Monday, November 23, 2015

The Habits of Marriage: Introduction

Since Laura and I have started blogging about marriage, we’ve covered several good techniques and attitudes to use in your marriage on a daily basis. But what does all that mean if you only use it for a few days or even weeks before you fall back into old habits? In our marriage, I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to revert to my old ways; once things are going great, I get complacent. Being an extraordinary spouse requires the same amount of effort and determination over time that being great at anything else requires. Seeing results over the long term requires two things, commitment and consistency.

Commitment + Consistency = Results

When something is important to us, commitment is the easy part. Every spouse wants to have a wonderful marriage. If you didn’t want a good marriage, you wouldn’t have chosen this person to spend the rest of your life with you. Having a wonderful marriage isn’t that easy though, which is why I’m writing about being married and not about choosing a spouse. So what does commitment mean in marriage? It means being unselfish. Most people, whether they want to admit it or not, are generally selfish in their marriage. All of us are selfish at least some of the time, but being conscious of it and committed to change is key. 

What is commitment without consistency, though? I have a personal goal of being healthy. I am committed to exercising daily, but I don’t do it consistently, so I don’t see results. A study at the University College of London showed that it took 66 days of doing something consecutively to create a habit. That is consistency. You must remind yourself of what your goals are and why you are trying to accomplish it. Let’s be real: having an extraordinary marriage will be very difficult, seemingly impossible.  But great marriages exist. We’ve all seen at least one. So what’s the key to consistency?

I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, it takes one foundational choice: spending time with and trusting in the Lord. As imperfect people, we lose patience and steadfastness, and as a result, we lose our consistency. We get the energy, patience, and fortitude to continue toward the goal of a wonderful marriage only when the Holy Spirit is our source. His will is for you to have a wonderful marriage, and with discipline and commitment, He will help you stay consistent with good habits. 

We want to spend the next few Mondays blogging about 5 Good Habits for Marriage:

Remember, commitment plus consistency equals results. Hopefully, you are firmly committed to your marriage, and through the Holy Spirit, you can learn to be consistent and create good habits for developing an extraordinary marriage. 

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