( I just told my hubby what I'm about to write about and he laughed....Can't be telling tooo many of our secrets. I told you he was private abi? heheh)
If the topic made you think this was going to be about politics; sorry! This is def not about the state of any political union but the state of the marriage union.
So, after I got married, Hubby and I started the practice of doing improptu "State of our union" meetings where we actually sit down and list the "what we're loving"..."not so loving"... and "definitely need to work on" areas of our marriage. This started out of the blue but the results have been so good and eye opening that we do it regularly.
Isaiah 1 vs 18:Come now, let us reason together...
SOTU meetings can be called at your discretion.It could just be a time to meet, reflect, thanking God for the love you have and the lifetime you are working out with each other. In my marriage, it is something we do very impromptu. I can't lie though,there have been times we've had to have Emergency meetings when something needs to be discussed ASAP! but we don't have a set calendar date because we don't want this too predictable.
1- The setting
Psalm 23 vs 2:he leads me beside quiet waters...
This is usually a calm quiet time (usually evening cuz you know evenings were made for love...hehe) where we are alone. It makes sense to do this alone not only to have some privacy but also because it allows you to give your husband your full attention. You could put some soft music own,light some candles, put some drinks out...set the atmosphere to be one of love.
Provs 15 vs 1:A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Ahh words, my friend and my enemy....
It is very important to know how to choose your words in this situation. The point of this conversation is to honestly critique your marriage and partner; but we all know how easily good intentions can be completely mangled by the wrong words.This is not a time to point fingers or accuse the other of wrong doing. Rather this is the time to listen, take notes and see yourself through your hubby's eyes. It is a time to honestly state how you feel and what you need from each other to make this great thing even greater.
3-Put your emotions aside.
Prov 10 vs 12:Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
Ladies, this is a time to bring out your superwoman. Why? There will be situations where your husband might have a laundry list of things he would love for you to work on! If you're like me, having the man you love tell you you're not perfect is a big pill to swallow. But one thing I can guarantee you...if you become emotional (crying, arguing, screaming) the next time you want to have a "State of the Union" discussion, your husband will run for his life. Personally, I had to prove to hubby that no matter what he had to say, I was willing to hear it; now there is a chance that an issue might be a matter of misunderstanding and I do often get a chance to defend myself but first and foremost I need to LISTEN before defending myself.
Provs 17 vs 9:Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
What are you going to do with what you've learnt? Ideally, a topic of critique should be worked on by you and your husband so that the next meeting you have will not be a re-run of the last session. This should be seen as another team effort between you both in order to make this union stronger and all issues clearly out in the open for you both to deal with.
At the end of each session, no matter what the other said, end it on a good note! Don't let the issues you discussed be carried in your heart in a negative way. You could end the session with anything from prayer to making love...or both! Either way do something to seal the conversation in a soothing way and show there are no hard feelings.
Ladies, no one can strengthen nor weaken your marriage without your permission and whoever says marriage is easy is a big LIAR. It is something we need to work hard at but trust me the benefits are sooooooooooooooo sweet!
...musings from atop the potter's wheel...