Once upon a time, you said “I do.” Whether it was months ago or over fifty years ago, you likely said and meant your vows because, above all, you really enjoyed every moment of life spent with the person across the altar from you. You anticipated many, many more days of love and laughter, which you’ve had… likely along with some incredibly busy seasons of work, children, moves, stresses of life, and on and on and on. And if you’re being honest with yourself you can freely admit that there have been some times (gasp!) when enjoying life with your spouse wasn’t your top priority. Perhaps, in the tougher seasons, you’ve wondered how you could rekindle some of the friendship and quality time that was so prevalent many, many moons ago when every moment spent together was pure exhilaration.
That’s where The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter comes in. I love reading, I love projects, and even more than that, I love convincing my very busy husband to do things like compile long lists of all the reasons why he loves me. (Which is something I assume he was already doing in his spare time, of course.) The Marriage Project is exactly what it claims to be — a book that lists twenty-one projects for husbands and wives to complete together over the course of three weeks, spending time building greater friendship and affection towards one another in the process. I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy from Harvest House Publishers (thank you!) and went through the twenty-one projects with Wes, who was an AMAZING sport. (Date nights with steak dinners, action movies, and NO children will do that to a guy, you know.)
“Intentional” is the key word that Lipp brings to mind again and again, as she outlines three weeks’ worth of projects for you and your spouse to complete. While many of the suggestions are likely activities that spouses are already doing (like completing a household chore together, having a movie night, working out together, etc), the overall spirit of the book is that we should be intentional and deliberate about how we choose to interact and spend time with our spouses. Using humor and drawing from her own experience as a busy mother/wife/author, Lipp presents each of the twenty-one suggested activities along with a short description of the different ways you can complete each project. The great theme of the entire project is intentionally and purposefully carving time out of your schedule every day for one-on-one time with your spouse — something that every couple, no matter how long they’ve been married, can certainly use.
Wes and I are in a great season of our marriage — it’s called both of our children are almost potty trained, everyone sleeps through the night, and no one spits up formula anymore. Even in this great season, we benefited from the outlined activities, finding that often the simplest tasks helped us to get to know one another even better and find ways to encourage one another one a daily basis. I would recommend The Marriage Project to any couple who wants to build a stronger, healthier marriage. Go and buy a copy — you won’t regret it! (And, wives, if even the promise of steak dinners doesn’t get your husband onboard, you might look into Kathi’s other book, The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man — on Purpose and with a Plan.)
And because I’m all for happier marriages (who isn’t?), I’m going to buy a brand new copy of The Marriage Project for one lucky commenter. To be entered in the drawing, simply comment and tell me what activity you most enjoy doing with your spouse. (And keep it G-rated, folks. My grandmother reads this.) I’ll announce the winner next Monday at noon!