This last fall my hubby and I’s small group completed a marriage study with a retired pastor and his wife. It was a wonderful time of renewal, awakening, and marriage building. I won’t lie. There were times of real stress as it brought some marriage challenges to the forefront, but it did help Goose and I to understand each other better, for which I am very thankful. One of the biggest takeaways I gathered from the entire series, I want to share with you today in hopes that it will help build your marriage also. It involves 3 numbers that can transform your date nights for the better, if you will let them. I won’t say these numbers will be easy to ask or discuss, but the results can have an amazing impact on your marriage.
What are the three numbers?
Well, before I share that I need to share a little background. Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, two well-known Christian marriage speakers, like to describe the romantic side of love as a triangle. On one side there is passion. Passion in marriage involves intense physical affection. Some consider it the biological function of marriage. If left alone, this side of marriage becomes self-centered, focusing only on the “I wants” instead of the “I gives.”
On the second side of the romantic triangle, there is intimacy. Intimacy adds an emotional level to the marriage. It involved a deep feeling of being known, accepted, and treasured for who you are as a person. It involves communication. If left alone, marriage can start to feel like a roommate type of relationship instead of a romantic relationship.
The last side of the triangle, is the bottom side or the base of the triangle–commitment. Commitment involves the will. As my brother used to say, “Love is a choice. It is not a feeling.” This aspect of love is others focused. What can you do for the person you love? What is best for them?
All three parts of the romantic triangle are essential for love to flourish. Without all three sides, love will slowly dwindle and die.
Now that you understand the three sides of this triangle, you are ready to take your spouse on a PIC date.
A PIC Date
A PIC date you ask? Yes, a PIC date. PIC stands for the three sides of the triangle mentioned above–Passion, Intimacy, and Commitment.
Choose your date destination–the coffee shop, a restaurant, or even the back porch swing. At some point during the date, have you and your spouse take out a napkin or piece of paper and write down…
Beside each letter write a number between 1 and 10 to signify where you view your relationship with your spouse AT THAT MOMENT with one being desperate and 10 being completely satisfied.
How would you rate your passion level? Your intimacy level? Your commitment level? Write it down.
Now comes the challenge–exchange PIC papers.
This next part is crucial to the success of your PIC date. After you take some time to mentally digest the numbers your spouse used, invite your spouse to respond to the following questions:
- Why did you write the numbers you did?
- What can I do to help raise those numbers?
After your spouse shares, then it will be your turn to do the same.
Keys to Success
Having a PIC date is a very vulnerable event. It is vital that you approach this date with caution. Here’s a few tips to help make it a success.
- Avoid the blame game. Your spouse is being vulnerable.
- Listen to their response. Avoid getting defensive. This is their chance to talk. You will get yours when it is your turn to talk about your numbers.
- Use the phrase “help me understand.”
- Use the phrase, “what can I do to help?”
- Use the phrase, “I feel like….”
These 3 phrases and a good dose of listening can definitely help you both understand each other better and ultimately help to take your marriage to the next level. While I really don’t like PIC dates, I do love the results that follow when we have one. It provides a proactive approach to our marriage instead of a reactive approach. It has also helped us to avoid many arguments down the road.