The only helpful thing about New Year’s resolutions is that they get you to focus on what you can do. By themselves, resolutions do nothing. But if they spur you to action, especially when it comes to your marriage, things can change. Call them resolutions or goals or choices, and regardless of where you are today, doing these things will revolutionize your relationship in 2021.
These resolutions are written as though you are saying them to your spouse. You might actually want to prayerfully read these over, adjust where needed to make it personal, and actually speak them out loud to your husband or wife.
You won’t follow through on these things perfectly. But focusing on your actions and keeping God at the center of your marriage will assure that your relationship grows healthier and stronger this year.
Come “Batteries Included”
I will bring my best self to our marriage. I will bring my own physical, emotional, and spiritual fuel to our relationship instead of expecting you to provide that for us. I will take care of my own physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing not for my benefit primarily, but so that I have the internal “stuff” necessary to show up as my best.
I know God is not finished with me yet. So where there are things in me that are a drain on our relationship or on you, I will work with God to continue to change me regardless of how difficult that may be.
Be the Spouse You Need
God entrusted me with a special responsibility when He gave me you. Rather than seeing our marriage as something for me, I will seek to be the spouse God needs me to be to you. I won’t do that perfectly, but it’s the focus I will keep coming back to. I cannot fulfill every need you have; that’s not what God asks me to do. But I will see my primary responsibility as loving you well, and I will keep growing in that direction.
Seek Better Vision
I see you, the real you. And I want to see and know you even better. I’m asking God to help me see and understand you and especially your heart in a deeper way. I’m asking Him to help me see you the way He does.
And I will also seek to see the world through your eyes. I want to understand what makes you tick, what fuels you, what worries you, and what makes you soar. I resolve to see you better.
My best efforts fall short. I know there are things about me, and things I say and do, that hurt you and our relationship. Each time I become aware of that, I will apologize quickly. And beyond that, I will seek to understand my own heart and work with God to change me, so that I don’t keep hurting you in those ways. And I will keep doing this as long as I live, because I know God will continue working on me that long.
Deal with the Stuff
We are both human, with many faults. We both come to our marriage with stuff. And life happens, bringing up more stuff. I will no longer ignore the stuff that shows itself. I won’t sweep it under the rug. I will stay engaged with you when there are difficult conversations we need to have, even when it’s hard for me. I will be both honest and kind when I speak.
When conflict happens, I will own my own stuff and deal with it. When there’s stuff about you that grates on me or hurts me I will address it with kindness and grace, knowing I need kindness and grace myself. We will work together to solve problems for the good of our relationship.
I will not hold grudges. I know God is still working in you too, and I will support you in the process He has for you. I will allow you to grow. And I will choose to forgive you even before you ask. Forgiving makes further relationship possible, and that’s what I will continue to work for.
Learn to Listen
I will hear you. When you have something to say I will learn to listen without forming a rebuttal in my mind. I will listen not only for your words, but also for your feelings and your heart behind the words. I will take the time to hear you without being distracted. I will make myself a safe place where you can express yourself and who you are, and where you can become even more of who God created you to be.
You are precious to me! God gave me a priceless gift when He gave me you, and I will cherish you with all that is in me. I will treasure you in my heart. You hold first place for me, second only to God Himself. Therefore I will treat you with respect, tenderness, and love. I know I will fall short in cherishing you as you truly deserve, but I will keep striving to do so.
You will have my time, my attention, my energy, my heart. I will show you this by the way I order my daily schedule and every aspect of my life, and by the way I treat you.
I want to be with you. I will pursue with you the kind of intimacy God invites us into, with nothing between us. I purpose not to hide, and when I do, to promptly address it. I will draw you out, seeking to be the invitation you need, that will make you want to come closer to me too. Together we will work to develop the physical, emotional, and spiritual oneness that is a demonstration of what God wants with His people.
I cannot do this on my own. We cannot do this on our own. I will pray for myself, for God’s strength and transforming grace so that I can fulfill these resolutions to a greater degree than I ever could on my own. And I will pray for you, and with you. I will invite God’s extravagant blessings on you, so that you experience the joy He desires for you. And I will invite God’s presence daily to be at the center of our marriage, that He will keep doing His work in us, between us, and through us.
I love you! And I will keep learning to love you better.
Your Turn: How does thinking this way engage you in being intentional in your marriage? Are you going to verbalize these resolutions to your spouse? Leave a comment below.
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