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Women Living Well Blog: The 25 Day Praise Plan - Marriage Challenge

Women Living Well Blog

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The 25 Day Praise Plan - Marriage Challenge

There are 25 days until Valentine's Day so it's time to implement the 25 Day Praise Plan.

Each week the challenge will be the same - to praise, encourage, inspire, admire, build up, thank and appreciate your husband. But each week I will give you different ways to express your praise. Feel free to tweak it for what you think is best for your husband.

JR Miller writes "So it is in the dark hours of a man's life, when burdens press, when sorrows weigh like mountains upon his soul, when adversities have left him crushed and broken, or when he is in the midst of fierce struggles which try the strength of every fibre of his manhood, that all the radiance and glory of a true wife's strengthful love shine out before his eyes. Only then does he recognize in her God's angel of mercy."

Let's be angels of mercy to our husbands. We may think they are filled with confidence and strength but they are only human. They have insecurities, fears, failures, burdens and cares that we do not always slow down to recognize. We lose our tenderness in the hustle and bustle of life and this month let's slow down and really see our husband's with fresh eyes.

It's tempting to make Valentine's Day all about ourselves - but let's pursue being selfless and living according to Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."(NIV)

Week 1 starts TODAY! Look for ways to praise your husband verbally. Praise him in front of the kids, friends, family, co-workers, on facebook, tweet it - get praise out anyway you can! Try to mention something noteworthy he has done - in his role as provider, father, husband, lover, or friend. If the thought of trying to come up with one terrifies you, then pray right now that God will give you new eyes to see your husband as God does. Then open your mouth and say something kind and uplifting to your husband today and tomorrow and the next day until Valentine's Day arrives!(if you want a devotional to go along with this Nancy Leigh Demoss has an amazing Marriage Pdf here)

Week 2 January 26th - This week we will be a little more creative with our praise. I will give you many ideas of fun things you can do to praise your husband such as surprising him with a love message on the mirror, a message packed in his lunch, using sidewalk chalk to write on the driveway, write a poem, making a toast to him at dinner with friends etc. Get creative with your selflessness!

Week 3 February 2nd - Pursue intimacy and place the intimate needs of your spouse above your own. Seek to "kiss him like you mean it" every single day this week! Solomon 5:16 says "His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely." Paula Rinehart says that for many men, "Sex is like a silent cheer." Our men feel stronger, more capable, and built up when we respond to their advances with a smile. "Be available, agreeable and interested" (~Linda Dillow) Give a Foot massage, back rub, shower together, be creative!

Week 4 February 9th
- Women love romance, chocolate and flowers on Valentines Day. Do you know what your husband wants? Ask him! Let me make a suggestion as to what a majority of men want even if they aren't willing to say it: a great tasting, looking, smelling home cooked meal and home cooked dessert, you pursuing him for a night of passion (remember you are married - HAVE fun! God created passion for us married folk! lol!) or a letter expressing all the things you admire about him. One of these things he would surely enjoy. Which of the three does your husband need from you right now?

"When you touch your husband's deepest need something good almost always happens!"~ Dr. Emerson Eggerich

So I challenge you today to not just show your husband you love him but show him that you LIKE him!

I want to invite bloggers to link-up if you are participating in this challenge. If you are not a blogger - please leave a comment below to let me know that you have committed to the challenge!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don't forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button or the Marriage Challenge button to your post so your readers can find us here!

Walk with the King!

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Blogger It's Grace said...

This is a fantastic idea, and I'm in! Several years ago I did the Linda Dillow study "Creative Counterpart" and it was then that I truly began understanding just how important I treat my husband actually is. I am looking forward to this challenge, thank you for organizing it. And, I am excited to share my heart garland on the Women Living Well Wednesday link up, too.


January 18, 2011 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Just me~Bobbie Jo said...

What a neat idea and this will help me to remember what I am suppose to all the time. :)

January 18, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

I LOVE the accoutability blogging gives me - thank you for joining me on this journey. Let the blessing of our husband's begin!

January 18, 2011 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger Sarah beth said...

I am IN FOR THE PRAISE PLAN! This looks like alot of fun and good for our souls as a couple.. I am always looking for a new ways to be romantic and sweet..challenges like this keep me going and remind me even on the busiest days!

Its little guestures like these that make a marriage strong.. not a dozen roses and diamonds..

Thanks a bunch!!!!

January 18, 2011 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Laura Elizabeth Fredlund said...

Count me in! :)

January 18, 2011 at 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Rene said...

I'm in! Hmmm...have to be really creative this week and next week....I will be working out of town 4 days this week and 4 days next week. THINK, THINK, THINK.

Thanks for the challenge.

January 19, 2011 at 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Amy @ Finer Things said...

This is great, Courtney! Just saw it on FB tonight. Going to bed now, but will blog about it soon. :) Thanks for the challenge!

January 19, 2011 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger Katja said...

Wonderful idea! I am in! Just don't know if I can blog about it this time, as time is so busy at the moment! But would love to, just to give all these wonderful women that don't speak English the chance to get your input, too!

January 19, 2011 at 5:36 AM  
Blogger Angela Wimbish said...

Ok Courtney ... I'm in! One of my husband's main love languages is Words of Affirmation. The other is physical touch. Neither of which are easy for me. This will be a challenge, but I'm committed! Thanks for all you do!

January 19, 2011 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger EmilyRSPS said...

I am in! Think of all the wonderful things that could happen in our churches, cities, businesses, and world if more women lifted their husbands up! Thanks for the challenge!

January 19, 2011 at 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Marcy said...

I love your challenges! You can count me in! :o)

January 19, 2011 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Ooops I posted a link to a post that would coincide with the Women Living Well Theme but not necessarily the marriage challenge! Sorry :) But I will of course particpate in the 25 Day Praise Plan...absolutely :)

January 19, 2011 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I am totally in but not sure if I will blog about it since the hubby reads the blog every day!

I've been trying to be better about this since he is a Words of Affirmation guy so I love this challenge!

Thanks sweet Courtney!

January 19, 2011 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I so need this right now! I have been feeling Satan's attacks against my marriage. What a great tool so that I can do battle and strengthen my marriage! Thanks, Courtney!

January 19, 2011 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been working on affirming my husband and this is a great way to continue with some new ideas. Thanks for the challenge - I'm in!

January 19, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

Brilliant! While I believe the "why" behind biblical womanhood is so important, I also believe the "how" holds equal importance - especially for someone like me who is still in the process of changing. This is so helpful. Thank you.

January 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I love the quote by JR Miller, very deep, thought provoking!
I had to chuckle when I rea about what HE wants for VAlentines day, because my husband has already told me he wants to grill thick steaks, and have homemade apple pie for dessert! you hit the nail on the head! :)

January 19, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Great idea! I am in! I try to do some of those 'little things' on a regular basis but I have to admit that sometimes it becomes routine instead of desire. I am excited for the challenge!

January 19, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will be a great challenge to be involved with right now with everything going on right now... Thanks for the encouragement to focus on my husband this Valentines instead of myself!

January 19, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. B. said...

I'm on board. My husband just expressed to me last night how he feels like he can do anything when he feels like I'm on his side and not being negative or bossy. Humbling, but necessary, to hear. Truly, the power of life is in the tongue.

January 19, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Ginger Perry said...

Hi Courtney! I just awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award! Your blog is very stylish, but for me you earned this award because you are very faithful about sharing God, and not just you life! Thank you for being so encouraging to me and to others!

January 19, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Saved by Grace said...

I love this challenge exactly what I need right now. The Lord knows.

God Bless you and thank you for this challenge.

In His Love,

January 19, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger theconfidentmom said...

What a great challenge and I am in! I will not be blogging about, although I do have a blog - I will be passing this information on to my FANS on my facebook page though - I am sure others will join in!

January 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

You know, I was again teaching my children about the Revolution today. I was so pleased, after having read your marriage challenge last night, to see how Martha Washington was dedicated to supporting and encouraging her husband, who literally had the weight and future of this entire nation resting on his incredible shoulders. When Washington would camp for extended periods with his men, she would travel to where he was (with the wives of other officers), to cook, administer aid and remedies, and to knit and repair clothing for the men; socks, mittens, etc. Can you imagine how loved, supported, and encouraged Washington felt by her willing presence? Just thought it was a wonderful historical example of Godly wives validating their husbands.
Btw, my pastor sent me a link today and I thought you might enjoy reading it as well. Have a great day, Courtney. Be blessed!


January 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Stella said...

What a great idea! I am in, too!

January 19, 2011 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this idea!!!!


January 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

A friend directed me to your blog ... and I love it already!! This is a GREAT idea - the motivation I needed to get busy being a better wife!! Thank you. Looking forward to reading/participating MORE!

January 19, 2011 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Lizzy said...

I love this! I'm in ;)

January 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

What is being done to offer husbands the opportunity to support and affirm their wives? After all, the Bible also says that husbands should love their wives and be fulfilling their duties to their wives the same as wives to their husbands as companions. Would love to see a 25 Day challenge for them as well.


January 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Sherry Lauser said...

Dear Courtney,

This is great! It will be so good for me. I know that I need to do these things (and I really want to because I have the greatest husband) but at times everyday life seems to take over and they get left out. This puts them back in the important area of my life!

God Bless,

January 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in! We've had a rough past week or so, and just finally turned a corner yesterday. Looking forward to this challenge. Thanks for sharing it!

January 19, 2011 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Jackie - my blog is for women - "Women Living Well" - men are not my audience.

I fully agree that men should be loving their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her - (Eph. 5).

I believe that praising our husbands will motivate them to love better...if he is a good willed husband.

The type of husband who would take this challenge is the same type of husband who will respond in a loving manner to the wife implementing the 25 day praise plan.

So let's be willing to go first - be selfless - not worry so much about me me me and praise our man.

I praise my husband not because he is always so worthy but because I love God so much I want to honor him in my marriage. I have reaped the blessings ten fold of my obedience to God's word and efforts put into my marriage.

Be strong - you can do this!


January 19, 2011 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Courtney, I am so excited that I clicked and read your post today!
I guess I had overlooked this challenge, but girl this is just an added treat. I realized last night (hey, I need to give more encouragement). I picked up Willard Harley's book Fall in Love and Stay in Love and started reading last night & left a quick note on the counter for my sweetheart to find this morning and then I found your challenge. I must say I realized this is from the Lord. Everyone needs a constant reminder that it takes "WORK" to make a marriage work! 25 years for us this year

January 19, 2011 at 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Courtney, thank you so much for consistently encouraging us to build up our husbands and marriages. I won't be blogging, but will be participating in the challenge (just because it's a little too personal for me to blog about), and I will link to it on my Facebook blog page as well.

Also, I loved this paragraph:

"Let's be angels of mercy to our husbands. We may think they are filled with confidence and strength but they are only human. They have insecurities, fears, failures, burdens and cares that we do not always slow down to recognize. We lose our tenderness in the hustle and bustle of life and this month let's slow down and really see our husband's with fresh eyes."

January 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I am in on the James study at GMG but I'm going to have to pass on this.

I've been married for over 25 years and my husband could care less. I've tried numerous and various things to reaffirm him, give him attention, etc. None of it matters to him.

I'll leave this one to the younger women who have more promise than my marriage. :(

January 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM  
Anonymous LoveBird said...

Hi Courtney! I'm a new reader and don't have a blog to link up, but just wanted to let you know that I'm participating and excited about the ways we can all bless our husbands and love them well!

Thank you for the ministry you do through your blog!

January 19, 2011 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Briana said...

This should be fun. I'm joining!

January 19, 2011 at 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

I am very excited to bless my husband in this way! And I have to tell you that this is great timing too because the topic of Women's Bible Study at church today was on "Love" and I was particularly convicted that I am VERY selfish with my love of my dear husband. When he doesn't love me the way that I think he "should"
I become bitter and it's "hard" for me to love him. How sinful, selfish and self-focused of me to forget that I have the power of the Holy Spirit, the instrument and power of God in me, with which I can love my husband REGARDLESS of how he treats, speaks to, or loves/doesn't love me. Praise God for His perfect Sovereignty in my life to start working on my heart through hearing, reading and studying His Word in WBS today, and now to start a Love challenge!!
Thank you for this challenge! I want to SHOW my husband how precious he is to me, and this is a great starting place to put Love into practice.

January 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger melanie said...

Ditto to your comment on challenging men, Courtney - My DH love me best when I am more lovable - when I am loving on him!

♥ Thanks for this!

January 19, 2011 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger blessed_theresa said...

I am so in! Thanks for all of the ideas. I know my husband appreciates every little thing I do for him. Your suggestions are just what I need to motivate me. Thank you very much!

January 19, 2011 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger hollisterlyn said...

Excellent idea, Courtney! I lack this so much~praise was not big in my home, so I find it hard to give praise without feeling fake. I intend to try hard in this~with God's help, I can leave a better legacy for my children than I had. Love me parents dearly, but without the Lord, they didn't have the resources needed to teach me these things. : ) My hubby will appreciate this immensely!! ~In Christ, Holly

January 19, 2011 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Amanda Reiser said...

Thanks Courtney for sharing this awesome challenge! God Bless!!

January 19, 2011 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Mommy of Two said...

I am in :) I don't know how often I will be able to post about it, my blogging plate is becoming quite full, BUT I will be doing the challenge even if I'm not writing all of the time. Thank you!

January 20, 2011 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger Lisa Maria said...

Hi Courtney,

I love this challenge and I will be participating. I never realised until within the last year of my life what a man's needs are (and I learned alot from Dr Eggerich too!) Its amazing how you can be married for 20 years and never understand your mate's needs.

Thank you for this challenge... I'm proud to day I think I've been doing alot of this already (within the last year ;-)

It will be fun to build up the excitement.. especially since its going to lead us right into our 21st wedding anniversary in February!

Good Luck to everyone!

January 20, 2011 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Lisa Maria said...

@ Anonymous

I wish I could talk to you in person. You may think its too late, but it never is! It wasn't until my 20th year of marriage that my husband and I truly achieved closeness. We had to go through some serious fires before that. I know you may think that everyone else here has a perfect marriage, but I'm sure that's not true. Maybe you should just try something different. If you start doing some of these things, he just might start responding!

I hope that you read this.. I've been reaching out to women through other forums and I really want you to believe it isn't too late. I'd love for you to get in touch with me. I could tell you some stories about my own life! Meanwhile I pray that God touches your heart and your husband's... believe me He can make all things new.. He did it for me, He'll do it for you! Please don't give up!

January 20, 2011 at 6:22 AM  
Blogger DairyQueen said...

Thanks, I love this!

I am just reading this this morning, but I started yesterday :)

I happened to go to Sam's yesterday, and I saw a HUGE bag of pistachios - his favorite! This has been a particularly trying week for us (him especially); so I picked up the bag and left it on his dresser with a note telling him that he is the BEST dad, husband, and lover that I could have ever dreamed of and that I love him very much. Then I followed through last night.

It was not hard for me to do, even though there was tension between us just a couple of days ago. I was so grateful to God that he didn't let the Enemy use a bad day to bring us apart.

January 20, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It strikes me that this is good advice for those who already have good marriages. For a wife who is struggling - struggling to like her husband, feeling hurt or betrayed or whatever - this may sound like a penance that is just too difficult to comprehend.

January 20, 2011 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I so need this... My first baby was born at the beginning of November and I'm sure my husband would like his wife back instead of this new Mama person all the time!

January 20, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Michellel said...

I am definitely in. This is a great reminder to praise him daily.

January 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Anonymous -

There is no doubt that some husbands have failed to be the men that God desires them to be. Some women are stuck in hard marriages and I am SO sincerely sorry that this is where you are.

I don't know how deep the pain and hurt is for you - most likely it's beyond what any little blog could ever even scratch the surface on...have you pursued pastoral or Christian counselling?

Holding bitterness in your heart is poison to your own soul - it will hurt you more than it hurts him.

I encourage you to fight for you marriage - fight the sin in your own soul that holds onto discontentment and anger. I wrote a blog post here on dealing with bitterness:

Before you can move forward into the joy that God means for you to have in your marriage - you must forgive...and take baby kind word, one sweet kiss, one kind love note, one kind meal...let God's grace back into your home - and pray that God restores the death that sin has brought.

NO marriage is too far gone - our God is able - believe that! Live that! And lean hard on Jesus.

Much Love,
Ps. If you are in need of some free anonymous Christian counseling please call Focus On the Families hotline: 1-800-232-6459

January 20, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Great idea - I'm in! I do have a blog, but probably won't be blogging about this -right now, anyway- since my hubby reads my blog! Perhaps I will blog about the experience and results after Valentine's Day! So enjoy your blog, Courtney! Thanks!

January 20, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Sad that I need a challenge to do these things, but so glad I found your blog. Starting the challenge today!

January 20, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you, Courtney...I read your article about bitterness, and of course I could relate to it. By "coincidence" you mention a scripture that is significant to me (Phillippians 4:8) It is the scripture I have turned to often....lately I do indeed feel bitterness in my heart. I just don't like my husband very much, and every one of his faults seems so enormous. (of course my own faults are tiny!) I will attempt to show love to him - even though it is the last thing in the world I feel like doing. I know love isn't about feelings anyway... Thank you for your suggestions - I know you mean well. Our human nature makes us want to receive love before we give it -you reminded me that God asks something else of me.

January 20, 2011 at 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Denise said...

To Anonymous - I am praying that things will be better for you and your husband. You will be blessed for doing this challenge even if your husband doesn't notice - God will know and bless you. Best wishes to you.

January 20, 2011 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger ScrapinFunatic said...

I will be praising my husband on facebook, texting throughout the day, and little notes here and there.

Thank you Courtney.


January 20, 2011 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Kathy Fannon, Health Coach said...

Awesome! Thank you for this, Courtney! I need some creative ideas and look forward to doing this. :)

January 22, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Courtney, I found your blog last night and loved it, but forget to make note of the link! You'll love this - I went to google and typed in "Blog -25 Days till Valentines Day" and yes - it brought up your web site several times! I was so happy to find you again and I've bookmarked you as well as sending your link to my email address! I don't want to lose you again. Thanks for your testimony. From a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and married for 50 years this coming July!!! But I want to always be learning!!!!!!

January 23, 2011 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I'm definitely in! I was thinking I needed to get back to being more purposeful in loving my better half. It seems "life" tries to move in and my time with and for him is what gets squeezed out and I know that's not how it should be. This is a great motivator, thanks for the challenge!

January 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the "other Anonymous" who posted, I just wanted to say that I'm going to do this challenge after reading your bitterness post, Courtney.

You have been such a blessing to me when I was nasty to you.

Thank you so much.


January 24, 2011 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger cj said...

Thanks Courtney for this challenge. God hit my upside the head this morning, letting me with no uncertain terms that this was something I needed to do. Today was day one for me.

January 25, 2011 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Kalee said...

I'm a little late to the game, but I am so in! I suppose something must have been going on with God though, because I spent last week praising my husband tons and then came across this last night when I was finally catching up on blogs!

My husband is deploying in a month and I committed to spending this month trying to really focus on him and our marriage. So far that has meant biting my tongue lots and really just loving him for the man he is trying to be.

January 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger (un)Deniably Domestic said...

On this the last week of your challenge, I have found your blog. But, what I want to share this late in the game is that I do all of these things. I kiss John like I mean it every time. We never leave without looking back and waving or blowing a kiss. We text all day. I have a box of love sticky notes and so does he. I am so happy to not have to be challenged! :) Love your blog. ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

February 6, 2011 at 9:44 PM  

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