No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us.
~ I John 4:12
This year, my husband and I made a LOT of New Year’s Resolutions. He’s going to learn to cook, we’re going to stop eating out so much, we’re going to join a gym…and stick with it. We’re a very active, community-involved young couple and going into 2012 our number one resolution was to focus more on US. With all of our activities and varying forms of involvement, we see more of each other backstage at our local community theater than we do at our own house.
All of our other resolutions support that one, larger intent. We’ll eat out less, which means we’ll spend more time at home at our own kitchen table and less time at large group gatherings at a local restaurant. He’s learning to cook, which means once a week we’re both in the kitchen as I guide him through a new recipe. We’re going to the gym, together, for scheduled classes, every day of the week. And we’re reducing the level of our community involvement. We’re not giving up any of the activities we love, but this year we’re not the president of the activity, or a board member.
Already, three weeks into the new year, we’re seeing more of each other. We’re getting more opportunities to play a game of Scrabble, just because we want to. And we don’t feel like we’ve lost our connection to our lives outside of our home, we’re just not allowing ourselves to get a swept up in activities that take us whirling away from each other. We’re getting healthier together, and it our relationship continues to strengthen.
All of these things are good. I sit here, three weeks in, and look back at the decisions we made, how we are pursuing them, and what their effect has been so far, and I know that this is all very good. But I also know we missed something.
Our resolutions this year focused on our relationship with each other. Which is very important. As a married couple of less than two years, we already know how important it is to constantly renew and feed the relationship between you and the person you spend your life with. But we left Someone out, the Person that we’ve both spent our entire lives close to, longer than we’ve known each other or any other person in our lives. The relationship that always begs for renewal and investment, but which we constantly overlook, especially when our lives are busy.
One would think that, as we made the decision to pull in from our busy, activity-filled lives, we would think of both our relationship with each other and our relationship with God. Especially now that we’re a married couple, our relationship with God has changed almost as much as our relationship with each other. The relationship I have with my Lord was always mine, with influences from my family growing up. Now, my husband and I share the relationship we have with God, He is a part of the love that is between us and a part of our little family. How could we focus on our relationship with each other and not also focus on our relationship with Him?
My personal experience is that of a newlywed and a young adult and an overcommitted chronic volunteer. Everyone’s experience is different. But our relationship with God changes and grows with us at every juncture. So why aren’t we putting in the energy to spend some extra time with God? To speak with him and deepen our relationship with him? Not just this year, but next year, and the year after?
I think it’s time to make a belated additional resolution, and I hope you’ll join me. In between all of my at-home cooking, gym classes, cooking lessons, and the occasional game of Scrabble, I’m going to focus on my relationship with God. I’m making a resolution to spend more time in prayer, to invest myself in my weekly Mass, to encounter and deepen the ways that God is a part of my relationship with my husband, and to rediscover and renew the relationship that defines every relationship in my life.