Heather Marshall on September 7th, 2009

WOW, where did the summer go? I thought I’d have so much time for blogging, but… WOW! I completely missed August!

This has been a busier summer than expected, working 3 part-time jobs, trying to stay on top of menu-planning, house cleaning, baby preparation, youth ministry, friends leaving for college, and family visiting on vacation. Oh yeah - and house hunting.

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant, back to work at my full time job at a school (occasionally picking up a few extra hours of work here & there), and wating to hear back from the bank about a house we’re trying to buy (& still looking at other house options in the meantime).  I wouldn’t exactly call this schedule easier, but it’s slightly more predictable than the summer schedule.

I have spent a lot of time reading this summer.  I read Max Lucado’s newest book “Fearless”, as well as some parenting books and fiction books.  Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy was just as riveting the second time around and also painted a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us, His Bride.

Jason and I have also been working on developing the youth ministry at our church.  We have a small group (8-15 teens, depending on the night), making a traditional “worship” time awkward, so we’ve taken a non-traditional approach.  Instead of making the kids stand up and uncomfortably sing karaoke to the songs we play, we take one song (especially one that we sing often on a Sunday morning) and break it apart.  By the time we’re done, the kids know what the song means, and can (hopefully) actually worship God through it, not just sing karaoke. Or stand there, bored.

Last Wednesday, in addition to our time of worship, we took a Spiritual Inventory of our lives.  Each teen was given a survey to fill out - as honestly as they dared.  Their names were included so that we can take those teens and pray for them, disciple them, and gear lessons toward them accordingly.

Well, the other day I was in a BORING meeting at work that had absolutely nothing to do with me and my position at the school, so I tuned out a bit and began to think about how we can take inventory in other areas of our life.  Jason, when telling the kids why we were taking an inventory, explained it this way:

If you managed a retail store, you would have to take an inventory of your supplies. Why? To see what you need to order more of, what just isn’t selling (& see if there’s a reason), what works,  and what doesn’t.

The same thing occurs in our spiritual lives - we need to take stock of what’s lacking, what’s working, what we need to do more of, what needs to change or be purged.

So, this got me thinking…. why don’t we do the same in our marriages? We can take a marital inventory to see what’s working, what isn’t, what needs to change, and what we’re doing great at.

Of course, I won’t ask you to give ME your results (unless you want to!), but I think it would be a great idea to do this inventory either with your husband or a female accountability partner or ladies group, and discuss the results candidly.

So, here it is… The Marriage Inventory: (Remember, it will only work if you’re HONEST!)

1. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), how would you rate communication in your marriage?

- Explain why you chose that number.

2. How many times per week (on average) do you have a meaningful conversation with your husband?

- Do you find that to be too much, too little, or just enough?

3. Are you satisfied with the level of meaningful communication with your husband?

4. What steps can you take to improve that level?

- On a scale of 1 - 10, how willing are you to work on those steps?

- Explain why you chose that number.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), how would you rate physical intimacy in your marriage?

- Explain why you chose that number.

6. How many times per week (on average) do you have a sexual encounter with your husband?

- Do you find that to be too much, too little, or just enough?

7. Are you satisfied with the level of sexual intimacy with your husband?

8. What steps can you take to improve that level?

- On a scale of 1 - 10, how willing are you to work on those steps?

- Explain why you chose that number.

9. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), how would you rate the amount/mindset of selfless serving in your marriage?

- Explain why you chose that number.

10. How many times per week (on average) do you do intentional acts of service for your husband?

- Do you find that to be too much, too little, or just enough?

11. Are you satisfied with the level of selfless serving you give your husband?

12. What steps can you take to improve that level?

- On a scale of 1 - 10, how willing are you to work on those steps?

- Explain why you chose that number.

13. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), how would you rate respect/submission in your marriage?

- Explain why you chose that number.

14. How many times per week (on average) do you blatantly say something respectful or show your respect to your husband?

- Do you find that to be too much, too little, or just enough?

15. Are you satisfied with the level of respect you give your husband?

16. What steps can you take to improve that level?

- On a scale of 1 - 10, how willing are you to work on those steps?

- Explain why you chose that number.

If you scored yourself all 10’s & are completely satisfied with your marriage at this point…. CONGRATULATIONS - but don’t stop striving! Obviously it took work and effort to get to that point, so keep it up, and don’t let that passion die.  Who says the “honeymoon” ever has to end?! :)

On the other hand, don’t feel discouraged if you think you’re doing everything wrong… that’s why we listed steps to our improvement! You might be at the point in your marriage where you don’t even have the desire to work on those steps, and I’m going to tell you - DON’T GIVE UP!! Start praying right now for God to change your heart give you the passion to change your marriage.

Improving our marriage takes work, effort, and discipline - but it’s worth it! You’re going to be with this man for the rest of your life… shouldn’t we strive to make it better and better?

Of course, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…. leave a comment below! I look forward to talking to you!

Keep on Striving,

Heather :)

Related posts:

  1. Beatitudes of a Christian Marriage - Part 1 of 4
  2. Beatitudes of a Christian Marriage - Part 2 of 4
  3. Running is Better With a Partner - in Life AND in Marriage!
  4. A Vow to Cherish
  5. The Effect of Pride on Marriage

4 Responses to “The Marriage Inventory”

  1. Heather,

    You have such a heart for Jesus. I accidentally found your story and then the rest of your blog. I’d love to have someone like you for a mentor. Is there another way to contact you, like e-mail?

  2. Jennifer, thanks so much! Feel free to email me… heather[at]thestrivingwife[dot]com is my email address. I’m in the midst of some transitions right now (buying a house, having a baby… all coming in November!) but I’d love for you to email me so we can talk more!

    Heather :)

  3. Hello,

    My name is Natalie Ference; I am writing to inquire if you would consider allowing me to publish your courtship story in my book. The book is called Quest for the High Places: Encouragement for the Waiting Heart and it will release Feb 14, 2010. The book is about how to use our single years to grow closer to God and it also talks about courtship, emotional purity and what that really means, and at the back is a section of love stories to encourage the girls that every story is different and begins at a different time. I’d love to include your story. If you allow me to I will give you an ebook of Quest when it releases. You can see another book I wrote on Amazon by searching for “Pearl of Beauty” (published under my maiden name Natalie Nyquist) and more information on our ministry at http://pursuethebeauty.com.

    Thank you for your time,
    Natalie Ference

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