This is a picture of Lisa and me at our new home . . . okay, not quite . . . it’s from a few years back when we visited Chatsworth. But, we did move to a new place (doesn’t look quite like this and we don’t have to bother with all that staff!) and have been busy fixing/building/settling. And we’re still laughing, loving, building life together. Not that the Dark Side hasn’t dished up a few choice challenges in recent years (that sent us reeling, truth be told) but we’re still on our knees before God, praising Him, and still clinging to each other.
Are you enjoying the richness, closeness . . . the fun! . . . you imagined for your marriage on your wedding day? Are you starting this year strong? Hopeful for a deeper marriage? Or has life got you in a tough spot? I just finished reading Lisa’s recent article about just that and, no matter where you’re at in your marriage, it’s super encouraging (although I didn’t like the part where she mentions the bad mistake I made!). Her message is all about grace and goodness . . . what God has in marriage for those who seek to listen to His voice. I’d like to share it with you. Here’s how it begins . . .
You can build and make your marriage better by having a little intentionality and focusing on some goals specific to your marriage needs!
I’ll confess I inwardly balked when my husband first suggested it. Take the day off? How could we afford to take an entire day off when there was still so much to do?
But then I cringed when I heard our 16-year-old son laugh. “This usually means, ‘Let’s take a day off so we can really get some work done.’”
So no. Not this time. This time, we were going all-out irresponsible and actually taking Friday off—off work, off house projects, even off parenting stuff. Like really, really OFF. Crazy town.
We took a Marriage Day, and it was the best thing ever.
The day began with going out to breakfast at our favorite café, complete with steaming lattes, freshly baked gingerbread scones, and poached eggs with homemade hollandaise sauce. Then, grabbing our to-go boxes, we poked our heads into every interesting shop along the street where we’d parked the car.
We returned home with a basket of pine cones, balsam & cedar candles, and an old black wooden rocking chair.
Could be called shopping, but we thought of it more as treasure-hunting. And although our first stop was a high-end home décor boutique, our last store could only be described as a junk shop…but also where Matt spotted that sweet rocking chair. And it felt a little like winning the lottery.
It was the kind of day that was better than a thousand hours of marriage counseling. (Not that I’m against counseling—far from it. My husband is a marriage coach!)
Truly, a Make-Your-Marriage-Better kind of day.
Before I go much further, I should tell you that I’m not a big goal-making New Year’s resolution person. Instead, I tend toward the small-steps, incremental sort of approach.
After thirty years of marriage (thirty!), I’m convinced that it’s essential we be intentional about growing together—no matter how many or few years you’ve been together.
So yes, as unromantic as it sounds, I make marriage goals each year.
And I highly recommend it.
If you’ve never made specific marriage goals before and are looking for ideas? Here are five goals I’ve set for us this year, along with a few specific applications. Of course, your list will likely be different than mine, but see what you can come up with! The rest of what Lisa shares is right here!
On Your Way to a Deeper Marriage . . .
I’d also like to tell you about our new 1 year, once-a-week, marriage devotionals that lead to a deeper marriage (and a lot more fun!) – released just a couple of months ago. There are two volumes because Lisa and I took 52 topics with 52 Scriptures and wrote devotionals covering the same topic/Scripture the same day – me to men and Lisa to women. We also included some discussion personal reflection prompts and several questions to ask each other that week that will greatly help in marriage communication as you go through the books together. For our single friends and those who’s spouses don’t want to participate, the devotionals can be read independently, as well. Designed for two, the content of each book stands alone and will encourage/edify the single reader. You can check them out here:
Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach, founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is also the creator of FREEDOM Course, an 8 session class, including a workbook, where he teaches men the biblical path to finding total victory from pornography and sexual sin. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Cline Falls Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).