“One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.” – Michael Cibenko
In marriage, our past can shape our present for good or for bad.
I don’t know about you but I want the experiences and lessons of the past year to make me better, not worse.
Nonetheless, becoming better won’t happen by itself. Life is not arbitrary; it involves choice and grace.
I guess the question we should ask ourselves concerning this brand new year, our desires and reflections, is “What do I want?”
It comes down to us – what we decide and bring before God.
4 thoughts on thriving this year
1. Learn to lean into pain instead of running away from it
When I hurt, my default setting is to the pick up the fastest, nearest solution. I’ll say “I am fine” when am not. I’ll react or tear up or eat.
In his book Kingdom Journeys, Seth Barnes says that God designed pain to be a signal, a flashing light telling us something is wrong.
This year, you need to lean into our pain instead of band aiding it. Stop covering it up with quick solutions, trite answers and blame. Don’t muscle your way through either.
Dig deeper and get to the root. Of course it hurts more to linger, to dig deeper, but that’s how you get healed.
Healing happens when we know where we hurt; and we won’t know where we hurt until we pay attention. (You can click here to tweet that)
2. Let go of the past
I’ve learned that I cannot move forward when my mind is on reverse gear. I guess I could push myself and force things but that is no way to do marriage.
God’s mercies are new every morning and I think that’s a huge hint – we should live light, letting go of yesterdays disappointments, even pedestal-building victories.
God is constantly challenging me to look at my husband through His eyes. He challenges me to give him room to grow and change. Not to look at him with ‘old eyes’, thinking he’s the same old person.
God is at work in His life (as He is in mine) – acknowledging that helps me live light.
This year, choose not to allow the shadow of your spouse to be so long that it stops you from seeing the new person that God is making them to be.
3. Determine to live from the overflow
Human beings are happiest when they are operating from the overflow. We don’t like operating from the dregs, left overs and crumbs.
Now to operate from the over flow, you got to know where to get filled. Jesus declares “I am is the bread of life, Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”
When Christ works His ways in you, it won’t matter what you went through last year; you’ll be able to look at the new year with brand new eyes.
“(The new year) is a chance for us to see where we’ve come from, not so that we can feel defeated. But so that we can look forward to God empowering us to overcome our failures, so that we can remember the grace and gifts that He’s given us…”
You don’t have to live in defeat, you don’t have to operate from and serve up left overs to your spouse. You can plug into the Source and thrive.
4. Focus on your growth
This year, my marriage goals looks very different from last years’. I think last year I focused on things that were mostly out of my control (you know that’s NOT how to do goals). This year my goal is very simple and it’s all on me.
I’ve learned (and continue to learn) that so long as I keep doing my part – growing and doing what needs to be done, even the difficult and challenging things – God will do His part. He’ll make my marriage flourish.
But if I try to make my hubby grow and change..well, you know how that ends.
For your relationship to grow this year, you must grow as a person.
Sheila Gregoire says that she’s yet to find a happy couple that drifted into happiness. Jim Rohn says that it’s difficult to drift your way into the top of a mountain.
You must be working on yourself constantly, hearing what the Spirit of God is saying and focusing on your growth.
Question – How else can we get better in 2013? Please share your thoughts in Comments.