The new year typically brings resolutions, most often regarding weight loss, finances, etc. But what about resolutions that lead to a stronger, healthier marriage? As we walk into 2020, the start of a new year and a new decade, I’d like to offer a few tips for marriage.
1. Love hard; forgive easily. Forgiveness can be a difficult task that takes extreme sacrifice, but the reality is that we often need it daily. Whether it’s a small spat or a big blow-up, we all need to forgive and extend the same grace in our relationships that God gives us. Ephesians 4:2 (NIV) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
2. I love you even when I don’t like you! While you always have love for your spouse, the reality is that there are times when you may not like them or their behavior. Loving your spouse is the easy part, but what do you do when you are having a moment when you don’t like them? Loving our spouses despite their shortcomings is certainly something to strive for. Colossians 3:19 (NIV) Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
3. Make oneness a priority. This is so important that there are four references to it in the Bible. While we typically understand the physical aspects of oneness, it is much more than that. Oneness also speaks to being on the same page; on one accord. When you are walking together as one, it creates an unbreakable bond that no one can penetrate. Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31, Mark 10:8 (NIV) And the two will become one flesh.’[a] So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
4. Leave generational curses in 2019! Break every chain. Change the trajectory for you and the lineage born of you! In order to move forward with your spouse, you must find a way to heal from your brokenness. You have the power to decide what you will allow for your family. You don’t have to bring the bondage of the past into your present or future. 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
5. Forgive yourself! Let go of the past so you all can have a future! We all made mistakes when we were younger. It’s called life. You made decisions then based upon your knowledge, understanding, resources and exposure at the time. As we learn more, know more and mature spiritually, we make different decisions and better choices. Let it go and forgive your younger self for your past mistakes. The best news of all, God already has! Ephesians 1:7 (NIV) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
6. Say what you mean and put it into action! Be a man/woman/spouse of your word. Integrity is everything. Following through on your promises builds trust and yields security in your relationships. Proverbs 20:7 (NIV) The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.
7. Dream together, Plan together, Grow together, and Achieve together! This is extremely important. When you share your goals and dreams and work together, you can achieve your goals. Simply put, you’re better together! Romans 14:19 (NIV) Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.