Friday, January 9, 2015


There was an article on the satire website “the Onion” recently, about a (fake) app you could buy for your phone. It would tell you that you ran 5 miles every day, regardless of what you did or didn’t do. It would even knock a few seconds off your time each day, so you could believe you were making strides in fitness and ability!

I read another article on why the vast majority of new year’s resolutions fail. It stated the main reason was because they are nebulous and undefined. “Eat healthier” “exercise more” “procrastinate less” and the like are all well-meaning and sound good, but without being quantifiable they are destined for failure, the good intentions all but sure to be abandoned. It is far too easy to tell yourself you are living up to your goals without doing anything of the sort. That’s the point of the fake app article. In the end, what matters most is action. In James 2:14 it says:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?

Resolutions to make your marriage better are no different. If you tell yourself you and your spouse will “argue less” “go on more dates” or “improve intimacy” without defining specifically what those things mean - TO EACH OF YOU - your chances of ending 2015 with a marriage that is markedly different than how you ended 2014 are slim. All resolutions require action if they are to have a positive impact on your life. Goals require action if they are to be reached, or exceeded. Start out thinking about the big picture, the broad strokes with which you want to repaint your life and your marriage, but don’t stop the conversation there! Continue talking with your spouse about how the two of you want to go about reaching your relationship goals.

Want to go on more dates? Great! Discuss specifics; how often, who is in charge of picking the venue, or arranging the baby sitter? Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo of the ONE Extraordinary Marriage blog alternate planning their monthly date nights. This is a great way for both spouses to feel desired, that they are worth the attention, time and effort of the other, and the responsibility is not always on the same person.

Want to improve intimacy? Who doesn’t! What type of intimacy do you each feel is most important to work on? Financial? Attend a Financial Peace class. There’s one coming up! Spiritual? Pick a devotional that you will do as a couple, and commit to praying for each other - and WITH each other - regularly. Talk about what you want your spouse to pray about for you. Physical? Make time to cuddle more, make it a point to hold hands in public, or even dive in to a 7 day (or longer!) sex challenge. In all areas, a frank conversation with your spouse will show you what areas the two of you need to work on. With that knowledge you can, as James 1:22 charges us:

Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

Any of these big goals can seem daunting, especially if you think you have to come up with all the details on your own; luckily, you don’t! There is so much out there in the way of resources. There are plans to read the bible in a year, devotionals for couples, and numerous great books on how to create a better,  more Godly marriage. Search the web, the library… or ask me. I’ve been gathering information for a while now, and would be glad to share what I’ve found.

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