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Do you think a 30-day marriage challenge will change your husband? I bet it would.
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.
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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).
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. 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 you need to be positive before it is too late.
Proverbs 15:15 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels” (The Book).
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: The Ugly Truth About Shame and Guilt
The Root Cause of a Failing Marriage
The root cause of a failing marriage may be a critical spirit by 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 its 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.
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.
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).
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 encouragement 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).
30-Day Marriage Challenge
Try this 30-day marriage challenge. You will have a different husband at the end of the month.
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 gone into negativity, and how desperately you need to reverse the tone. You can do this!
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.
This doesn’t mean you bypass marriage counseling if needed. Sin needs to 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.
Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling 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 from my Christian family, but it 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.
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.
Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.