As we begin another year, I’d like to invite every husband-wife-and couple to consider making “MARRIAGE GOALS & DESIRES” for 2017. Personally, I define a GOAL as being different from a DESIRE.
A GOAL is something a person can accomplish without the involvement of anyone else. For example, a goal could include daily prayer, regular exercise, or calling-texting-writing an encouraging note to someone. A person who wants to advance in living out the Great Commandment—love God and others as they love them self (Matthew 22:37-40) could have a goal of saying something encouraging to themselves every day.
Note these GOALS do not require the involvement of anyone else.
A DESIRE is something a person wants to happen, but it requires the involvement of others. For example, a desire could include: having a great marriage; your children and grandchildren loving God; having great friends; being part of a dynamic community of faith, and seeing women treated in the church and in our culture with full functional equality.
Note each of these DESIRES requires the involvement of others.
Looking ahead to 2017, I’d like to share some of my GOALS & DESIRES:
A few GOALS I have for 2017 include:
+ To live out the Bible command to “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5). Every day I am going to ask God to enable me to choose humility over selfishness and pride.
+ Another goal I have is to take ownership and responsibility for putting away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11). Often when I experience trouble, the bottom line for me—in one way or another—is I need to grow up!
+ Another goal is to schedule monthly “DOF” (Days-of-Fun).” This is a day focused on celebrating life, marriage, family, friendships, ministry… On “DOF” I try to live out the passage in Nehemiah that says, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 emphasis added). I desire that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I have a good friend who began last year determined to try to live every day as if it were his last. We recently met and he described how this simple decision changed his life.
+ Additional goals for 2017 include: regularly calling my kids and grandkids, writing every day, reading a chapter of something every day (leaders are readers), exercising five times a week, and eating healthier (okay, that’s gonna be a tough one!)
Note every one of these GOALS do not require the involvement of others.
A few DESIRES I have for 2017 include:
+ I desire for God to help me see others in the ways He sees them; and to see myself in the ways my good Father sees me.
+ I desire to advance in intimacy, I define intimacy as to know and be fully known. One of my top desires in 2017 is to advance in intimacy with God… that I more intimately know God, and that I am more intimately known by Him…
+ And after being married 40 years, I have a number of MARRIAGE DESIRES for 2017:
~ I desire to advance in intimacy with my bride…that I more intimately know her, and I am more intimately known by her…
~ I desire that anne+i advance in living out God’s marriage mystery of what it truly means for “two to become one.” And we advance in living out God’s description of the first married couple—before sin entered the story. The text reads: “and the man and his wife were naked without shame.”
~ I desire that anne+i advance in spiritual + emotional + physical (sexual) intimacy. Frankly, the physical/sexual part of God’s naked without shame—removing clothes and getting naked—is not rocket science! It’s much more challenging to advance in emotional nakedness—removing emotional fig leaves off of my heart and life—and connecting emotionally with my bride.
+ I desire that our children and grandchildren passionately love God; and they are kind to themselves and others.
+ I desire to stay connected to my spiritual mentors.
+ I desire that our soon to be released book NAKED Reclaiming Sexual Intimacy in Marriage positively impacts marriages and communities of faith in “only-God” ways.
+ A couple desires I’ve had for many years is for married couples to return to the functional equality marriage principles of Paradise. And for church leaders to invest the time, energy, and resources in training and equipping their team in God’s original marriage design.
+ Another long-time desire is for God to birth a Marriage Reformation … and anne+i can be a part of it.
Note every one of these DESIRES requires the involvement of others.
All that is to say … how about YOU? I challenge you to write down a few GOALS & DESIRES for 2017.
Regularly review them … and see where you are at when 2017 comes to a close.