A brand new year is here, and with it comes a lot of New Year resolutions. As Christians, there is no greater place to start than within your own marriage. How is your relationship with your spouse? Here are 7 ways to totally wreak havoc in your Christian marriage:

1. Make mountains out of mole hills

Marriages are filled with a lot of joys, sorrows, and irritations along the way. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between a mountain and a molehill. Mountains are those things that are worth taking a stand, while molehills are more like minor irritations. Mountains are very large and immovable. Molehills are small irritating piles of dirt that are easily smoothed over. If you are having difficulty distinguishing between and mountain and a molehill, ask yourself if this issue is worth taking time out of your day to discuss with your spouse.

2. Yell at one another

The quickest way to destroy communication in your Christian marriage is to yell at one another. Proverbs 18:21 states, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Such power the tongue has! Are you using yours for life or death in your relationship with your spouse?

3. Build emotional walls

Emotional walls steal the intimacy in a marriage. And Christian marriages are not free from them. In fact, every marriage has them from time to time because we are imperfect humans. Yet, the difference between a healthy relationship and unhealthy one is what you do with the emotional walls. Do you choose to keep your emotional walls, thereby building them higher? Or do you allow communication and forgiveness to help tear them down?

4. Ignore you problems

Avoidance and denial are two crucial ingredients to destroying any Christian marriage. They go together with the adage “If we don’t face it, then it doesn’t exist” or “Don’t rock the boat.” Conflict avoidance will take your marriage down the pathway to such great destinations of Misunderstanding, Distrust, and Resentment. Where as facing your problems can take you to such resorts as Forgiveness, Intimacy and Happiness.

5. Hold on to resentment

Resentment paralyzes any martial relationship. It serves as a catalyst for distance, lack of communication, and bitterness between spouses. If you want a relationship filled with bitterness, plant the seed of resentment and nurture it with an unforgiving spirit.

6. Store up ammunition for your next argument

Long before popular psychology came into existence, the Apostle Paul penned an award winner definition for Christian love. It is found in I Corinthians 13:5, “…it does not keep a record of wrongs;…” Today some may call this “letting go” or “forgiveness.” Regardless of what it is called, as Christians we are encouraged to not keep a running tally list of the offenses our spouses have committed against us.

7. Never ask for forgiveness

As humans, it feels so much better to point out others’ faults rather than admit our own. Yet, marriage is about having the maturity to first ask for forgiveness for how we have hurt our spouse, rather than demanding their asking us for forgiveness.