The following is a post from Joyce at Keeping Up With the Moys. Over the past couple of days, we’ve learned why our marriages matter. Today, Joyce digs into how we can strengthen our marriages through meeting other couples with kids.
In my previous posts, we talked about having a mission statement for our marriage, and finding marriage resources (mentor, books, websites) to guide your marriage. Today, we are talking about being in community with other couples. It is great to have a marriage mentor, a couple who has years of experience and can share wisdom with you, but it is also great to be in community with peers who are going through the same marriage celebrations and struggles as you.
Being in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group has helped me grow as a mom. We share the joys and the challenges that comes with motherhood. We learn from one another what has worked for potty training, or tricks to get crayon stains out of the couch. It’s always nice to know that we are not alone in this mothering journey.
Being in an exercise accountability group has helped me grow in my fitness goals (I wanted to say athlete, but I’m not quite there yet). We share the joys and the challenges that comes with workouts. We learn from one another what has worked for minimizing injuries when lifting weights, or advice on training for a marathon (not really, maybe just a 5k).
You see where I’m going with this?
In the same way, we should be connecting with other like-minded couples in our community to help us grow as a couple. We can share the joys and the challenges that comes with marriage. We can learn from one another what has work for conflict management, or tips for communicating about finances. A Christian couples community can help us keep accountable to a Christ-centered relationship, and grow us in our faith.
Recently, we have been talking about time management and balance here on Next Level Mama. Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘How can I fit another group into my already busy schedule?’ Well, you don’t have to…not really, anyway. You probably already have ‘couple friends’ that you hang out with. You might have even met them through the aforementioned moms group or exercise group. Just take that friendship to the next level.
If you want to keep it casual, you can discuss ‘lighter’ topics. Ask questions like:
- What fun family traditions did you bring into your marriage?
- What do you love about your husband/wife?
- What would you tell a newly engaged couple about marriage?
- How can you show appreciation to your spouse?
- What characteristics of your spouse made you want to marry him/her?
- What fun date nights have you had (want to have)?
As you move into a deeper relationship, of if you already have those connected relationships with a few other couples, you can discuss ‘deeper’ topics. Ask questions like:
- How do you resolve conflict as a couple?
- How would you describe your spiritual life as a couple? How are you honoring God in your marriage? What is He doing in your marriage right now?
- What do you struggle as a couple? What are some ways to come to an agreement?
- Are you a good communicator in your marriage? If not, what are some ways to improve in your communication skills to minimize misunderstandings?
- What are some positive changes that have taken place in your marriage over the years? What do you attribute those positive changes to?
- What are some strengths and weaknesses in your marriage?
Do you have ‘couple friends’ who you can discuss marriage matters with? If not, come up with a list of 2-3 couples you’d like to get to know better. Invite them over for dinner or dessert party and get the conversation rolling.
Want to read more in the Basic Training for Moms series? Click here.