Imagine the Benefits
What if your staff team (church, school, business, athletic team, etc.) never met for a staff meeting? What if you never heard from one another, didn’t address problems, neglected to plan the calendar, or rehearse the vision?
The result would be predictable: confusion, isolation, tension, and frustration.
It is any wonder that our marriages experience the same problems?
What if you and your spouse took one hour a week, maybe Sunday afternoon, to connect with your calendar and sync up your plans for the week? What if that were the time for deciding which home projects to get done that week and how to spread them out so that you are not discussing when to clean out the garage while lying in bed with the lights out at 11:00 pm?
What if you could talk about that stuff at a weekly marriage staff meeting?
I can image some benefits.
Setting aside time for a marriage staff meeting could provide a greater sense of unity as you plan the calendar together. It is no longer your life and my life — it is our life.
Since part of the marriage staff meeting is calendar planning, there will be no more surprises about evening meetings that will keep one of you out late again when the other expects both to be home. You know what social engagements require both of you to participate so that you don’t throw a last-minute planning wrench into your spouse’s day. Also, with a staff meeting, you are able to look ahead at the week and make sure you plan time for each other and the kids — whether a date night or family board game and movie night.
To-Do List Progress
A marriage staff meeting also provides the opportunity to discuss what needs to get done around the house. Rather than always talking about what is undone, you have a context in which to decided when to get things done. Create a list during the week and bring it to the table on Sunday afternoon. This way you are able to spread out house projects on a doable timeline without feeling like there is no more margin time to rest and just be togehter without having to do a task. With margin time built into the calendar — and a reasonable schedule for completing home projects — all of life is not just about fixing things, making improvements, or feeling behind.
Date Night Gets To Be Date Night
If you do not have a specific time when you have the marriage staff meeting, any free time becomes susceptible to breaking out into a discussion of the problems that are reserved for that special Sunday afternoon time at the kitchen table. Your date night even becomes a potential target, doubling as a staff meeting if you haven’t reserved a specific time to deal with the fix-it and calendar issues. Date night should be an opportunity to listen to each other and just be, without pressure to fix or plan or accomplish a task. With a marriage staff meeting, date night gets to be date night.
What Could a Marriage Staff Meeting Look Like?
Let’s consider some of the practical elements that could make up the structure of a marriage staff meeting. Here are some ideas.
It is Planned and Predictable
It is on the calendar for a specific time and takes place in a comfortable spot in your home or at a coffee shop.
Open with Prayer
Seriously. This is an important moment of connecting and planning. You want the Spirit to lead your home, right? Why not ask him to lead this all-important time together?
If you do this every week (or at least monthly), it reduces the stress of wondering. Talk about your checking account status, savings, and any questions you have about bills. Where have you overspent and why? How about savings, giving, and debt reduction? This is not a moment to blame but to evaluate and make course corrections.
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Discuss “Old Business”
Reflect on the past week. What went well? Where were there problems? How could things have been better? What projects got done and which ones are still open on the books?
Discuss “New Business”
In New Business, you discuss and plan the upcoming calendar, new home projects, car maintenance, the kids' activities, etc. What is coming up and how can we get on the same page to prepare? Who is going to drive whom to what? Here expectations are made clear.
Include the Kids
If you have kids, you may want to bring them into the meeting to participate. If you want, have a marriage meeting first, then open it up to a full family meeting.
Consider Sermon Review, Devotion, and Prayer
This could be a great time to review that Sunday morning sermon or have someone in the family lead a devotion or have one of the kids pray to close the meeting. Or the dad can pray. Or mom.
I suggest doing something fun together after the meeting. Play corn hole. Go for a walk. Watch some funny YouTube videos. Whatever your family enjoys.
Celebrate another week of grace.
There is so more we could say about marriage staff meetings and I’d love to hear any ideas or suggestions you have. Feel free to comment below.