had a conference, his answer was, "I'm willing to have another conference." That was it. And that might be where you're at right now. But at least it's a start.

This conversation can last 5 minutes or 2 hours. It's a great "Date Night" discussion starter. The biggest benefit for Andy and me is that it gets us beyond the day-to-day maintenance conversations and reveals what we're really thinking about under the surface.

So, I challenge you to have "a conference" with your spouse before Valentine's Day. You've got one week!

1 comment:

Mary said...

Printing this on a note card and adding it to our monthly date night. Thanks for sharing!