“Stop being thankful for your spouse…”

Have you ever walked by a conversation and heard something you didn’t like.  It made you so furious that you reacting to it only to find out you only heard half the conversation.

This is where my title comes from.  Just passing by it, already eyebrows are raise and thoughts are flowing as to why doesn’t Dave want people to be thankful for their spouse.

Let’s complete the sentence.

“Stop being thankful for your spouse ONLY on special days.”

In other words, stop letting Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. be the ONLY days your spouse hears your words of thankfulness.  Stop treating them with special charity only when the occasion demands it.

Sad to say, some couples have learned to appreciate these moments more than most. Why?  Because he/she has been starving for that type of attention for weeks to months.  And when the holiday comes, there is the sweet relief of cards, candy, gifts, and words of affirmation.  It must be exhilarating to be in the moment. To have the rush of words and tones that edify your inward being.  Each word satisfying inner longings like a cold drink to a man crawling across a desert. But outside of the holidays, that same spouse is  suffering from an inward deprivement of affirmation.

If affirmation is last in your love languages, let me translate it for you.  Say physical touch is your strongest love language. Imagine the only time your spouse will touch you is 3-4 times a year.

Selah.

That is how our spouse feels…especially when affirmation is their strongest love language.  They feel untouched, unwanted, unappreciated, and unnoticed through 97% of the year.  They are left feeling empty.  Even deeper, we are opening up the door for someone else to fill the need (please see “Are you looking for volunteers to date your spouse?” for more).

Today, I give you a simple remedy. It’s a remedy to start tomorrow when Thanksgiving is over and the holiday doesn’t force your words and/or actions.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…” Philippians 1:3

3 Words to look at in the original language:
thank – to be grateful, feel thankful, give thanks
all – each, every, all things
remembrance – remembrance, memory, mention

This verse points toward being grateful in every moment, mention, and memory. I’ll give ya a TRUTH: Healthy marriages  foster an atmosphere of gratitude throughout the year.  They don’t reserve gratefulness for just a holiday. I can’t say that I excel in this.  I’ll admit I drop the ball and miss moments.  But in our marriages, need to flood our spouses with words and actions that convey the message that no one will appreciate them more than us.  I find myself laughing as an old song floods my mind.  The song “Ain’t gonna let no rock out praise me” was sung in youth group back in the day, as we determined no rock was going to out-praise me (Luke 19:40). Imagine the transformation in our spouses if we approached them with the same resolve.

Ain’t gonna let anyone appreciate my spouse more than me…and I chose to do it in every:

Moment – Defined as: the present time or any other particular time. Don’t wait for another day to come.  There’s no better time like the now.  Give them “thanksgiving moments” everyday.
Mention – Defined as: a direct or incidental reference. At anything that references your spouse, shoot them a text, email them, call them, etc. and let them know you were thinking of them. You may be at work or on a run, if a “mention” (something that stirs a reference) comes your way, chose to step out and contact them.  In fact, take the moment to pray for your spouse.  Thank the Lord for them and speak blessing over their life.
Memory – Defined as: a mental impression retained; a recollection.  Some memories are more painful than others.  We have a choice. We can become victims of our past or we can choose to be thankful for the Lord bringing us through.  Remember great marriage moments and take it to another level by purposing to create new, joyful, and healthy marriage memories.

Thanksgiving is a choice. Thanksgiving is a journey.  Choose to be thankful every day.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

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