After Thanksgiving last year I wrote the post Grateful for the Changes in the Year Following Black Thanksgiving. I shared that on the Thanksgiving before, we had a crisis in our marriage. We got back together after a month, but it was nine months after the crisis before I learned what the real problem was, and that the problem had been removed – anger. In that same conversation we both agreed that this last year of our marriage has been the best by far, better even than the first year as newlyweds.
So, with a year of recovery and recuperation under our belts, we invited our pastor Chuck Lewis to come to the house after a Christmas dinner and lead us in renewing our vows. The vows I wrote addressed the things we both want to improve and work on, and what we think is important to our marriage.
Then, while reviewing an excellent book by Gary Chapman (author of The Five Love Languages), Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married, and some of his online resources, I came up with the idea of doing a periodic review and evaluation of our marriage. The result was the ten questions below. All but the last can be rated 1 to 10, with 10 being best or perfect. There are associated questions to identify what can be improved, and the last question is also for discussion.
Every one of my questions is rooted in our discussions on marriage and where we want to improve, and each is based on the vows we used to renew our commitment to our marriage. If you choose to do something similar, obviously the two of you can develop an appropriate set of questions for your marriage.
(1) – How well am I working towards my spiritual growth and acting like Jesus Christ is my number one?
(2) – How well do my actions demonstrate that you are my number two priority? (What have I let supersede that?)
(3) – How well am I doing in supporting and encouraging you? (What can I do better?)
(4) – How well am I doing in promptly asking forgiveness when appropriate?
(5) – How well am I doing in promptly granting forgiveness, even when not asked?
(6) – How well are we doing in being one flesh, in love, as parents, in finances, and in communication with each other and with others? (Where could we improve?)
(7) – How is recovery going with various hurts, hang-ups, and habits? (Which one needs more focus?)
(8) – How is the more cooking of meals coming?
(9) – How well are we doing in maximizing the enjoyment of time spent together?
(10) – What can I do to love you better – Better Love?
We plan to initially go through the evaluation process every three months this year, then perhaps drop back to every 6 or 12 months. And we may need to adjust the questions as well. But what about you? Would a marriage evaluation help improve and renew your marriage too?