Here we are at the beginning of another New Year. Are you excited for the possibility (Lord willing) to have 365 brand new unspoiled days ahead of you? We are! We’ve had a lot of difficulties that have left us looking back, glad to see the past year end. (That’s probably true for you too! It’s been a tough year for most of us.)
All the more, we are praying for a new year with a new beginning opening to us! May it be a new year where we build upon the good things we’ve grown in our marriage! And may we build upon the mission of helping others to be marriage keepers.
What about you? Are you looking for a new beginning this year? Or maybe you just want to improve upon what you built in the past year(s).
For many years in our marriage Cindy and I would casually pass from one year to the next. We didn’t take the time to ask the question, “What is it God wants us to do to improve our marriage this year?” We (especially me —Steve) had fallen into complacency.
Plan to Be a Marriage Keeper
We had no plan or goals for our marriage. And while I can’t give you the exact moment in time in our marriage that the “light went on” and we realized how important it is to invest time and energy into our marriage —we can tell you it did. And the payoff has been tremendous! Having that goal in our life has given our marriage a breath of fresh air!
What has been especially exciting for us has been hearing your stories of how the “light” came on for you and the difference it’s making in your marriages too. Thank you to the many of you who have shared your victories with us. And thank you to the many of you who have helped others on the Marriage Missions web site. What a blessing you are to us and so many others!
But we don’t want to stop there. As we enter into this New Year let’s focus on what really matters —our commitment to each other, and to growth (even if your partner is resistant to the idea right now). Who knows what the future can bring with a renewed commitment to Christ and to our marriage?
In trying to help you in this mission, Dr. William Doherty offers, what we believe, is a great perspective for our marriage this year. It comes from his book, Take Back Your Marriage. He wrote:
Recalibrate Our Goals So We WILL Be a Marriage Keeper!
“Marriage with the long view comes with the conviction that nothing will break us up. We will fight through whatever obstacles get in our way. And if the boat gets swamped we will bail it out.
We believe that we will recalibrate our individual goals if they get out of alignment, that we will renovate our marriage if the current version gets stale. We believe that if we fight too much or too poorly we will learn to fight better. (That is our pledged goal.) Plus, we believe that if sex is no longer good we will find a way to make it good again. It will be a goal for both of us. We also believe that we will accept each other’s weaknesses that can’t be fixed, and that we will take care of each other in our old age.
“This kind of commitment is not made just once; it is made over and over through the course of a lifetime. We cling to it during the dark nights that come to nearly every marriage—times that when the love is hard to feel but the promise keeps us together.”
We encourage you to re-read the above paragraphs again and let the power of his words sink in.
But what if you feel disconnected in your marriage?
Now, if you’re in a disconnected marriage, we’d like to offer 31 time-tested, fool-proof principles that you can apply. They most certainly that can improve most relationships. We pray it will improve yours (even if you’re in a good marriage).
If you take just one principle per day and apply it over the 31 days of January you’ll begin to see dramatic changes in yourself and your “long view” of marriage. By the way, the reason we know they’re “fool-proof” is because they’re from the Bible. These are the One Another principles and any time we apply them to our marriage, the outcome can only be good for One Another.
Thirty-One One Another’s:
Day 1: Love one another deeply. (See: 1 Peter 1:22.)
Day 2: Greet one another with a kiss of love. (See:1 Peter 5:14; 1 Corinthians 12:16.)
Day 3: Do not deceive one another. (Leviticus 19:11)
Day 4: Live in harmony with one another. (See: Romans 12:16.)
Day 5: Don’t judge one another. (See: Romans 14:13.)
Day 6: Accept one another. (See: Romans 15:7.)
Day 7: Teach and admonish one another in all wisdom. (See: Colossians 3:16.)
Day 8: Wait for one another [be patient]. (See: 1 Corinthians 11:33.)
Day 9: Care for one another. (1 Corinthians 12:25)
Day 10: Serve one another. (See: Galatians 5:13.)
Day 11: Be kind to one another. (Ephesians 4:32)
Day 12: Forgive one another. (See: Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13.)
Day 13: Be compassionate towards one another. (Ephesians 4:32)
Day 14: Encourage one another. (Hebrews 3:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Day 15: Submit to one another. (See: Ephesians 5:21.)
Additionally Note These Marriage Keeping Principles:
Day 16: Bear with one another. (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13)
Day 17: Stimulate love in one another. (See: Hebrews 10:24-25.)
Day 18: Offer hospitality to one another. (See: 1 Peter 4:9.)
Day 19: Minister gifts to one another (1 Peter 4:10)
Day 20: Be clothed in humility toward one another. (See: 1 Peter 5:5.)
Day 21: Don’t slander one another. (James 4:11)
Day 22: Don’t grumble against one another. (See: James 5:9.)
Day 23: Confess your sins to one another. (James 5:16)
Day 24: Pray for one another. (See: James 5:16.)
Day 25: Fellowship with one another. (1 John 1:7)
Day 26: Don’t be puffed up against one another. (See: 1 Corinthians 4:6.)
Day 27: Carry one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
Also, to Help You be a Marriage Keeper:
Day 28: Honor one another. (See: Romans 12:10.)
Day 29: Prefer one another. (Romans 12:10)
Day 30: Comfort one another. (See: 2 Corinthians 1:4.)
Day 31: GOD’S PROMISE: But if we love one another, God lives in us. (See: 1 John 4:12.)
Well, that’s the best way we can think of starting a new year and becoming a Marriage Keeper, which David Gushee says is “preserving, caring for and honoring marriage.” We believe that as you apply these principles we’ll hear even more stories of the great things God is doing in marriages around the world this year and beyond.
Thanks again for allowing us to be a part of your lives; it is a privilege we don’t take lightly.
Steve and Cindy Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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