Our last post traversed the helpful thoughts of C. S. Lewis on Christian marriage. That post ended with the realization that you can make love a habit. That you can design your daily habits and routines to enrich your marriage and love your spouse well.
Littered throughout James Clear’s Atomic Habits you’ll find helpful insight into how new habits form. The greatest revelation it delivers is the outstanding news that you can take hold of the wheel. You can steer your life, and marriage, in a new and better direction.
If you’re like me, you can believe that making big changes in your life requires you to take big steps forward. In short, you look for big actions that lead to big results. You also ignore small things because they won’t move the needle far enough.
Small incremental improvements are easy to dismiss. They appear too small to mess with. The interesting thing is that they pay off over the long term. Small improvements compound to create a massive tidal wave of change. You get a little bit better each day and transform into a better version of yourself. You look up after a measure of time, only to realize the growth that has taken place along the way.
This simple yet powerful idea changes the entire trajectory of your marriage. You don’t have to do big massive things to grow your marriage. In fact, there is power in the cumulative effect of repeated small actions.
You may find it hard to get going. You may have a million different ideas on how to love your wife well but remain unsure which is the best. In short, you get paralyzed by the plethora of options before you.
You’re not alone in getting caught up in the paralyzing power of too many options. It happens to each person walking the planet. In this regard, Voltaire is correct: the best is the enemy of the good.
Of course, you don’t want to choose a bad option. But, with many good options on the table, movement is a win. Taking a step forward gets you going and getting going sets you in motion to forming new habits.
You don’t need the perfect collection of habits to improve your marriage. All you need is to pick some good ones and do them. That’s how habits form. You do them over and over again until they happen without your even noticing.
Clear’s insight to, “make it easy” is helpful. It flips the weakness of your laziness to your advantage. Make loving actions as easy as possible. Make it easier than any alternative. Redesign your life so these actions are the easiest to do.
If you want a great marriage, habits are the path. Walk that path and happily ever after rests within your grasp.