I met my husband on the beach in California. We had mutual friends who went skating, played volleyball, barbecued, and went out to eat together. Jon was not my type. I had always gone for the uber-ambitious guy with a dash of “bad boy” sprinkled in for good measure. This explains why I never considered dating Jon until my attraction to him blindsided me. As it turns out he is very much my type. We dated for seven long years before marriage (thanks to me going to graduate school and my reluctance to plan a wedding right after I got my degree).
Like any marriage, we’ve been through amazing highs and serious lows. Raising children, going through job changes, moving cities, enduring health concerns, switching churches, and facing life’s trials together has both stretched us to our limits and strengthened the bond between us. We’ve told one another private details in confidence; held each other as we cried in grief; laughed until we couldn’t breathe; and prayed long into the night with each another.
So, you might wonder why after all this life together I’m considering keeping a secret from the man that I love and encouraging you to do the same. I mean, one key to a strong marriage is openness and a willingness to be candid, right? Well, this isn’t that kind of secret.
How this secret got started
Let me back up and explain. It all started with a writer’s conference I attended in February. I had the blessing of spending a day with Kathi Lipp in a master class. To prepare for this, I thought it would be good to buy and read a book she had written, so I randomly went on Amazon and searched. All of her books seemed highly practical and motivating. After a quick glance around I saw The Husband Project and thought, “why not?”
The book arrived. Life got busy. The Husband Project sat collecting dust.
At least I owned one of Kathi’s books before going to spend a day with her learning about reaching people with the message God has given me. Unfortunately wisdom in books like this doesn’t enter our lives through osmosis. We actually have to do something with what’s between the covers to make a difference.
A road paved with good intentions
A few months later I was on a weekend retreat with my friend. I brought The Husband Project to share with her. In the book it suggests you have a partner to go through the exercises together. I wanted to ask her to join me. We decided we would for sure do this.
Again, time lapsed. Other priorities took over, and we never did quite get around to implementing the details of the book.
Over the past few months my husband and I have faced a few stressors. I went away to Africa on a mission trip. When I came home, I experienced jet lag and re-entry along with the existing tension in our home life. I started taking out my frustrations at Jon. I occasionally got impatient and fell into believing “if only he would do something differently the circumstances would improve.” That line of thinking (otherwise known as blaming) never bodes well for a marriage.
The Secret to Bless Your Marriage
One day while doing some purging in our bedroom I saw The Husband Project staring at me from a pile of books. I thought, “I need to go through that book. Jon deserves it and our marriage could use the boost right now.” The fact is, a marriage in good season can use extra attention to solidify the strength. When a couple is in distant times, this kind of book can help add some warmth to what had gone cold. If you are irritable and impatient with your husband, starting this book will help you refocus and appreciate him again.
So, what does The Husband Project entail? Basically it involves 21 days of blessing your husband – in secret. That’s right. You don’t tell him what you are doing. You don’t even have to come up with ideas. Kathi did the research and she has it all laid out. From leaving love notes, to saying good things about him to others, to doing something he loved doing when you were dating, the ideas are there – with help to modify them to your life and marriage right now.
Why am I telling you all this? I’m not an affiliate (I don’t get one cent) for Kathi’s books (though, maybe I should be after this post!). I’m simply one wife who wants to bring back the lovin’ feeling and give my man more than the dregs of life. I want to cultivate my marriage and do my part to be the wife I vowed to be.
I am guessing you do too.
Let’s Do This Thing
To make this easy, I have created a Facebook Group where a bunch of us women are going to go through this book together. We’ll start August 1st, reading the introduction and listening to some short talks by marriage experts (all on YouTube, so you can watch at your convenience). Then, starting August 10th, we’ll do the 21 days of blessing our husbands together, while spurring one another on in the group.
This is not a “fix your husband because he’s broken” type of program. More than anything, this is a way for us to realign our attitudes and perspectives as wives, to trust God with the outcome, and to love well. Doing it together in a group will be fun, encouraging, and hopefully motivating.
If you want to join us, come on over to the Facebook group. Grab up your copy of the book on Amazon (or Kindle), or at Bookfinder, and get ready to keep a secret from your husband while you bless his socks off and bring some joy back into your marriage one act of kindness at a time.