Tag: new year

Happy Relationship New Year

relationshipnewHappy Valentine’s Day Eve!

This holiday can hold some really high expectations or some really heavy heartbreak, depending on your situation. However, I’m proposing that that Valentine’s Day not be viewed as a commercial holiday, but as a Singleness New Year’s Day or a Marriage New Year’s Day. What does that mean? It means you spend the day in reflection and celebration on what season of life you’re in and you plan to live the rest of the year to the fullest. Try these ideas:

For Single People:
→ Give gifts to all your single friends. Write them a note thanking them for being a great friend this past year. Pray for them and their future spouses.

→ Appreciate your parents and other family members that have encouraged you this year. Thank them for their hard work.

→ Take a look at how you’re spending your singleness. Are you being selfish with your time? Are you letting valuable relationships slip through your fingers? Are you preparing yourself for your future marriage? Make a plan this year to get into serving, re-establish old relationships, and prepare yourself for your future spouse.

→ Write a letter to your future spouse. Save it. Write him/her a letter every year until you meet. (You can do this on other holidays too!)

→ Take a look at your relationship with Christ. Are you living for Him and His Kingdom or simply for yourself? Spend some time in prayer and Bible reading. Plan out time for devotion in the upcoming year. Spend some time with Him in thanksgiving.

For Married People:
→ Admire your spouse. Write him/her a letter of all the things they’ve done this past year that you appreciate. Write down the things you love about him/her. Read the letter aloud.

→ Thank the people in your life that have helped you with your marriage. (Leave them a note or an email– don’t interrupt their day with their spouse!) Tell them how their wisdom helped you.

→ If you have kids, show your kids some love. Make sure they know how much they mean to you. Give them little gifts. Make some crafts with them. Write them letters for them to keep as they grow older.

→ Make quality time with your spouse today. Spend an evening or afternoon in each other’s company. Don’t argue. Don’t complain. Don’t tease. Simply love and adore. (You can do it. I believe in you.)

→ Pray for married friends in hard times. Encourage them.

→ Take a look at your marriage. Gentlemen, do you reflect Christ’s love for the church? Ladies, do you reflect the church’s loving submission to Christ? Read Ephesians 5 and reflect on your own heart.

→ Take a look at your relationship with Christ. Have you put your spouse before Christ as an idol? Have you neglected your time with Him? Spend some time in prayer and Bible reading. Plan out time for devotion in the upcoming year. Spend some time with Him in thanksgiving.

Happy Relationship New Year, everyone!

Once

AgendaEach new year comes with a handful of vague, easily broken resolutions that people do not even remember making by the time June rolls around. Instead of making resolutions to lose weight or resolutions to quit making resolutions, makes goals instead. Make a goal for each day, each week, each month, and each year; goals to improve the quality of life as an individual, and goals to improve your relationship as a couple.

Once a Day

As a Couple: Say a Word of Appreciation
It is surprising how gratifying it is to hear “thank you for dinner” after a long day. Everyone likes acknowledgement of their hard work or accomplishments. Give a grateful remark to your spouse once a day, even if it is just for a small gesture.

As an Individual: Indulge in All 5 Senses
It is easy to take your senses for granted. It usually takes some sort of illness to realize how much you use a specific sense and just how much it enhances every day life. Take time each day to appreciate your senses. Watch the sunset, listen to some moving music, light a great smelling candle, indulge your taste buds with a sweet treat, and keep a soft blanket around to wrap yourself in. Deliberately notice your senses when you use them and enjoy them to the fullest.

Once a Week

As a Couple: Have a Date Night
Scheduled romantic time together is very important for any couple. It allows both parties to step into a mini-vacation from their struggles, conflicts, and rough situations. Make sure to schedule a date night once a week– even if you can only fit it in a couple of hours. All dates should include something fun and relaxing, with no talk about work, kids, or family members. Turn off your cell phones, exclude all third parties, and spend the evening (or morning or afternoon) completely focused on relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

As an Individual: Indulge in a Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to improve your skills and overall enjoyment of life. (And no, television watching or internet surfing are not considered hobbies.) Regularly schedule time to enjoy a hobby that refreshes you, such as dance, martial arts, writing, baking, or fishing. Try a new hobby each month. Remember to invite your friends to join you! Avoid hobbies that isolate you from others; try to find hobbies that encourage socializing.

Once a Month

As a Couple: Give Each Other a Random Gift
A gift is a way of telling someone “I think about you.” Gifts can be anything from a car to a candy bar. Once a month, you should give your sweetheart a token of love and appreciation. Men, pick up flowers on your way home from work or a box of specialty chocolates. (Do not buy anything generic. Make it personal!) Ladies, pick up the DVD your man talked about getting or a specialty food he really likes such as bacon salt or hot sauce. Edible and perishable gifts are a great way to go because they can be used up instead of being put on a shelf and collecting dust. Pay attention to what your sweetheart enjoys and surprise them with it.

As an Individual: Give Time to a Good Cause
There is nothing more miserable than thinking about yourself all the time. Regularly donate your time or resources to a community shelter, food kitchen, or charity event. With hectic work schedules and other responsibilities it may not be easy or profitable to volunteer every week, but at least try for once a month. Do not simply show up at a community service to give yourself a pat on the back for helping out; genuinely pick a service that tugs at your heart. Volunteering really helps others in your community and it gives you a new perspective on your own life.

Once a Year

As a Couple: Take a Vacation Togetheradventure
Take a honeymoon every year. Take your spouse and run away for a weekend (or a full week) each year, rekindling your friendship and intimacy. Block out the outside world as much as possible. Ask a travel guide for help finding romantic getaways– there are usually wonderful honeymoon or romantic packages you can reserve. If you cannot afford to travel, be creative. Find a local honeymoon package for the weekend, or turn your house into a romantic getaway.

As an Individual: Have a Grand Adventure
Do something big. Gather a group of friends and make a cross-country road trip, or fly to another country all together. Do something extreme like water rafting, or sky diving. If you are single, do a short-term or long-term missions trip if you have the opportunity. Do something that requires planning, saving, and preparing. Make it big, adventurous, and memorable.

New Year Ahead

newyear

The new year brings a strange sense of ambition to do things better, bigger, and bolder than the year before. Whether you’re single or married, the new year is a perfect opportunity to make plans to deepen ties and refresh your relationships.

For Singles

Strengthen Relationships
Once you’re in a marriage, you’ll find that you’ll have less time for family and friends. It’s best to work on deepening your relationships now. Patch up broken relationships and build up new ones.

Go to School
Thinking about getting certified or getting a degree? Do it. Although it’s not strange to go to school later in life, it’s guaranteed to be much more difficult. Get educated in things you love or are interested in while you still have the energy to put in the proper focus.

Take Care of Yourself
It’s amazing how a toned body or a new haircut gives you confidence. Throw out your old clothes from middle school that you can “still fit into” and try out something different. Dye or cut your hair, stop eating fast food, and hit the gym every once in a while. Don’t think that because you’re single you have no need to take care of yourself.

Travel
Take advantage of the fact that you only have to pay for one plane ticket. Take road trips with other single friends, do day trips with family members before your parents get too old (and senile), or hit the road solo and take note of great adventures. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet your soulmate on one of your trips. And if not, you’ll have tales of your travels to tell them when you do.

Donate Time and Energy
There are many causes out there looking for activists. Anything from simple church drives to building houses in third world countries. Donating your energy is best at a young age while you’re still single. These activities will have a great impact on your life and the lives around you.

Learn the Basics
There are a lot of basic skills you learn as a single person that carries on into creating a good home after you’re married. It’s best to learn them now instead of having your marriage suffer from a lack of skills. Learn to cook so you and your family eat better. (Not to mention the romantic bonus points you get for making a home-cooked meal.) Learn to organize your time and energy so you are more productive, which turns into more time for other things, such as time with your partner. And lastly, practice financial wisdom to cut out excessive spending and debt, which is a huge cause in broken marriages. Learning these things not only helps your marriage down the line, but it helps you as an individual now.

 

As a Couple

Strengthen Old Relationships
Your relationships with others are still important after marriage, and this is the year to rebuild them. Hold small get-togethers to reconnect with old friends, or call up people you haven’t seen in a month and take them to lunch. Spend a weekend away from your spouse and spend it with friends on a mini-vacation.

Switch Roles
Once you get in the habit of him always mowing the lawn and her always doing the dishes, you start to lose the appreciation you have for each others help around the house. Switch chores for a week. Don’t hassle each other for doing something wrong. The point is to find a renewed appreciation for each other.

Set Aside Time
If you don’t have a date night, create one. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you stop dating each other. Dates and quality time together are how couples connect and create intimacy. Bring the romance back into your marriage by planning dates, vacations, and day trips by yourselves. Make it a rule not to discuss work or kids for the duration of the event.

Revamp Your Body
Working out isn’t only for single people. As a spouse you have a responsibility to satisfy your mate’s sexual needs. Working out and taking care of your body enhances sexual attractiveness and gives you more stamina. Get rid of your old clothes, put a little effort into your grooming, and do what you can to appeal to your spouse.

Do Maintenance
Even if you’re relationship seems smooth, it still needs maintenance just like anything else. Attend seminars,wrench read relationship books together, or even schedule an appointment with a counselor to see if there’s anything you can do to improve your marriage. Take advantage of the good times to prepare for the hard ones coming.

Bury the Hatchet
Every marriage has core issues. Whether it’s a lack of forgiveness, lack of appreciation, lack of intimacy, or bad communication, this is the year to resolve these issues. You are not allowed to have them next year. Agree to do whatever it takes– even if it means something you don’t want to do– to fix these issues. Bury past events in the past and leave them there. Anything worth having is worth working at.

Rekindle the Flames
Romance and passion are said to be the first to go. Time to bring them back. Make sure to do three romantic things for your spouse a week, such as doing a chore, giving a massage, or saying something reassuring other than “I love you.”

Don’t allow this year to be like the last. Make it more exciting, more active, and more loving. Spend less time daydreaming and more time actively working at your future or present marriage.

New Year for Prayer

yearforprayer2“Since the day you were born, we’ve been praying that God brings you a good husband.” my aunt told me one day.

This is such a comfort to me.  It’s amazing that anyone would pray that far in advance – and I’m sure it will make all the difference.

I think 2011 needs to be the year of prayer for relationships. Society is far too comfortable with settling, making bad decisions, and letting marriages end in painful divorces.

Inspired by my aunt’s prayer, I too now pray for my future husband. I pray that he is given the wisdom to make good decisions and that walks with God and is given strength. I pray for God to prepare him for me, and me for him.

Hey, why not get ahead of the game? And if you’re all ready in the game, why not pray to win it?

Everyday:
Pray for a deeper relationship with Christ (First Love comes first!)
Pray for wisdom and intimacy in your relationship
If you’re single, pray for your future husband/wife
If you’re married, pray for your husband/wife (Don’t nag them, pray for them.)
Pray for the strength to turn away from temptations

At least once a week:
Pray for relationships you know of that are facing difficult times
Pray for single friends to find good spouses
Pray for friends and family to make good decisions and keep from temptations
Pray with your spouse aloud

At least once a month:
Pray for wisdom for marriage counselors
Pray for healing of broken marriages and hearts
Pray for families with members in the military
Pray for the children of broken homes
Pray for stronger marriages

Verses to Think About
1 John 5:14-15
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Mark 11:22-25
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

James 5:16
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.