When John and I attended our Marriage Encounter weekend, we picked up many tools that have helped us strengthen our marriage. One tool that we use regularly is re-evaluation. Several times each year, we sit down and discuss how we are doing as a couple and what changes might be helpful.
Occasionally, re-evaluation will mean that big shifts need to occur. We realize that God is calling us in a new direction or that we have an important issue that needs attention. Sitting down to re-evaluate at times like this can be a lifesaver. It allows us to make choices together about how we want to handle the situation as a couple.
More often, re-evaluation means making small changes in order to be more deliberate. We may have gotten off track in the way we spend our time or our energy. We may have noticed an unhealthy habit creeping in. We may want to try adding something to our calendar - a new prayer time, a daily walk, having a family movie night. We may want to try subtracting something from our lives -- turning off the TV, giving up meat or junk food, spending less time on a hobby.
Re-evaluation can be about our house, our finances, our time, our kids, romance, fun, prayer, volunteer work, whatever aspects of our life seem a bit out of balance. The key to our discussions about priorities is to always remember that we are on the same side. We are working together to build a stronger marriage and a happy life. Honest communication is important to the process. If John believes that something is out of balance, I listen to him. Then we can work together to find a solution that will please both of us. Sometimes an idea doesn't work, so we try something else. Learning to re-evaluate regularly has helped us become the married couple we really want to be.