If the only goal for your marriage is to achieve some form of happiness, then you are missing out on the amazing things God has planned for you and your spouse.
Marriage is a truly beautiful thing. Two becoming one joined together by God. It’s easy to lose sight of this powerful truth. We need to remember that we are no longer individuals, but one flesh and our actions and goals should represent that.
Here are 7 powerful goals for your marriage and the overarching theme of these goals is “focus”. This world is full of distractions looking to steal your focus, but when we have set goals we can direct our focus. If we can focus first on Christ and second on our marriage, our relationship with our spouse will flourishlike never before!
1. Focus On Companionship
I wanted to start this list off with companionship because this is the root of all relationships. We need to spend quality time together if we want our relationships to flourish.
As a couple, we should be setting aside time to just be alone and enjoy each others company. God initially made Eve because he saw that it “was not good” that Adam was alone.
When we don’t focus on companionship, separation begins to occur within any relationship. I have so many friends from my past that I thought I would be friends with forever but now I don’t even speak to. Not because anything negative occurred within the relationship, but merely because we didn’t remain focused on companionship and taking time to keep in touch.
When we focus on companionship and spending quality time with each other, we allow ourselves to stay close and committed to a healthy intimate relationship. This focus can be easily maintained by setting up a date night at least once a month. Even if this is just a private dinner for two in your own home!
2. Focus On Communication
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
This scripture can radically change the way you communicate not only with your spouse but with everyone. This is why a strong focus on Jesus Christcan change every aspect of your life.
It can be hard to hold your tongue and to really listen when conversations began to get heated. We always feel like we need to get the last word or that our spouse is just not listening to our point.
The truth of the matter is, that we are often the ones not listening because we are so focused on trying to convey our position as the correct one. Focusing on trying to “win” an argument with our spouse will always ultimately lead to a loss in some form in the end.
However, if our focus is on glorifying God in all situations, this can change the conversation around quickly. Being slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to become angry is only possible if we care about producing the righteousness God desires.
If we can get to this point in our relationship with Jesus, it can completely change the way we communicate with our spouse and lead to less arguingand more growth within our marriage.
3. Focus On Intimacy
True intimacy goes far beyond the bedroom and it truly begins with intimacy with Jesus Christ. If we examine the world we see that all things that are born are a product of intimacy.
It’s important to realize that this truth also applies to our relationship with our Lord and Savior. What many need in their marriage isn’t to fix the things that are broken but to breath new life into the relationship.
There is only one who is able to create something truly new and that is the author and creator of all things, Jesus Christ. Through intimacy, with Jesus Christ, we can see a new spiritual birth in our marriages.
Remember, that when we were joined together in biblical marriage we become one flesh. We need to work together in all things, this includes our spiritual growth. You may have an awesome relationship with Jesus and the same may be true of your spouse. But what does your marital relationship with Jesus look like?
What I’m trying to say is how much intimate time do you spend together with Jesus with your spouse? How often do you read the word together? How often do you pray together? How often do you serve together?
When you focus on intimacy together with Jesus Christ, you will drastically change the level of intimacy with your spouse. Remember, intimacy goes far beyond the physical realm and truly blooms through a spiritual relationship with Jesus.
4. Focus On Forgiveness
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
True forgiveness can often be a hard thing to do. Not to just tell someone that you forgive them, but to put their transgression behind you and out of mind.
It’s important to remember that we are all going to make mistakes from time to time. Though some mistakes may seem worse than others, there is never any mistake that it’s too extreme to forgive.
When we focus on Christ’s example, how he was willing to lay down his life for us and for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, how could we not show the same love to our spouse?
Remember, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Don’t let that someone be the unity of you and your spouse; forgiveness leads to strength and healing.
5. Focus On Prayer
As a couple, we have an amazing advantage when it comes to praying. We all need to make sure we are setting aside specific times to pray together with our spouses.
Honestly, Leah and I probably don’t spend enough time praying together. Don’t get me wrong, we do pray together from time to time and it is always such anawesome time of intimacy with Jesus.
Every time we do pray together, we see such an amazing response and always seem to get powerful direct answers to those prayers. The effectiveness of these prayers is not just coincidence. Scripture makes this clear in Matthew chapter 18.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20
We should make a decision to pray together daily and be taking advantage of the power of two agreeing and asking God for strength, power, and growth within our marriage.
6. Focus On Giving
Giving is such a massive part of our walk with Jesus Christ. This not only means giving of our money but also of our time, attention, and love.
Maybe you have always been a giving person and maybe you still are. The same could be true for your spouse. The question is how much are you giving as a couple?
When you are filling up on Jesus as a couple, you should allow the overflow of what God is doing in you to pour out into the world around you.
This can be accomplished by volunteering together and teaming up together, using the gifts God has provided to each of you to effectively serve.
The most important thing to remember when giving is to do so out of love, expecting nothing in return. Remember, that God so loved the world that He gavehis one and only son. Out of our love for Him, we need to be willing to give freely.
7. Focus On Ministry
One of the greatest things you can do as a couple is to start a ministry. In the process of creating this ministry, you are able to develop new bonds that you wouldn’t develop through other aspects of your relationship.
To most, the idea of starting a ministry together may seem daunting or overwhelming. But your ministry doesn’t necessarily have to be a massive undertaking. It could be as simple as finding a need in your community and meeting it together.
The greatest thing about deciding to start a ministry is that it allows you to have a more direct focus on serving the Lord.
Before starting Abide and Seek, Leah and I started out by serving in other ways, such as volunteering and serving the local food pantry. These are still things that we do but with Abide and Seek we are spending every day together in the word and focusing on using this ministry to spread the light of Jesus throughout the world and help others grow in their relationship with Jesus.
A ministry is not only a great way to serve together, but it also helps strengthen your relationship and Love for each other as you get to constantly see the gifts of your spouse on display glorifying God.
With the new year here, many of us have probably set different goals for this year. If we want to see real growth and development within our marriage, we should make sure our marriage takes priority on our list of goals.
Above all, remember that setting a goal is all about focus. We talked about focusing on companionship, communications, intimacy, forgiveness, prayer, giving, and ministry. These most definitely do not need to be the same for every marriage. You should use this article as a blueprint or merely as inspiration to come up with your own goals for you and your spouse.
Either way, no matter how things are currently going in your marriage, there are always ways to improve and grow together. When we allow our first focus to be on Jesus and second on our spouse, we allow God to do great things with our marriage!