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  • Writer's pictureLindsey DeChaine

We Don't Mention the 'D-Word'

What is the state of your marriage, and where is it headed?

Hopefully, you are not addressing it with your spouse once a year like the State of The Union.

Marriage itself is a battlefield; are you two fighting together or fighting each other? The answer can come down to how you perceive love.

“If receiving love is our primary goal, we’ll dump our spouse as soon as they seem less attentive.” -Gary Thomas

This tactic is alarming.

Let me share my scenario:

My husband told me, “All you do is complain about what I am not doing. That's all you focus on.” I remember telling him, “It's because there is no follow-through when you say you will do it.”


Do you know what's wrong with this? It was ineffective in communicating with each other, and we knew it would not stop at these comments.

To my husband, I was being a nagging wife, but my viewpoint was different. There was more to my frustration built up over time. How could he know that if zero communication was involved? Emotions from the lack of communication can be landmines on the marriage battlefield.


“Hurt becomes anger, anger becomes resentment, and resentment leads to destructive behavior.” It can be unintentional, but it can cause division quickly, so we must purposely talk about what is on our hearts, on the same side.


God designed us to fight for each other and our covenant with him at the center. We realized the battlefield isn't against one another but against the enemy who wants to cause marriage division. We never mention divorce, not out of fear, but because it is not an option.

So, how can we protect our covenant and continue to work as individuals to make it better for one another despite the conflicts, monotony, and/or attacks we experience?


The Bible gives us an incredible insight:

“So every married man should be gracious to his wife just as he is gracious to himself. And every wife should be tenderly devoted to her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

We distinguished the shortcomings from our lack of proper communication and decided to be intentional and combat for each other.

A method we came up with to help build on our foundation is something we have done for months now. Consistency and intentionality is critical. Putting away our phones and any distractions has made this something we look forward to doing weekly.

By doing this method, I have seen improvement in our spiritual walk and intimacy. I appreciate praying out loud with him, because before, it was a fight. Throughout the week, we discuss the Bible more. We started hearing and responding to one another's needs more effectively. I have become less nagging and uplifting, and my husband has taken more initiative to help at home and beyond. Most importantly, we are growing together in our walk with God and giving unconditionally. We put what we desired into action.

The format below can be adjusted, but here is the outline we came up with that has given us freedom and opportunity to speak what is on our hearts, transforming our marriage for the better.


 

State of the Marriage

Intro Question: How are you today?


Financial (Talk about at the first of the month):

  • Where are we at for the month?

  • Do we have any significant expenses coming up?

  • Is there anything extra you want beyond the budget?

Planning:

  • What are our plans for the week?

  • Any projects around the house?

  • Do we have anything coming up to plan for? (If there is anything, we put it in our shared family calendar on our iPhone, so we always know what is happening for the day.)

Ministry:

  • What tasks do we have for ministry/church?

  • Anything outside of church?

Relational:

  • Is there anything in your heart that you want to talk about?

  • Do you have any complaints or opportunities to share?

  • Do you have any wins or positives to share?

  • How am I doing with your love language?

  • Rate our intimacy.

Spiritual:

  • How’s your time been with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit?

  • Have you learned anything new in the Word?

  • How are your purpose, calling, and current assignments? (Requires you know them or are discovering them)

Prayer

  • We both individually pray out loud together.


The State of the Marriage was designed for open dialogue between each other in the most prominent key areas marriages typically fail. By communicating through each topic, our marriage has benefitted tremendously. Ending in prayer helps recenter and focus everything back to God.


“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 29:6).




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