Thank God for new beginnings. There’s nothing quite like a clean slate to refresh and renew your energy. January 1 marks a time to celebrate (or mourn) the previous year and set your sights high for the year to come.
New Year’s resolutions are typically aimed at burning off extra holiday “festivity” or cleaning up personal finances.While setting goals in fitness and finance can be constructive, success in either of those areas is in vain if your marriage isn’t thriving. I’d like to challenge you to take some time this New Year to jot down a few goals to make your marriage stronger.
Note: This is the second and final part of a mini series of posts; in case you missed it, here’s the first post.
Feel free to tweak, add, or subtract from this list as needed to make it meaningful to you and your spouse. The main thing is that you’re intentional about building a strong, Christ-centered marriage. Like any goal worth pursuing, building an awesome marriage takes grace, determination, and vision!
6: Be more spontaneous
Yes, it’s slightly ironic to plan for spontaneity…but I think you get my point. Make room this year for unplanned adventures with your spouse. This may include quick excursions together, unplanned date nights, flowers, gifts, love notes, or even practical jokes!
You’re presumably married to your favorite person on Earth! Have fun and live life together – joke, laugh, play, and experience new things! Don’t be afraid of surprising your spouse or being surprised by them.
7: Have more sex
Most couples aren’t having enough sex. Yes, this is a highly subjective and personal topic, but you will know if this applies to your marriage. At the risk of over-sharing, Selena and I have found that having sex 3-4 times per week is ideal. Some weeks it’s a challenge, others it’s super easy.
The important thing is to talk about your sex life openly and identify each others needs and expectations, then make the necessary goals to keep your sex life intimate and healthy. If you’re not comfortable talking about sex with your spouse, it may be time to break the ice and get real! (we will be talking about this much more in future posts)
By communicating openly about your target sex frequency, you can save a great deal of strife that stems from unmet expectations. For example, some weeks when Selena and I are particularly argumentative, we’ve found that the main problem is a simple lack of intimacy.
8: Learn your spouse’s passions; support them fully
Selena loves horses; now I do too. I never imagined a life that included so much equestrian activity but as soon as I married her, our passions merged.
Make it your goal to help your spouse with their passions and dreams. There are countless ways to show your support; pour time and resources (reasonably) into exploring ways to move ahead, write notes of encouragement, or simply pray with them, for them.
Selena’s unbridled support (pun intended…) of my dreams and passions invigorates me like few things in this world. Never underestimate the power of supporting your spouse in their God-given dreams and passions.
9: Admire and encourage your spouse
This one goes hand-in-hand with #8. Make it a goal to express admiration and encouragement to your spouse. Tell them through words, emails, tweets, and notes. Also, and more importantly, SHOW her/him your admiration through your actions.
10: Read a good book together
Reading more is a common New Year’s resolution. This year, read more together! Find a good book or devotional that will help you grow. Read a chapter a week and discuss what you’ve learned during your weekly date (see #3 here).
There are many benefits of reading good books together:
- Grow with God while growing side-by-side
- Grow in agreement and unity on key truths
- Learn more about how your spouse thinks
That concludes our list of resolution ideas for this year. Of course, it’s not meant to be an exhaustive or authoritative list on the subject, but hopefully it helps you think of some resolutions of your own!
The most important thing is that you make a conscious effort to grow your marriage this year!