Setting Marriage Goals
January is an opportunity to establish good habits and ditch bad ones. Many people set dietary, financial, and time management goals. But what about marriage goals? What kind of marriage goals should you set? Let me make a few suggestions.
An easy place to start is with tangible goals. What can you give your spouse or do for them or with them that would communicate your love?
If you know your wife likes flowers, make a point of getting her some—or even one—at least once a month. Make a note in your calendar—not just on her birthday, Mother’s Day, or your anniversary. If you know your husband enjoys your company while he’s watching a game on TV, plan it in to your schedule. Give him the gift of your presence. If you’re looking for more ideas, we email free weekly marriage tips. If you do not already receive them, you can sign up here. We also post regularly to our YouTube channel.
Enjoy Deeper Conversation
Second, set a goal of taking your conversations to a deeper level. Roxann and I regularly discussed household management and children’s needs. Everything was going smoothly so we were satisfied—until we found out there was a much deeper level of marital closeness. Try questions like these:
“You seem so happy today. What is it that has made you come alive?”
“That [frustrating incident] you were telling me about yesterday really seemed to be bothering you. How is your heart doing today?”
“Are you afraid of/concerned about [upcoming event]? Is there anything I can do?
Listen closely. For ideas of other questions to explore, check out the appendices in our book, The Marriage Dance: Moving Together as One.
Pray For Each Other
Third, if you have spotted a sticking point—a recurring problem in your marriage—commit to praying for it this year. Perhaps your over-emphasis on buying things or time spent at work is causing problems. Ask God what He would have you do about it, and listen hard. If your spouse struggles with fear, pray for him or her daily. Watch what happens. How did God provide greater freedom in this area? You might want to write down the changes you see in your spouse as well as the changes you see in yourself.
Pray With Each Other
Fourth, pray with your spouse. Praise and thank God for what He’s done in your lives. Be honest about areas where you are struggling. Ask God to take care of your needs and your family’s needs. Ask Him to work through you.
Finally, it helps to be in a small community or life group where you can share ideas and pray for one another. Our workbook, The Marriage Dance: Practice the Steps, which was written for the express purpose of allowing you to work through the issues and reach for a deeper level of intimacy with your spouse. It is perfect for small groups. This companion workbook is available at on Amazon!
As you enter the new year, we hope you won’t forget to choose some goals for your marriage. Don’t set difficult goals; pick easy ones and repeat them daily or weekly. Wishing you many blessings as you seek to perfect your marriage dance.
This article first appeared on our blog on January, 4, 2017.