When we were on our marriage retreat we had these worksheets (our retreat organizers loved worksheets) with REALLY specific steps of things we had to say to each other. Whether it was talking about a hurt, encouraging each other or planning.
Honestly, it was a really structured time every time Roger and I had to talk through some assignment. Every sentence we had to say had a starter like, ” One of my needs is…”
I am not normally a huge fan of structure. It’s good and all, but I think that God works in me so much more if I just allow him to do what he wants without me putting a routine around it.
But there was something about this….
The interesting thing was that I really enjoyed the structure.
Something about having the sentence partially formed for me gave me a jumping off point to say the things I wanted to say without ending up sounding like a selfish jerk.
So, if you have some exercise that you and your spouse are supposed to do that has a ton of pre-formed sentences, I suggest giving it a try. Structure can bring the freedom you need to love one another better and can help you to be known better.
Yes, it’s cheesy. But one of my friends said “Sometimes you have to eat through the cheese to get to the cracker”.
So, friends, if I pull out a worksheet to talk to you… don’t worry about it. I’m just trying to express myself without sounding like an idiot.
If you are interested in something like this here are a couple of resources:
If you live in the Austin area, I would highly suggest making an appointment with someone from the Center for Relational Care. www.relationalcare.org They are AMAZING!
If you’re not in Austin, but would like a super helpful marriage book (practically the marriage manual) check out Intimate Encounters by Ferguson. Here it is on Amazon.