7 Goals to Have as a Couple
- Keren Kanyago Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2022 12 Apr
Most of us dip our feet into marriage thinking that the love we share is enough to keep our marriage afloat. We may assume that we don't have to lift a finger to keep the fire sizzling; all that matters is the love we feel so strongly. As time passes, however, we start drifting apart. It dawns on us that the physical attraction we shared with our partner is not enough to buffer our marriage. Enter marriage goals. A goal is a desired state or experience to which you direct your efforts. Marriage goals are essential because they help keep couples on track. They enable partners to prioritize issues and concentrate their efforts on things that breed intimacy in the marriage. Here are seven goals to have as a couple.
1. Seek God First
A healthy spiritual walk with God for each partner is the foundation of a great marriage. When both partners strive to seek God and live in submission to His ordinances, a lot of turmoil and marital issues are subsequently nipped in the bud. For instance, the couple may never have to deal with thorny issues like infidelity because they are both well aware that God outrightly forbids it. The Bible urges us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. As a result, all other things shall be added unto us. (Mathew 6:33).
If you want a great marriage, ensure both of you are staying connected to God. This way, you are building on a firm foundation. When the rains descend, the floods come, and the winds blow, your marriage will not cave in, for it is founded on the rock (Mathew 7: 25). But how do you cultivate a healthy spiritual life? By spending time in prayer, reading and meditating on the Word of God, and being in fellowship with other believers.
2. Uphold Unity
"But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand." (Mathew 12:25).
Unity is another key ingredient in a marriage. Without unity, your marriage cannot stand. When you took your marriage vows, you relinquished the rights to living your life as a single entity. You and your spouse are no longer two people but one person (Mathew 19:6). This realization should guide all your actions. To enhance unity, prioritize your relationship above all others. Your spouse should always come first.
Additionally, ensure that your communication lines are open. There should be no secrets between you. God commanded the man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. (Genesis 2:24). This means that the marriage relationship should be prioritized above all other relationships. The wife and husband should cleave to each other throughout the varying seasons of life.
3. Seek to Fulfill Each Other's Needs
You don't have to be married for long to discover that your needs are different from your spouse's. In the book, His Needs, Her Needs, Willard F. Harley, Jr. notes that the integral needs of a wife are affection, intimate conversation, honesty, financial support, and family commitment. On the other hand, he says that the key needs of a man are sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, physical attraction, domestic support, and admiration (from his wife).
Having been married for a decade, I find Willard's assertion spot on. But don't take my word for it; if you are not sure what your spouse's needs are, go ahead and ask them. Seeing that your spouse's needs tend to be very different from yours, it takes conscious effort to prioritize and meet them. And that's the essence of marriage - God wants us to prioritize our spouse's needs above ours. Marriage is about serving your spouse. We are not to look to our own interests but to the interest of others (Philippians 2:4). A marriage where both partners meet each other's needs is destined for great success.
4. Prioritize Sexual Intimacy
Sex is a critical ingredient in a marriage. It helps enhance a deep emotional connection with your spouse. It also helps couples forgive each other easily and helps ward off sexual temptation. Furthermore, sex acts as a sacred seal in the marriage covenant. When a man and woman engage in sex, they become united in the body. (1 Corinthians 6:16). The role of sex in a marriage can therefore not be downplayed.
Studies show that sex ranks high in the needs of most men. For most women, however, affection and intimate conversation take the lead. As such, there tends to be a dissonance in marriage where sex is concerned. For a healthy sex life, the husband should ensure he meets his wife's emotional needs, making it easier for her to meet his sexual needs. Furthermore, Paul warned the Corinthian church against ignoring each other's sexual needs.
"Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." ( 1 Corinthians 7:5)
5. Connect with Other Couples
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25).
God did not intend for believers to walk alone. Fellowship with other believers is integral to your growth. Even in marriage, you need the warmth of other like-minded couples to propel you to greater heights. Connecting with other couples will enrich your marriage because it keeps you accountable to other people. You are stirred to put your best foot forward in your marriage. It also adds joy, offers encouragement, gives emotional support, and perks up your confidence.
6. Regulate Screen Time
Nothing is more off-putting than trying to catch the attention of your spouse who is scrolling through their news feed. It communicates utter disrespect. You interpret it to mean that their social media interactions are more important to them than you. Screens have invaded our homes, and many couples are now addicted to them. Unfortunately, each spouse gets absorbed into their own world with little to no communication going on. This causes couples to drift apart and stifles intimacy. As a couple, you need to formulate rules where screens are concerned in order to slay this giant. Here are a few suggestions:
- Put the screen down whenever your spouse is talking to you
- Dedicate some time each day to connect with your spouse without screens
- Agree that some rooms will be screen-free, e.g. the kitchen and bedroom
- Agree that screens will be turned off at a particular time, e.g. an hour before bedtime
7. Carve out Time to Connect Weekly
Great marriages don't just happen; they are made to happen. If you leave your marriage alone, doing nothing to nurture your relationship, you will drift apart in no time. As a result, resentment will kick in and leave you wondering if you married the wrong partner. You need to sustain intimacy and connection by spending time together regularly. Relationship experts recommend that you dedicate daily and weekly time to dating your spouse.
Studies show that couples who commit to weekly dates enjoy happier marriages and record fewer divorce rates. Connecting regularly also helps give familiarity the boot, enhances communication, and bolsters commitment to the marriage. You may opt for weekly date nights, lunch dates, picnics, walks, and movies. Whatever you do, keep dating your spouse.
Photo credit: ©Pexels/Leah Kelley
Keren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.