Why should you set marriage goals? Is there a simple guide to starting that conversation without it ending up in a fight? Hubby and I worked together to come up with something I know will bless you in your Christian marriage!
Why Set Marriage Goals?
Does this sound familiar to you? It’s almost New Year’s Eve or maybe it was nearing the wedding anniversary. You have begun looking back on the year and dreaming of what the next year will look like. You are asking yourself questions like:
- What are the signs of a bad marriage?
- Do we have any of them?
- Why do marriages fail?
- What makes a good marriage?
- Do we need to read some marriage books?
- Are their rules for a happy marriage?
- Do we live by them?
- When was the last time we set marriage goals?
- Does that mean we have marriage problems?
- What are some goals for marriage?
- I’d really like to work on communication in marriage.
Dreams or Distance
You look over in bed to your husband and begin asking him what he thought of your previous year. Ahem. You clear your throat to pull his attention from the game on his tablet and you ask again.
“How do you think last year was for our marriage?”
That’s when you see it. That deer caught in the headlights look that says, he hasn’t thought about it. He doesn’t want to talk about it. And he is a little afraid you are starting a fight for no good reason.
The conversation fizzles out and you are both frustrated. He is hoping the conversation doesn’t come back up for another year. You are dreaming of a marriage where you can dream together and grow together.
No Goals Lead To Frustration
For years that was us. Bud and I are certainly in a Christian marriage though we have had many difficult seasons – you might even say it has been a difficult marriage. We’ve worked hard to fix our marriage and I am so thankful Bud is open to sharing all the marriage advice here.
Before we began setting goals together there was a lot of frustration and resentment in our marriage. One of the goals of marriage counseling was to help us set goals, but it’s hard to keep up with them when you finish counseling.
Letting Go Of Resentment in Marriage
Part of learning to save my marriage involved letting go of resentment. I had a lot of resentment built up.
I longed for the days when we could have real dreams and plan ways to grow in our marriage. My husband is not always thinking about that. In fact, he hears my marriage goal questions and they hit all the boxes in his mind about failure, regret, and fear.
I want to set goals for the aims and objectives of marriage. Out of instinct he diverts, distracts, or disputes in the hopes to end the conversation!
And I resented him for that… until I realized he didn’t know what I was doing.Pro Wife Tip: Never spring something as deep as marriage goals on your husband! Set a time to talk when you have both had time to think about things. Click To Tweet
Knowing Why You Need Goals Is Important
The truth is that by looking back, we can see what went well and what could be better. When we are honest about this, we can dream together and have a successful marriage! I longed for a successful marriage free from any fear of divorce. He just didn’t know why I wanted to have those conversations.
“The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” Proverbs 14: 15 NASB
A few years ago – after one humdinger of a fight – I finally broke about it. I poured out my heart, my fears, and my dreams to him. He heard me and understood I wasn’t attacking him or setting him up for a fight by wanted to talk about our relationship.
After the fight, Bud and I sat down to make a plan for how to set goals in our marriage.
Pro Wife Tip:
Never spring something as deep as marriage goals on your husband! It is easy to assume you are both on the same page, but you should never assume in life. Set a time to talk when you have both had time to think about things.
How Do Couples Make Goals?
When we sat down to evaluate the overall health of our relationship we took time to pray first. Prayer is key to setting and keeping marriage goals. We asked the Lord, “What are some goals for marriage?”
Then we made a sort of marriage goals list. We thought about criteria to rate our overall relationship health and decided on the following areas of marriage goals and values.
- Sexual intimacy
- Spiritual growth
When looking at each of the 6 areas we asked each other a lot of questions and made plans based on the answers. In thinking about what makes good goals for couples, I’ll share our questions as marriage goals examples to help you get started. Some of our answers might help so I’ve added them here and there along the way.
Goals For Communication in Marriage
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NASB
- Are the majority of our words critical or encouraging?
- As the wife – am I showing respect in marriage as well as appreciation and admiration with my words?
- As the husband – is he showing love, security, and appreciation with his words?
Sexual Intimacy In Our Christian Marriage
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoins in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilerated always with her love.” Proverbs 5:18-19 NASB
Being parents with small children really put a strain on our sex life. We did not score so well here, but these are the things we talked about and could be good marriage goals examples if you also struggle with intimacy.
Intimacy Marriage Goal Examples:
- How often do we have sex vs how often we would prefer to have sex?
- Once or twice a month vs weekly or more.
- Are we adding fun into this time or has it become a routine?
- What are some ideas to make it more fun and satisfying for each other?
- We decided to read a few marriage books this year to improve intimacy in our marriage
- 31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire
- Sex Begins in the Kitchen by Kevin Leman
Marriage Goals to Have Fun Together
“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13 NASB
- Are we enjoying life together, having fun in this marriage?
- How have we done planning dates this pasts year?
- Which dates went well, and which failed?
Date night is an area we really have a hard time making happen. I mean, what is date night for married couples… really? A fun idea a friend shared with us is to use date night jars to always have a fun idea on hand. So he’s going to write some ideas that seem fun and adventurous to him and I will write some ideas that seem fun and romantic to me.
Need some date night inspiration?
2020 came in with a bang and made date night harder so I came up with lots more ideas for cheap at-home date nights here ~> 55 Free or Cheap Date Night Ideas At Home.
Setting Finance Goals in Marriage:
“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” Luke 14:28-30 l
Finances have been stressful in our world for years, but a few years ago we got on the same page. We went through Financial Peace University and are finally DEPT-FREE! (Yes I am yelling that from the rooftops) This is the first year we have not dreaded dreaming about our finances and it has been so fun.
How did we do following our financial plan last year – killed it!!!!!!!!! If you haven’t been through the course I highly recommend the course or the Book
Setting Parenting Goals As a Christian Couple
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NASB
Parenting is an area where we struggle. We are evaluating where we on the same page in parenting and where we need to be more intentional.
- Have we set clear rules and consequences?
- If not, let’s set some.
- Are we being consistent to follow through about the discipline in our home?
- What is tripping us up in this area?
- What fun things can we plan over the next year?
Spiritual Goals to Grow Together in Marriage
“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:9-10 NASB
- Where are we each individually with our relationship with God?
- Are we both having a consistent quiet time?
- How is our individual prayer life?
- Are we making time to study the word together?
- What can we plan to do over the next year?
A Marriage Guide Worksheet
These are just some of the things we worked through while setting marriage goals. It created such intimacy and connection I know we will do it more than once a year! Probably at New Year’s and again on our anniversary.
To get started better next time we decided we needed a reflection and goal-setting worksheet. This would be a way for us both to have the same questions and ideas to think through so there were no reasons to argue or get defensive! This served as both husband and wife worksheets. I had input and he had input. It was great!
With Bud’s help, we put together The Ultimate Guide to set Goals in a Christian Marriage.
What’s inside The Marriage Goals Worksheet Kit?
- Questions to evaluate and work through 6 core areas in your marriage
- Communication in a Christian Marriage
- Intimacy in a Christian Marriage
- Fun in a Christian Marriage (Don’t skip this part – it is so important and my husband said to tell you that!)
- Finances in a Christian Marriage
- Parenting in a Christian Marriage
- Spiritual Growth in a Christian Marriage
- Each page gives suggested Scripture Inspiration that has helped our marriage
- There is also an introduction video with directions and encouragement!
What Marriage Goals Are You Setting This Year?
Over the years since we started this process, we both grew to love setting smart goals for marriage. Setting marriage goals has been a huge step toward a successful marriage. If that is what you are dreaming about, today is a good time to begin.
To get started with this just start the conversation with your spouse. I’d suggest picking a time they are in a good mood and start by letting them know why you want to set some goals.
You can get a printed version of these questions to help you start or pick up the full Marriage Goals Worksheet set in the Hope Joy in Christ Shop today to jumpstart the process.
Need prayer as you start into this? Drop a comment below and I will lift you up today!
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