By Robin May
Did you know God created marriage? I know that sounds like a ridiculous question, but that’s my slightly sarcastic way of pointing out that, yes, God created marriage. And He has given us a plan, a strategy, a process that we can follow to strengthen our marriages. But in order to receive the benefits of that plan, we must surrender our marriage to Him. Surrender your opinions, your frustrations, and your concerns…all of it, to Him and then trust Him to direct you and your spouses’ path.
How did you first know that your spouse was into you? I can hopefully safely assume there was some type of flirtation that clued you in! Well, why do we stop flirting after we say “I Do”? This year make a commitment to say and do things that will let your spouse know you are still all the way into them (oh. And if you are not…flirt anyway. Your feelings just might catch up to your actions).
This year you and your spouse need to speak some things out loud that you want to see happen in your lives. Speak prosperity, opportunity, healing, faithfulness, etc! Something happens when we get on one accord and speak boldly what we want to see come to pass!
Goals without a plan will end up as just another good idea. Remember I encouraged you to declare some things this year, but you should follow those declarations with a plan of action. Take some time to identify exactly what you want to see happen this year and build a plan (strategy) for making your families goals a reality.
Often we say we don’t have time to date because we are so busy with everything else. But here is a word of caution: Whatever you neglect, will eventually wither away. Your marriage can not survive living on the back-burner of your life (Ooh! Click HERE to tweet that!). Take time to invest in your romance.
Sometimes you just need to get away! And that means sometimes you and your spouse need to get away together, and then other times you need to give each other space alone. Now, before someone emails me, what that alone time looks like for each couple is unique to their relationship. But there is nothing wrong with a woman having girlfriend time or man playing ball with his boys!
This year, make a commitment that you and your spouse will intentionally laugh together about the most random or silliest things you can find. Laughter really is good for the soul and besides, sometimes we take life way too seriously. Here’s to regular moments when you and your spouse laugh until you cry!
Life can suffocate your ability to dream, but it’s up to you to push through and dream anyway! When you and your spouse maintain dreams for your family, it will keep you motivated and help you maintain your intimacy!
Of course living life with someone will bring with it moments of frustration and irritation. And that’s stating it mildly. But a wise couple knows there are some things you must choose to ignore! Stop making an issue out of everything! In 2016, make it a point to choose your battles wisely!
I know you scrolled through this list, looking for the number that said “SEX”! Well, I want you to do more than have sex this year. I want you to commit to making love, and that often starts with the intimate act of kissing. So yes….make sure your kissing leads to sex. At least most of the time.
This is two-fold. Part one? Remember that stuff happens. Stop getting thrown off because challenges arise within your marriage, with the kids, with your bills, with your extended family, with work and on and on. Again, stuff happens. So instead of getting thrown off about what has happened, remember #4 and develop a strategy to deal with the situation! Part two? Try anticipating your spouse’s needs this year! Try and do those special things before they ask! Your concern for them will impact your connection in a major way.
Did grow up hearing “treat others the way you want to be treated”? I know I did and honestly that is a valuable lesson in marriage. I once read a quote that said “A successful marriage is comprised of two masterful forgivers”. And trust me, if reading this is triggering some type of uncomfortable emotion for you, that my mean this is the tip that you really want to focus on! Forgiveness may be the key to unlock what you are looking for in your relationship. (Click HERE to tweet that!)
If we are not careful our marriage can begin to look like two ships passing in the night. Do not allow this to be what happens to your relationship. Think about what makes you and your spouse feel the most connected, and then intentionally incorporate those moments into this year! Try and invest in your marriage at every opportunity so that you can stay connected.
Every year we should take a moment to reflect on what worked in the previous year and what didn’t work. Well, it’s important to do that with your family as well. Identify anything that hindered your family from operating at its peak, and then release those things for 2016. Maybe you and your spouse were overbooked, or maybe you didn’t budget as effectively, or maybe there are some friendships that impacted your marriage in a negative way. Don’t be afraid of letting go of anything that holds you back!
I don’t know who told us that we have to hold in all of our frustrations. Sure, as the Bible says, a wise (wo)man knows when to hold back, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times that you need to let it out. You and your spouse should create strategic moments of time, where you can vent your frustrations about your personal concerns. You may want to vent about work, the kids or your weight! Sometimes just getting it out, with your life partner, truly helps!
When you value something greatly you protect it. Your marriage should be no different. This year, make sure that you protect your spouse and your relationship from any forces that will try to impact it negatively. Remember you and your spouse are one, so if it hurts them, it should hurt you. Be unrelenting and unapologetic in your commitment to stand guard for your relationship.