Where did the Husband Project idea come from?
I’m a mentor mom at my church in San Jose, California; I love mentoring women. I noticed one day when we were sitting around we began to complain about our husbands. I thought, there has to be some way that we can be more positive in our conversations about the men in our lives. That’s when the idea started to sprout: What would it look like if we encouraged our husbands, and talked well of them? And I thought, I need to make this into a project, and that’s how the Husband Project was born.
You mention accountability frequently. Why is that important?
I always tell people: when you do anything that honors God, there will be opposition. When women decide to purposely love their husbands for 21 days there will be conflict. It’s just going to happen.
I encourage women to surround themselves with a couple of other women. Together, they will have fun devising ways to make sure their husbands know they’re loved and encouraged. And when you don’t feel like it, they can be there to give you the swift kick that you need.
It’s as much about changing our attitudes as it is about blessing our husbands …
Absolutely. We always think of the other person in our life as the project. My husband wasn’t really the issue. It was my attitude. It requires little effort to change my attitude and change our relationship.
You use the term “don’t ask don’t tell.” What’s that all about?
I suggest you keep the Husband Project a secret from your man. We don’t want our husbands to think that there’s an underlying objective of trying to modify his behavior.
So it’s not about changing your husband …
It’s not. Some of us will come to the book saying, Okay, this is really going to show him what he needs to be doing. But over and over again I get letters and emails and phone calls from women saying, I wasn’t appreciating the things that he was already doing. Or, you know he does do some things that maybe I’m not a real big fan of but I was missing the things where he was really trying to show me that he loved me in his own way.
How much success have we had in changing our husbands? It doesn’t work. However, it’s amazing when we change our own attitudes and say, This is how I’m going to show my husband I love him — we benefit from that. It’s amazing.
You can love him by recognizing him …
Oh, absolutely. We take each other for granted so often. I need to make sure that he knows that I notice those little things.
My husband makes our bed every single morning. I feel so blessed by that. But how often do I tell him? Wow. I really appreciate you doing that. I needed to make sure I notice those things on purpose, whether it’s making the bed or simply serving me.
Our husbands are so under appreciated. We need to make sure they are appreciated, honored, respected, and loved.
How else can you love your husband?
If I did a survey of your readers, I’m sure that 90% of them are either wearing sweatpants, flannel pajamas, or his old T-shirt to bed. Kick it up a notch.
We need to do the same thing in the bedroom—kick it up a notch. Is there something you’ve grown comfortable with that isn’t really meeting your husband’s needs?
I know that sometimes there’s a lot of resistance from women. They don’t want to take that little extra step. They’re already so busy. They’re raising kids. They’re working. They’re managing households. But I really do want to say, I believe it just takes about five minutes or $5 a day to really encourage your husband to be all that God has designed him to be. And we, as women, have way more power to encourage the men in our lives than we’ll ever know.
We have no idea how much our men need to be encouraged and hear that they’re doing everything that God has called them to and that we’re their biggest fan. Taking a little bit of time, five-minutes a day. Put him at the top of the priority list — it will change your marriage.
Copyright © 2009 by Jim Mueller, President and co-founder of Growthtrac Ministries.