Questions, good questions, help a marriage grow strong and mature.
Think of a good question like a seed. It is sown on the soil of your marriage in the hopes of creating new life. You watch. You listen. You wait for the fruit–an honest answer. Sometimes the answer isn’t what you were expecting to hear like the answer to this age old cliche’ “Do these jeans make me look fat?” Anyone married for any length of time knows this is a slippery slope of a question. It isn’t a good question to begin with so it usually leads no where good.
In a Harvard Business Review article titled, The Surprising Power Of Questions, they share the findings of an extensive study on the power of questions. They discovered people hold back for many reasons, but below is their main conclusion:
“…most people just don’t understand how beneficial good questioning can be. If they did, they would end far fewer sentences with a period—and more with a question mark.”
This is an outstanding conclusion because we can easily begin doing this in our marriage. We may believe we know everything there is to know about our spouse, but we would be wrong. Humans are complicated and diverse. You may know more than anyone else about your spouse’s preferences, history and habits. But only God knows them intimately in every way.
How do we grow in our ability to sow good seeds (questions)? Seeds that will be sure to take root and grow?
- Ask questions that require an answer other than yes or no. e.g. How was your day? Rather than, Did you have a good day?
- Ask open ended questions that invite a story. e.g. What happened in your life that made you feel the most proud?
- Be genuinely interested in the answer given. The best way to show this is by asking more questions to expound on what you’ve heard so far. e.g. What did you do when that happened? Rather than, “Uh-huh”.
- Listen with your eyes. This has been said so many times, but it can’t be said enough. It makes a huge difference in the depth of your conversation if you give your spouse your undivided attention.
- Realize that by asking good questions not only do you get to know your spouse better, but they grow in their understanding of themselves too.
This is in no way an exhaustive list on how to have good communication skills, but it’s a healthy start.
Imagine a meadow where good seeds have been sown. In time the maturing trees will begin to grow providing shade for all who come near. This is the benefit of good questions. It helps us grow and mature becoming all we were meant to be.
Many times our worst enemy is lack of time.
We don’t think we have the time to have a long conversation, so we don’t go there. But isn’t our marriage worth the extra effort it takes to lean in and learn. In this season where we are mostly all home with more time than ever, let’s purpose to sow some healthy seeds of communication. Get to know your spouse in a deeper way. Use our Date Night Questions found in our book, Cherishing Us, as a springboard if you don’t know where to start. (The Kindle version is on sale until Friday for only 99 cents) Or you can click our tab above to get started right away.
We have discovered that the more we ask questions, the better we get at asking them.
Date Night Prompt – Plan a night this week to ask each other good questions. After each initial question ask another to go deeper. Do this until there are no more questions to ask. See who can ask the most follow-up questions as a challenge to continue. Do this and you’ll both be winners.
My friend and blogger, Bonnie Anderson at Life on the Lighter Side, also has a book published through our publisher Prevail Press. I share with you her post about the 99 cent sale for all Kindle books purchased before Friday. These are some great book selections for all types of reading. Enjoy!