Well all know that a common conversational piece among folks to break the ice, so to speak, is the current weather forecast. In a recent exchange of hellos and have a nice days, a lady mentioned that "they're calling for some snow."
I've always found it humorous how people so often reference "they." (I always want to know who they is.) But anyway, I replied with, "My wife and I were just talking about snow, this morning! She said she wouldn't mind being snowed in for a couple days. She's one of those types that if it's going to be cold, there'd better be some snow." "How long have you been married?" the lady asked. "Almost three months, " I said. "Well, that makes sense," she replied, sarcastically joking. She obviously was implying that being newlyweds, sure you don't mind being snowed in, together. But if you're my age, no one wants to be cooped up with their spouse against their own will.
Although we were having a little fun, as our conversation ended, I couldn't help but think about how many couples actually would not want to be snowed in with their spouse. It led me to consider why that may be... I would like to think that a large contributing factor is this: many couples have very little meaningful conversation, so there's no incentive to even talk much at all to one another, much less hang out together in close quarters consistently.
Here are three ways to create more meaningful conversation in your relationship:
Walk and Talk: Jaala and I take a proactive approach to our heath, so we enjoy holding one another accountable on certain things involving fitness and nutrition. We workout together and have a blast doing so, but one of our favorite activities is our weekly walk and talk on Monday mornings. It's our time to get out of the house, enjoy a brisk walk, and discuss our schedule and goals for the week. The area that we live in has several nice parks, so during the warmer months, we have plenty of options as to where we want to walk. During the colder months, our church has a great facility that's open to the public, with a great walking track. The exercise, coupled with intentional uninterrupted conversation, makes for a great start to our Monday.
Fix Dinner Together: We both love good food, and since I'm a mean cook, this works out great! (Jaala and I joke about who's the better cook all the time.) One thing I enjoy most about our home dinner dates is it allows us to learn more about the foods and tastes that we both like. So, not only does it give us an opportunity to grow in respect to learning more about one another's likes and dislikes, but it allows us to focus on serving one another by cooking foods on a given evening that are more geared toward her likes or my favorites. Try it with your spouse. I'm sure you'll have just as much fun researching recipes, practicing healthier choices, experimenting with new foods and flavors, and even cutting some costs in the dining out budget.
Pray for One Another, Together: We work hard, together, to keep our faith in Jesus Christ at the center of our relationship. We know that if we don't, ultimately we will fail one another. In my opinion, the first thing you should do each day is pray for your spouse. The last thing you should do each day is pray for your spouse. So, in other words, the most important thing you should do for your spouse each day is pray for your spouse. But, consider taking it a step further... Instead of just praying with your spouse and/or praying for your spouse, try praying for your spouse with your spouse. I believe the most intimate conversations we've ever had have come after times of prayer. This is because, when we pray, we are vulnerable. We're talking to our Heavenly Father about our deepest needs. Allowing your spouse to have all access to that conversation is a really big deal. Jaala and I have made it a daily discipline to pray for one another--out loud, together, holding hands--and it's the best part of our day. I have no doubt in my mind that praying together, and having more conversation with the Creator and sustaining of your relationship, will also increase the amount of meaningful conversation in your relationship.
If you decide to give those tips as shot, let me know how they work out for you... I'd love to hear how your relationship is growing. But, as with anything else in life, if you want things to get better, you have to get better. If you want things to change, you have to change. So, be intentional about growing and making adjustments. Be intentional about having meaningful conversation with your spouse. Be intentional about discussing things that are of great interest and importance to your other half. Simply be intentional about protecting and nurturing your relationship.
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