Good Questions. When we mentor couples, we encourage them to ask each other at least one good question every day. Why? Because having deep and satisfying conversations are vital for a growing relationship.
Great conversations begin with good questions.
Maybe you’re feeling a bit lacking in the “good question” ability department. If you are, that’s OK. Even we’ve had those dry spells where we can’t think of a “safe” topic. 😉
Here are some resources to build a repertoire of good questions:
The Byerly’s have 365 questions you can download and print. That’s a whole year! Click HERE.
Use Proverbs so spark some conversations. Click HERE
These are some of the best fun questions and thoughtful questions we’ve compiled from other bloggers. Click HERE
What if you can’t ask good questions?
We know you’re busy. If it’s not possible to print out these good questions, then here’s another option: Dayspring’s Conversation Starter Jar – this is the first time we’ve seen something like this already created for you!
We’d rarely suggest buying something if you can make it yourself, but there are instances when you might not have the time or the inclination. If that’s the case – then this product is perfect for you. It’s a pretty jar. There’s a lovely inscription from 1Thessalonians and 60 questions already printed and cut up.
This Jar filled with Conversation Starters is part of a sale until August 22, 2017 – take $20 off any $40 purchase and get FREE SHIPPING in DaySprings Secret Sale. Go to the SECRET SALE page to see what else is offered… (You have celebrations coming up, right? We won’t reference Christmas – don’t worry.) We’re affiliates for Dayspring which means if you purchase we’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you and we really appreciate and thank you for your support.
Trust in marriage – consistent truth – where does it come from? Over the years we’ve been watching husbands and wives interact. Deep conversations are important to growing a meaningful life filled with trust. And deep conversations are one thing we suggest and write about on a regular basis. However, the everyday, seemingly mundane interactions each week also build this truth and trust. These regular check-ins and planning sessions can have a purpose!
Make an impact for your future by planning your week.
Planning your days – together – makes it easier to be truthful and consistent.
Sharing life – that’s a part of what marriage is all about. And that’s where trust in marriage grows.
Most days and weeks in a household look similar. Predictable. Normal. They may or may not be a healthy normal, but it’s possible to anticipate how a week will go. Even if we don’t hang a family calendar on the wall anymore, many husbands and wives will share and/or sync their digital calendars. And, in case we need to state it, we recommend having full access to your spouse’s calendar whether it’s digital or paper. 😉
Ask each other: “Where will you be? What will you be doing?”
We must ask where we are and whither we are tending. Abraham Lincoln – 1809-1865 Sixteenth President of the USA
Where are you? What are you doing? That’s one kind of constant. It’s the daily reality of living together in one environment.
It’s not intrusive to know what your other half is doing and where he/she is going! It builds trust because what we’re involved in matters and has an impact on our spouse. As husband and wife, we are one flesh!
Prepare and Enrich – Building Trust in Marriage
Rob and I are facilitators for the Prepare/Enrich program.It’s been used for premarital preparation, but there’s so much in this program to equip couples married decades. One of the exercises has the couple fill out an assessment of what they spend time doing in a regular week. It can be very enlightening!
There are only 168 hours in a week… do you know where they go? Maybe planning your days and weeks starts with a little introspection?
If you see value in mentoring, Rob and I are available – reach out! We have the Prepare/Enrich program, Values in Mariage, a Biblical DISC program and more we can leverage to enrich your marriage. We can talk via Zoom, Skype or phone to explore some mentoring/coaching options. Click HERE.
Build trust in marriage every day.
Trust builds when there’s a predictable order to the day.
If couples are proactive in planning their weeks, a greater control over consistency emerges. And the trust in marriage grows. Of course, we can’t plan everything. However, if there’s a framework, husbands and wives can trust they know where their spouse is and when to expect time together.
Rob and I are still working on planning our weeks – however, there’s a normal flow to a week we can count on. (Now, being productive in that week is a whole ‘nother thing… 😉 Planning will help with that, too!)
Have you created an “ideal week” plan?
Can you anticipate what your week – or your spouse’s week – will look like?
learning and growing – reading, taking classes, talking with people who have a specific focus
and everything else you do in your week…
This spring I worked through a program to order my evenings so my days would have a better impact. It brought to light where my behaviors needed to shift because they weren’t serving me well – it’s a valuable course.
(This is an affiliate link, meaning if you purchase we receive a small amount at no cost to you – thank you for supporting Robert and me. We appreciate it very much.)
When you plan, do you have resources you use? Share them in the comments, please – we’d love to know!
Let the truth of your days build the trust in your marriage.
We’ve recommended three ideas from this very old book by Dale Carnegie – “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” to begin to worry no more… There’s nothing particularly new in here – but it’s a classic and he hits on so many good ideas to stop worrying. The stories are fun to read because they’re from the 1920’s to 1940’s. (FYI -Robert isn’t a fan of Dale Carnegie – but I (Lori) enjoyed it!)
In the middle of marriage you might be feeling a bit worn down, a bit overwhelmed, and thinking, “Is this all there is?” We want you to know that life in the middle of marriage can have an even better flow of love and loyalty than when your marriage began. It just takes a little work. (Sorry – is that a 4-letter word: work?)
Again – the work is what it takes to get your worry under wraps: Prayer for the future together. Focus on today; do the best you can with what you have today. Stop replaying what you can’t change from yesterday.
How do you deal with worry?
Have you and your spouse found ways to worry no more? Any books you’d recommend on this topic, or posts you’ve read?
Encourage and motivate your husband or wife? Sometimes words (alone) won’t motivate or encourage, but they are a place to begin…
21 things to say to encourage and motivate your spouse…
Below are 21 ideas for you to say or text or write in a note to encourage your spouse. Play around with the ideas – make them your own!
But then what? What can you do after you use these phrases to encourage and motivate? Here are three things to do that will add some real emphasis to your words:
Inspire with HOPE – convey these phrases with a belief of hope for the future. Provide concrete ideas on how this hope can come alive.
Lift up your spouse with PRAYER – your faith in God and all He can and will do can be backed up with prayer. Pray aloud, pray with your husband or wife, ask others to pray. Be a warrior. Need help learning to pray? Take a look at these ideas.
Support with ACTION – this is where your words make the greatest impact. What can you do to demonstrate what you’re saying is true? Remember – you and your husband/wife are a team. What are you doing to hold up your end of the teamwork? Be a “Dream Team” –read this to learn how!
Your ability to encourage and motivate is like any other skill. It takes practice. Each spouse is unique – every time-period is different. You know what makes all the difference? NEVER giving up!
Investing time with the important people in your life builds them up – and you too! People are more important than anything else, right? In this 16th mid-marriage encouragement video we talk about people who make a difference in our life. Do we see them enough – spend time with them?
How do you make time for the important people in your life?
Sometimes those people who are most important aren’t the “squeaky wheels”, or the loudest in our life – perhaps they hesitate to make a fuss. And yet – they remain the vital relationships which make the most difference in our quality of life.
Make a Plan
Whether you visit, use a video chat service, or even the telephone, remaining connected to the important people in your life improves the quality of all your lives. Make a plan and reach out to those in your life you miss. Write those dates on a calendar, and follow through.
It’s not those things we actually do that we regret… too often it’s those actions we never get around to doing that cause the deepest regret.
Get off the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” merry-go-round and make a difference in everyone’s world!
Make a Plan for “Show and Tell” with Important People
Robert and I have been deliberate this year about making memories with our adult children and grandboy.
We meet once a week for an hour or so and have a “show and tell“. This is our way to remain connected. We each share one item (show or tell) from our life that week. And then we go on our way…. It’s too easy for the weeks to go by, and we’ve not spent any quality time with each other.
Do you have a plan for regular quality time with children to build memories? This may take some work as your children enter their teen years, and then move on as adults into their own lives. Leave a comment if you have a plan – I’d love to know what you do!
Make a Plan to Visit Important People
Do you have family and friends that live far away? We do too.
This year our son created a plan for us to travel to a church convention, and then swing by our parents (his grandparents) in Canada. This allowed us time to visit with our adult children while living together in an AirB&B house and also to meet up with friends we haven’t seen in a while at the Sunday event. After that, we spent two days with our parents. It took someone to make a plan. This year it was our son and daughter-in-love who made the plan, and I’m so thankful. (We have photos of our travels on our Instagram page.)
Who makes the plan in your family to travel to visit important people? How often do you make the time to visit those who are important, but who don’t make a lot of “noise” even though they’d love to see you?
Who prays with you?
An active prayer life is important. Making time to pray alone is imperative. Praying together as husband and wife is a powerful experience. (If you’ve not tried praying together, then just start simple – read this post to learn how.)
Who else do you pray together with? Do you have a praying church family or small group? Do you pray with them? What about a trusted minister?
Don’t let time or distance stop you from praying with people who have a strong prayer life. Reach out. Make a plan to pray with people on a regular basis. These important people who pray will make the difference in your “up” moments and in your crisis moments. (Don’t just wait till it’s a crisis!) Start now.
Plan to pray with others – it’s a wonderful defense.
Who are the important people in your life?
Do you have a plan to invest time with them… soon? Stop procrastinating!
(PS- we have found that the video service Zoom.us is the easiest venue to make a digital visit with far-away people!)
Making a commitment to spend time with important people…
Use a calendar – a planner – set goals… If the “event” of a phone call or video chat is on the calendar, it’ll happen! Here’s a resource called the “Commit30 Planner” we think is wonderful! If you scroll down after you click you’ll see an option to view all the pages in the planner. It includes a 30-day challenge for each month, motivational sayings and more… I’m in love with this product because it’s both attractive and useful! (This is an affiliate link, which means that if you click to purchase Robert and I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We really appreciate your support.)