Do you think a 30-day marriage challenge will change your husband?

Don’t worry. It’s ok to admit you are stuck in a rut. No one is immune from life’s troubles. We all have times of conflict and disharmony. I know first-hand.

Perhaps you feel like your marriage is so bad that it is hopeless and a 30-day marriage challenge wouldn’t work. In fact, there is little or no communication between you and your spouse any longer. You have both shut down.

And now you are doing the blame game. Each of you pointing fingers, thinking the other person needs to change first.

And then the classic line erupts from one of your mouths, “If only my spouse would stop doing ______, we wouldn’t have this problem.”

Somehow you have it in your brain that if you criticize your marriage partner long enough, something will be different. You will force a change.


Your spouse may try to please you for a while, but eventually, the change won’t be permanent because it is not from the heart. And many times resentment follows the forced change.

The reality is you can only change yourself–not your spouse.

In this post, I am going to tell you how to change your husband with a 30-day marriage challenge. In fact, you will be shocked at how well it works.

Hello, it’s biblical! It should work! If all else fails, read the directions…Right?

Proverbs 15:4 says, ” Gentle words cause life and health; griping brings discouragement” (The Book).

RELATED: How to Change Your Husband With These 5 Powerful Prayers

Why Do Wives Criticize Their Husbands?

If you want to know how to change your husband with a 30-marriage challenge, then it is time to look at why you are criticizing him.

Before we go there, let’s get a good definition of a critical spirit.

A critical spirit is “a negative attitude of the heart that seeks to condemn, tear down, and destroy with words. In contrast, constructive criticism involves opinions that are meant to build up.”

Many times, a critical person says he is coming from a place of help, guidance, or advice when making suggestions. He wants to make sure you do it “right.”

Unfortunately, “right” is ambiguous to most people because many tasks can be done “right” in multiple ways. For example: dishes, laundry, cooking, yard work, cleaning, and parenting can all be accomplished in various ways.

In reality, the “help or advice” given is actually nitpicky, judgemental, or controlling. What it says is, “I don’t approve of you.” Did you realize that every time you correct, judge, or push that you are booing your husband?

A critical spirit can leave the other person feeling completely useless, inadequate, or even feeling stupid because “right” wasn’t achieved.

You are contributing to your marriage problems when you are more concerned about being right than the overall relationship.

If you want to do a 30-day marriage challenge, then realize it starts with being kind, loving, and positive.

Proverbs 15:15 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels” (The Book).

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RELATED: Christian Marriage Advice: 10 Best Tips For a Christ-Centered Marriage

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What Does It Mean to Be Critical of Your Partner?

Most of the time, criticism is a form of control. No one likes to be pushed or forced to do things a “certain way” when many times there are multiple ways to do them. Certainly, this doesn’t apply to everything, however, there are some things that just don’t matter in the whole scheme of life.

The criticism may start with little things like how she cleans the house, hangs the towels, or makes dinner. Or how he bathes the kids, squeezes the toothpaste,  or mows the lawn. All of these things need to get done, but they don’t need to be micromanaged.

If the criticism gets worse, it may go to a new level. Perhaps you start criticizing and embarrassing each other in public or berating each other in front of the kids.

Over time, the narrative of your marriage becomes hostile. You are constantly cutting each other down.

Sooner or later a critical spirit will erode the marriage until there is nothing left. This is when the marriage is most vulnerable. A man will look for another woman who will admire and cheer him, and a woman will look for a man who will cherish her.

If you have a critical spirit, you could be driving your spouse away into the arms of another person who will appreciate what you have.

This is why a critical spirit is wrong and sinful. In fact, it is destructive to any relationship

This is Satan’s strategy to tear your marriage apart. And it is working…really well.

Did you know Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10)? Are you following in the same behavior?

RELATED: Spiritual Wholeness: 6 Powerful Ways to Mend a Relationship

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The Root Cause of a Failing Marriage

The root cause of a failing marriage may be a critical spirit of either partner. In my research, I found all sorts of reasons. I am highlighting just a few:

1. It was modeled in childhood

Perhaps, this is how your parents modeled marriage. And now you are repeating it. The thing you hated the most when you were a child is part of who you are now. You criticize your spouse just like your mom criticized your dad or vice versa.

2. Pride or insecurity

Pride and insecurity can worm their way into our hearts. We feel superior when we criticize, berate, or correct our spouse.  That ugly spirit inside of us is threatened by someone else doing things a different way. Or even better.

There is a sort of righteous indignation or rigid view about how things are to be done. While it is true some tasks have to be done in a certain manner, we find it difficult to tolerate preferences or personality differences.

3. Negative or bad attitude

Some people are just going to have a bad attitude or choose to be negative. It may be because of work, family of origin issues, illness, or some other pressing problem.

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No matter how things are done, it is wrong. This kind of behavior is difficult to tolerate. Over time, negativity can ruin the marriage and the atmosphere of the home.

RELATED: The #1 Secret to a Happy Marriage Is Not What You Think

4. Anger and unforgiveness

A spouse who is angry and unforgiving will keep poisoning the marriage with acidic remarks, not allowing for forgiveness or healing to take place.

One of my friends, who does marriage counseling, says when she sees a spouse who is highly critical or verbally abusive she knows the marriage is in serious trouble. If the critical spirit doesn’t leave then it will be next to impossible to move forward.

This is why you need to do a 30-day marriage challenge.

The Bible says, “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that builds up and provides what is needed so that what you say will do good to those who hear you” (Eph 4:29-GNT).

Related: 5 Burning Reasons Why You Need to Forgive Those Who Hurt You

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How Can I Change My Husband in 30 Days?

If you want to do a 30-day marriage challenge and move forward into a healthy marriage then it is important to examine your heart and see if you are the one poisoning your marriage with your words.

God does not act this way and neither should you. God is love.

John 4: 16 says, “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them” (New Living Translation).

It is okay if your spouse does things differently. Embrace the fact that he or she is helping you do the dishes, etc.

When you do need to speak up, choose your words wisely. Focus on being encouraging and not critical. Your job is to cheer for your spouse just like a coach or a great teacher cheers for a student.

Think about this…Your husband has been cheered by his parents, family, in sports, job, and then you come along and boo him.

Would you want to come home to boos?

RELATED: Read this article on encouraging your husband by Dave and Ann Wilson (FamilyLife Today) for further explanation.

Make it your goal from now on to catch your spouse doing things “right.” You are on the same team. When your spouse wins, you win too! This is the spirit of the 30-day marriage challenge.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing ” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV).

RELATED: War Room Prayer Strategy: 7 Tips to Pray Powerful Prayers

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30-day marriage challenge

30-Day Marriage Challenge

Try this 30-day marriage challenge. You will have a different husband at the end of the month.

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1. For the next 30 days, do not say anything negative to your husband. Nothing to him or about him to anyone else. (Abuse and infidelity do not count. This has to be addressed immediately.)

2. Replace the negative talk with positive and encouraging comments. Say only this to your husband for the next 30 days. Make them sincere, and do it often. Make sure you talk publicly about how wonderful he is both when he is listening and when he is not.

Many of you will struggle with this after one day. Keep going! Your struggle only shows how deeply you have slid into negativity, and how desperately you need to reverse the tone. You can do this!

3. After the 30-day marriage challenge, examine your marriage. I bet you will find that you did change your husband, and most of all, you are different too. You will have a much better attitude about him. And hopefully, he will be nicer to you too.

This doesn’t mean you bypass marriage counseling if needed. Sin needs to be confronted and addressed. I am talking more about preferences, management style, and personality differences.

If you want to really push it along, pray for him every day. This will help your attitude and reinforce the 30-day marriage challenge.

You can choose not to be irritable despite your differences in personality. There are some things that are just not worth fighting about. Wait to “die on a hill” that really matters.

Did you do the 30-day marriage challenge?  I would love to hear how it went. 


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Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or have a family estrangement? Do you feel shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement (and reconciliation) from my Christian family but also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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Creating Family Memories Book

Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids.  It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.

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Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!

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There are tips on building a Christian home, parenting, marriage, family issues, and faith. Learn how to get back to the things that matter most in your life and the life of your family. It’s time for a revival!


Julie is a wife, mom, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, and faith with a touch of humor.


  1. I just loved this part “Your struggle only shows how deeply you have gone into negativity”. Thabk you very much for beeing so clear and brave in writting those words. Those were the push I needed. Ready to bring more joy and gratitude to my marriage and family right now!!

    • Romina, I am so glad this was helpful for you. Dealing with your part will definitely help your marriage in so many ways. Praying for your spouse will really push it along. God can help the most troubled marriages if we will put a stake in the ground and say no more.

    • Erin, I am so glad that you use these same points in therapy. Having a critical spirit is destructive in any marriage. Thanks for the comment.

  2. There is so much truth here! I’ve found that the things I nag and fuss about the most are the things that become sore spots in our marriage, but when I change the narrative and instead begin to encourage and come along side my husband, real change begins to happen. But it’s not just his actions that change, it’s my heart and attitude toward him ❤️

    • Erin, yes! You have the concept down. I know it is tempting to push your husband to change, but you can only change yourself. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I have found this to be so true in my marriage as well as in my relationship with my children. When I am overly critical and don’t leave room for grace or personality differences then it tears us apart. I have had to learn to tame my tongue and it has made a huge difference in our family.

    • Sara, I know what you mean. It is easy to filter everything through your own lens and not see outside that scope. We miss so much when we don’t have empathy for others and understand how they feel. Thanks for your comment.

  4. It seems like such an uphill battle to get rid of this spirit, its hard work working on yourself!

  5. I couldn´t agree more with you!
    I have a critical spirit and I´m coincidentally addressing this issue on my next post, tomorrow!
    How I found a way to stop criticizing my husband and focus on my own flaws instead and how that made my 20-year-old marriage feel like it was brand new again!

    • Carla, that is great. I hope you share how and what you have done to make your marriage new again. Thanks for your comment.

    • Vaishall, I guess it depends if you are the one giving or receiving. I have run across some critical people and it is not fun being the object of their attention. Thanks for your comment.

  6. It’s so important to address this! It makes me cringe when I see couples do this but I know I’m SO inclined to be critical. I know praying and asking the Holy Spirit to help guard my mind and mouth from criticism.

    • Bailey, I think it is in our DNA to want to criticize others. I have to really watch my mouth too. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Yes! These are all so true! I often have a critical spirit. Some of it comes from insecurities, but I also saw this critical spirit modeled in one of my parents because of their anger in the marriage. It’s so easy to get caught up in a cycle of “how your parents did things” but I have been trying to improve because like you said, we are a team and my husband should be cheered on, not criticized.

    • Kristin, it is amazing when you shower someone with praise instead of criticism. Good for you for working on it. That is the best thing possible.

  8. Super introspective post. I think everyone has every emotion at some time and we should all be self aware.

    • Shanab, yes it good to be self-aware. I think we all have to work on things in our life. It is just a part of our nature.

  9. This post was much needed. THank you so much for this post. I have noticed that I do have a critical spirit at times and it was definitely modeled by my mom within her marriage during my childhood. Something I certainly don’t want to repeat. Praying and working on it for sure.

    • I am so glad you are working on yourself. We all have issues to deal with from time to time. Thanks for your comment.

  10. I think we all do at times so always something to keep working on.

  11. This is a new concept to me and I found it very interesting. I never looked at it quite like this. Sometimes you get so caught up in being right instead of fixing the relationship. You are right, if it isn’t constructive it seems it won’t actually fix a problem.

  12. What a great post. I never experience a bad marriage because I am not but I have seen them fall apart.

  13. Sheena Moncatar Reply

    Oops, I am single and not yet ready to settle down. However, your post got me glued ’till the end. To make a marriage work it actually involves a whole lot of effort from both parties. Lastly, I agree that a critical spirit is the heart’s “negative attitude” that seeks to condemn, tear down, and destroy with words. But I do know that at the end of the day when two parties are willing to compromise, everything is going to be alright.

    • Sheena, I am so thrilled you enjoyed this post. Something to think about if you get married someday. Thanks for your comment!

  14. Thank you for sharing this very informative. Although I’m not yet married I will always remember your points and Yes I agree to all, the Root Cause Of A Critical Spirit especially when pride intervenes.

  15. Elizabeth O Reply

    The points you mentioned here is very true. They can create a cause in the marriage and to run smoothly our marriage life we should avoid these circumstances.

  16. Matija Antonić Reply

    We all know that marriage is never gonna be easy, there will be hard times and fights, but during those times you shouldn’t blame your spouse for things you have done, if you see there is a problem you need to talk it out, communication is key to keeping a marriage last 😀

  17. The success of a marriage is a two-way process. I am blessed to have a husband who is patient and very forgiving. I think it is just because we just respect each other so much.

  18. Monidipa Dutta Reply

    In marriages, stress is a leading cause of interpersonal tension and dysfunctional relationships. … A lot of the stress in marriage is avoidable when both parties are aware of stressful triggers.

  19. Hello,
    I am not married but I found this very interesting. My parents have been almost married for 30 years I can I se from their marriage that marriage is not easy. However marriage can last if two people are willing to fight.

  20. You are so right when you wrote that you can’t change another person. Trying will just make you crazy.

  21. I think there are many concepts here that we need to remember. There are definitely things I will apply in my marriage.

  22. Keshia Richmond Reply

    Tons of people have a critical spirit and this was such an interesting read.

  23. I’ m not married yet but some of my friends had a problem with marriage but they are the strong bond relationship to resolve their problems.

  24. I’ve never even heard of this before so this whole post was a learning experience for me! great job!

  25. Great post, going o book mark this. Sometimes I feel as tho I’m being unfair to my husband, he’s a saint but I completely identify with many of these.

  26. This is something I’m working on in my marriage. We both realized that we were wrong, so we decided to go to marriage counseling. My husband and I are getting much better at not criticizing each other, it’s great.

  27. Marriage is not easy, but the real marriage will resolve the problems!

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