“Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 CSB
My relationship goal is a marriage goal. As you know, I did not get married until I was 42 years old. My goals were still marital goals before I was married, I just called them relationship goals. What I learned in all of those years of singleness, learning to be a good friend is key to having a great marriage. God did not waste those years I worked on having better relationships. I call it marriage goal now, but I used to call it relationship goal.
For my husband and I, we are constantly working on our marriage. Up until this year, we read a couple’s devotion together each day. What this looked like in our marriage: I would read him whatever the days devotional was and we would talk about it. Last year we decided to read through the Bible together in a year. We found a year long plan we both agreed on, and then we read it individually. We used YouVersion. My favorite part was the notes we could send each other at the end of the day’s reading. I used it as an opportunity to pray for my husband specifically, telling him what I was praying for that day. You can do the same thing with a friend, or a bunch of friends. YouVersion allows you to have multiple people reading the same plan together.
We haven’t decided what our goal will be for next year. We decide it together, I’m writing this at the beginning of December, we’ll be talking about it in the month ahead. What I found with my relationship goals when I was single, they often had to do with an area of my life I wasn’t giving to God. My relationship goal often included a command from God that I needed to implement in my life. One year I worked on trusting, one year I worked on not assuming, one year I worked on boundaries. All of these things helped prepare me for the marriage I have today. Practicing healthy relationship skills in all of my relationships have helped me develop a healthy marital relationship.
One relationship we can all be working on together is our relationship with God. When I worked on trust, I worked first on trusting God and believing what He says in Proverbs. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6 NIV). When I worked on not assuming, Isaiah helped me: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.” (55:8 NIV). And when I worked on boundaries, I followed Jesus’s example. Here is a great article detailing how Jesus set boundaries from Soul Shepherding. All of these goals helped me to develop healthy relationships, and continues to help me.
Today I’m going to find rest in relationship goals. How can you find rest today?