Monday, 30 December 2013

Marriage Resolutions

New Year's for me is more than just celebrating a change in the calendar.  It's a time I look back and evaluate the past year and make preparations and plans for the future.  I don't exactly make resolutions but I do make a point of picking one or two things I will focus on improving.  Long lists of resolutions with specific targets is (for me) trying to take on too much at once and then nothing much happens with any of them.

The two biggest priorities in life (in order) are your relationship with God and your relationship with your spouse.  Those should also be the first areas to evaluate and work on.  Our relationship with God is relativly simple to manage.  Repent of your sins, pray, read the scriptures, worship God in your heart and also by attending church.  You can count on God to do his part perfectly in that relationship.

Our relationship with our spouse is often a far more complex thing, since both you and your spouse are imperfect people, each with your own set of needs, beliefs, expectations, weaknesses, inhibitions, fears and prejudices.  We can all probably make long lists of things that our spouse could do to make our marriage better, but we need to focus on ourselves.

What are you going to do to make your marriage better this year?  What change can you make that will strengthen your emotional connection, improve your mutual sexual fulfillment, reduce conflict, and increase both of your happiness?  Consider making a commitment to improve in one of these areas:

You can't achieve real emotional intimacy in a marriage without also having real emotional vulnerability.  That also opens the door for some deep hurts to happen, either through carelessness or personal weakness. Chances are nobody in life will hurt you as deeply as your spouse does at some point, and forgiveness is a must for any lasting marriage.

If there is some hurt you are still holding against your spouse, resolve to get rid of it.  It is a choice to let go of anger and any desire to get them back or make them pay for what they did.  Sometimes that can be hard to do, especially if they do not show a repentant spirit about it.  Remember that Christ already paid for what they did, and his atonement was not just so we can be forgiven of sins, but also so that our hearts can be healed from the pain caused by sin.

The other side of the coin from what I said above is that at some point you have probably hurt your spouse more deeply than any other person they know.  While forgiveness is something that should be freely given, forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.  To reconcile a relationship harmed by wrongdoing requires the offender to follow the steps of repentance.

Are you aware of how you have hurt your spouse, do you recognize that what you did was wrong?  Does your regret match the magnitude of the hurt you caused?  Is  your spouse aware of your regret and have you made a full confession to them and asked for their forgiveness?  What have you done to make restitution for it or to heal the hurt you caused?

Little acts of service can mean a lot.  Something as simple as bringing them a cold drink when working out in the yard or garden, or going the extra mile for their comfort, pleasure or convenience.  You can only do this by taking your eyes off yourself and focusing on your spouse so you can anticipate their wants and needs and act on that before they can, or before they ask.

Personal Improvement
How can you change to improve your marriage?  Can you get better at speaking your spouse's Love Language?  Is there something you could change to provide greater sexual fulfillment for your spouse, like overcoming an inhibition, or adding more variety and fun into that area of your relationship?  Is there selfishness, pride or other personality traits that keeps your marriage from being all it could be?  Are there things you could do to improve your health or spirituality?

Stop and think of all the things your spouse has done and is doing for you. Have you expressed your gratitude to them for any of that so they feel appreciated?  Gratitude can be expressed in a variety of ways: verbally, written, by an act of service, or even in sexual ways.

Wouldn't it be great to look back a year from now and see that your marriage has become even better?  The path to that starts today with a decision from you on what you will focus on improving.  Make a decision, and make it real by posting below what you intend to work on for 2014.

Have a happy New Year's and all the best for 2014.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to work on my physical health and lose some weight.