Happy New Year friends! I love the new year. The turning of the calendar. The freshness. The new beginnings. It all feels so good to me.
For the past 7 years I have been doing the One Word challenge. This is where instead of setting a bunch of New Year's resolutions or goals that are unreachable, you pick just one word and focus on that. The first year, 2011, I honestly don't even remember what my word was. I didn't take it seriously and ended up giving up. To help me, the next year in 2012 my word was intentional. Then heart in 2013, pray was 2014, 2015 was water, and 2016 was me. While I can't say I completely 'mastered' my life in these areas, I know that there was growth. I learned a lot about my focus word and myself each year.
I knew a couple of months ago what my word for 2017 would be. Several things lead up to choosing my word which I want to share with you. But first, drum roll please.....
My One Word for 2017 is:
That's right! My focus word for 2017 is marriage. I am really excited about this word. Now, my marriage isn't on the rocks. My husband and I are perfectly okay. So what lead to choosing marriage as a year long focus?
Well, recently I had a conversation with someone about marriage. This person revealed that they didn't want to get married ever. I was shocked. This person is young, attractive, and full of life. How could they automatically say they don't want to be married? They shared that they had seen many Christian wives not honoring and respecting their husbands, nor letting their husbands be the leader of the home. They had seen many Christian husbands who treated their wives poorly and either refused or were too scared to be the leader of the home. They had seen Christian couples who threatened divorce, throwing around the word as though it were an every day, no big deal word. My friend decided they just didn't want to deal with that. While I firmly believe that my friend, or anyone for that matter, should keep their eyes on Christ and not other couples, I am reminded of the verses in the Bible that tell us to not cause our brother to stumble. (Romans 14:21, 1 Corinthians 8:13) I do not want anyone to look at my marriage and be caused in any way to stumble. I want them to look at my marriage and see two people who have God weaved all throughout their lives and hearts. This gives me cause to work a little harder on my marriage.
Over the past few years I have seen a vast number Christian couples ending their marriages. These are couples who love God and many who even serve in ministry. Couples that appear to have a solid and lasting marriage. Many of these marriages I've been witness to have been couples who were married 20 years. I don't know for sure, but maybe there is something about that 20 year mark that is really hard? My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. Knowing that so many couples have struggled in year 20, that scares me a little. This gives me cause to work a little harder on my marriage.
My marriage may not be struggling right now, but my marriage is not perfect. It absolutely cannot be perfect because it is made up of two very flawed human beings. My husband is not perfect. I am not perfect. We both get cranky from time to time and we both make mistakes from time to time. This gives me cause to work a little harder on my marriage.
In 2017 I want to be more intentional with my marriage. I want to purposely pray more for my husband and my marriage. I want to date my husband more. I want to work on being more kind to him. I want to learn to be a better listener. I want become a bigger cheerleader for him. I want to learn more about him. I want fall deeper in love with him. I know I won't close out 2017 with a perfect marriage. As I said before, that is impossible. But I want to work hard to weave God all throughout my marriage, safeguarding it from evil.
So there is my word and my reason! I am thrilled to put my marriage at the forefront of my focus this year.
Your turn! Share with my your One Word and the reason behind picking that word.