In two days people across the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving. It’s a day when we stop, reflect, and give thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy that have come from his gracious hand. In fact, the Bible says “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father….” (James 1:17a)
As you consider the many things for which you have to be thankful, we want to challenge you to think about your spouse. Ask yourself this question: What am I specifically thankful to God for regarding my spouse? Your gratefulness to God for specific aspects of your spouse will shape your heart and your attitude toward your spouse. It helps to reframe your thinking toward appreciation of the gift God has entrusted to you in your mate.
Here are some things that you might consider. Write down the longest list you possibly can in each of the following categories:
1) Their character
Make a list and give thanks to God that you have a partner who is (you choose what fits): honest, trustworthy, persevering, compassionate, intelligent, humble, courageous, servant-hearted, peaceful, patient, etc.
2) Their values
Values are what drive a person’s priorities. Make a list and give thanks to God for the values you observe in your spouse such as: a heart to please God, love for family, hard-working, devoted friend, faithful servant at church, desire to help others, etc.
3) Their personality
What are the personality traits of your spouse for which you can give thanks to God? Perhaps you can let your mind reflect back on when you first met and dated—what was it that captivated your heart and made you think, “I want to spend the rest of my life with this person!”?
Make a list and give thanks to God for their: joy, adventurous spirit, thoughtfulness, calm presence, generosity, strength, wisdom, spontaneity, heart to learn, etc.
4) Their partnership
As you consider how your spouse joins you in the path of life, what are the things that you appreciate? Make a list and thank God for the things you have observed and experienced such as their: encouragement and support of you when things haven’t gone well, care for you when you’ve been sick, financial contribution to the household, help with parenting, help with tasks around the house (be specific), affirmation of your strengths, loving you as your lover, prayer support, spiritual encourager, etc.
Now, take your list and write across the top: “The Things I have thanked God for about You.” Purchase a frame that will fit your list. Put it together, wrap it up, and save it to put under the tree at Christmas. That list will begin to settle deep in your heart as Christmas approaches and your spirit will overflow with appreciation to God for your spouse.
What are you thankful for about your spouse that you can share below? Stay thankful and let that grateful spirit Build Your Marriage!