How do you learn to embrace a life of gratitude in marriage in every season? That one question has sent my wheels spinning this week. What has come out of it is a 30-day marriage challenge: a gratitude challenge.
I hope this will help us all rise to the challenge of intentionally investing in our Christian marriage.
Who Needs A Gratitude Challenge?
This is a 30 day gratitude challenge. What brought you to it? Did you find this article near November when all our minds are on thankfulness and gratitude?
Some of the searches that bring people here are:
- Printable 30 day gratitude challenge
- 30 days of thankfulness challenge
- November 30 days of gratitude challenge
- 30 days of gratitude prayer guide
- 30 days of thankfulness ideas
All of these are amazing ideas btw, but gratitude is not just for November. Regardless of the time of year, gratitude is a godly way to invest in your marriage.
This is a guide to help you with the what, why, and how of a gratitude challenge. There is also a gratitude challenge pdf to help you focus all month as you practice gratitude for 30 days!
Gratitude Is Not Easy
While gratitude will help you invest in your marriage, it does not always come easy. In fact, I freely admit that gratitude is hard for me to express when my own marriage is hard.
Sometimes marriage is lovely, and other times the challenge of marriage is a mess of two sinful people trying their best to honor God and not kill each other.
No matter which of those seasons you might be in, however, you can have a better marriage, a healthy marriage, in 30 days if you practice the habit of gratitude!
Yes, a gratitude challenge is the easiest way to instill the habit of living with an attitude of gratitude any time of year. Gratitude for the small things as well as the big things.
Before we get into the specifics of the challenge, let’s talk about the whats and whys.
Financial Stress in Marriage
In seasons of financial distress, when daily life costs more than you bring home, gratitude can be especially hard.
When you’ve had a long day, but ends still won’t meet, human nature pushes us toward irritable and grumpy with our spouse. My husband is a good man, but on those days, where financial strain has me in it’s grips, I can’t see anything to be thankful about.
My body language screams anger and depression. Then, my words are ungrateful.
After years of marriage, I have learned that a good relationship requires the habit of gratitude even more.
The habit is key. In the first place, gratitude is a great way to shift my own mood… to see what my spouse values in that moment. So the next time finances are all you can see, remember the different ways, the specific ways, you have come through this in the past to help push you toward a thankful heart.
In that way, your spousal expression of gratitude can be a love language all to it self. Much gratitude breeds much love in the context of marriage. Think of it as a key ingredient to marital satisfaction!
What is a Gratitude Challenge?
A gratitude challenge is an intentional time for you to focus on growing in the area of gratitude in marriage.
How does a Marriage Challenge on Gratitude work?
- You join a group.
- We will be working through this in the Facebook Group
- Come join us ~> Christian Wives Choosing Hope and Joy in Every Season
- We will be working through this in the Facebook Group
- Work from a common list.
- Get the 30 day gratitude challenge pdf in the form on this page!
- You could use this 30 days of gratitude calendar over and over.
- Commit to showing gratitude for each day for the set time.
- This will be a month of gratitude challenge ideas to use.
- Then, watch as you change and your spouse changes!
What is a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge?
They say 21 days creates a habit but I am stubborn and resistant to change so 30-days seemed best (repeated a few times in fact).
What I love about doing something for an entire month, as opposed to just a few weeks, is it becomes a part of me and when the next month rolls around I want to keep going!A 30-day marriage challenge can instill the habit of living with an attitude of gratitude in marriage. Will you join us for this gratitude challenge? Click To Tweet
Who Are The 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge For?
Now, this is a 30 day marriage challenge for wives, but it could be used by married couples. The reason I didn’t make it a 30 day marriage challenge for couples is that my husband would never do it this way. He hates lists and calendars and wants to just wing it. A 30 day marriage challenge pdf would drive him crazy!
I’m sure there are men who are opposite, but this is my way and it has worked for many wives… so that’s how I share it. It is totally free to be used however works best for you though. Let me know if you are a husband using the list 😉 I’d love to meet you.
What Are The Benefits of Gratitude in Marriage?
Have you ever been having the worst day?
I mean the coffee pot boiled over with grounds in it, the tax bill came in double what you expected, your toothaches, and you stubbed your toe on the coat rack heading out the door to work. The worst day.
Then someone tells you what a great job you did on the presentation yesterday. They outline how professional you were, how easily they could follow your points, and show genuine gratitude for the hard work you put into the project.
The day can begin to completely turn around from that one conversation.
Gratitude does that. Whether you receive gratitude or show gratitude, it improves things.
Forbes shared 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude that highlight benefits in these key areas of our lives:
- Relationship satisfaction increases.
- Physical health
- Physical touch is more present with gratitude.
- Psychological health
- Harsh words decrease over a long period of time practicing gratitude.
- Negative communication patterns shift.
- Gratitude is one of the best ways to be more restful during sleep and prepared for the next day!
- Gratedulf partners create positive emotions leading to healthier self-esteem!
- Mental strength
- Yes, you can be grateful in hard times
Bottom line: A little gratitude is good for you and good for those in your life. You will love the way this gratitude 30 day challenge opens your spouse up.
What Doe the Bible Say About Gratitude
The Scripture is filled with Bible verses about gratitude. It is filled with the idea that we are to live in humility with a grateful heart. My favorite of all the scriptures about gratitude is this.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB (emphasis mine))
As you begin to think about this 30 day marriage challenge/ 30 day gratitude challenge, start jotting down or searching for Bible verses about appreciating your husband. Adding Scripture about gratitude to this challenge will bring in a larger reward in the end!
Want to go deeper on ways to grow in gratitude?
- Learn how to move toward a grateful heart
- Embracing a Life of Gratitude When Marriage is Not Beautiful
- What Does The Bible Say About Gratitude?
Related Post: The Best Gift for Your Husband Words of Affirmation
How Do You Grow in Gratitude?
From the moment you accept God as the Lord and Savior of your life, you are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. As you grow and mature as a Christian, the Holy Spirit slowly changes your selfish, sinful heart into a holy, spirit lead heart. An attitude of gratitude comes with that.
The problem is that we are comfortable Christians, complacent, and content to sit in Church and soak up the Word while we rarely apply it to our daily lives. We have to work in agreement with the Holy Spirit, and open our hearts to allow Him to change us.
Growing in the spirit of gratitude is one of those areas that require work on your part. It requires you to live in a community that will hold you accountable for growth.
That is what I love about the Hope Joy in Christ community. You are active and engaged to encourage and challenge each other as we grow together. Check out the wives-only Facebook group!
Let’s focus the next 30 days on a gratitude challenge for marriage
How To Be Successful in This Marriage Gratitude Challenge
I have created a 30-day gratitude challenge printable calendar to help us get started. Think of it as a gratitude training calendar with prompts to help you think of little things to be thankful for.
Why just prompts instead of specific phrases? Your husband is different from my husband. While men have much in common, they are also different and so what works for my marriage will need to be tweaked for your marriage.
As you accept this gratitude challenge 30 days, get a journal ready and start thinking of ways your husband shines. If you are struggling to think of 30, ask the Holy Spirit to help you see him through His eyes.
How Do You Use the Gratitude Challenge PDF?
- Download the gratitude training calendar.
- Print the calendar.
- Get a notebook and pen.
- Schedule time a few days before with the gratitude journal prompts.
- There are gratitude challenge ideas listed each day to help prompt you.
What can you do with the scheduled time on a daily basis? Use the gratitude journal prompts to help you note specific things to be thankful for. This can easily become a 30 days of gratitude prayer guide, as you note things to praise your husband about, pray over areas you wish were on the list.
I’ve given you a different category for each day. You could potentially take these prompts and note 12 different things to appreciate your husband for in that area, respect him about or be grateful for. If you can, put them in the calendar of your phone for that day each month and plan an entire year of gratitude.
For more Marriage Challenge ideas see:
- A Forgiveness Challenge
- 13 Powerful Ways to Show 1 Corinthians 13 Love in Marriage
- The Philippians 4:8 Challenge*
- The Joy in Marriage Conference
- 31 Days of Hope for Marriage
- Reclaim Joy in Marriage
What Are Some Examples of Gratitude?
It’s hard to give specific examples because our spouses are all so different. Some of the categories will work for your husband and some will not. These are things my husband loves being affirmed within.
- His body
- His mind
- Spiritual growth
Maybe every area won’t apply. Don’t stress. Maybe you don’t have children so you can’t use that prompt. Just use one of the others twice. I can think of 30 things that would make his day to be grateful for about his body. Just a thought.
One example of gratitude that makes my husband smile every time is this:
Thank you for going to work. I know the job is not easy but I see your committment to provide for our family. It makes me feel loved when you go to work!
In the past, I’ve tried to think of 30 random things to be thankful for throughout November and I always draw a blank by day 10. This gratitude training calendar gives you prompts to help you create a specific gratitude list.
How Do You Express Gratitude to Your Husband?
Respect and affirmation show love to your husband nearly every time.
Men need respect in the same way that women need love. That is a huge reason to fix a lack of respect in marriage. Respect is a felt need and when you begin to intentionally speak words of gratitude to your husband you will begin to fill up his respect bucket.
“Show proper respect to everyone…” 1 Peter 2:17
When marriage is not easy it is harder still to think of words of respect or words of affirmation. That is why I NEED to take a gratitude challenge like this. It gives me the motivation I need and the accountability from a community that is all working through it together! Think of it as a 30 day Christian challenge for wives!!!!!
Related Post: 3 Reasons to Fix a Lack of Respect in Marriage
What Are Some Gratitude Activities?
Over the years, as this community has worked through the challenge you have asked for activities to go alongside it. Use the gratitude challenge ideas list and have fun!
- If you are in a healthy place and your husband is game, try telling him you are doing the challenge and inviting him to join you. Set aside a day each week to share something you are thankful for about each other.
- Invite your children to join you in showing gratitude to dad. I highly suggest you sit down together and make a list. That will allow you to help them think of ideas and word them in a way that dad will recieve well. Then just tear out pieces from the list to have them give dad a few mornings a week before school or a few evenings after work.
- Open expressions of gratitude from the whole family for the good things in your spouse goes a long way toward building healthy relationships
- More Ideas
- When you leave him a note about his body, include a coupon for the sexual activity of his choice.
- Prepare his favorite dinner and leave a note beside it.
- Give him a free pass to zone out on sports with any snack foods he likes with one of the notes.
I love pairing affirming words with something else to help him feel valued and feel free to rest.
Will You Accept the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge for Marriage?
I am giving you everything you need to get started with this 30-day marriage challenge for gratitude.
- Clear directions
- A supportive community
- Join us in the Facebook group “Christian Wives Choosing Hope and Joy in Every Season“
- The 30-day gratitude challenge pdf calendar
This is what God laid on my heart as I answered the original question, “How do you embrace a life of gratitude in marriage?”
I’d love to pray over you as we start the 30 day gratitude challenge. Comment “I’m in” and I’ll lift you up today.
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