By Contributing Writer, Kelly Crawford
Most men are not really complicated–we are. But I know I take my husband’s uncomplicated nature for granted. And too often, I default to trying to improve him in one area or another, instead of seeing and building his enormous strengths in so many other places. (Why do we major on the minors, anyway?)
The most ambitious of us know that gratitude can make or break a marriage. And still, we falter in the daily grind of it all, forgetting to expend the energy in our most important human relationship. Too often we point out his faults and look right over his strengths–the ultimate ingratitude.
Have you ever taken the time to write down all that your husband does and then think about how much you have expressed gratitude for those things? I’ve done this, and it is painful. Often, gratitude can be as simple as a smile instead of a dissatisfied look. It may be remembering the simplest courtesy…”thank you,” when he repairs something.
I know one thing to be true: if you wish your husband would “do more,” start giving him sincere thanks for what he does. Give him sincere admiration for who he is, and he will strive to become more of who you want him to be. Men especially respond to gratitude.
This Thanksgiving season is the perfect time to express gratitude to our husbands. It’s an easy thing for us to do, but it can make such a difference in the harmony of our home.
Things to remember to thank your husband for:
- Filling up the car with gas
- Not pointing out all your faults
- Working every day without complaining
- Yard work
- Taking care of the trash, the toilet, the oil in the car, and all the other yucky things
- Particular character traits (is he calm, strong, loyal, playful…)
And one last thought:
I think many women (including myself) have been guilty of chiding husbands for their lack of spiritual leadership. Maybe they are first generation Christians and struggle from their own lack of example, or maybe it’s just difficult for them to lead. But the Lord is showing me how hypocritical I’ve been.
How many times do we (self-righteously) suggest our husbands aren’t doing A or B (usually some formal type of discipleship) when all the while he is leading and teaching by his quiet example and his faithful, daily walk, while I am the one overstepping my boundaries and being a sinful, contentious wife? So if you wish your husband would be a stronger leader, may I suggest thanking him for his “spiritual leadership in his daily walk?”
Praise God for His mercy and grace as we strive to make our marriages a picture of Christ and His Bride.