Many of us are resolution-makers and goal-setters, especially when New Year’s rolls around. So how do you and your spouse work toward a goal or keep your relationship moving forward?
For quite some time, we were resolution-setters, too. We would choose a goal, hope, pray, and put in the effort. We tried to maintain enough steam to pursue the goal and stay on track all year. However, as you know, resolutions and even the best intentions don’t always have staying power.
Choosing WOTY As A Couple
So we decided to change it up. Now, we choose a Word of the Year (WOTY). But here’s the critical part: we choose our word as a couple. Together, we decide on an area of focus for our marriage and attach a word to that goal. By selecting a word or even a phrase, we find it’s easier and more effective to maintain. It’s a constant reminder of what’s important to us and our marriage. And a bonus is we don’t have to feel guilty if we fall off the resolution bus; we can always go back to our word for the year and reset our sights on the marital goal.
Our clients shared how intentionally choosing a Word of the Year helped restore their marriage. They were on the brink of divorce – to the point of documents filed and a court date set. But God stepped in and spoke to the wife, telling her not to go through with the divorce. She listened, and she and her husband decided the following January to choose a word of the year and stick to it. They chose the word together the first year after the very close call. It was a regular reminder that neither of them was alone in their fight for their marriage, and in fact, they had another in the middle with them. God was walking them through.
The following year, they selected the word build. And continued to choose their marriage first, building on the foundation God had already given them.
That’s a convincing illustration of the power of a word, isn’t it?
We’ve found the process of discovering your word is an intentional practice. As a couple, take time and step away from your daily busyness, reflect on where your relationship is or has been, and envision how you’d each like it to move forward. Then listen. Be deliberate about your listening and reflecting. Finally and most importantly, take the time to pray and ask God for direction in choosing your word together. Seek Him.
Once you’ve settled on a word, it’s helpful to write it down and reflect again. As a couple, can you truly commit to this word for the entire year? Unlike a New Year’s Resolution, which tends to fizzle out quickly, a Word of the Year can bring intentionality to your marriage all year.
Once you’ve worked through the process together and discovered your word, write it down and post it where it can be seen frequently. In your office, on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator. Give yourself visual reminders of your word, and repeat the word to yourself and your spouse often.
Tracking Your Word Is A Blessing
If this is your first time choosing a WOTY, we encourage you to find a place to track your words year over year. We have a running list of my words over the years, and it’s truly a blessing to see how God has brought us through and kept us moving forward to the next thing. All through the power of a word and a Word of the Year.
Have you and your spouse chosen a word for this year?
We’d love to hear the 2023 word or phrase you’ve chosen together and why!