Ever run out of things to talk about? Maybe it’s because we work and serve together, but more often than not, Cory and I find ourselves gravitating toward conversations that center around ’church stuff,’ i.e. upcoming events or meetings, things going on in this family or in that family, even venting our ministry frustrations and heartaches. It’s so reassuring to be on the same page in our ministries, but our communication can easily become focused on external things, and we may miss out on growing in relational intimacy in the process.
If you’ve ever felt that way, or if you just need some ideas to get to know each other on a deeper level, here are some questions to get you talking! Select a new question to answer each day (or as often as you can). It may seem awkward at first, but keep at it.
- What have been the five most important milestones we’ve passed together?
- Which two or three problems, if solved, would make the most positive difference in our marriage?
- How would you describe your ideal day? Weekend? Vacation?
- Would you tell me about a memory of your grandparents and what they taught you?
- What three things do you feel produce the most stress in our marriage? What could we do to overcome them?
- What dreams have you discarded because no one encouraged you to ‘go for it,’ or because you feared you would fail?
- In what single area do you want to grow personally next year? How can I help?
- If our house caught fire (and everyone was out safely), what three things would you most want to save?
- What do you want your life to be like at age 70 (or 90)? What do you want our life together to be like at that time? What steps should we take today to get there?
- If you could keep just one memory, which one would you keep and why?
- If you could spend one hour privately with any person alive, who would it be? What would you do or discuss together?
- What can I do to make you feel more appreciated? Is there something I can take off your plate to allow you to rest/focus on other things?
- How would you like for our marriage to be remembered by others?
- What is God doing in your life right now? What is He teaching you?
- How can I pray more specifically for you?
Ideally, try to set aside enough time to discuss each question in depth rather than hurrying to complete them all. As you talk, listen carefully as well. Do not retreat if the discussion gets uncomfortable. Instead, share what is really important, especially feelings, and try not to get defensive. ‘Winning’ is not the goal; understanding is.
Cory and Amy Brand serve together at First Baptist Church in Corsicana, where Cory is the Minister of Discipleship and Pastoral Care and Amy is the Children’s Minister. They have three (mostly) wonderful children, Lance (22), Brent (18), and Abby (15). Cory and Amy love doing life and ministry together! Check out our new ‘Marriage in a Fishbowl’ website, and like our Facebook page for information about our marriage ministry and upcoming retreat for ministers and their spouses!