7 New Year’s Resolutions and Tips for Married Couples
It’s the New Year and one of the most important goals every relationship and married couple should strive to do is to have and enjoy an even better year together than they did last year. How do you do that? How do you keep it healthy and happy in the relationship?
Well, there are some things you must keep doing and some things you must keep out. Here are 7 resolutions all of us should strive to keep doing each year.
Keep God first.
Marriage can be one of the most powerful and influential, yet vulnerable, witnesses for Christ and his love for the church. That’s why the devil hates it so much, and he does whatever he can to attack it. For example, I’ve noticed how he will try to plot and scheme against me and Eric on our way to church and have us arguing over the most ridiculous, petty things. He knows if we focus on the problem more, we’ll focus less on the problem solver, but that’s why we have to pray and study together as much as we can. The day I start thinking my marriage is perfect is the day I tell God I don’t need Him, but I understand now more than ever that there is no us without Him.
Keep the egos out of it.
There isn’t enough room for me, my spouse, and an oversized ego. Marriage is about compromise, and it’s not always about me (and vice versa). We can’t make decisions or do certain things without first considering how it will affect each other, our home, and our family. Sometimes, we have to ask ourselves “what can I do to be a better spouse” instead of constantly telling the other person what they can or can’t do to be a better spouse. It’s time to send the selfishness its eviction papers.
Keep it nice, not nasty.
In other words, don’t hit below the belt. As much as you may want to get back at them or make them feel the hurt you felt because of something they may have said or done, it’s never wise to retaliate with hurtful words. One of the simplest ways Eric and I end the most trivial and petty arguments is to ask ourselves, “But did you die?” Basically, did whatever my spouse did or didn’t do, did it in anyway cause me to die? Of course it doesn’t work for every type of disagreement, but it definitely helps lighten the mood, and forces us to move on to the more important things. So, strive to communicate, not humiliate. Remember, there is life and death in the power of the tongue.
Keep social media out of your business.
I shouldn’t be able to tell whether or not you’re having marital issues based on your social media posts or status updates. It’s one thing to be honest and transparent about some things that you’ve overcome or that God has delivered you from, but it’s another thing to put your issues on front street merely to humiliate your spouse. There are plenty of haters out there waiting to see your marriage crumble and fail. Just because they showed up for the wedding doesn’t mean they’ll show up for your marriage. Furthermore, there are people waiting to sneak into your marriage through the cracks so they can have what you have. So, don’t make it easy for them and crack the door open, and don’t give them the satisfaction.
KEEP it healthy and fun, and keep the mess out of it.
Marriage is what you put into it. If both partners strive to fill it with the right kinds of things – love, compassion, communication, romance, intimacy, encouragement, forgiveness, laugher, fun, etc. – then you’ll most likely have a healthy marriage. Strive to do more fun, interesting, or things this year together, and don’t allow messy people to cause unnecessary drama in your marriage. You have to be mindful of who you allow in and around your relationship, and who you go to when seeking help or advice.
KEEP it real.
Nobody’s perfect and no marriage is perfect. All of us have things we need to work on in our marriage, but the last thing we need to do is try and camouflage our issues by running away from or ignoring them. Your spouse will never have a chance to improve or work on themselves if they never know there’s an issue. Eric and I aren’t afraid to have those tough conversations. Plus, I’d rather we have them with each other than with someone else.
Every now and then, we do what we like to call a “check-in.” That’s when we take a moment and say to each other, “Are you good? Are we good? Anything we need to discuss in terms of how you’re feeling or something I did that’s bothering you?” It’s a quick and easy way to determine if it’s time for a counseling session, if we’ve been feeling disconnected or neglected, or if we need to take more time to pray and study the word more to prevent things from spiraling out of control.
KEEP the past where it belongs – in the past.
Trust me, I know it’s hard and it’s something I have to pray about on a consistent basis, but it’s absolutely necessary in order to move forward. That name, that person, that issue, that lie, that fib, that situation, that betrayal – we can’t allow these issues to linger on forever. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s okay to ignore any and everything because there are some issues that may require more help and attention. But if your spouse has apologized and has truly made a change for the better, then it’s time to let it go.
One of of the best ways to move on from the past is to think about God’s grace and mercy, and how He continues to forgive us despite everything we’ve done and continue to do.
Keep fighting for each other.
A marriage that is healthy and happy isn’t free from obstacles; rather, it’s just two people have chosen to fight harder for each other than they do against each other. Eric and I are happily married, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have issues that we have to work through. We have to put as much time and effort, and even more, into our marriage as we did for our wedding. Sometimes, you will have to invest in certain books, counseling, or even invest more time into your relationship.
There is a passage that says, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9). So, that means we have to at least try and put forth an effort to make this thing work as best as possible. Remember, “If God be for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31b). It’s easy to fight when you have a united front and God on your side.
As we dive into this New Year, consider the following: What do you want your marriage to look like? What can you do to be a better spouse? What is something new you want to try or do together this year? When you have a vision together, you’re more focused and more inspired to work harder together instead of against each other. It is my hope and prayer that you and your spouse will experience an abundance of love and a happiness today, tomorrow, this year and forever more.
Have a great resolution for this year? Feel free to comment below and share it!