Hot, Holy & Humorous

Resolution Week: What's Your "One Word" for Your Marriage?

I’m declaring it Resolution Week here on Hot, Holy & Humorous, and after a bit of break over the holidays, I’ll be churning five posts this week! All on making resolutions, goals, or attitude shifts—however you want to look at it—to improve your marriage and the sexual intimacy within it.

A few years back, someone concocted the idea of choosing a single word as your “word of the year” that would guide your goals and attitude. For the past few years, I’ve selected a word of the year. This practice has yielded varied results, with me sometimes feeling very focused by the word and other times forgetting what word I chose altogether.

My One Word for 2020

After mulling for a while about my one word for 2020, I’ve chosen PROMISE.

Frankly, I had a couple of other words floated around in my head until yesterday morning when I was at church. I saw the word promise somewhere, and it jumped out at me. Maybe that’s a God-thing—I like to think it is—or maybe the word just appeals to me. Yet promise conveys my desire to be a person who keeps my word, who relies on God’s promises to me, and who feels hopeful about the future, believing it is indeed filled with promise.

Of course, the word PROMISE has extensive implications for my marriage. I made a promise to my husband 27 years ago, or rather a bundle of promises. We call that wedding script our marriage “vows” for a reason. How have I done fulfilling them? What can I do better?

Regarding our sexual intimacy, doesn’t marriage involve the promise of physical exclusivity, connection, intentionality, desire, and even passion? Whether we know it all at the time, when we say, “I do,” we’re also saying, “I do you.” How’s that going in my marriage?

Whether we know it all at the time, when we say, "I do," we're also saying, "I do you." How's that going in my #marriage? @hotholyhumorous Share on X

Promises to Keep

Maybe I’ve got you thinking about how well you’ve kept your promises in your marriage and whether you need to make some new promises for the sexual intimacy with your spouse. For example, do you need to make any of these vows to your beloved?

  • I promise to visit the doctor to see why my sexual interest and/or sexual function isn’t what it should be.
  • I promise to seek help for my porn habit and knock this out of my life once and for all.
  • I promise to give you a rain check if I’m not feeling up to having sex when you initiate. (And I promise not renege on the rain check.)
  • I promise to try something new in the bedroom, to stretch my comfort zone just a little.
  • I promise to prioritize my health so we can be more active in our sex life.
  • I promise to turn on the lights, at least low lighting, so you can see my body.
  • I promise to stop pressuring you about sex.
  • I promise to initiate sex more often.
  • I promise to go through a book about sex in marriage with you.

Of course, promises aren’t worth much unless you keep them.

I once did an extensively study of the Bible, looking for scriptures about trusting others, and you can’t find much on that. God is very concerned that we trust Him, but as for one another, most verses don’t focus on trusting others but rather being trustworthy. Trustworthy people keep their promises.

Or at least do their best. We will let one another down, since we’re not perfect like our Heavenly Father, but we can try to be trustworthy. We can try to be a person of our word.

My Word Isn’t Your Word

But speaking of words, my word of the year likely isn’t your word. Don’t just copy mine. Rather, figure out where you need to focus right now in your life.

If you hate New Year’s resolutions, don’t think of it as coordinating with this moment in time, but rather this spot in your spiritual and/or relational journey. Where are you in your marriage and with your sexual intimacy? What areas need your attention?

Here are some of the words I’ve recently heard from others. Perhaps something here will strike you.




You can also find numerous blog posts and sites with one-word ideas, such as this one, this one, this one, or even this quiz from DaySpring.

Personal One Word vs. Marriage One Word

But even if you choose a word for yourself, is that the same word you should have for your marriage? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

Whether aligned with the New Year or not, it’s a good practice to periodically sit with your spouse, preferably away from the stresses of work or home, and discuss where your relationship is and where you want it to go. What do each of you see as positives? And where do you see areas for improvement?

What one word sums up what you both want for your marriage bed? Here are a few ideas to get you brainstorming the answer to that question:




Promises Kept

And now I’m back to my word for the year! Because if you do talk this out and come up with a word, don’t just make it a nice exercise you did around January. Rather, make it more like a vow to one another. For instance:

  • “This year, we will mutually pursue PURITY, by making our home porn and erotica-free, by focusing our thoughts solely on one another, by embracing that sex in marriage is a pure act of love blessed by God.”
  • “This year, we will mutually prioritize PRAYER, by making a goal of praying together at least once each day, by praying for one another, and by praying before, during, or after sex to invite God into our one-flesh relationship.””This year, we will foster TRUST, by confessing where we have failed one another, extending forgiveness and working on repentance, being open and vulnerable, and by treating one another’s bodies with gentleness and respect.”

What area of your marriage and sexuality needs your attention right now? What’s your marriage’s one word?

11 thoughts on “Resolution Week: What's Your "One Word" for Your Marriage?”

  1. My One Word is actually a One Phrase…”If you have something to prove you can do anything.”

    But, if pressed, I do have a One Word…

    If I told you my Word this year,
    you’d think that I’m a nut,
    but hey, I’ll share it, never fear:
    the word is ADEQUATE.
    I’m sick to death of “Be thou GREAT”,
    and wearied by “It could be better!”
    because they make one’s daily fate
    a set of always-striving fetters.
    Enjoy the good that you’re given,
    overlook what makes you mad;
    if failure leaves you feeling riven,
    best recall that pride is bad.
    As with cars, living’s more fun
    with “Well, what the h***…it runs!”

  2. Contentment is my one word. This is the same contentment that the Apostle Paul refers to. I want to avoid being angry but rather accept the circumstances that I cannot change.

  3. Elouise Van der Merwe

    I love this idea, thank you for sharing! After some consideration my word is “steadfast “. For 2020 to be the year of getting to know that I know that I know, the steadfastness of God and then living from that steadfastness in my marriage, my family and my career. I want to be like that woman in Proverbs 31. In the end her family calls out her wisdom. And she was steadfast.

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  6. Flourish. We’ve been married for 6 years, and it’s been a crazy ride of having 3 children in 2.5 years, losing my health, being lonely in our town, hubby biding his time at a job he hates, and battling discouragement and low grade depression. I’ve just been surviving, but it’s time for me to stand up and thrive. ??

  7. Just seeing this repost… with 2021 came a new diagnosis: ADHD. I recently read a blog post (can’t remember who by) but she talks about how it’s ok to strive for a mediocre life. For her, that’s where peace and contentment lie. I found that it’s the same for me. We have three kiddos under 4, all boys and to top it off, we live in a one room RV. Our family longs to see us “better off” with more money, more house, more more more. You could replace “more” with the word “better.” While they care for me deeply and long to see me living up to their expectations of what they think my best life should be, I just want to be happy here, in my mediocre life. I want to learn to be content with what I have even though it’s not what family and society tell me is right for our little family. I’m happy in the mediocre right now while we work through school, paying off debt and trying to save for a down payment by. So I think mediocre can be my word, but happily-mediocre would be better. It’s a positive thing for us right now.

    1. I was just telling someone today how we need to do a better job of talking to ourselves the way we’d talk to a friend. “You’re doing the best you can.” “It’s okay not to get it all done.” “You’re a great mom!” That kind of thing. Goes along with what you’re saying here. Hang in there, Erin! ♥

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