The first week of January each year Shannon and I go on an extended date night with the purpose of performing the yearly marriage audit.

What is an Audit?

According to Investopedia,  “A typical audit is an objective examination and evaluation of the financial statements of an organization to make sure that the records are a fair and accurate representation of the transactions they claim to represent. It can be done internally by employees of the organization, or externally by an outside firm.”

Why do you need an Audit? 

Companies perform a yearly audit to make sure that the company is financially healthy and to look for any cracks in their internal controls.

One of the ways you inspect your marriage is through a marriage audit.  Before you get too scared this doesn’t have to be done by anyone outside of your marriage, you can do this together.  I know this works as Shannon and I have been practicing this for a couple of decades now.  Wow! I’m getting old.

Healthy Marriages Share Their Thoughts and Feelings

Ultimate fulfillment in marriage requires the sharing of thoughts and ideas without fear of condemnation.  Emotional intimacy includes the sharing of feelings.  Sometimes those feelings will be positive and sometimes they will be negative.

One woman said her husband and I don’t have a marriage, we have a business.  We make money, pay bills, and raise kids. Period.

Verbal communication is essential to truly knowing how your spouse is feeling on the inside.  Marriages are healed when a closed off spouse finally hears and understands what the other has been feeling and experiencing.  Situations can be restored when each begins to connect with each other.

It’s crazy how much I think Shannon should just know what I’m thinking or why I’m feeling a certain way.

Share your thoughts and your feelings, but you don’t have to share EVERYTHING.   In 2 Corinthians 10:5 Paul said that we are to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”   Some thoughts maybe are too evil or raw that they would be better to be taken to God directly.

Below are the 15 questions that Shannon and I ask one another:

  1. On a scale of 1-10, give your overall assessment of our marriage in the past six months.   To be sure, this is a very broad and subjective item, but I have found it helpful to open the conversation with an item of this kind of breadth because it helps to prime the pump.   Obviously, you won’t hit on a ton of specifics with this one—that’s what the rest of the questions are for—but I have been truly amazed at just how much discussion this assessment alone can generate, as various issues come to mind.   From there, we’re off and running.   Follow-up questions if the conversation fails to gain traction initially: What have been the strengths of the past six months?   What would make your assessment higher?
  2. How has the husband’s leadership been over the past six months? The wife’s support?   Follow-up: How can I improve in fulfilling my respective role?
  3. How is your walk with God, both personally and as a couple?
  4. Where do you see ungodliness in my life?
  5. Do I have any unconfessed sin that needs to be shared with my spouse?
  6. Are we guarding meaningful time together?   Prayer?   Conversation?   Date Night?
  7. How is our sex life?
  8. What could I do to make you feel more loved/secure/respected?
  9. How can I serve you better?
  10. What are the issues that we need to anticipate in the upcoming six months?
  11. What’s your greatest personal disappointment and your greatest satisfaction in the last six months?
  12. How can I best pray for you?
  13. What are our major upcoming mutual prayer concerns?
  14. Spend a few moments, in an encouraging fashion, sharing several of the things that each of you loves and appreciates about the other.
  15. Then close, by spending some concerted time in prayer for those concerns you just shared, as well as thanking God for his faithfulness to you as a couple over the past six months.

I’d love to hear from you on your thoughts about the yearly marriage audit.