A new year is upon us which means that many people will be making resolutions. This time-honored tradition has inspired people to lose weight, learn a new language, travel the world, take more time for themselves, and much more.
Most resolutions are based on improving yourself from an individualistic standpoint. Less common are the resolutions geared towards improving a relationship in their life. Your marriage is one of the most important, if not the most important, commitment you’ve made in your life. Each year you should resolve to improve and build upon your marriage.
To help get you started in 2015, here are 12 Bible verses for the next 12 months to help your marriage.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope – Jeremiah 29:11
There is no better way to start the new year, than with a passage about the future. It is important to cherish each new day but there is something about the new year that really evokes a sense of hope and foresight into the future. Use this opportunity to plan for the things that you hope to accomplish as a couple in the new year. This could be a commitment to take the honeymoon you never did, spend more time with your family as a group, or making sure that you never go to bed angry with one another.
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
This passage in particular has a little bit more of an individualistic connotation. However, it is something that you and your spouse can strive to together. Not conforming to the norms that society has dictated will keep you both true to yourselves and who you are. Interests and tastes will change over time, but from a fundamental standpoint, you should stay true to yourself.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law – Romans 13:8-10
The main takeaway from this passage is simply to love each other. If you love one another, you will be abiding by all of the commandments mentioned.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love – 1 Corinthians 13:13
This simple verse should put everything into perspective. The greatest feeling is love, even when there seems to be no hope. It is important to show your love for your significant other especially in times where their faith is wavering or they have lost hope.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love – Ephesians 4:2
Another simple verse to help guide the your actions and temperament with one another. Instead of being quick to anger, you should both make a concerted effort to remain patient with one another and show each other love and affection.
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching – Proverbs 1:8
While this verse won’t apply to all marriages, it does apply to those with children. Far too often are parents run by their children. The child has the final say and in the end, gets what they want. This puts a lot of strain on the parents and their marriage both financially and emotionally. As parents, in the coming year, place greater emphasis on raising your children to have respect and courtesy for their elders.
She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks – Proverbs 31: 15-17
Portioning for servant girls is not a very common trait today, but the rest of the passage is. Women have a hefty load in today’s world. They are often providers, caregivers, and maintainers of the family’s lives. As a husband, it is important to show her admiration and respect. Give her the attention and help she deserves in 2015.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us – 1 John 4: 18-19
There are a lot of unknowns in the coming year. Many people are fearful of the unknown. However, love conquers this fear. Together, you and your spouse can march fearfully into the new year of unknowns with love to guide you.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians 5:25
This straightforward verse is applicable to both genders. Both husbands and wives should love their significant other just as Christ love the church.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband – Ephesians 5:33
The verse can be applied in reverse to both genders. The matter of fact is that in the coming year, spouses must love one another as much as they love themselves as well as respecting one another.
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs – Proverbs 10:12
Another straight-forward verse to live by for the next 12 months and beyond. Anger and hatred toward one another will only make things worse. Forgiveness and love will help to mend wounds and right any wrongs.
A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live – Proverbs 15:27
While the verse focuses on the man, it can be applied to the woman too. Greed is a vice, a cardinal sin, that left unchecked can wreak havoc on a marriage. Greed comes in many forms. Spouses should not be greedy when it comes to money, attention, time for themselves, personal belongings, and more. Greed can also lead one to lust for another, causing them to be unfaithful. Remaining humble and grateful for what you have should be an important focus of your new year.
Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.