We have been talking about how to care for a marriage partnership. Just like caring for a garden, you have to take care of your marriage. Be proactive and give your garden a little water everyday and you will have a great harvest. The same with marriage, a little care makes for a great harvest.
My wife and I care for our marriage by making time for each other, knowing each other and talking with each other. This week, let’s talk about talking!
Talk with each other. There is a proverb in English that goes like this, “Silence is golden.” Except in marriage. Ask my wife. When we have a disagreement, my retreat into silence is like stabbing toothpicks into her eyes. Silence drives her crazy. And no matter how hard I try, my silence never brings about resolution. It is only when we make time to talk with each other that we are able to work through our issues.
I believe it is almost impossible to have a healthy marriage and not talk with your spouse. Communication is necessary. Most of the time, this requires talking. And words require intentionality. Each couple needs to find their own balance for a healthy marriage, because it won’t look the same for everyone. But all couples must be intentional in finding the balance.
Talking with each other goes hand-in-hand with making time for each other. Go out and grab a cup of coffee together. When you do, leave your phones in your pocket or purse. Agree to talk with one another about each other. Not about work. Not about kids. Not about money.
Share about what is going on in your lives. Talk about what you are learning. Tell your spouse what you like about them. Share your dreams for the future with one another. Talk about why you like the coffee you are drinking. Pull out that list of goals you made for your marriage and talk about how things are going. Check in and see if you are speaking one another’s love language.
When we stop talking to each other, we are likely to miss something important. Like whose turn it is to water the tomatoes. Or asking your spouse for forgiveness for when you were a jerk last week. Ask for forgiveness! Talk!
Planting a garden is both fun and hard work. It takes a lot of effort to start. From preparing the soil to choosing the seeds, it is a mixture of sweat and laughter. But planting is just the beginning. Once the seeds are in the ground, faithful care is now required. Give your garden water, sun, and fertilizer. Keep taking care of it from the time you plant the seeds all the way until harvesting.
A marriage also requires proper care. When given attention, it will grow and mature. Neglect it and it will dry up and die. The kind of care needed is a simple, intentional investment of time and energy. Make time for each other, commit to learn about your spouse, and talk with each other. Then watch your marriage strengthen and grow.
This week, make time to talk to your spouse. Start small, how about for 10-15 minutes? Just talk. Go for a walk and hold hands. Get a cup of coffee and leave the distractions behind. Have fun talking while caring for your marriage partnership. Anticipate a great harvest!
(Need help with good questions? Here are two simple questions to get a conversation started. What was good about your week? What was hard about your week?)
Next time: Protecting your garden