It’s so easy for marriages to stall out, slip into neutral, or flip over to automatic pilot. In our rush-rush culture, marriages often fall to the bottom of priority lists in favour of more urgent tasks and projects. Husbands and wives pass like ships in the dark; occasionally brushing past each other in their journeys, but all too often gliding past without connecting.
In The Husband Project author Kathi Lipp challenges women to revive their relationships and put their husbands at the top of their to-do-lists for three weeks, 21 days of non-stop loving. Woah nelly, that seems like a huge commitment – tmaking a concerted, even planned effort to shower love on our husbands for three entire weeks? With preschoolers underfoot all day, meals to cook, diapers to change, the house to clean and educational goals to meet, the goal seemed daunting at first glance. Thankfully Lipp is a real woman, the projects are realistic and attainable – even for a busy mom like me.
Coming alongside wives from all walks of life, Lipp knows what it is to balance marriage, children, work and the home. She comes alongside women to encourage them, hold them accountable, and provide a solid plan to express love and affection towards the ones God has called us to cleave to. Although firm in her insistence that the entire 21-day project be completed (enlisting real-life accountability chums helps this process), she acknowledges that real life happens. Some projects will need to be altered or substituted in accordance with your own husbands preferences, your family’s financial situation, illness and other potential emergencies. However, she calls wives to press on to completion, even if delays are encountered and the 21 days stretches into 30… or so.
Lipp launches the project with a section dedicated to laying the foundation. After establishing the need for The Husband Project she tackles planning, secrecy, motivation from the heart, dealing with difficulties and customizing the project to your marriage. It’s a quick-start followed by a dive into the three weeks of plans to express your love and adoration for your mate.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that each day's project is actually quite achievable. With a small amount of planning, I can see how nearly any woman can be successful in fulfilling the three-week commitment to bless her husband. Coming from a planning impaired woman like myself, that’s really saying something. Each project is small enough to accomplish, yet significant enough to express love, particularly for those men — the vast majority of them — whose language of love is made up of acts of service.
Each daily project receives its own chapter, headed by an inspirational quote, followed by the project plans and suggested prayer to keep your heart focused upon the task at hand for the day. Then commences real life suggestions to implement and customize the plan, and “project reports” from real wives who have successfully completed the project, their plan of attack and the results they experienced. The project reports provide more ideas and thoughts on how to put the plans into action and work within them, according to your husband's makeup to bless his socks off.
Lipp knows what makes most men tick and has enlisted wives around the U.S. to test out specific daily projects on their men. Those that clicked stayed in the book; those that flopped were pitched. What remains is a practical list of suggestions that rotate around food, sex, and service. If we’re honest with ourselves, women know how to light their mans fire – it’s just a matter of putting a practical, realistic plan into action, and Lipp provides the tools to do just that.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Husband Project to any woman looking to infuse her marriage with a bit more sizzle. While the language is Christian, I found faith-based references to be fairly light for a Christian non-fiction title. Scriptural analogies pop up, and prayer suggestions are provided for every project, but the mood is friendly, casual and authentic. All marriages need regular reinvigoration and Lipp’s book fits the bill regardless of the faith of you and your spouse.