New year! New you! Isn’t that the hope when we make a long list of all the things we want to change in a year? We see it as a fresh start and a chance to become a better, healthier, and more successful you. However so often we get to the end of January and have already failed. As you enter into a new year there is excitement in having the opportunity to set a goal and meet it. The anticipation of what the year might bring and how you want to tackle any challenges may seem thrilling in the beginning. Then as the year goes along that enthusiasm tends to peter out, making it more difficult for you to hold strong to your commitments.
You are not alone in this pattern of New Year resolutions; in fact, less than 8% of people follow through on their resolutions each year. So what if this year, instead of making personal resolutions you make them with your spouse? Having the accountability of your spouse may result in better follow-through and create a stronger and healthier marriage. Making new years resolutions with your spouse doesn’t mean you both make a huge long list of what you’d like to see change, instead, create the goals together starting off small and reasonably.
If you start too grand the pressure may feel too overwhelming, which could hinder rather than strengthen your marriage. Also, be specific, and find measurable ways to achieve your resolutions, instead of vaguely vowing to “show more affection,” vow to hold hands every time you’re in the car together, or touch when you’re both on the couch. It is the specifics that will make it feel more obtainable. Making new years resolutions with your spouse could be fun and might even change the way you interact with one another. So with that said, here are some ideas of what you could try to conquer together this New Year.
Read Bible And Pray Together
This goal may be one you do personally as well as with your spouse. Seeking God together will naturally begin to transform your marriage and your hearts individually. Going before God together is such a vulnerable thing that your bond and trust for one another will deepen. However, reading the Bible together doesn’t necessarily mean you read multiple chapters while switching off reading aloud. It could mean that you find a couple’s devotional to do together. Maybe you simply read and discuss the verse of the day on the Bible “You Version” App, which also has many wonderful quick devotionals. This could also consist of you both reading the same Bible plan separately and making a set time to discuss it. Growing together in God’s word may look different for each couple. What is important is not how you accomplish it but simply that you make it a priority. Being full of God’s truth will benefit your marriage.
Be intentional in praying together! Prayer helps your mind and heart remain centered on Jesus. Prayer will connect you both at a spiritual level resulting in a greater bond and intimacy. As you draw closer to God you will end up drawing nearer to one another. Praying together doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be in the morning before you both walk out the door or while lying in bed before you go to sleep. You can resolve to both pray each time or you can switch off each day. Spending time pursuing Jesus together will transform your marriage in ways you may not have anticipated.
Show Appreciation To One Another Daily
Resolve to say five positive words for every negative word that exits your mouth. Choose to think more positively towards each other by speaking life and encouragement. Focus on what you’re thankful for in your spouse and be intentional to share it. Even make this a game, or better yet, a routine. Every evening at dinner practice sharing something you appreciate about him or her and vice versa. It can be specific to that day or week or more general like an admiration. This will help you be mindful throughout the day to be thankful and appreciative of your spouse. As you think of your spouse don’t let it only happen at dinner but rather send an encouraging text message during the day. Learn what your spouse’s love language is so that you can show them love and appreciation in a way that they will best understand.
Flirt. Seduce. Make intimacy a Priority
Sexual intimacy is vital in a marriage. In fact, 1 Corinthians 7:5 warns against not making it a priority. Paul says it this way, “ Do not deprive each other of sexual relations unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer.” He then expresses the importance of coming together so Satan won’t be able to tempt you. So with that said, set a sex goal, whether that is once, twice, or three times a week, no matter that number make it a priority. Refrain from making excuses, like “I’m too tired,”, especially multiple times a week. Being connected with your spouse on a regular base will strengthen your bond and love for one another. And really, even if you don’t feel like you are in the mood right away, often it’ll change as you get into it and allow yourself to truly feel every sensation. Maybe even change it up, from position to location. Spice it up!
Schedule Quality Time
Life will always be busy and there will always be something to do but don’t let the chaos of life get in the way of spending quality time with your spouse. Plan a weekly or bi-weekly date night, whether you stay in or go out, make it happen. Make this time all about connecting with your spouse by having a meaningful conversations. Put phones away and keep your focus on your spouse, be in the moment. These moments together could range from going out to dinner, and learning something new together, like dancing, to popping some popcorn and stargazing in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Simple is good too as long as the time is quality.
This is not an exhaustive list but it is a start. If you choose even just one of these options your marriage will thank you for it. The key is to stick with it! If you miss a day or a week, give yourself grace and start again. Don’t give up! Resolve to make this New Year the best one yet for your marriage.