“The expert in anything was once a beginner.” —Helen Hayes
The Newlywed Game. We may be dating ourselves here, but who else remembers this entertaining game show? Newly married couples played against other couples in a game of ‘who knows their spouse better.’ And it never failed; silliness and sometimes even irritation ensued as someone revealed an incorrect answer. Some couples were stellar examples of knowing their spouse intimately – and others – not so much!
Would you and your spouse pass with flying colors, or nosedive with many different answers and lots of eye-rolling involved?
Building a Stronger Marriage
Here’s what we know: learning to be a student of your spouse will build up your marriage and show your spouse how much you value them.
The way she snuggles up next to you in bed or sleeps with socks on. The way he doesn’t like his food to touch on his dinner plate. The cute little habit of double-checking her appearance in the mirror each morning. The fun way he interacts with the kids.
While these are all great things to know about your spouse, they can go much deeper.
How does she prefer to communicate? What really stresses him out? What things can I do or even say to lift her up when she’s having a particularly rough day? How can I make him feel respected and valued in our relationship?
When we genuinely take the time to know our spouse, we strengthen and build up our spouse and marriage. Whether you’re in the newlywed marriage stage or about to celebrate 25 years (or more!), there’s always something new to be learned. Loving our spouses well requires intentionality and thoughtful inquiries into who they are and what makes them well – uniquely them!
Some ideas for being a straight-A student of your spouse? Try regular date nights and asking questions. They can be fun questions or questions that make it necessary to dig a bit deeper. Keep the conversation going!
If you haven’t already, read The 5 Love Languages book together, and be sure to take the quiz so you can readily share how you both show and receive love. Of course, both are equally important to know about yourself and your spouse.
Don’t ever stop observing, asking, and listening to your spouse. Think about A.S.K. – Always Seeking Knowledge about and from your spouse. This will make you a top-tier student, and keep you at the head of your spouse’s class!! There’s certainly no better time to start than now. And besides, nobody wants to be stuck at the novice level for long, right? So work toward becoming an expert-level student of your spouse – and watch the dividends pay off in more extraordinary love, satisfaction, and intimacy in your marriage.