I was in a rush. I left my little black notebook sitting on our bathroom counter. That night my wife saw it and began reading. She thought I had purposely left it there as a part of some well thought out romantic gesture. Wrong. I couldn’t lie. I had to tell her the truth. I had left it laying there by accident. It was a gift that she wasn’t meant to have received…yet. Argh.

It was an idea that I stole from Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect (Thanks, Darren Hardy). Here’s the idea: buy a journal or notebook. Use this journal for this one purpose and one purpose only: write down one thing that you love or appreciate about your spouse every day. Don’t tell her that you you’re doing this. Do it secretly. Don’t leave it out where she can find it. Otherwise, you, like me, might find yourself on the awkward side of the following conversation:

Her: “Honey, thank you so much for the gift! It was wonderful!”

Me: “Uh…you’re…um…welcome…wait…what???”

My plan was to keep the journal for a couple of years and give it to her for our 15th wedding anniversary. She found it after three and a half months. Fail.

That brings me to the purpose of this post. Married people: you have a chance to not fail. Give this idea a shot. Day by day, fill a journal with nothing but things that you love and/or appreciate about your spouse. Your spouse will love you for it. Also, if you’ve been married for awhile, you’ll start noticing wonderful things about your spouse that you had started to take for granted. I certainly did. There’s a lot of wisdom in that ol’ verse, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Dwell on the honorable attributes of your spouse. Write them down. This little book will make an awesome gift that your spouse will love more than anything else you could have purchased. That’s great and all, but there’s a more powerful purpose here. Husbands: you’ll rediscover why you love your wife. Wives: you’ll rediscover why you love your husband. Give it a shot. I think you’ll like it. Even though I failed, I loved it.