Last week, I had one of those AHA moments. Actually it was more like “DUH!” with a big smack on the forehead to go with it! Ren & I have been married 33 years now. We dated 5 years before that! You would think by now,we would have figured out our relationship to the point that nothing ‘new’ would jump out at us. But there it was, and I almost had to laugh!
I’m a life and relationship coach, right? I ask a lot of questions by trade, but that’s been a part of who I am for most of my life. If you know me, you know that. You can only imagine what it’s like to be married to me! Ren is most often gracious when it comes to the barrage of questions that come flying at him at the end of a day. He doesn’t always think to tell me things that I would be interested in knowing, so I’ve learned to ask. And he’s learned to stop and think about the day so he can share it, rather than just blasting through it and on to the next.
The problem comes when my questions seem to hit a nerve. I can’t help it if sometimes my questions are used by the Holy Spirit to prompt him to think about what God might be saying to him in the moment. (Yeah, I know, Ren didn’t fall for that either.)
Well, Ren’s really good at being a student of me. He works hard to know who I am, what my love languages are and trying to think of me during the day. He can tell when I answer the phone if I’m feeling strong or not. No, he’s not perfect at it- but he does work hard. He often asks me what I need from him! I don’t always know, so I have to think about it.
The past couple of weeks have been very busy! Ren’s been dealing with some changes at work and I’ve been focused on the LEISHA’S HOPE event. So this past weekend, we were both feeling the need to reconnect with each other. We both know that a good time of physical intimacy would take care of Rennie’s need, but…! I was really struggling!
‘So what do you need from me? ”
“I… I need… I need you to… I need you to ask me questions!” That’s it! That’s what you would think I would know by now!
I’m asking Rennie questions, because I love questions. I’m loving Rennie like I need to be loved, but not in the way he needs to be loved. I need Rennie to love me like I try to love him- by asking questions. I need him to care about me enough to want to know not just what happened in my day, (which he often asks about) but, more importantly, how it affected me. One of my love languages is quality time- but to be more specific, it’s quality conversations, which includes quality questions. Of course, all that is assuming that quality listening is connected to that.
I often hear people say, “I never know what to ask!” I understand. Some of us are just think that way. But I didn’t start out being good at them. I loved them, but I didn’t always know what to ask, and still don’t. Often we just need a couple of things to get the conversation going, whether it is with our spouse, family member or even a complete stranger. So I created a question prompter. Click here for your own copy. I practice my questions ahead of time, so when the opportunity presents itself, I have some ready. You can too! Pick out a couple that you know will get things rolling.
So what was your favorite…?
(book, part of the movie, genre to listen to) That’s a great place to start.
How did you feel about … ?
Ren doesn’t like that one too much, but I love it! You know your spouse- you’ll figure it out soon enough.
My favorite is:
What are you hearing God saying to you today?
So it may not seem like a huge deal to you! But would your spouse love for you to ask them questions? It seems we get so caught up with ‘just the facts’, and we never take the time to seek to understand what those facts are doing to us or to them!
How often do we try to love someone, only to feel like that love is rejected or at least not appreciated. When in reality, we are loving as we long to be loved. If they did to us what we are doing to them, we would be thrilled. But they are not!
We’ll talk more about LOVE LANGUAGES in the future (cause I’m reading the book right now). But in the mean time, how about planning some time each day to sit with your spouse and ask a question. See what happens! You might be surprised!