When I was younger I tried to imagine what it would be like to be married for twenty years. I blinked, and then it was here. Twenty years of laughing, arguing, being annoyed, being annoying, winking across rooms, learning, growing, and changing, always changing. When milestones approach, we all tend to get a little introspective. We assess what our life has become. We take time to think about how we feel as we look around at the way things have turned out. It’s natural and good to examine our lives, but the trouble is that we tend to do this alone, and we fail to communicate with our spouse about this assessment. Our hearts get full and they get antsy and they get sad and they get worried, but we are generally terrible at expressing all of this to our spouse.
A marriage milestone is the perfect time to sit down together to think and talk through where our marriage has come from, what it is, and what we hope it will become. It’s a way to check in with each other and really try to understand how each of us sees and understands the life that we are living. Too often we go through life just guessing what our spouse is thinking. Too often we assume that no news is good news, that as long as nothing of too much significance is being brought up by our spouse, then everything must be good. But, we don’t want just an okay marriage. As Christians we long for a marriage that breathes life wherever it goes, that spreads encouragement and faith and is a clear picture of the gospel. We long for a relationship that brings both of us closer to Christ and helps us to know and understand His love more. And we want a marriage that’s fun, that makes life better, not worse. We want to be friends, and we want to keep learning about each other.
With that in mind, here are some questions for couples to use as a starting point for some state-of-the-marriage discussions.
- What are two or three of your favorite memories of our life together? Are we still making memories like that?
- How has your understanding of God’s purpose for our marriage developed over the years?
- What is one thing about our marriage that is life-giving for you? What about for others?
- How is our marriage different from your parents’ marriage? How is it the same?
- What words would you use to describe this season of our marriage?
- How have you seen yourself grow as a Christ-follower, spouse, parent since we married?
- How have you seen me grow as a Christ-follower, spouse, parent since we married?
- Where do you see the Holy Spirit working in each of us now?
- In what ways do you feel we are especially strong as a couple?
- What is one area of our marriage that you would like to see grow and develop more?
- What is one small thing that I could do each day that would help you or show you love?
- Do you feel like you can talk to me about anything? If not, how can I make communication easier?
- What are you looking forward to as you consider our future?
- How does our life look different than what you were expecting when we married?
- How can I encourage you in your battle against sin and in your relationship with Christ?
I pray that these ideas will help you and your spouse evaluate, reminisce, and remember what God has done in your life. Talking to one another is key to building a lasting, fulfilling, God-honoring marriage. It isn’t always easy to communicate, but you will reap so many rewards by asking thoughtful questions and listening for your spouse’s heart in the answers. Allow your next milestone to cause you to bend your heads together, considering as one where you are and where you’re going. May God bless your efforts.