Each New Year, the President of the United States, no matter what party is in office, delivers a State of the Union address. This speech explains gains accomplished and lines out goals for the New Year. We have been married nearly 40 years, and we have found that taking time each year to check the state of OUR union helps us stay close to God and each other. You too can do a State of YOUR Union when you P.R.A.Y.:
Review the Year
Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Yoke Up In Unity
In a Couple’s Journey With God daily devotional, we share, “People aren’t usually phony when praying because it is a time of vulnerability before God. Couples that pray together get a window into each other’s hearts. … prayer gives us a deeper understanding of our mate…” Prayer creates a positive atmosphere with positive results in a marriage. This might be one reason God reminds us to pray—consistently!
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Col 4:2)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Rom 12:12)
Before you begin talking and planning, pray together then listen to what God speaks to each of you about the state of your relationship.
Review Your Year
Set a date to talk through the highs and lows, praises and prayers, or wins and losses of your last year. Try to be honest—but positive. Instead of saying, “I am so tired of being poor” reword it to “I think our stress would be lower if our income were higher next year.” Then brainstorm together ways to make that change. The next steps in P.R.A.Y. will help create the plan to implement these ideas.
Assess Strengths and Weaknesses
Just like a diamond has many facets, in our book, Red Hot Monogamy, we explore 8 core areas that build intimacy as a couple. Evaluate your relationship by rating
your relationship 1 to 10 in each area: (10 being BEST)
- Social – Are you enjoying friendship with each other and those in your life?
- Financial – Are you stable now and do you have a plan you are working for your future?
- Recreational– Do you have a plan you both are working to stay healthy and happy?
- Vocational– Do you have a plan in place to help both of you grow and move forward in your career (education; volunteer work)?
- Parental– Are you on the same page as parents; do you have a plan to help you children reach their God- given potential?
- Emotional– Are you both calm, peaceful, stable, and enjoying strong mental health?
- Spiritual– Are you both growing in your walk with God?
- Sexual– Do you enjoy regular intimacy, closeness and sexual expression?
Yoke Up in Unity
Each of you select an area from the list above that you feel you both need to focus on MOST in the next year. Over a nice relaxing meal, in a comfortable setting, take time to create a plan of growth in those top two areas of love. A very FUN and romantic way to make forward movement in love and life is to buy a copy of Red Hot Monogamy, then over the next 8 weeks, set aside an evening a week to read and discuss and then another evening each week for the “hand on homework” (This pun is completely intended– this romantic homework will make you look forward with joy to your “date night”!)
Pam and Bill Farrel have been P.R.A.Y.ing together almost 40 years.They are international speakers and authors of 4 books. For more of their mentoring, and to gain some insider secrets to what makes for lasting love and that happily-ever-after, join the Living Love-Wise Community!