This post originally appeared on the Fierce Marriage blog.
This is my favorite time of year: the time between Christmas and New Year’s day. It’s a perfect blend of the rest of and reassurance of Advent and the anticipation of a new start. We can reflect on the past year and be refreshed as we prepare for the next.
It’s a time to feel ambitious. Some start new diets or exercise regimes, others make career and financial goals. In all cases, we commit to change – to do new things in the name of self betterment and life improvement. We resolve to be different.
This year, we’d like to encourage you to make goals for one of the the most important aspects of your life: your marriage. This concept may not be intuitive, so I hope to provide some ideas and encouragement to help you and your spouse make the next year the best year in your marriage so far!
10 New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Marriage
Here are 5 things to do more, and 5 to do less:
1: More Bible Reading
This is first for a reason. Nothing will transform you like immersing yourselves in God’s Word. The more you read, the greater your appetite and the more you’re filled with truth.
If you rely solely on your pastor and others to tell you what the Bible says, you’re missing out in a massive way. Make time, dig in, read the Bible for yourself, and watch as God renews your mind. It will have an unprecedented effect on your marriage.
Bible: We recommend the ESV translation because the translators went to great lengths to preserve the original intent of each word and phrase – even more so than other versions. More info here.
Reading Plan: The Bible App as many good plans available for all smart phones. I’ve been working through the ESV Study Bible plan (1-year, whole bible), and have found it well formed and relatively easy to keep up with (about 20-40 mins/day of reading, and I’m a slow reader).
Journal: Writing down God’s Word and the lessons He’s teaching us is transforming. Also, looking back through journals can be powerful for many reasons.
2: More Prayer
Pray alone, pray with your spouse, be intentional. Set aside time to pray in a focused way, and keep yourself in an attitude of prayer throughout the day. Nothing replaces prayer… nothing.
3: More Encouragement
Make it a goal this year to intentionally encourage each other. Set reminders to help you remember, then watch the habit of encouragement take over. Some ideas:
a. Send an encouraging text message on a daily basis.
b. Send a letter in the mail … to your own house, addressed to your spouse.
c. Give each other gifts just because.
d. Learn to speak your spouse’s love language.
Encourage your spouse with purpose, and watch how the encouragement multiplies in your home: