New Year: Be a Marriage Keeper – Marriage Message #233
Well, here we are at the beginning of another new year. Are you excited for the possibility to have 365 brand new unspoiled days ahead of you? We are! We’ve had a lot of things happen in the ministry of Marriage missions, for which we’re praising God.
We experienced phenomenal growth and received so many letters from those who are giving God the glory for their changed and restored marriages. For the ministry of Marriage Missions, last year was truly a year of God’s Uncommon Favor!
But we’ve had a lot of difficulties in our personal lives too that has left us looking back, glad to see the past year end and are praying for a new year —a new beginning! What about you? Are you looking for a new beginning this year?
For many years in our marriage Cindy and I would pass from one year to the next without really taking 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.
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. What has been so exciting for us has been hearing your stories this year of how the “light” came on for you and the difference it’s making in your marriages too.
So, as we enter into this New Year let’s focus on what really matters —our commitment to each other, and to growth —even if our partner is resistant to the idea right now. Dr. William Doherty offers, what we believe, is the best perspective for our marriage this year. It comes from his book, Take Back Your Marriage. He wrote:
“Marriage with the long view comes with the conviction that nothing will break us up, that we will fight through whatever obstacles get in our way, that 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 share leadership for maintaining and renewing our marriage, and 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 if sex is no longer good we will find a way to make it good again, 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, but over and over through the course of a lifetime. We cling to it during the dark nights of the soul that come to nearly every marriage, times that when the love is hard to feel but the promise keeps us together.”
Re-read the above paragraphs again and let the power of his words sink in.
Now, if you’re in a marriage that feels like you’re “swamped”, or your goals are out of alignment, or you’re fighting too much, or it feels stale like you can’t go on another day, let alone another year, we’d like to offer 31 time-tested, fool-proof principles that you can apply that can definitely improve your relationship.
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 (1 Peter 1:22)
Day 2: Greet one another with a kiss of love (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 (Romans 12:16)
Day 5: Don’t judge one another (Romans 14:13)
Day 6: Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
Day 7: Teach and admonish one another in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16)
Day 8: Wait for one another [be patient] (1 Corinthians 11:33)
Day 9: Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)
Day 10: Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
Day 11: Be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32)
Day 12: Forgive one another (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 (Ephesians 5:21)
Day 16: Bear with one another (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13)
Day 17: Stimulate love in one another (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Day 18: Offer hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9)
Day 19: Minister gifts to one another (1 Peter 4:10)
Day 20: Be clothed in humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5)
Day 21: Don’t slander one another (James 4:11)
Day 22: Don’t grumble against one another (James 5:9)
Day 23: Confess your sins to one another (James 5:16)
Day 24: Pray for one another (James 5:16)
Day 25: Fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)
Day 26: Don’t be puffed up against one another (1 Corinthians 4:6)
Day 27: Carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
Day 28: Honor one another (Romans 12:10)
Day 29: Prefer one another (Romans 12:10)
Day 30: Comfort one another (2 Corinthians 1:4)
Day 31: GOD’S PROMISE: But if we love one another, God lives in us (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