(By Andrea Stunz) My husband and I value forward-thinking and troubleshooting in most areas of our lives, especially our marriage. We like to look ahead and point out potential pitfalls that might become challenges. We aren’t always thorough but by trying, we are a step ahead. From the beginning of our almost three decades of marriage, we have tried to focus on making and keeping our marriage healthy. We are keenly aware of the foxes (Song of Solomon 2:15) that prowl the outskirts of our garden seeking to ruin. We are being extra purposeful this year to keep our eyes and hearts focused on maintaining a healthy marriage because we know what happens when we don’t. I would like to share with you five goals that we feel can foster an intentional marriage in 2018.

Live the Gospel – We have a little wooden sign hanging in our house that says, “Every family has a story. Welcome to ours.” Our marriage story is one of immeasurable grace and continually finding ourselves on the path to redemption. We want to live out the Gospel and encourage others to do the same. When people see our marriage, we want them to feel the authentic and welcoming embrace of the Gospel. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27 NIV CONTINUE