This resource is an excerpt from section three of the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Communication” seminar. The 270 conversations are divided into 10 sub-categories.
When you finish reading this article you should never again be able to say, “What is there for us to talk about?” In this section, we will discuss ten types of day-to-day conversations. Here is a PDF document with 270 conversation prompts organized under the ten headings described below.
Daily Review Topics
In marriage it is important to know what is going on in the life of your spouse, not as a parent, spectator, or news reporter, but as a prayer partner, encourager, and friend. Showing interest in the incremental changes of your spouse’s life is a way to show your love. Otherwise trivial things are significant because they are happening in the life of someone important to you. The perpetual honor-of-interest is a great way to affirm your spouse and counter the drift-of-indifference that erodes many marriages.
There is a level of intimacy that comes from considering challenging, personal questions together. One measure of closeness is the kinds of questions you’re willing to engage with another person. Your spouse should be the person with whom you have the most and best conversations. This is a way to make sure that nobody else becomes more of an “insider” in your life than your spouse. Conversations like these are how you get to the point that the person who knows you best loves you most.
Married couples should flirt and have intimate conversations. You stoke the fire of your interest about anything (i.e., job, hobby, sports, faith, politics, etc.) by talking about it with those who share your passion. Why would we not do the same for our marriage with our spouse? Often when we talk about other interests, we are not learning new information; we are merely rehearsing what we enjoy again (often in the same words we’ve used many times). Why would we be hesitant to do this with our marriages? Too often we only rehearse our disappointments. Use these questions to spark many conversations where you rehearse the delights of our marriage with your spouse.
Thinking about and preparing for a shared future is a way that we demonstrate commitment. Too often the word “planning” is heard with a sterile, business meeting connotation. Think about how someone plans for a vacation, business venture, retirement, or having children. While there are details involved, the overarching tone is excitement for what is ahead. Marital planning conversations should have a similar feel.
Enhancing something is a form of love. Men who love their cars are constantly tinkering with them. Women who love their homes are perpetually updating the decorations. The fact that they find something to improve is not an indication that they are dissatisfied with their car or home; actually, it reveals they delight in them. Similarly, if we love our spouse and marriage, we will engage in conversations about how to steward this God’s blessing.
Confession of sin, weakness, and shortcomings is a way we display how much we value our spouse and marriage. When we confess, we show that we value our spouse and marriage more than our pride. When faced with a choice of whether to defend ourselves or honor the marriage, confession proves we choose the latter. The gospel reminds us that every marriage is comprised of two sinners in need of grace. Confession is how we display that we believe this reality.
Personal Interest Topics
What do you enjoy simply because your spouse enjoys it? What do you know a good deal about merely because it is important to your spouse? The longer we are married the longer these lists should become. A couple doesn’t have to enjoy the same things in order to enjoy one another – this is a destructive myth. When we are selfless enough to show interest in the things that intrigue each other, our marriages will always be rich and our conversations full.When we are selfless enough to show interest in the things that intrigue each other, our marriages will always be rich and our conversations full. Click To Tweet
Spiritual Growth Topics
A gospel-centered marriage has one ultimate purpose: Christlikeness. Both husband and wife are striving to be more like Christ in order to find personal satisfaction, bless one another, and reach the world. If that is the shared mission of husband and wife, then there is plenty to talk about. If both husband and wife are willingly pursuing Christ and realize that we are changed by grace, then these are safe conversations.
We were created to live in community. Our spouse should be our best friend, but not our only friend. We should have friends who are mentoring us, friends we are mentoring, friends we just “do life with,” and friends we are seeking to win for Christ. There are sides of your spouse’s character that you will only get to see and enjoy when he/she interacts with people who are different from you.
Random conversations can be fun, light-hearted ways to enjoy your spouse. Enjoy chasing rabbits together. As with all the other categories, be creative and add to the list. These lists are not meant to be exhaustive (or exhausting), but merely to get you thinking about the possibilities.Wonder what you and your spouse are supposed to talk about for life time? Here you go. Click To Tweet
From What? to How?
The natural question changes from “What is there to talk about?” to “How are we going to have all these conversations?”
One approach is to put your favorite conversations from this list (along with your preferred additions) on slips of paper into an empty tissue box and have a raffle whenever there is a free moment for conversation. This brings a playful element to these conversations which is important (we continue to do things that are fun). In this version you can also add slips of paper with compliments and words of encouragement to one another to be drawn out and echoed during these conversation times.
As a note for the less talkative spouse… you can cheat! Draw a slip from the box in the morning as you get ready for your day. Put it in your pocket and think about it when you reach into your pocket throughout the day. I promise your spouse won’t mind if you get a 12 hour head start on having something to discuss at the end of the day.
Here is a PDF document with 270 conversation prompts organized under the ten headings described above.