Lots of people make resolutions. What if you decided that you would make a resolution for your marriage? I can say with great confidence that if you will implement any one of these suggestions, 2015 will bring you two closer together. Here are some considerations:
1. Commit to daily Heart talk. We recommend that sometime during your day, you set aside 20 minutes to connect with each other on a heart level. This is not the time to talk about kids, finances, or job issues. Talk with each other about how you are feeling. What was significant about your day? What had you feeling low today? How can I make life a little brighter for you right now? Talk to each other on a feeling level. Understand what is going on with your partner.
2. Implement a Weekly Date Night. When is the last time the two of you had a real date? I’m not talking about picking up burgers on the way home from work and eating them in front of the TV. Set aside two hours a week to get away over a meal, enjoy a recreational activity, attend a concert, or simply take a walk in the park. Get an ice cream and go to your favorite spot. One kid-free, technology-free, date a week.
3. Have more sex. In her book Passion Principles, Shannon Ethridge shares the benefits of sex which include: calms anxiety, helps you sleep better, relieves stress, provides intense, guilt-free pleasure, and lights your fire in ways that no other activity can. Yet, we sometimes do not take advantage of the incredible gift God has given us to enjoy. Instead, we let everything else get in the way of this simple pleasure of life.
4. Make a regular spiritual connection with each other. Prayer is God’s divine way of getting us connected to Him. When we pray together, we are creating a unity with each other and a divine connection with God who loves us unconditionally. Reading a devotion together and sharing its content helps us understand the journey our spouse is on with their very personal God. Worship together.
5. Serve together. Find a common interest, and serve together. Volunteer in the community or in your church. Find a place to give yourselves away to someone who is less fortunate than you are. Be grateful together.
6. Budget your finances. Plan an evening to sit down and design a budget that will work for you, and implement it. Most people who follow a budget discover they have more money rather than less, because they are controlling their money instead of their money controlling them. Work together and negotiate a plan you can both be happy about.
6. Invest in your marriage. Plan this year to attend a marriage conference, retreat, or seminar to intentionally invest in your relationship. Couples who are intentional about their marriage experience greater joy in the marriage.
Of course, all of these things contribute to a great marriage. But be realistic. Choose one, and be consistent. Then add another one into your relationship after you’ve mastered the first one. Celebrate your victories. Be confident. Because you are still married, you are doing better than 50% of the population.
Have a fabulous 2015! May God richly bless your marriage that it would be a reflection of His love for His people.
Cindy and David Southworth are marriage and relationship coaches, certified through the American Assn of Christian Counselors and members of the International Christian Coaching Assn. Cindy is a John Maxwell certified speaker, trainer, and coach. They are the owners of Breakwater Coaching.
You can visit their website at www.breakwatercoaching.com