Fostering Gratitude & Appreciation in Marriage


Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire

Whether you have been married for over 50 years or for just over 50 minutes marriage has that special way of reminding us just how selfish we can be!  I once heard a comedian talk about how he and his wife play the game, “Garbage Jenga”.  This imaginary game, where either person is unwilling to admit they are playing, takes place as both unwilling parties will not empty the trash bin.  However, the one who brings the bin to the point of overflow and collapse is the one who has to empty it.  I know I’ve partaken in a ridiculous game like this in one way or another with my wife, specifically a game I can name “Dirty Dishes Jerk” where I don’t wash piling up dirty plates and my wife ends up doing it!

I believe that added on to our selfishness is the decline of gratitude and appreciation, and this can happen remarkably fast.  If we can remember just how much our spouses have served us and our family during the day/week/month/years how can we not serve and love in abundance?  In the context of mutual submission husbands have the high humble calling of sacrificially loving our wives as Jesus loves the Church as wives are also called to the high humble calling of submitting to their husband (Eph 5:21-33).  Do we remember the gift that our spouses are to us?  Are we rising up to this wonderful calling?

We all need to be reminded, and more than that, convicted by the Spirit, that we have been given this gift.  So, we take part together in saying we need help.  We come together with our spouses and other spouses long married or newlyweds to learn from each other.  We practice gratitude and appreciation and ask the Lord to reignite in each of us deep love worked out in action, remembering love is a verb, an action.  We pray for marriages to be refreshed and renewed and that this will serve as a stronger foundation for our families.

I’m looking forward to this Saturday January 24, knowing we will be challenged and blessed and shaped and refreshed!

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