Ten Questions for Empty Nesters

Ten questions to spur meaningful conversation with your spouse – geared toward empty-nesters (and adpatable to any couple).

ten questions

My blogging friend Paul Byerly, aka The Generous Husband, did a post a few weeks ago called “Ten Questions for Oldyweds”  and challenged fellow CMBA (Christian Marriage Bloggers Association) members to do their own set of ten questions that would fuel meaningful conversations between spouses.

I know from my “New Reader Survey” that I’ve got a lot of long-time married folks who follow my blog. So I decided that I’d put forth 10 conversation starters for those at or near the “empty nest” stage of marriage, when the kids have all moved out and it’s just the two of you at home. Jenni and I have been mostly empty nest since our youngest daughter went to college four years ago, but with her graduation in a few months, it will be official.

So here are my question. Note: Most of these actually work for any stage of marriage!

1. What is one country you would like us to visit together, just you and me?
2. What’s the one thing you need most from me in this stage of our marriage? What would having me meet that need look like?
3. How would you like our sex life to change in the next few years?
4. What hopes or dreams have you put aside for the sake of putting the kids and family first that you would like to breath new life into?
5. Describe what a “perfect day” would be like, once we are able to retire.
6. What is your biggest concern over our future? Is there anything I can do to alleviate your fears?
7. Is there a new hobby you would like to pick up in the next few years?
8. Our bodies naturally change as we get older, so what can we do to keep the fires of sexual intimacy burning?
9. Name a favorite place we have visited that you would like to visit again. What made this a favorite?
10. What are some ways I can encourage you in this season?

It’s easy to let days and weeks (and even months) slip by without meaningful conversation with your spouse. If you don’t like my questions, here are links to other CMBA member posts with tons more great conversation starting questions. Pick a few and bring them on your next date night. (You do have date nights, right? Well, that’s another post.)

Intimacy is all about know each other deeply. Spend some time this week exploring some of these question and deepen your connection.


The Power of Your Paradigm

There is transformational power in the reality that Jesus is our Bridegroom and we are his bride.

What you Believe

You’ve probably heard it said that the marriage relationship reflects the relationship that Christ has with the church. Words to that effect may even have been spoken at your wedding.

That is often where we leave it: a nice idea, a trite metaphor, or an interesting point of comparison.

What if I were to tell you that our bridal identity is actually a vastly rich and beautiful expression of God’s heart for your marriage?

What if I were to tell you that pressing into this Bridal Paradigm, as I and others refer to it, has the power to radically transform your marriage?

There is Power in Your Paradigm

I’ve finally finished revamping and updating my website’s Start Here and About pages (one reason I haven’t been posting recently). In the process of polishing my What I Believe About Marriage pages, my heart has been struck anew by the transformational power of the Bridal Paradigm (Click to read my overview of The Bridal Paradigm.)

What is your marriage paradigm? I would venture to say that many people aren’t totally sure what they believe about marriage, much less what they believe about their own marriage. What’s its purpose? What’s your belief system? What are the guiding principles you live and love by?

These are actually very important questions! They are important because what you believe about your marriage will ultimately lead to how you behave in your marriage. As I often say, “Right thinking leads to right doing.” It’s a powerful principle.

What I Believe

I don’t see marriage beliefs as a salvation issue. Whatever your beliefs about marriage, all who receive Jesus as savior are going to heaven. Yes, egalitarians and complimentarians both can be saved. Even people who selfishly believe that marriage is basically about their own happiness are still going to live eternally, as long as they find salvation in Jesus.

With that said, your marriage beliefs are hugely important and will significantly impact the success of your marriage.

Over time I have developed some pretty strongly held opinions about how I see God’s design for marriage, but I don’t think you need to believe the same way I do. I read a lot about marriage, some of it by those with whom I disagree fervently. I welcome dissenting opinions here on my blog as well, providing we all maintain an attitude of honor and mutual respect.

So what do I actually believe?

Much of what I believe about marriage is based on the Bridal Paradigm, which is most clearly stated here:

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:31-32

I’ve been studying this “profound mystery” that the Apostle Paul is referring to for many years, yet I only feel like I’ve scratched the surface. It’s as vast and unknowable as is the very love of Christ that Paul describes a few chapter earlier. My journey in the Bridal Paradigm, and yours if you choose to pursue it, is a lifelong pursuit.

But rather than trying in vain to summarize my marriage beliefs in a single post, I’ll point you to the pages I’ve just completed for more details.  I encourage you to read what I believe about marriage and use the opportunity to pinpoint what it is you believe.

Although comments are not available on the “About” pages, I’d love for you to leave comments or questions here on this post or send me a message.

If you and your spouse have never had a conversation about your marriage beliefs, or if its been a long time since you have, take some time in the next week to talk it over together. It matters. A lot.