With the New Year upon us, there are stacks of stats out there about how New Year’s resolutions don’t work. For example, most of them don’t last through February.
Most of us already knew that.
Most of us also know that to change a behavior we need to develop a new habit. In other words, “practice makes perfect.”
Any new behavior feels strange – even “wrong” at first. But if we repeat the behavior over and over, it eventually becomes a habit and feels normal. How long this takes is up for debate, but it’s safe to say it’s probably longer than most of us would like.
This goes for changing our behavior in marriage too. Do you really want to get off that Crazy Cycle and onto the Energizing Cycle with your spouse? Start a new habit of doing the right thing, right now. Let today be your turning point.
A few weeks ago in my blog entitled Christmas Chaos, we heard from Katie about how applying respect during the holidays was a turning point in her marriage. Eight years later, Katie’s consistent behavior has led to long term change! We often stress the importance of consistency in honoring God in your marriage, and this story of how respect became a lifestyle really shares our heart and hope for each of you.
The understanding I gained from Love and Respect served as the turning point for our marriage. I am happy to say that my husband and I celebrated our 12th anniversary and have a strong, thriving and solid relationship. The specific family challenges that I described 8 years ago are markedly better; and as new challenges come up in our marriage we handle them with a much lower degree of conflict. Our marriage is mostly one of unity and joy, and when it is not, it prompts me to take a look at what I am not doing. The answer is almost always me showing a lack of respect for my husband, or not leaning on God instead of my own strength - or a combination of the two. But now I can pretty easily identify what I am not doing, and it's completely within my ability to correct that. Sometimes my sin nature and stubbornness just takes me a little longer!
The Love and Respect teachings have helped me to build a much deeper and stronger relationship with God. I have seen the incredible power of getting instruction from Scripture and taking the step of faith to follow it, even when you don't initially understand it or believe it will help. I know now that I will ALWAYS benefit from learning more about God's word and putting it to use in my life. God's grace, as a result of my faith, has blessed me more incredibly than I ever might have guessed. I know that will just keep getting better! (Katie)
This dynamic couple has continued to make an impact in their church and community, bringing the Love and Respect Live Conference to their church, mentoring engaged and married couples, and even sharing the principles of respect in their workplace.
Because Katie decided to do things differently one Christmas, countless lives have been changed!
What will be your turning point in 2013? Change can start with a simple decision to do things differently in your marriage. Then, be consistent.
As we begin a new year, our thanks to all of you who are acting in obedience to Ephesians 5:33 and making a difference in the world!
Happy New Year!