This past week I was mostly in downtown Baltimore at the NEXT 2009 conference. The conference seemed to be a success. It was a great opportunity to meet up with friends, many I get to see in person only once a year (or less).
But the previous week we had the pleasure of hosting biblical counseling guru David Powlison in Gaithersburg. As you can imagine, the week was filled with rich biblical wisdom and applicable elucidations of biblical truth. I’ve set aside time over the next couple of days to return to my notes and to meditate further on what I learned. I’ll be posting some of these meditations.
One topic Powlison addressed: How to spark substantive conversation with your spouse?
Powlison suggested three categories of questions to ask your husband or wife. Each of these categories can be asked on a daily basis. And each of these categories are simple and broad, but certainly provide helpful reminders. Here are the three:
1. What are your present burdens? The Bible tells us that we are born for trouble (Job 5:7). So what is the trouble? A sin? A responsibility? An issue at work? A particular conflict? What weighs you down? What was your lowlight of this day? These burdens are the “heat of life.”
2. What are your present joys? What were your highlights from the day? These joys are the “dew of blessing.”
3. What is your calling? This could include the mundane tasks, or broader life-purpose questions. What are your duties for this day? What do you need to do? What are your goals for this day? For example, a parent could say, “Today, I don’t want to lose my temper with the kids.” It could be as simple as this.
These three categories are helpful in getting to substantive conversation with your spouse. And Dr. Powlison alluded to, this list can be useful in talking with your children as well. The answers to these three categories of questions will help us better know how to serve and care for those in our lives.