Happy New Year!! It’s an opportunity to reflect back on the past year and plan for the New Year without boundaries. For most, resolutions revolve around fitness goals or financial planning but they shouldn’t stop there. Couples should take this time of year to outline what you can do to allow your marriage to flourish!
Here are ten resolution suggestions that can make your marriage stronger this year. 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!
1: Pray together every day
This is first on the list for a reason; it’s absolutely vital to a strong marriage! Consider scheduling a time slot where you automatically pray together. We bring our concerns, stresses, and excitement to God while lying in bed just before falling asleep.
Find a time/method that works for you and stick to it; then watch your faith grow together and your love deepen.
2: Have more experiences together
This is simpler than most realize. Set aside a few weekends and drive someplace where you can escape your typical surroundings – for us it’s the mountains. We love to find inexpensive hotels or places to camp for a night or two. We love to browse antique stores or seek out waterfalls.
The point is to get out and purposefully spend quality time together where laundry, bills, and housework don’t matter.
3: Schedule regular dates
It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Think simple….even if it is just breakfast together once a week. The main point is to have regular time with your best friend where you can just connect and have fun together.
4: Plan and dream together
What are your dreams together? These desires, so long as they don’t become idols, are healthy. Planning and dreaming for the year will energize you immediately, and help you realize your joint dreams eventually.
5: Identify and remove destructive habits
We love Law and Order SUV and home improvement shows. It’s become our sole source of TV entertainment. It’s great because we don’t have to watch commercials, it’s horrible because it can consume hours of our time if unchecked. This usually leads to undisciplined sleeping habits (staying up way too late) which in turn makes quality morning routines hard to build.
One goal we have this year is to get up earlier, which means we need to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Hopefully curbing this destructive habit will allow us more quality time before bed as well as more productive morning routines (devotions, praying together, working out etc).
Other problem areas could include spending habits, eating habits, or even how you communicate (lazy communication causes loads of issues). Identify your problem areas and resolve to do something to fix them; with God’s grace you can see some improvement!
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. Find your ideal time and frequency. 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!
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
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.
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.
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!