3 Keys to Help Your Marriage Thrive

If improving your marriage isn’t included on your list of resolutions, make sure to add it.

It’s been a couple of months since I (Trisha) have allowed my fingers to freely flow across my keyboard.

Ironically, this time last year, my fingers were almost callused as Justin and I wrote an insane amount of guest posts for the release of our first book, Beyond Ordinary.

It’s crazy how much life has been sandwiched between these two moments in time, and even crazier that it all began with a list.

Every year, our family takes the time to dream and create goals as individuals and as a family. Categories such as spiritual, physical and work/school are created to become our guide for what we hope for in the coming year. Over the past few years, we’ve watched our boys’ goals shift from “clean up toys without arguing with mom and dad” to “set dates for college visits.” But last year, my list was the most memorable and laughable to date.

While it had familiar goals of years past, such as:

1. Spend quality time with Justin and the boys.

2. Workout three days a week.

3. Read my Bible daily.

4. Create yearly budget.

Then came …

4. Launch my first book.

5. Transition from part-time to full-time with RefineUs Ministries.

6. Grow as speaker/communicator (learn to like it and not hate it).

I had NO IDEA how audacious, insane and absolutely life-changing those last three “goals” would be.

God has blown our minds with his faithfulness this year. A year ago, we chose to step out in faith and embrace RefineUs Ministries full-time. RefineUs has been able to impact more people this year than all previous years combined. We’ve been given favor by so many churches and organizations, and our home church Cross Point (where Justin is still on staff part-time) has been our number one cheerleader!

There is so much to be thankful for.

Yet …

When you choose to step out of your comfort zone and jump cannonball-style into a river of adventure, the outcome isn’t always as glamorous as most of us imagine.

What about you?

Where were you a year ago?

What goals, dreams and expectations did you have for this past year?

Marriage is often a collision of two people searching for purpose and calling, and when they are found, it can burst forth epic adventures. But when purpose and calling are misunderstood, when vision drives you rather than you driving it, your “epic adventures” become dreadful obligations. Vision looses its luster, leaving behind a trail of disappointments.

In the midst of our own adventure, I found myself overwhelmed by change.

Those who know me well know I am a habitual person. I am a lover of routine! Over the past year, finding routine was like finding a needle in a haystack. What started as a shared vision in my marriage was slowly leaving me exhausted and disillusioned, causing more strife than I care to admit.

By mid-November, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, ready to throw in the towel.

In marriage, we often believe that if we’re obedient and faithful our marriage relationship will be smooth sailing. But as we all know, life will always be full of ups and downs. Some dreams come into fruition in ways we could never imagine while others completely fall apart.

So, how do you champion your goals and dreams as well as your spouse’s and maintain a healthy marriage?

1. Rest

Take time to rest. God has given us the gift of rest to bring healing both physically and emotionally. Rest is what gives us space to see more clearly and to keep on dreaming. Rest is what fuels your passion and calling.

2. Reflect

Take time to write down or talk out your experiences from this past year. It helps to look back and remember the good and the bad. Oftentimes, we just need to be listened to without the need to be fixed. Reflection gives way to gratitude for what God has done, while also unearthing the bad where bitterness and resentment can live.

3. Regroup

Rather than living in the insanity of doing the same things you did last year expecting different results, take the time to set goals and dream again. Is it risky? Yes. Will you possibly fail? Yes. Is it worth it?



Justin and Trisha Davis returned to ministry in 2009 following a four year journey of restoration. They use their story of pain, loss and redemption to bring hope and healing to couples all over the country.