Ah, New Years. A time to take all the junk off the treadmill you bought so eagerly last year and to dust off the running shoes that have been in your closet for just as long. A time to give up all the soda and sweets you so easily devoured over the last few weeks and to pretend that one day will change everything. A time to make goals for becoming a better person and for optimism to be at it’s all time high.
Until January 2nd when chores get in the way of having a workout. Or February 7th when the running shoes get lost in the closet again. Until March 13th when that Dr. Pepper looks all too tempting or April 2nd when the cake at a birthday party sat there staring at you. The month of May, June, July, or August may bring heat and crankiness, completely changing your goals for being a better person and by September you’ve completely forgotten what your resolutions were in the first place.
There are very few people who keep their New Years resolutions, and if you are like me, you are one of them that has failed time and time again. One of my favorite resolutions I made was to write a thank you note to a different person who had impacted my life each week for a year. I made it through 12. I had many more people in mind, but the weeks quickly passed me by and I slowly let that resolution fall to the wayside. Looking back I should have said every month for a year and I would feel a lot more accomplished… or only made it though 3 notes. Hm.
My point is this: January 1st seems like a new start. It’s a fresh new year and we can look ahead to great things and look back to see where our journey of life led us the previous year. But January 1st is not magical. There is no power in that day. In fact, it is very much like any other day of the year. Maybe you get it off from work, but other than that, it is just another day. While it is fine to make goals for the future, do not think that the time you have until the next beginning of January is your cut off point. And on that same token, do not think that you have to wait until 1/1/20__ to start a new dream, to become a “better” person, or to accomplish something.
Now let’s look at this in the context of marriage. Looking back on 2013 may be a painful thing for you. 2013 may have brought more fights, more frustrations, and some intense hurt when it comes to your spouse. While I want to say that January 1, 2014 will change everything and bring you down a path of newness, I can’t do that. You are still the same, your spouse is still the same, and most likely, your circumstances are the same as well.
Gosh a I love that word. And not because my husband has a cute one.
BUT, while January first is nothing special, God is. While a new year can’t change things, He can. While you and I in our own flesh will fail, He never will. And while we have no clue what the next year, or any years following, may bring, He does.
So here’s my challenge to you. Instead of making your list of New Year’s resolutions this year, why don’t you instead make a list of things you want to see God change.
If your marriage is struggling, I hope you will specifically give areas in your relationship to Him. Maybe your list will look something like this:
What I’m giving to the Lord in 2014:
- The constant fighting with my spouse — that it will end and we will be more peaceful.
- The lack of sexual intimacy in our marriage — that He will bring desire, frequency, and closeness.
- The drift in our friendship — that He will reunite us as a team and as friends.
There may be only one thing on your 2014 list, or there may be 20. And you may see some of these things change immediately, or they may be just the same in 2015. But give them to God now. January 1st does not change anything. It is not a start date (I put 2014 because it is a day away, but feel free to go about it today!), and it is not an expiration date. God’s timing is not our timing, but by giving these things over to Him, we are surrendering ourselves and our situations to what He has for us, which far exceeds what we could ever do for ourselves.
So go workout, eat healthier, be a better friend, wife, husband, mother, father, etc., etc… but remember that His strength is greater than your own. He can renew you and your goals any time, anywhere. And His plan for your life will at no point run out of time.
I’m praying for your marriages and that they will grow in the coming year, but I hope they do not grow out of half hearted goals that will not last but out of God’s strength living through you.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
His Spirit is already in you, just let him work!
I’ll be letting Him work through me by giving him my time and words in hopes for more blog posts.
Happy New Year!