Every marriage requires investment. In fact, anything we want to grow and prosper usually involves an investment of time and energy.
One of the best ways to have a successful and fulfilling marriage, aside from God being in the center of it, is to spend time together. And I’m not talking about hanging out on the couch or being in the same room while one of you does the dishes and the others gets the kids ready for bed. I’m talking about intentional time—time that is purposeful.
Time to connect and time to check in.
Here are some ways that we recommend prioritizing this important check in connection that every married couple needs:
Let’s start simple—Schedule it—yep, actually make time for it. Get your weekly check in time on your schedule and stick to it. We recommend a Sunday afternoon or evening if possible—one without distractions if you can swing it. Choosing this time allows you to prepare for the week ahead.
Next, spend some time face to face. We say this because getting face to face has some seriously good benefits. Eye contact alone sends some great messages to the brain. It lets it know that you are seen, recognized and validated. The longer you hold that eye contact, the better. Face to face time also lets your brain know that your spouse is not an enemy, and in fact, that they’re actually someone safe who is granted permission into your life. This is why if you’ve ever been in a spat while driving in the car and one of you (we won’t say which one--but I've got a good guess), scoots over and turns and stares out the window. What has happened is pain or hurt has entered in and safety has been temporarily removed, so the natural self protective thing to do is to look away.
The bottom line is this, when you get face to face, you let your guards down and you connect.
Now it’s time to check in. This is the space where you simply ask one another, “How are you,--how are you, really?” Let each other in on your stressors, on your celebrations and on any other ways you’ve been feeling.
Keeping the conversation going, it’s time to ask about each other’s schedules for the week. Once you emotionally connect, it’s time to get practical. Run your weekly agendas by each another. Put any scheduled events on a mutual calendar so you both know what each other has going on. This allows you to enter into the week with a plan.
Now it’s time to wrap it up by asking each other “Is there anything you need from me for this week? It’s time to be a resource to each other. Maybe picking up take out on a busy day is required or maybe one of you might need some free time scheduled in because of an extra hectic week ahead. Get used to asking each other for help. There is no greater resource you each should have beyond one another. This is a same team approach. Ask your partner about their needs.
Lastly, wrap it up in prayer. Pause and pray together. If you want to learn more about the Power of Praying for your Spouse, check out this episode on our podcast. But go ahead and thank God for the time to be able to pause and lift up any prayers for the week ahead.
Ultimately, when you make time for your marriage, you’re actually saving time that’s normally lost in arguing, hectic schedules and weekly blindsides.
If you want this simplified, download our Simple Steps to a Weekly Check In from below.