Three weeks pass quickly, especially when you’re on an extended vacation. Ah! Doesn’t a three week cruise sound wonderful? But it’s not happening for us and probably not for you either. <sigh> But three weeks really does go by fast!
You’ve most likely heard of the 21 Day Fix nutritional and fitness program created by Autumn Calabrese. It’s the 3 week program to jump start your metabolism through exercise and eating clean. I’ve been on it for a week now, and I am feeling good so far. I love that she doesn’t have ready-made food for purchase in the grocery stores that costs a bunch of money. Instead, she gives you the food groups and quantities allowed based on your caloric intake, then you create your own recipes (or find them on-line) using the ingredients. The best part is, I love most of the choices, making my meals fun to create.
This got me thinking…if three weeks can help someone learn how to eat better and care for their bodies, how would a similar “fix” be for marriage? Imagine if each couple that signed up committed to be intentional towards their marriage for 21 days. What would be the effect?
I’m sure you’d see positive changes begin to take place. But it wouldn’t change completely.
There is a theory that has been shared over and over by respected people like Zig Ziglar who say it takes only 21 days to form a new habit. I read this interesting article about how this isn’t true and why. I won’t go into all the details, but it is a fascinating read. The conclusion is that is takes a MINIMUM of 21 days to see a new habit formed. It could take almost a year depending on the habit and the extenuating circumstances. It just goes to show that nothing is foolproof.
To fix your marriage or form new habits that will help it grow requires:
- First of all, a LIFELONG COMMITMENT. You have to be all in or it will be too easy to quit when it gets difficult.
- Secondly it requires a willingness to ADMIT WHEN WE ARE WRONG, because many times we’ll treat our spouse in a way that isn’t loving and kind. We’ll sin against them no matter how much we said we were committed to improve our marriage yesterday.
- Thirdly, it requires a willingness to FORGIVE OVER AND OVER AGAIN. When we realize how much God has forgiven us through Christ, it helps us do the impossible and treat our spouse in the same manner. Like I said at the beginning of this post, habits sometimes take a long time to form, and bad habits can take an even longer time to change. If 21 days is our goal we’ll quickly become discouraged and lose our resolve in staying with the program. Asking God to help you do this is key to lasting change.
As you both do these things you’ll discover that a lifetime commitment reaps even greater benefits than a healthy diet or exercise program, because you’re not in it for the beach body marriage for the summer–you’re in it
till death parts you…
to glorify God…
to grow old together…
…as you watch your children, grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren grow up and have full productive lives. What a privilege it is to display this kind of marriage to those coming up behind us. This is our goal, and we hope our goal will inspire yours.