Research says it takes an average of 10 weeks to develop a habit and incorporate it into your daily routines. Of course there is always some variance depending on the person, his or her context, and the particular habit—but on average, about 10 weeks. What could you do for your marriage over the next 10 weeks?
If you want a healthy marriage that thrives in an overall positive environment, then you must recognize that healthy marriage is not about trying to live out a romance movie in your relationship. It is not about grand vacations or expensive gifts. It is not about event-oriented living, or self-centered happiness. Rather, it is about habitually doing good things for your mate, for the good of the marriage. It is about contributing regularly to a marriage that is defined by encouragement, intimacy, forgiveness, goodness, playfulness, and graciousness—a marriage that is selfless, respectful, healthy and Christ-centered.
I don’t know what good habits you already have within your marriage, but what if over the next 10 weeks you...
- ...only said encouraging things to your spouse
- ...served your mate rather than expecting to be served
- ...listened fully and attentively without interrupting or arguing
- ...said “I love you” just one more time each day
- ...prayed for each other daily
- ...prayed with each other daily (and while we should do both, there is a significant difference between praying for each other and praying with each other)
- ...had at least one hour of uncompromised play time each week
- ...shared affectionate touch often (that isn’t just sexually driven)
- ...kissed more
- ...surprised your mate with a gift (it doesn’t have to be expensive)
- ...shared a movie, or TV show, or book together
- ...served together to help someone in need
This is just a dozen possibilities. There are hundreds of more things you could add to the list. The point is, be intentional. Develop some positive, new habit that will raise the quality of your marriage because it will bless your mate and bless you as a couple. Do something that will make your marriage a more positive, healthy place to be. Don't try to take on too much at once. Just do what you can.
With most positive, new habits, the hardest part is doing the behavior until it becomes a regular part of your daily routine. But don't give up. Create a powerful, Christ-centered, marriage-honoring environment that you can both be free to fully bless and be blessed.
What can you do in 10 weeks? What one or two things can you add to your daily routines that can have amazing effects in your marriage? You’ll never know till you try.
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