How to Improve Your Marriage in 30 Days!
The 30-Day Covenant Love Challenge: Appreciate Your Mate!
What Is It? A 30-Day challenge to love your spouse without condition for 30 focused minutes each day.
Why? Covenant Love: Have fun serving God together! Throughout Scripture, God’s people regularly committed to serve God together in covenant.
Some Old Testament examples are seen under the leadership of Moses the prophet (Exodus 24:7-11), the servant-leader Joshua (Joshua 24:14-18), Jehoiada the priest (2 Kings 11:7), Josiah the King (2 Kings 23:1-3), Asa the King (2 Chronicles 15:2), Ezra (Ezra 10:2-5), and Nehemiah the Governor (Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-29). New Testament examples are seen in Baptism (1 Peter 3:21, 1 Timothy 6:12), the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:24; Matt 26:28), and church membership (Matt 18:15-17, 2 Cor 3:6, Eph 5:23, 1 Cor 15:1-11). Covenants have been part of church history (Pliny the Elder, AD 112 “binding themselves by a solemn oath”, Baptist history (see Charles Deweese, Baptist Church Covenants).
In marriage, you have covenanted to serve God together for life! MARRIAGE IS: God-authored · God-witnessed · God-Accountable · Glorious Gospel Purpose.
“the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth . . . she is your companion and your wife by covenant.” (Malachi 2:14 ESV)
Give Authority Over Your Body to Your Spouse
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.  For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:1-5 ESV)
Act in Humble Imitation of Christ
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
How? The Ground Rules
- Give Your Spouse Permission to Exercise Authority Over Your Body, Time, Attention & Energy for 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days. Give them the unqualified choice of how you can best love them biblically.
- Your spouse picks the category and specifics of the assignment.
- No whining, bartering, compromising, negotiating, complaining, huffing, eye-rolling, excuse-making, arguing, or sleeping on the job. Just do it without conditions.
- Go 110% all out for your mate. Work hard at loving them. Appreciate Your Mate.
- Pay Attention to Your Mate. Study them to Do Better. Extend Your Commitment.
- If you know others participating in this… pray for and encourage them, but DO NOT ASK for details, their covenant commitments may be personal and private!
Here are some categories and ideas to best understand how to love your spouse!
(categories from the “Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman)
Quality Time: Date Your Mate Ideas
Neighborhood Walk & Talk · Mall Strolling · Cabin Retreat · City Action · Coffee & Donuts · Lattes & Beignets · Breakfast in Bed · Scenic Picnic · Star Gazing · Hayride · Art Show · Bonfire Roast · Bike Ride · Sports Game · Outdoors Hiking · Carnivals, Fairs, or Festivals · Movie on the Couch Night · Movie Theater Night · Fondue Feast · Dinner on a Train · Countryside Drive · Fireside Reading · Bake Something Sweet · Orchard or Pumpkin Patch Excursion · Beachside Strolls · Searching for Seashells · Sunrise or Sunset Quiet Time · Couples Extreme Selfie Contest ·www.DateCrates.co · Soup Kitchen Service · Buffet Night · Bowling Night · Fancy Dinner · Fast Food Fun · Golfing & Golf Carting · Amusement Park · Lakeside Lovers · Rent a Boat · Home Spa · Get-Away Spa · Sushi Night · Experimental Eating Evening · Board Game Night · Arcade Fun · Discover Dancing (Ballroom, Salsa, Club, Square, Line) · Museum Musing · Exercise & Workout Together · Race a 5k, Color Run, or Mud Run · Birdwatching · Hunting · Fishing · River Float (Canoeing, Kayaking or Tubing) · Cave Exploring · Improv or Comedy Show · Zoo Time · Bookstore Wandering · Restaurant Romance · Drive-In Night · Skype/Facetime Dates (when apart) · Gourmet Grocery Store Shopping · Pizza Night · Rent a Hotel Room Nearby · Attend a Ballet, Musical, Concert, Opera or Play · Spring Shopping for Plants or Flowers Mini-Road Trip · Linger at a Local Landmark · Make a Matinee · Find a Splash Park · Make & Take Gifts to a Nursing Home · Camping Weekend · Play in a Pet Store · Park & Talk Somewhere Remote · See What You Can Find at a Flea Market · Fondue Night · Watch a Mobile Movie (on a Laptop or Mobile Device) Somewhere Unique · Scavenger Hunt · Ice Skating · Go Karts · Laser Tag · Paintball · View Funny YouTube Videos · Water Ballon/Gun Fight · Volunteer Together · Make a Family Scrapbook · Movie Marathon · Dessert-Only Dinner · Putt-Putt Golf · Play Pool · High School Sports Night · Geo-Caching Treasure Hunt · Public Park Stroll · Arrange and Schedule for a Late-Morning Sleep-In · Write a Letter or Song · Go Car Shopping · Climb a Tree · People Watch at an Airport · Go Rock Skipping · Babysit Someone Else’s Kids · Horseback Riding · Water Ski · Plant a Garden · Go Sailing · Find a Ferry to Ride · Ski or Sled · Skydiving · Make a Snowman · Tennis · Croquet · Water Park · BBQ Night · Homemade Ice Cream · Garage Sale Rampage · Swing and Slide · Feed Ducks, Geese or Fish · Circus · Observatory
Words of Affirmation
Note Writing · Encouragement & Compliment · Text Messages · Love Letters · Song · Poem
Surprises · Themed · Delicious Treats · Flowers · Frivolous or Practical · Creative · Personal
Acts of Service
Household Chores · Kid Tasks · Swapping Regular Responsibilities
Sexual Intimacy · Massage · Cuddling · Hand-Holding
End of the Month Assignment
Write a note or have a conversation, thanking your spouse for sacrificially loving & yielding to you. Be specific with how it impacted you, how it strengthened you, how it energized and encouraged you, and how it motivated you to love God, love your spouse, and love others better.