Lisa and I just finished a 16-week marriage class at our church. The material was good, but funny enough none of the actual text of our workbook was what impacted us the most.
There were four other couples in our group, plus the leaders. All twelve of us are on staff together at the church. Our small group’s leaders are actually the leaders of the entire class and don’t typically run a small group. But they came “out of retirement” to lead this group of staff members and their spouses.
The community was awesome.
All of us are in similar places of life with age, children, and vocation. This made discussion and vulnerability much easier. At various levels we all “got” each other. So when we shared we felt understood.
Each week had a short chapter to read with questions to reflect. After answering on our own we were to discuss are answers with our spouse. It was simple prep for the group’s gathering every Sunday.
This required Lisa and me to find a time to sit down together once a week, every week, for four months.
I didn’t know we could do that!
With work and kids and all of life’s other responsibilities it seemed too difficult to sit down for an hour or so every week and focus on our marriage. But the class created a mechanism that forced the issue. We had to make it happen or we’d be unprepared to join in the discussion.
More than one couple in the large group (there were about 30 couples total) made mention in some sort of variance, that before the 16 weeks began they’d started to “feel like roommates.” I realized how “normal” that feeling is for husbands and wives.
Lisa and I have certainly felt that way at times. So much will be going on that you live together instead of do life together. It’s easy to be in the routine and lose sight of each other.
We’ve read books together, done conferences and other classes, been to counseling, and consumed much material to “enhance” our marriage. Some was better than others. While this class was good, the book’s teachings could’ve been anything for all we cared. It was the time with each other and time with other couples that our marriage needed most.
I have a quote I keep on a sticky note on my desk. It’s from an article I read awhile back and says, “Relationships are more about shared vulnerability than shared interests.”
This is what we experienced the last four months with each other and within our small group, and I think that’s the difference between doing life together versus just living together like roommates.
Sometimes we forget that something as simple as focused time can make our relationships better.
What kinds of things have you done to help build your relationship with your spouse?
Want a New Perspective?
I’ve created a measuring guide to alter how you view your marriage and your spouse. Ask yourself these questions, your mindset will shift quickly.