Change Your Marriage With Thankfulness
We live in a high-paced and high-stress world. Things are moving so fast that we rarely get a chance to stop and “smell the roses” so to speak. It is not uncommon to see two people at a table with their face focused on their mobile phone or tablet. We interact with each other increasingly less as time goes on. This should not be. Electronics should not take the place of human interaction.
This same paradigm has infiltrated the home as well, and therefore marriages. Do you give your spouse your attention when you are in a discussion or are you focused on the television or mobile phone? Do you talk to each other when you sit down to eat dinner together or is the television on, stealing the intimacy and bonding that could occur? Do you eat meals together? It is amazing how many couples take their spouses and therefore, their marriages for granted. They don’t bother to build a bond with him or her but instead spend their time advancing their career, watching television, going out with the guys or gals, etc.
I would like to share some lessons learned from over 30 years of marriage and much study and research on the marriage relationship over that time. My interest in the marriage relationship was solely motivated by my own marriage relationship. I wanted it to be right and I wanted to resolve issues that I noticed at the beginning. I would like to share some of that knowledge and experience with you now in this article from a perspective of thanksgiving.
Prioritize Your Marriage
When you prioritize other things above your spouse, you are telling your spouse that he or she does not matter to you. You are telling them that they fulfill a function in your life and that you are not really interested in them personally. You are taking them for granted.
Instead of spending your time vegetating in front of the television or having your brain mushed by your mobile phone, take some time and get into your spouse’s world. Get to know him or her and interact with him or her. Wives. If your husband tells you something out of the blue, then assume that he is trying to open up the faucet to his heart about something that is bothering him. If you don’t engage and merely start talking about the children, your job, or something else, then you are telling your husband that he doesn’t matter. Husbands. Pay attention to your wife and listen to her. Turn off the game and pay attention. You are not going to die if you don’t see the game. Your wife is much more important than a game that will have no impact on your life.
Take the time this holiday season, and all year round, to pay attention to your spouse and prioritize your marriage. Make it a priority to be intimate with your spouse. Above all, make sure you spend the time to have intimate and deep conversations. Don’t spend time talking about a television show, because it means nothing to your marriage, except that it may be the object of division from your spouse’s perspective.
Have some fun together this holiday season and all year round. Decide that you will make time regularly to have some quality time together, not to watch television or stare at your mobile devices, but rather to get deep into the mind and heart of your husband or wife. I’ll tell you that men want to have deep conversations with their wives.
Be thankful for your spouse. Think about the positive things about your spouse. There will always be things we don’t like because he or she is human. However, there are positive things about him or her that you can focus on. Allow those positives to fill your mind, and hear, so that you will feel grateful for them and not just force yourself to say it. Think about it for a moment. If you concentrate on the negatives, then you will be increasingly negative about it and complain about it. This will cause you to feel even more negative, feeding the dividing process. So, instead, focus on the positives and be thankful.
You Initiate Change
Don’t wait for your spouse to appreciate you. You step out and initiate change. You radiate thankfulness for your spouse and allow your behavior and actions to express that thankfulness. Spend time to get to know your spouse and you may find that the negative things you complain about are unfounded. Let your thankfulness for your spouse change your relationship.
Be Thankful Anyway
Let me be real here. Some people may say, “There is nothing to be thankful for about my spouse.” You may very well be very dissatisfied with your marriage, but there is usually something you can be thankful for with regards to your spouse. What did he or she do for you today? Did he cook? Did she fix your lunch for you? Did she smile at you? Find the positive in your spouse and avoid thinking of negative things all the time. Though the negatives should not be ignored, they also should not dictate the course of your relationship. You actively control things the best you can. That means taking the time to look for the positives and build on that and then be thankful. As time passes, you will find that you have more to be thankful for with regards to your spouse.
Thank God Together
A marriage relationship is that much more special when the husband and wife regularly take time to study the Bible, pray, or discuss their faith with each other. That is indeed a very beautiful thing and one to be very grateful and thankful for. Spend time reminiscing on how God has brought you where you are. Go over the situations that you have faced and how you overcame them. If you are in a bad situation now, then it is a good time to come together to pray and encourage each other about how God will pull you out of that situation.
Be thankful together because marriage is the union of the husband and the wife. Start investing your time and energies into the relationship so that in the future, you will have that much more to be thankful for. Being thankful now is more beneficial than being upset about your spouse or marriage or both. Be thankful for the things that are positive and work on making the negatives to be positives (sometimes we identify negatives for the opportunity to complain or expose our spouse). Be blessed. Be Thankful.