A flourishing marriage requires a certain set of skills, and those skills need to be practiced.

Someone once said, “Marriages are made in heaven, but man is responsible for the maintenance work.”

I’d venture a guess that most of us could use a little maintenance work. I feel that more and more with each decade I leave behind. Maintenance is a good thing. But it is also one of those things we often push aside. Until the garbage disposal breaks. Or the ice maker starts spewing ice or leaking all over the floor. Or we realize that the check engine light on the car is probably something we should have taken a little more seriously. In those moments we realize the importance of keeping things well-maintained.

The same goes for our relationships, but particularly that of marriage. In the midst of newlywed bliss or chasing toddlers or chauffeuring teenagers all over town, we can push aside making time for meaningful conversations, connecting with our spouse’s emotions, or even just having a fun date night.

If any of this strikes a chord with you, it might be time to schedule a Marriage Skills Date Night.

For those of you who have already been through the Marriage Skills class/retreat, these Date Nights are an opportunity to get a quick refresher on a specific skill (e.g., assertiveness, confession and forgiveness, problem-solving) and then to go hang out with your spouse and practice that skill together.

For those of you who haven’t been through the class because you:

1) haven’t had the time

2) have heard that the all-day Marriage Skills retreat involves a lot of crying/sharing of emotions, and you don’t want to touch that with a 10-foot pole

3) or feel a little nervous about signing up for the class with people you don’t know and sharing
details about your marriage…

these Date Nights are a great opportunity to refresh your marriage without making a major commitment to the full Marriage Skills class. You can meet the folks who lead the class, hear them talk about and model a particular skill, connect with couples who have been through the class before and ask questions about what it’s really like. Hopefully, as you take the time to connect with your spouse on a deeper level on these Date Nights, you’ll be more encouraged to participate in the next Skills class. Look for sign-up information in the late summer/early fall on the SVC website. And, if you are hesitant to sign up for the class on your own, it’s always a great idea to ask another couple (or even your small group) to go through the class with you.

Put Friday, April 21 and Friday, May 12, 7 to 8 p.m, on your calendar and come for a refresher and a foretaste of what Marriage Skills is all about.

And for a little marriage communication humor and why we all need a little help...I guarantee you’ll relate!