The new year is in full swing.
All the holiday festivities have ended. Life is getting back to normal, and your marriage is getting back to normal too.
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Is that a good thing?
What would you consider normal for your marriage? Is it the way you want it to be? Does one of these situations sound like yours?
- Some of you are pretty happy with your marriage, but you wish you felt more fulfilled. You feel like there’s not a real connection between the two of you anymore, and you’re not sure how to get it back.
- Some of you are worried that things are going downhill. You’ve prayed, but your relationship continues to slide.
- And some of you feel like your marriage is crashing and burning. You’re looking for a way through the carnage, and you’d like your marriage to be intact when you get out.
All three situations have the same solution. Build your marriage on Biblical principles and make changes based on those principles that will improve your marriage.
But what exactly is a Bible-based marriage? Just claiming to be Christian or going to church is not going to guarantee a long-term, successful marriage. The words “Christian marriage” don’t act like a force field, protecting it from issues that could lead to divorce. You need a game plan to build a stronger marriage.
How can you strengthen your marriage this year? Here’s a game plan that will work for you! Take small steps toward three different goals that will lead to a marriage you can celebrate by new year’s 2021. These three ways to improve are:
- putting God at the center
- a positive marriage mindset
- working together toward a shared vision
I could talk all day about each of these necessary ingredients for marriage, but today let’s start with a quick review of them. Over the next three weeks, we will look at each one more in-depth.
Following God’s Plan
The first step to having a Christian marriage and setting your marriage on a path to success is recognizing that God’s plan is indeed best, and basing all your words and actions around this truth.
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you should recognize that His plan for life is your best chance for fulfillment and happiness. He created you, and he knows everything about you. He understands what is best for humanity.
And God’s game plan for marriage is unmistakable, “one man, one wife–for life!”
In Genesis, God tells us,
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
And even though man turned marriage into something it was never supposed to be, God didn’t change His mind about the design of marriage.
God created marriage for our good. He made it to be a reflection of the relationship Jesus has with His Church. It’s an exclusive, intimate relationship with another person, meeting our need for companionship. Starting by acknowledging God’s wisdom in the plan for marriage will send your relationship in the right direction.
Creating a Positive Mindset
Once you understand what God wants for marriage, accept it, and live by it, it’s time to look at how you are experiencing your marriage each day. How do you think about it? What thoughts run through your mind often that could be tearing your marriage down?
Some people think that believing divorce is not God’s plan means you are dooming yourself to a lifetime of misery. They imagine a life where you won’t be able to escape from the terrible things in your marriage.
Marriage is something you shouldn’t want to escape. Instead, work toward a marriage mindset that is positive and constructive. The way you allow yourself to think about your marriage is essential to making it last. You need a game plan to help you keep your thought life on track.
God calls us to renew our minds, and if you want to have a Christian marriage, that includes a new way of thinking about marriage.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
There are seven areas where living by a positive marriage mindset will help, preference, priorities, permanence, time, optimism, expectations, and decision. We’ll talk more about these mindsets in a few weeks, but you can read more about them here: 7 Mindsets to Strengthen Your Marriage.
Using Teamwork to Reach Goals
Creating a positive marriage mindset strengthens your relationship and allows you to begin seeing the purpose for your marriage.
Do you know why God has brought you together? It’s more than just to fulfill His fundamental purposes for marriage in general. Although that is enough to have a great marriage, one that’s better than most people will experience, you can create a marriage that takes you to another level by creating a vision or mission statement that is specific to your marriage. Doing this will encourage you to grow even more while serving God together.
If you don’t have a vision of what you want for your marriage and what you would like to accomplish as a couple, you will find it challenging to keep your marriage growing. You may end up drifting apart over the years, especially once the kids have left the house. Creating a vision and working together towards common goals can make your marriage even closer and more difficult to tear apart.
Your marriage needs a game plan for future success. We’re in the middle of NFL playoffs right now, and the teams each have a game plan specific to their players’ strengths and weaknesses. A football team’s final goal is the Super Bowl. Your ultimate marriage goal is to help each other grow in your relationships with Christ and get to heaven. That’s a win for both of you! But you don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to win at marriage.
In a few weeks, we’ll look more at creating a vision or mission statement for your marriage, but in the meantime, you can read about goal setting here: How To Set Powerful Goals For Marriage.
Get Started Now
We started Marriage Confetti because we wanted to see couples who love God create the best marriages possible. If you recognize you need help in one of these areas, we’d love to walk with you and encourage you. We’ll give you a personalized strategy, a game plan for your marriage as it were, and provide you with someone you can talk to when things are difficult or when you see success.
Check out our couples mentoring programs on our services page and get the support you need to improve your marriage, no matter where it stands right now.