By Mandy Kelly, Contributing Writer
New Year is a great time for reflection. A time of beginning. God is so much about new beginnings- He speaks of it often in His Word. With the dawning of the New Year, my husband and I have taken a time to reflect on this last year in our personal lives, and in the lives of our family- and more specifically – our marriage. We realized that we make a great team! However, one of our goals for this new year is to encourage one another more. Not just in the day-to-day, but also, in the major areas of our lives.
1) Spiritually- Both of us have made some spiritual goals for the new year. We want to grow deeper with the Lord this year- and every year! We want to spend more time at His feet. We know that by doing this, we will strengthen EVERY OTHER AREA of our lives! We are going to be doing this by giving each other the time and space we need in order to spend that time with the Lord. This may seem contrary to everything that MOST write about – most say to spend MORE time with your spouse. While I feel this to be very important- nothing is more important then your intimacy with Jesus. When your relationship with the Lord is right, your relationships here on Earth have a better shot of being on target as well. This year, we are going to give each other the space in our day to spend the valuable time we need with the Lord. We will help balance the kids while the other studies. We are going to set a date with Jesus, just like we would with each other, and then we are going to not let anything erase it off our calendar. I am going to ask my husband about his time with the Lord, and hope he encourages me in it as well. I know that as we grow closer to Jesus, we will grow closer to one another too.
2)Physically- My body is the temple of God. He dwells inside of me. God has left me on this planet to minister to my family and to the world around me. I can’t do those things to the glory of God without my health. So, I am going to encourage my husband – and he is going to encourage me- in doing the things that are right for the body God gave us. We are going to walk together every night – making time for us as a couple to talk (hopefully, about those quiet times we had in the morning!) and it will get our hearts pumping! We are encouraging one another to go to bed earlier- so that we can get the work outs in. I am buying and making healthier options for us to eat. I want us to be able to serve together as long as the Lord allows- and to do it with all our heart, soul, mind and STRENGTH!
3) Emotionally- The day that Scott and I got married, in the vows I wrote to him, I promised to be his biggest prayer warrior and loudest fan. No matter what he chooses to do this year- grow closer to Jesus, get fit, be a better dad, be a better husband – in ANYTHING – I want to support him. I want to be able to encourage him – so this means being a part of his world. Not just the day to day stuff, but knowing and studying his heart. I want to be the best student of my husbands heart. I want to know what his passions are, and not only encourage him to go after them, but to help him achieve them.
4) Relationaly- Lastly, I want our relationship to be a priority. I don’t put it as the number four position, more of a “save the best last” mindset. I want to encourage my husband to be a godly Husband and Father. I want to be the helpmeet he needs. I want to encourage him in his relationships with our kids- pointing out areas where he can grow and praising areas he is doing well. I want to encourage his relationships with other godly men that sharpen him. I want to allow my husband to be the man that God has created him to be.
There is one thing I don’t want to happen. I don’t wan to lose track of the mission of our marriage. I want to take these goals and work them into our family mission statement- and most of all the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) I am looking forward to encouraging my husband to walk closer to Jesus, and our family, this year.