A Project to Improve Your Relationships in the New Year

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Happy New Year! What are you hoping for in 2017? Improved relationships? The goal of The Relationship Project is to help us all do better together.

Happy New Year! What are you hoping for in 2017?

You’ve made your resolutions, listed your goals, and penciled in your plans…

Don’t you just love the way a new year stretches out full of possibility?

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?

I quit making resolutions several years ago because I don’t like going into the year with negatives on my heart and mind. Goals make more sense to me as I try to make positive objectives, not past failures my motivation.

My goal last year was to learn as much as I could about what I believed, why I believed it, and how to make my faith a more prominent part of my daily life. So, I studied the Scriptures to find out more about things like freedom, wisdom, prayer, and stillness. And then I looked at ways to intentionally apply what I learned to my life.

Thank you so much for sharing that experience with me.

I know I will never “finish” the faith project as I will always want to grow closer to and know more about my heavenly Father, in this writing space it’s time to move on to a new theme.

I’ve been planning for months, so I’m super excited to finally be able to tell you what you will find here in 2017…

Happy New Year! What are you hoping for in 2017? Improved relationships? The goal of The Relationship Project is to help us all do better together.

Every relationship you and I have is or should be affected by our relationship to God through Jesus.

We are all connected. It’s the way God planned it.

 Then the Lord God took dust from the ground and formed a man from it. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nose, and the man became a living person. Genesis 2:7

 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him.” Genesis 2:18

So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply, and while he was asleep, God removed one of the man’s ribs. Then God closed up the man’s skin at the place where he took the rib. The Lord God used the rib from the man to make a woman, and then he brought the woman to the man. Genesis 2:21–22

From that point, people have been related to each other.


And more.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the enemy of our souls wreak havoc on our relationships. And I don’t know about you, but I think it feels like he is working overtime.

As I talk to friends and family, look around while running errands, take part in groups, work with others, everywhere I go . . . people add more stress and anxiety to our lives than anything else.

People are unpredictable, challenging, opinionated, bossy, glory seeking, benders of truth.

Not you and me of course, but other people . . . they can be a handful.

Truthfully, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have at least one relationship that is hurting their heart and making life difficult.

And that makes me wonder…

As followers of Jesus, who have experienced God’s love and grace shouldn’t our relationships be different?

Absolutely! But it’s hard and often we don’t know what to do or what to say.

The world tells us how to be politically correct to make our relationships better but in all honesty, I don’t see how that’s working out very well.

So, like The Faith Project, The Relationship Project will dig deep into what God says about living connected to each other and then look for ways to apply His Word to our lives in ways that will bless our marriages, families, friendships, and work relationships.

Jesus showed people a better way. The apostles wrote extensively about how Jesus’ followers should live together in community.

So, let’s actually apply godly wisdom and bless our relationships like crazy.

Happy New Year! What are you hoping for in 2017? Improved relationships? The goal of The Relationship Project is to help us all do better together.

But first…

I need your help!

As I plan the year, it would help me to know your greatest relationship struggles.


What your friends and family are telling you they find most challenging.

Money Management/Debt?
Interference by Friends and Family?
Forgiveness of Past Offenses?
Changing and Differing Goals?
Style Differences in Parenting?
Household Management and Responsibility?
Managing Technology?
Dealing with Stress and Anxiety?
Coworkers and the Demands of Work?
Core Values and Beliefs?
Social Media?
Health Issues?
Toddlers? Tweens? Teens? and Young Adult Children?

Let me know what you think and what you’d like to discuss. You can email me at deb@debwolf.com. or leave a comment below.

And finally…

If you’re a blogger, I’m accepting guest posts again this year.

Your relationship stories can bless and help others.

Our daughter and grandson spent a few days with us last week. At one point, in the middle of a game of Skip-bo she said, “Well, that was a learning experience!”

Yep, everything is a learning experience. Good or bad. Positive or negative. You and I are learning every day. We’re learning what works and what doesn’t. Who we can trust and who we can’t. When to react and when to wait. What builds relationships and what destroys.

We can learn from your learning experiences.

If you’re interested, you can find out more here.

Happy New Year! What are you hoping for in 2017? Improved relationships? The goal of The Relationship Project is to help us all do better together.

And Now, Some Relationship Quotes to Kick off the New Year

“To be loved by God is the highest relationship, the highest achievement, and the highest position in life.” ~Henry Blackaby

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” ~Billy Graham

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5–6

“Countless mistakes in marriage, parenting, ministry, and other relationships are failures to balance grace and truth. Sometimes we neglect both. Often we choose one over the other.” ~Randy Alcorn

“We may not say that we have the answers. Questions of how to conduct oneself as a Christian, or how to serve as a Christian, must be answered by life itself- the life of the individual in his direct responsible relationship to God.” ~Elisabeth Elliot

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23

May you experience overflowing blessings in your relationships in 2017.

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24 thoughts on “A Project to Improve Your Relationships in the New Year

  1. Happy New Year Deb! Interesting to note that while reading your post I noticed trust as one of the issues you would address. As I’ve begun choosing a word for this year that one has come up over and over. Trust is very difficult for me so it may be my word for the year.

    Other areas I’d like to see covered are financial issues, forgiveness, being a more effective model of God’s Word, teaching His Word well, and walking for closely with Him.

    Make it a great year, Deb! Your blog inspires me!


    1. Thanks, Marie, I’m making a list of all these topics. I agree, trust is a huge issue in relationships. Thanks for those great ideas!! Happy New Year to you!!

  2. Good morning Deb, I am excited for your new relationship project! One of the relationships I struggle with is my adult daughter who still lives at home with me. I read it is more common for adult children to be living with parents longer. Any biblical advice on keeping peace and balance would be greatly appreciated! Blessings, Lynn

    1. Oh, that’s a good topic, Lynn! So many people have adult children living at home. I will definitely add that to the list. Blessings in 2017!

  3. Deb, I think all those categories you listed above are worthy of exploration during the year as we examine relationships together. At some point, I think, almost all of us have struggled with many of them, and it would be so helpful to see how we can make things better through our relationship with Jesus.
    Blessings, and Happy New Year!

  4. I have chills seeing that your theme is “The Relationship Project” this year … because the focus God gave me for 2017 is to love others WELL. I’m starting a project called the #365lovewellproject. Maybe we can partner on this??? <3

  5. Looking forward to reading about your new project. I love all the topics you have included ,this year I would like to focus on my struggle in the area of how to invite someone very close who left me in my utmost time of need back into my life ,since the person is an extended family.
    another area is managing my nearly 3 year old triplets alone while my husband works full time.


    1. What a loving reaction to wanting this person back in your life. Good for you! Triplets, wow! Sounds like you have 3 times the love and more busyness than many of us can imagine! Blessings and hugs to you!!

  6. I’m looking forward to this series! I’ll be reading intently, as I have lots to learn in this area. I have a couple of words for this year…grace and generosity. Specifically, I feel like I want to focus on those words and how I show them to others…so how perfect, that you’ll be writing about relationships and loving others well.

  7. Deb, what a great project. Relationships can be messy and hard for sure! I think the hardest thing for me is seeing my children, grandchildren and others struggle because they don’t want to do things God’s way (not that I haven’t done the same). But when you “see the light,” so to speak, you hope those you love wouldn’t have to learn the hard way.

    As far as what issues I see as the most pressing or frequent … I think bitterness and unforgiveness are some of the hardest to deal with in relationships.Although lack of communication and many of the others on your list are big, too.

    I look forward to reading your posts on the subject. New Year blessings!

  8. Hi Deb
    Great focus for 2017 as relationships require the faith that was your focus for 2016.
    The words that jumped out to me from your list above were ‘Forgiveness for past offenses’.
    This is so necessary for relationship building but hard to do; and often we are unaware that this is an issue.
    Looking forward to your blog this year.



  9. This looks like a great new series, Deb!
    What fun this year will be!
    I think I’d love to read more about money and relationships – how money (or the lack of it) impacts our relationships.

  10. I’m a new reader and so glad to have found your blog! Like another poster, trust is probably going to be my word for this year. The relationships that I find difficult are with my ex-husband and the kids. He is away from God and it is sad when my kids come home telling me certain things. With this in mind, I guess I would like to read a post about how people deal with loneliness whether you’re divorced or widowed and how relationships change from there.

  11. Yay! I’m so excited to read your posts on this new relationship project. Your writing is always so filled with God’s wisdom and truth. There are definitely issues in relationships that can be hard to navigate.

  12. I am so looking forward to all you have to share about how the lord desires us to live in relationships. May He refresh your soul as He leads you in His wisdom. From your neighbor at Coffee for your Heart.

  13. I’m so looking forward to each of these posts, Deb! Relationships are so important but often we bury our heads in the sand and refuse to deal with the difficult. Thanks for tackling that for us!

  14. This project looks for good! You always share such wisdom, I can’t wait to see more. One relationship struggle I think is important to address is building deep meaningful connections with others, whether friends or family. Everyone is so busy these days, and there is societal pressure to keep up the appearance of having it all together even when we don’t. I think there are many people struggling and lonely because of lack of meaningful connections with others.

  15. Deb, I’m looking forward to this year’s theme. It is so needed. As a supervisor for almost two decades, I know there is a problem with conflict resolution. I would love to learn more in that area. Praying for you as you jump into this theme.

  16. I’m excited about this project, Deb! I want to break out of my shell by building more face-to-face relationships as well as those in the blogging community; I look forward to reading about improving relationships.

  17. Building in-person relationships has become a focus of mine lately; I need to “let others in,” so to speak. I also want to break out of my shell and build relationships in the blogging community. I look forward to reading about relationship building!

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