Marriage takes a lot of work! Just like our relationship with God, we cannot just 'coast' and expect to be walking in intimacy with our spouse. Different seasons of life make it easier or more difficult.
Every once in a while married couples will find themselves slowly drifting apart. Maybe things aren't bad, but the close connection is not what it used to be. This is where my wife and I were recently.
In this situation it is time to act. It will take some work, some initiative, some prayer, and maybe some awkward moments of communication, but you can't let these times just continue. It's time to slam on the brakes and talk. And pray. And work, lovingly, together on the marriage. It's time for a marriage re-connect!
Let me add that it is the man's job to lead in these situations. God has made men and women equal, but with differing roles. The husband should identify these times of drifting and lead a united effort. But, sadly, too often husbands will take the lazy road and just let the coasting continue. In these times the wife should take the initiative. But action is needed, whoever brings it up!
When my wife and I both expressed that we didn't feel 'connected' to each other recently, we acted. We procured a babysitter and had a date night. After a meal together we sat down for a talk. I had prepared some questions and we both privately wrote down our answers. Then we discussed our answers and prayed together. It was great! We both learned some timely things about our spouse and we can now apply those things prayerfully. Below are the questions we answered.
Some of you may think this all sounds pretty cheesy. I admit, I did feel a bit awkward as I presented my wife with a page of questions for her to answer. But I knew I couldn't let things continue to drift. We had a good time together, and we even wrote the exact three things down for one of the questions (#2). We took this as encouragement; that we are on the same page, and that God is leading us in our prayers.
Even if you feel close to your spouse right now, I strongly encourage you to take some time and discuss your answers to the following questions together. We must remember that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, and exists for God's glory (Ephesians 5)!! For the glory of Christ we must not be lazy in our marriages. May God be pleased to make our marriages strong and give him glory!
Questions For A Marriage Re-Connect
1. Name three things you like/love about your spouse? This is a great way to begin. You are reminding yourself why you love your spouse, and you are encouraging your spouse. In this way, you won't be merely talking about problems. You'll find you have some things for which to praise God.
2. What are three things you would like to see God do in our marriage? Goals. Vision. Identifying areas of need, and bringing them to God.
3. What are some good memories/highlights from our marriage so far? This is more than just remembering 'the good ole days.' As you take some time to discuss good memories, you'll remember that this is a marriage worth fighting for. And you might just identify some things the two of you used to enjoy together and have since stopped doing. Maybe some ideas for action?
4. What are some specific ways your spouse could show you love during this season of life? As you discuss this question, listen carefully to your spouse's answers. They are telling you what they need right now!
Discuss your answers together and then pray. Keep your spouse's answers for the days ahead.