Have you ever looked at your marriage and wondered……if only it could be a little better, a little stronger, a little more enjoyable? Or maybe you’re in crisis and you have wondered……is there anything I can do to make a difference? The answer is YES!!!
My husband and I developed a 21 Day Marriage Press to help you do just that. No matter what shape your marriage is in, just a few small things each day, can make a world of difference to your marriage.
There are plenty of workouts designed to improve our physical body; become leaner, loose weight, etc. There are classes and certifications designed to improve our careers and we are constantly looking for the next great parenting advice but how often do we go looking for a program to improve our marriage? If you are like me, or at least who I used to be, you might realize that seldom does our marriage rank high enough to get our attention, let alone motivate us to find a program to “beef up” or “pump up” our marriage. Like I mentioned in previous blogs, our marriage deserves to be rated higher on our priority list, but once we decide our marriage deserves better, what do we do about it?
One of the best ways to jump-start your marriage is to commit to a 21 Day Marriage Press. 21 Days, each day with 7 small things your can do to PUMP UP YOUR MARRIAGE!!!
So what are the 7 things we do in a 21 Day Marriage Press?
- Pray for your marriage.
- Pray for God’s will for your marriage.
- DO NOT pray for your spouse to change. Pray that God will help you love your spouse today as they are, no matter the mess. Pray that you can see your spouse as God sees them.
- What? This seems a little weird. Yes, I am sure it does, especially if you are in a rocky place in your marriage or in a crisis marriage. The world has taught us to be critical of everyone, including our spouse. Of course we all have flaws and we all could be better but when we focus on what needs to change in our spouse, it becomes impossible to see them as they are today. Praying to love our spouse as they are today, even in the mess, allows God to shine a light on the parts of your spouse that God loves, allowing us to grow in love for our spouse in ways we could never imagine. And don’t worry, over time God will not only change you and softening your heart toward your spouse, He will also change and improve your spouse in His way and for His glory.
- We provide you with several prayers written to follow these guidelines.
- Do an act of kindness for your spouse:
- Maybe you make their favorite coffee flavor instead of the one you prefer.
- Bring your spouse their morning cup of coffee.
- Help get the kids ready for school or offer to take the kids to school today.
- Do a chore your spouse normally does; even better if it is something they do not like to do.
- Write a sticky note and place it on their mirror saying “I Love you.” or “Have a good day.”
- Offer to bring lunch to your spouse.
- Watch their favorite show/sport with them.
- Wash their car or empty the dishwasher.
- Anything you think THEY would appreciate.
- Power 3 – Thank You, I Love You, & I’m Sorry
- These 3 little phrases make a world of difference. Strive to say each of them daily.
- What kind of power do these 3 phrases have? With every negative thing we say or do, we build up a wall of brinks between our spouse and us. Each time we say one of these phrases we knock a brick off the wall. The more often we use them the faster the wall crumbles.
- “Thank you” says I appreciate you and I don’t take you or your actions for granted..
- “I Love You” says I still love you today.
- “I’m Sorry” says I care enough to understand the effect my actions or words (or lack there of) have on you.
- If you are in crisis these words might not come very easy. Choose one, maybe “Thank You” and start showing appreciation for your spouse, especially in the little things. Over time, strive for the other 2 phrases as well.
- 5 minute Face to Face (include praying together)
- Make your spouse a priority for 5 minutes each day.
- You might be thinking “5 minutes, that’s all?” Well, this 5 minutes is 5 minutes face to face, uninterrupted (no TV, no cell phones, no technology at all) and without talk of kids or work.
- Maybe your 5 minutes is before the kids wake-up in the morning or after they have gone to bed at night. If that is not possible, you might need to get creative.
- Even those of you with small kids can do this!!! I believe in you!!! Put the little one in the playpen for 5 minutes while the toddlers are in front of the TV for 5 minutes. Tell them, it is “Mom & Daddy time” and not to interrupt you unless there is BLOOD!!! Offer a reward when they comply without interruption. Again, get creative; maybe ask your neighbors to watch the kids for 5 minutes while you walk around the block. Remember, you will make time for what is important to you.
- If you are unsure what to talk about during your 5 minutes we recommend you start with:
- Pray Together (use prayers we provide or something else)
- Ask your spouse “What can I do for you today to make your day easier?” or if your 5 minutes are in the evening, “What can I do for you tomorrow to make your day easier?”
- Share your blessings (you will learn about this in #7 below)
- Txt or Call your spouse (with no agenda)
- Take a quick second to send a txt message or email to your spouse letting them know you are thinking of them, miss them, wish them well today.
- No agenda means this contact with your spouse is about them and your relationship only, no other items included or discussed. For example, it would be good to say, “I love you, have a great day” but it would not be ok to say, “I love you, oh can you pick up some milk on the way home?” Get the picture?
- If you are in crisis, you might not be able to say, “I love you” or “I miss you” but you can say, “Hope you have a great day” or “Hope your meeting goes well”.
- Gentle Physical Touch
- Gentle physical touch is holding hands, a kiss on the cheek or forehead, sitting close on the couch; anything that is not aggressive or implies you want “more”
- It is important to establish trust with your spouse that touching doesn’t always have to be about sex
- Record your Blessings (in a small notebook)
- This is probably the most challenging yet one of the most important of the 7 items.
- Buy a small notebook and begin recording your blessings everyday.
- Try to identify at least 3 Blessings that are related to your marriage.
- If you are in crisis, it might be challenging to find even 1 blessing related to your marriage. Partly because there is very little going on you would consider a blessing and partly because we have stopped looking for the blessings because the negative has overwhelmed us. I promise there is at least one blessing in your marriage each day; you might have to look very hard for it or you might need to lower the bar a little BUT once you start praying for your marriage and your spouse, God will be faithful with the blessings, they just might not be what you were hoping for.
- Why record our blessings? It is so very easy to focus on what isn’t going well or what has hurt us. Even if our marriage is not in crisis, the busyness of life can often get in the way and keep us from seeing and appreciating the good that is happening. Focusing on our blessings each day helps us focus on the good that is happening and over time we can look back and see how much God has really blessed us.
It only takes about 15 minutes of your day to do all 7 items: 5 minutes here, 1 minute there, etc. Your marriage deserves the outcome that will result from you focusing on your marriage. So what will you and your marriage gain from the focused effort of 7 items (approx 15 minutes) for 21 days?
- Your love and affection for your spouse will increase.
- You will find yourself thinking about your spouse more throughout the day.
- Your irritation or anger with your spouse will decrease.
- You will become more aware of your spouse’s day-to-day sacrifices or contributions to your family.
- Your desire to express your love to your spouse intimately will increase.
- Fewer misunderstandings between you and your spouse.
But what if my spouse isn’t interested in doing the 21 Day Marriage Press with me? Is it even worth doing by myself? YES!!!!! It is totally worth you completing the 21 Day Marriage Press by yourself. I would suggest you let your spouse know you are doing it and offer for him/her to do it with you, but most spouses won’t jump on board immediately. Maybe they are business with other things and aren’t ready to start it today, maybe they tried a marriage program before and were dis-appointed with the outcome; maybe you are in a crisis marriage and they do not see the point. No matter the reason your spouse might choose to not join you, the power of the 21 Day Marriage Press is not dependent on their participation.
If you are lucky enough to be doing the 21 Day Marriage Press along side your spouse, one word of caution….make sure not to measure what they are doing or are not doing. You focus on your 21 days and your actions toward them. Do not be the “monitor” or “policeman” of your spouse and their effort. This is a lesson is sacrifice; very seldom will the effort in our marriage be equally matched with each of us giving 50%. Most often one of us will be giving 110% while our spouse is not able to give much at all. Learning to be a sacrificial servant spouse instead of matching your effort with theirs will transform your marriage to a whole new level!!!
So are you ready to take the 21 Day Marriage Press? Good luck! I am looking forward to hearing how God blesses your marriage and changes your habits toward your spouse during the 21 days!!!
Below you will find 2 files. Print them to get started (on 2 sides of one paper would be ideal)
- 21-day-worksheet The checklist to help you keep track of your 21 days.
- 21-day-worksheet-prayers The prayers to help you.
We would love your feedback. Send us an email once you have completed your 21 Day Marriage Press and let us know how it went and any improvements you are seeing in your marriage. Also, please feel free to email us with questions or concerns along the way, we are happy to help in any way we can. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you know someone that us struggling? Maybe it is their marriage or maybe its just life!
Check out the products at HOPE IN A BOX www.hopeinabox.com