Gratitude in Words and Feelings

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Do you focus on the negative, or do you see your spouse with appreciative eyes?

I praise you because you remember me in everything. -1 Corinthians 11:2, NASB

Appreciation means saying, "Thank you!" It means saying that I've noticed something good you have done. Appreciation means recognizing effort and expressing gratitude for that effort. It means communicating with words and feelings that I am grateful for you and to you.

Here are some ways you can show your spouse some appreciation:

  • Praising your spouse for demonstrating a positive attitude or character trait.
  • Publicly praising your spouse for a positive deed. Bragging about him or her in front of others.
  • Calling attention to what your spouse does right, rather than what he or she does wrong.
  • Saying, "Wow, honey! I really appreciate your hard work in the yard. It looks terrific!"
  •  Saying, "Thank you for being such a good hostess to my family. I know you worked very hard during their visit."
  • Sending an e-mail or thank-you card in the mail.

David and I have often had trouble seeing each other with appreciative eyes. At times our focus has been on the negative: what we don't like, what we don't have, or what we don't do for one another.

Sometimes it has helped us to "think appreciatively" about one another. That means taking time to remember the positive character traits that first brought us together. I liked David's daredevil tendencies combined with his ability to "go with the flow." He liked my spunky attitude and easy spontaneity. When we think about it, we remember the things we liked about each other when we first got married.

It's amazing how remembering what made us fall in love in the first place sparks gratitude and hope.

What are some things your spouse is or does that you can praise him or her for today?

Father, remind me often of my spouse's strengths. Remind me of the reasons we fell in love.

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