One of the best ways you can care for your kids is by cultivating a healthy marriage. As a boy, knowing my parents were on the same page and that they loved each other brought a lot of stability and peace. While you may be committed to your marriage, you also need to be committed to knowing and honoring your wife.
In 1 Peter 3:7 God commands husbands to, “live with your wives in an understanding way.” Here are five questions to regularly ask your wife that will help you understand her better.
1. How is your walk with God?
If you are to love your wife as Christ loved the church and “cleansed her with the washing of water with the word” (Eph. 5:25-26), you first need to know where she is in her relationship with God. Is she reading God’s Word? Is she increasing in her love for God? Does she take time to pray? How can you lead her spiritually, find a time to pray with her, or give her an opportunity without distractions to have a half hour to focus on time with God? 1
Recently, we put a clock in our boys’ room and taught them to stay in bed until a certain time, which has enabled my wife to have a more predictable time to focus on her relationship with God in the mornings. This has been one of the keys for her spiritual and emotional health. Your wife’s relationship with God has a big impact in your home.
2. What are your greatest burdens right now?
Women often have a remarkable capacity to empathize with people which can lead to them carrying many heavy burdens. Instead of waiting for your wife to overflow with the pressures and burdens on her heart, initiate that conversation and ask her about her concerns inside and outside the home.
Do your best to ask more questions and don’t attempt to resolve or remove the issue until you fully understand the burden and have prayed about it together.
3. How are we doing with communication?
You can’t understand your wife unless you communicate with her…a lot. You might think you are doing well with communication but unless you ask her, you might be deceiving yourself. Remember that communication is not one-directional. Listening to her is essential, but it’s also important to ask thoughtful follow-up questions that show you’re trying to understand her.
Text and call regularly and spontaneously to let her know you are thinking of her and notify her when your plans change and you’ll be home later than expected. It has often been observed that couples seem to “read each other’s minds” as they grow older, but don’t assume you always know what she’s thinking or that she knows what you’re thinking. Ask questions and listen.
4. How can I make you feel more cherished?
Remember that your wife is not the same woman you married. We all change with each day and life event which is why continuing to “study” or “date” your wife is so important.
I was amazed after a few years of marriage to discover that my wife’s “love languages” had shifted! After having children, my wife’s appreciation for acts of service increased dramatically. If you are looking for a good starter list of 31 ways you can help your wife, check out this great post by John Pate.
5. Is there anything that you’d like me to start or stop doing?
This is possibly the most challenging and humbling question to ask, but it is nonetheless important. If you do ask this question, make a predetermined commitment not to give explanations or excuses. Instead, dig deeper by asking questions. Demonstrate to your wife that she can confront you without receiving a defensive response.
When is the best time to ask these questions? Consider taking your wife out on a date once a month or choosing a regular time each month to talk in the evening.
Remember that these are just a sampling of the types of questions you could ask your wife. It’s also helpful to regularly ask about your spouse’s health, her dreams, and how she feels about the family’s finances and priorities. Take a notebook with you, jot down her answers as she shares, and then repeat back to her what you have written down to ensure that you have understood her well. At the end of your list of questions, take time to pray together and ask God for help. Honor her responses by regularly reviewing what she said and acting on it.
May God help us to live with our wives in an understanding way so that He would be pleased and our families would flourish!
While you can’t wait to ask her these questions until you have mastered a personal Bible reading and prayer routine, you will want to ensure that you are asking these questions with a spirit of humility, acknowledging that you need to grow in these spiritual disciplines as well. Gently lead by example and offer help to allow her to spend time with God, not because she needs to check off a spiritual to-do list, but because our spiritual health requires time spent with our heavenly Father in prayer and feeding on His word. ↩︎
Growing Fathers Team
John serves as an Associate Pastor at Grace Bible Church in Murrieta, California. He and his wife, Suzanne, have five growing boys—Josiah, Micah, Judah, Noah, and Elijah.View all posts by John