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Who doesn’t love a new beginning, a new chapter, or a fresh start?

January 1st is a time when most people choose to start something new. New Year’s resolutions, new habits, and new rhythms are common in the month of January. Some people simplify the process and just pick a word for the year. It is a word the person can “lean into” throughout the year to realign or have a place to center their goals. People pick words that can trigger awareness and give a sense of purpose throughout the year.

Have you ever thought about picking a word of the year for your marriage? It could be a way for you and your spouse to get on the same page when planning for 2023.

Choosing a word of the year is powerful and impactful when you take the time to ask yourselves some questions beforehand.

You can take a night in January to ask each other these simple questions as you form your word of the year for your specific marriage:

  1. What excites us?
  2. What brings us peace and comfort?
  3. What was hard in our marriage last year?
  4. What do we want to accomplish together this year in our marriage?

Then, make a list of all the words you can think of that could be your word of the year.

Here is a list to help get you started:

  • Appreciate – how could you appreciate one another more this year?
  • Balance – how could you each bring more balance and health to your marriage this year?
  • Build – what parts of your marriage need to be built up this year?
  • Celebrate – how can you commit to celebrating the big and the little wins in your marriage throughout the year?
  • Cherish – how can you cherish the gift of marriage better this year?
  • Consistency – in what areas of your marriage do you need to be more consistent: intimacy, communication, etc.?
  • Dream – how can you dream more together this year?
  • Enjoy – in what practical ways can you enjoy one another more this year?
  • Explore – how can you explore together more throughout the year?
  • Fun – how can you have more fun together this year?
  • Generous – how can each of you be more generous to one another this year?
  • Gentle – where in your marriage is gentleness needed this year?
  • Grace – how can you show one another more grace this year?
  • Hope – what parts of your marriage need hope this year?
  • Listen – how can you listen to one another better this year?
  • Nurture/Nourish – how can you nurture one another this year? or how can you feed your marriage so that it thrives this year?
  • Openness – how would being more open with one another change your marriage this year?
  • Passion – do you need more passion in your marriage this year?
  • Peace – how can you work towards peace in your marriage this year?
  • Priority – how can you make your marriage more of a priority this year?
  • Reflect – how could taking some time to reflect help your marriage this year?
  • Respect – how can you respect one another more this year?
  • Simplify – how can you work together to simplify your life this year?
  • Trust – how can you learn to trust one another more this year?
  • Value – how can you value your marriage and one another more this year?

The Bible actually also gives us an excellent list of words to choose from. In Galatians 5:22-23 it says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” The fruit of the Spirit are all outstanding words for our year and for our marriages.

I hope this encourages you to take some time with your spouse to choose a word that will help your marriage thrive in 2023. It can be a life-changing act that will bring you and your spouse together in new ways in the new year!