Year End Reflections and Marriage Resolutions

Year end Resolutions and Marriage Resolutions - AdobeStock_215641763Each year, as it draws to a close, do you spend time looking back? And beyond those reflections, do you make resolutions to make changes in the New Year? We do. Probably most people do. But here’s something Ellen Goodman says about this—giving it a new twist that we think is a good idea:

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. But maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

Now apply this to our marriages. When it comes to year-end reflections, and then making New Year resolutions, lets not spend too much time focusing on the flaws and failure. Lets look for potential. Sure, we need to spend some time reflecting on that, which we need to change. But as we do so, lets put more of our energy into making positive changes. With God all things are possible. THAT can lead to possibility potential in leaning forward in our marriages.

Reflections and Potential Marriage Resolutions

As you look back during year-end time of reflection, maybe even making new resolutions for your marriage, remember the following now and for the rest of your lives together. First:

“If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it. And then you protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, which causes it to grow more beautiful and precious as time goes by.” (F. Burton Howard)

Look back, but also look down at your left hand. Remember your vows and consider the potential God can help you to build upon from this day forward. Prayerfully consider that:

“The rings you exchanged at the wedding altar do more than just confirm your marital status. Like the rainbow in Noah’s day, like the bread and wine of our Communion table, the ring represents a promise. It’s a visible sign of the vows you took on your wedding day. It’s more than a gem or precious metal. It never stops whispering the vows you shared ‘for as long as we both shall live.'” (Kendrick, gleaned from the book, “The Love Dare Day-by-Day”)

Marriage Resolutions

In your marriage relationship:

“Don’t rest on your laurels. Continue practicing the three T’s: Time together, Talk, and Touch.” (Michelle Weiner Davis) Keep in mind: “the most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate. It is focused attention.” (Rick Warren)

This goes along with Mark Gungor’s marriage advice to pursue your true love—your spouse:

“In the wonderful movie classic, The Princess Bride, the cotton-mouthed, speech-challenged priest talks about ‘true love’ (Or ‘twuuuu wuv’ as he says it!) at the wedding ceremony of Princess Buttercup and Prince Humperdink. He states that true love will follow you forever. While it makes for a great movie line, in reality it is a bunch of nonsense. True love doesn’t follow you like a little puppy that is constantly there. It’s actually more like a greased pig! You have to chase after it and pursue it. You have to run it down and tackle it. And when it gets away, you go after it one more time. You may finally get a hold of it for a while, but then the little rascal can slip away and you have to chase it down again.” (Mark Gungor, from his article, “Love is Like a Greased Pig”)

Serious Marriage Resolutions to Enjoy and Connect

And one way you can do that is to make “serious” resolutions to chase your spouse in fun and flirtatious ways:

“Give your marriage some Vitamin F2 every day. What is Vitamin F2, you ask? Flirt and Fun. We usually get instructions to ‘take’ vitamins. How about giving some every day to the love of your life? Think of marriage like a marathon, it’s long, you will get tired, and you need the water of motivation to keep you going. Laughing together and keeping that spark of flirtatious love alive will add a little joy to every day—even the hard ones.” (Maggie Reyes, from the Happy Wives Club article, “7 Habits of Highly Happy Marriages”)

Make resolutions to yourself and your marriage relationship to look for ways that you can connect with each other:

“Do you feel like sleeping on the couch? Take yourself by the ear and put yourself in that bed. You might sleep on the edge, but at least you’re in the same bed. Feed the connecter, not the separator. Often we march out of marriage or make silly choices because we give ourselves more wriggle room than we should. To have a marriage that lasts a lifetime, we must treat it like we want it to last a lifetime.” (Ngina Otienda from her article, “4 Things You Must Believe For Your Marriage to Flourish”)

Marriage Resolutions to Be Kinder

Are you connecting in love, and kindness?

“The vast majority of marriages could be greatly improved if couples would follow this simple advice: BE NICE. Oddly enough, many people believe that because they are married, they do not have to be nice. It is as if they think that their marriage license is a license to be mean and nasty. Oh, they would never say that. But that is certainly how they act. …They bark, yell, and throw insults at each other. It’s as if they believe a marriage license grants them permission to be however mean they deem necessary.” (Mark Gungor from his article, “Be Nice!)


“Just because you’re married, it doesn’t give you a license to be mean-spirited and disrespectful in the way in which you speak to your spouse. That is true, no matter how he or she speaks to you. As told in God’s word, ‘Put away perversity from your mouth. Keep corrupt talk far from your lips.(Proverbs 4:24) Treat your spouse ‘as unto the Lord’ and you will do well. ‘The tongue has the power of life and death.’” (Proverbs 18:21) (Cindy Wright)


“Think about the word responsibility. …Response. Ability. You have the ability to respond with patience and kindness. The key is to be aware of your triggers and to understand the difference between a perceived attack and an actual one. Let that awareness inform your response ability.” (Gottman Institute)Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.(James 1:19-20)

Taking Love the Extra Mile

Plus, here are two year-end reflection tips that are good ones to carry into the New Year. They make great New Years resolutions to go beyond just being nice. We also have to go the extra mile in showing love—God’s love:

“Remember what love does: Love gently wipes vomit from a loved one’s face. Love trusts God always and looks for goodness over and over in a person you don’t recognize, remembering the person you love. Love educates itself about what your loved one is going through.” (Melody Harrison Hanson)By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.(John 13:35)

And finally… keep in mind:

“Without ever passing out a tract, preaching a sermon, or even saying a word, a Spirit-filled Christian home declares to all who come within reach that God will do for others what He has done for them, if they’ll only give Him a chance.” (Jerry Jenkins)Be imitators of God… and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(Ephesians 5:1)

Look back, look up, and take love to it’s fullest potential. We pray we all do that!

Cindy and Steve Wright


Are you looking to end this year and start the New Year by growing your marriage? We give a lot of 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 so you can invest in their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the “Now Available” picture below to do so:



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