I read a great leadership blog post recently that was titled, “Start/Stop/Continue”. Although it was written for business / church organizations, I think “Family Organizations” could definitely benefit from it as well.
The writer suggests that in order to maintain health in your organization you need to frequently ask the below questions. I think they apply to marriage as well.
- What do we need to START doing?
- What do we need to STOP doing?
- What do we need to continue doing?
The easy thing to do with this exercise would be to focus on physical topics related to marriage (Health, Finances, Time, etc..).
For example, as it relates to money some answers could be, “We need to start saving, stop spending so much on going out to eat, and continue to give to our church.” Although I would definitely recommend answering these questions as it relates to PHYSICAL type topics, I would challenge you to discuss the questions as it relates to the SPIRITUAL and EMOTIONAL components of your marriage as well.
It’s my observation that couples tend to ignore these areas the most. And, from my own personal experience, they are the areas that I find the most difficult to work on.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
God desires for couples to become “One flesh” physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I think the order they are pursued is important.
The world says, “You look good…let’s hook up!” Then, if the sex is good they decide to be friends and connect emotionally. Finally, only if all hell breaks loose do they attempt to connect spiritually.
God’s way is the exactly the opposite. We should first be equally yoked with another Christ follower, then pursue an emotional friendship, and then only in the context of marriage are we to connect physically through sex.
For many years I interpreted “One Flesh” to primarily refer to sex (probably because it was the area I enjoyed the most)! But as my wife and I have matured in our relationship, we have found at least equal, if not more satisfaction and enjoyment experiencing “one flesh” on an emotional and spiritual level.
Physical affection follows emotional and spiritual connection.
If you neglect any 1 or more of these areas your marriage will start to get “sick” and you and your spouse will start to drift apart. Don’t let that happen!
So…get connecting! Check out “Start/Stop/Continue” to get some context then ask your spouse the questions above in all 3 areas; spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Hans co-founded Marriage Revolution with his wife, Star, in 2010. He counsels couples in The Woodlands, TX, speaks at marriage conferences around the country, and provides leadership and direction to Marriage Revolution.