This is the time of year when we many of us make those infamous New Year’s resolutions; and we here at House on the Rock believe this is a great time to set some goals for our marriages … but this year we want to challenge you to do something a little more. We’re encouraging you to perform a marriage audit by asking these four probing questions:
What are the strengths in your marriage? What are the things you are doing well? How’s your communication, conflict resolution, spiritual connection, physical connection, parenting together, money?
Making a list of these things you feel good about will be an encouragement! But now ask another question: What do we want to do to improve these more? Jot down your ideas and then refine them into goals.
What are the weaknesses in your marriage? What are the areas you want to improve? Where are you experiencing problems? What’s causing them? This process can create some tension and disappointment be careful not to blame or shame. Be sensitive to each other’s feelings and be sure to grant each other grace. The purpose of this process is to develop a strategy for turning these weaknesses into strengths.
You may decide you need to get some outside help to work through some of these issues … that’s OK … self-help is often an oxymoron!
What are the opportunities for your marriage this year? Maybe the kids are old enough that you feel safe in leaving them with family or friends while you do something to build your marriage. Like taking a special trip to spend some time alone together … or a chance to get to a marriage retreat or conference!
Maybe you inherit some money that will help reduce or eliminate debt. What opportunities are coming your way that will strengthen your relationship?
What are the potential threats to your marriage? Are you going to be facing the “empty nest”? Are there employment or financial issues, parenting problems, or physical challenges that have the potential of weakening your marriage? What are you going to to minimize their impact? How can you eliminate some of them all together?
While the idea of an audit can be daunting … the discoveries from this process will be very helpful in building your marriage; and the key to a happy 2017 will be greatly impacted by the happiness of your marriage.