By Naomi, Contributing Writer
It’s at this time of the year that people want to start fresh. They make resolutions for a better health, to do a better job of fulfilling bucket lists or to be a better person altogether. It’s time to turn over a new leaf and be more productive. I believe this can be applied to marriages as well. New year resolutions directed towards our marriages can encourage strong and loving unions.
My favorite rule for making marriages stronger is to be intentional. Love your spouse on purpose not because you have to. Think of ways you can show them love throughout the year, throughout the week, and throughout the day. Resolution defined: a firm decision to do or not to do something. Make this year the year you will love intentionally because you can. “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Here are some ways you can do that:
Loving Resolutions To Make
1) Say “I Love You” every day
My husband and I make it a part of our day every day. Those three little words mean more each time we say them. We don’t just say them to say we did, we mean them.
2) Plan date nights
Okay…make a schedule for the whole year of how you will purposely be together…alone!!! Yes, maybe schedule every Friday night or maybe every other Sunday evening or even once a month but be intentional in doing this. My husband and I try to do something at least every other week or once a month. Its important to our marriage that we do this. It doesn’t have to be a fancy evening however it should be a time you are with your spouse exclusively.
3) Do unexpected acts of love
This is an easy one and truly makes an impression on the one you love. A hand written poem, a card, a love letter, or a small gift are ways you can do this. Maybe send a sweet text during their day or their favorite treat prepared just for them can do wonders in making someone feel loved.
Yes, kiss your spouse daily. If you did it once a day, that’s 365 kisses in a year. Imagine if you did more than that?? Wow! Kissing shows love, tender affection and appreciation as well as desire. Bless your spouse with many kisses throughout the year.
5) Pray and read the Bible together
This one takes intentional commitment. Why do we find it hard to do this in a marriage? Or why do we slack on it as the year goes on? We need to make this a priority in our marriages. On a date night, search the internet or go to a Bible book store and find a study/devotional you and your spouse can work through together this year. Also, make it a daily ritual to pray for one another as well as with one another.
6) Be interested in your spouse’s day
Make it a point at the end of the day to ask the one you love how their day went. Most importantly, be a good listener. Really pay attention. You will be amazed at how much your spouse needs this especially if it has been a difficult day.
I named just six things you can do but I’m sure you can think of more. Ponder your marriage relationship and decide how you can make it better. Go a step further and write them down in a journal so there is some accountabilility. Let me add one more thought, resolutions also work in the opposite way. Deciding to not do something that is hurting your union is a great resolution for the new year, too. Pray and ask the Lord to show you what need to change in yourself to encourage your marriage for the better. Make 2014 the year you are intentional in growing your marriage unto the glory of God. In keeping your resolutions, remember what it says in Proverbs 4:21, “Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.“