What might happen if you were more intentional in your marriage? What if you were to choose love for 100 days?
I can think of nearly a thousand reasons why it wasn’t a good idea.
Or, at the very least, terrible timing.
But something told me I shouldn’t wait, and I determined to do it anyway.
Early last October – yes, in that difficult season of a very difficult year – I made the conscious decision to love my husband every day—for 100 days straight.
Now, if you’re questioning, “Shouldn’t she love him every day for the rest of their lives?” (Or something to that effect.)
Yes, of course, I should.
But this was different. For me, this meant intentionally communicating my love for him in very concrete ways, rather than that general “Let’s just try to get along” or “Why can’t we be friends?”
More than merely his wife, I wanted to be a lover intent on pursuing him.
I found him whom my soul loves. (Song of Solomon 3:4)
Small Daily Love Decisions
So this is what it looked like for me: every day, for 100 days, I woke up and decided how I would specifically express my love for him—whether it be with words, touch, service, or simply the way I looked at him.
On some days, I chose relatively little things, such as cheerfully (key word there!) offering to make him something to eat or drink, surprising him with a small gift, or kissing him for no good reason.
But on other occasions, I went ALL OUT. For instance, I arranged for him to go horseback riding one afternoon and invited him out for a Mystery Date on another. I even rented a cabin in the woods for a couple of nights—in the middle of the workweek, no less.
And, quite honestly, it was seldom “good timing” and rarely made sense for any of these events.
But I went ahead and did it anyway.
Now here we are – 100 days later – and these small daily love decisions have noticeably added up.
And if you’re wondering how? In what ways? I’ll tell you…
We touch each other more.
We’ve always been the “touchy” type, but it got so we can hardly passed each other without the soft hand, the hug, or warm squeeze. It’s almost as if we developed our own “secret love language,” which makes me feel connected to him without so much as a word exchanged.
We laugh more often.
One of the first things that attracted me to Matt was how he could make me laugh. But we had both grown unusually serious while in this heavy season. So I started laughing at his jokes again, and I’ve made it my life goal to get him to laugh in return.
We serve each other.
A few times, I offered to make my husband a pot of coffee in the late afternoon…and brought it all the way upstairs to his home office. Pretending like we were in Downton Abbey or something. 😉 I also washed, dried, folded his t-shirts, and then put them away (emphasis on that last part).
While I didn’t offer this service in hopes of getting something in return, I’ve appreciated how he’s been helping me make the bed in the mornings and fixing me my favorite (healthy) drink in the evenings.
We build one another up.
I’ve always been the “cheerleader” type in our marriage, so this honestly wasn’t too hard for me to do. It’s only that I was far more intentional about it than before. I made it a point to speak words of encouragement and faith in him: sometimes directly in person, sometimes in text, and other times over the phone.
Now maybe it’s only my imagination, but I feel like my husband has been better about articulating his admiration and appreciation of me as of late as well. (And I must say: I bask in every word; it’s like sunshine to my soul.)
A Love Challenge
Although I started my #100DayLoveChallenge to encourage my husband through a challenging season, those 100 days have had more impact than I would’ve first imagined. Not only did the small acts of love help him through a particularly tough time, but they had a powerful effect on me that I hadn’t anticipated.
Because the more I chose love, the more loving — and loved — I felt.
So yes, at first, the challenge was mostly about making a conscious decision–what I’d do or say to fulfill my commitment. But then it grew into something of a game, and I found myself looking forward to “the plan” for that day. And later, as the days went on, I felt this slow renewing of pleasure and delight—like the kind that true lovers enjoy.
Does this mean we never had a “difference of opinion”? Or that every day was a “total success”?
Nope. We’re still growing, learning, making mistakes, and asking forgiveness. But I can also say that there’s been an added sweetness and depth to our relationship since I started it.
So I’m grateful for how this little love challenge turned out for us. And I wanted to share it with you in case you also might be interested in intentionally pursuing your husband.
Are you ready to seek the one whom your soul loves?
On my bed by night
I sought him whom my soul loves;
I sought him, but found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city,
in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:1-2 (ESV)
In His grace,
100 Days of Choosing Love
Would you be willing to commit to 100 Days of loving your husband? If so, consider brainstorming as many ideas — both big and small — in a journal or notepad on ways you could specifically choose love for him. (And you don’t have to tell him what you’re up to – I didn’t!)
*Maybe it’s not your husband who comes to mind here. Maybe it’s a child, sibling, friend, or co-worker: the concept remains the same!
If you’re looking for resources to give ideas of what you can do or words you can say over 100 days? Matt and I have written both these sets of books below – based on our own experience and very real relationship – to give you a starter kit of sorts. I hope you’ll find them helpful and encouraging!
by Matt and Lisa Jacobson
These books offer wives who want to choose to love their husbands and husbands who want to choose to love their wives practical, hands-on advice to start applying immediately. Maybe you are just entering into marriage and want to start off on the right foot. Maybe you have made some mistakes along the way and are struggling to connect. Or maybe you just want your marriage to go from good to great. Wherever you currently are in your relationship, these marriage books teach men and women how to love one another better. Available—>HERE
by Matt and Lisa Jacobson
Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you and your spouse to discover the powerful ways you can build one another up in love with the words that you choose to say every day–words that every husband and wife need to hear. These marriage books offer you 100 Things to say to your husband or wife that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire. Start speaking these words into each other’s lives and watch your spouse–and your relationship–transform before your eyes. Available—>HERE
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother. Lisa is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and her husband is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt and Lisa are also the co-hosts of the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast where they talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture.