Most have heard of the game Twenty Questions. It’s where one person is thinking of something and it’s the challenge for the other player to figure out what it is by asking no more than twenty “yes or no” questions. It is a fun game of listening and learning.
We have always been advocates of using questions to discover answers, especially in the marriage relationship. (Check out our Soil Samples Room for lots of great questions). It’s never good to make assumptions based on what you think. We must ask good questions and learn from the answers we receive. And we must be willing to listen patiently.
We are currently reading an excellent book by Paul David Tripp titled, What Did You Expect? We’re about halfway through, and without regard for sounding like an infomercial, it is a must read for any couple wishing to learn and grow in their marriage relationship!
In the 9th chapter titled, “Stick Out Your Neck,” Paul offers a Trust Questionnaire that is so helpful. Each question requires thoughtful answers, and many are ones you may not think to ask on your own.
Trust is the foundation of all good marriages. Without it a marriage simply cannot be all God desires it to be. Take some time to read and answer these questions separately, and then, go over your answers together. You may discover things which up until now were unknown – and all by simply asking 22 questions. This is no game, but if you make this a priority your marriage will certainly win!
- Is there more unity, understanding, and love in your marriage now than there has ever been?
- Do you both do what you promise in the time that you have promised?
- Are you attentive to what your spouse sees as important?
- Do you make excuses for failures to do what you have promised, or are you ready to confess?
- Do you listen well to your spouse and act on what you have heard?
- Do you follow through with mutually agreed-upon plans?
- Do you work together on planning and scheduling priorities, or do you demand that the other do it your way?
- Do you share with your spouse your thoughts, desires, hopes, dreams, and concerns, or is it easier for you to be quiet or to share with someone else?
- Is there any evidence that you have withdrawn from the other in protective distance?
- Would your spouse say that you are good for your word and faithful to your promises?
- Do you carry wrongs around with you or do you trust one another to confront and confess?
- Do you ever wonder what the other is doing when not with you?
- Are you conscious of editing your words and withholding your feelings because you can’t trust your spouse to deal with them properly?
- Is your marriage partner the best friend in your life or has your dream of this kind of companionship evaporated?
- Is your sexual relationship mutually satisfying, or is it hard for you to give yourself physically to your spouse?
- Do you say things to other people about your spouse that you have not communicated to him or her?
- Do you look forward to sharing times together, and when you have these times are they peaceful and enjoyable?
- Are there problems between you that remain unsolved because you don’t have the bond of trust necessary to work together on a solution?
- Are you comfortable with the vulnerability that a good marriage involves?
- Do you ever wonder if you made a mistake in marrying the person who is your spouse?
- Do you ever fear that you are being manipulated or taken advantage of in any way?
- Do you ever wonder if your spouse cares for him/her self more than for you?
If it is difficult for you and your spouse to talk about these kinds of things openly and honestly, you may need help. This type of communication is the sign of a healthy marriage. Be humble, and seek the help you need. If you don’t know who to talk to, we suggest a good friend who has a marriage you admire – or consider making an appointment to speak with your pastor. But please, make it a priority to get your marriage to a place where you can talk about these things together for the good of your family.
Taking the first step is the hardest. God will help you with every step you take towards a godly marriage. We know because we’ve been in this place many times. We hate to think of where we would be today without good friends and great pastors.
So are you ready to put your game ON?