Pure Gospel Magazine 2018 January 2018 - Page 8

It’s a new year. This is the time of year when we make our resolutions. Each year many of us commit to making our lives better by having healthier habits, managing our finances better, giving up a bad habit and the list goes on and on. Have you thought about your marriage? Is there anything on your resolution list specific to your marriage?

Half of marriages today end in divorce and only half of those who stay married say they are actually "happily married." This year, is the perfect time to make a resolution to prioritize your marriage. Couples that invest in their marriages have more satisfying and pleasurable interactions with each other because great marriages do not just happen.

Start with the positives. What do you both like and appreciate about your relationship? How can you enhance and highlight the positives?

Spending more quality time alone together is essential for your relationship health. Commit to a monthly or weekly date night. If your romantic and passionate life used to be positive, but now has been neglected, pay more attention.

Be More Encouraging to Each Other. Make it a goal this year to intentionally encourage each other. You can send an encouraging text on a daily basis, you can give each other gifts, just because. Encourage your spouse with purpose.

How do you handle conflict? Remember that conflict is inevitable in a marriage. Do not avoid conflict, but find productive ways to deal with differences. Are either of you guilty of using criticism, contempt, stonewalling or defensiveness? If so, how about a New Year's resolution to eliminate these hostile interactions that are predictive of divorce?

Is work or technology interfering with prioritizing time together? If either of you has a hard time with the work/life balance or relies too heavily on

technology, social media, TV or video games,

you might take a look at this issue together.

How about setting some mutual agreements.

By Rocky & Gail Smith