By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer
Want to know a secret to a fulfilling marriage?
It’s really that simple. (I have another secret … thankfulness is also the key to a fulfilling life!) When you’re thankful, you automatically accentuate the positive. Your mind dwells on the good things and somehow the not-so-good things fade away. Granted, the less than positive things don’t disappear completely, but when you choose to be thankful, negativity loses its grip on you.
It’s no mistake that thankfulness is mentioned throughout Scripture:
- In Leviticus, the Jews were commanded to give thank offerings.
- Thankfulness and thanksgiving is a common theme in the Psalms. (For example, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,” is found in Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21, and 31. And “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever,” is repeated in Psalm 107:1, 118:1, 118:29, and 136:1.)
- Jesus gave thanks before eating.
- Throughout his epistles, Paul gives thanks for other believers – and several times in Colossians he specifically instructs the church to be thankful.
- In Romans 1:20-22, Paul warns about the consequences of not thanking God: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools …”
What does it look like in marriage?
So what does it mean to be thankful in marriage? First of all, thank the Lord for your spouse. Thank Him for creating your husband or wife just the way that He has. Thank Him for bringing the two of you together. Thank Him for the way He uses your spouse in your refining process.
Thank the Lord for your marriage. Thank Him for its unique qualities. Thank Him for whatever ways your marriage ministers to others. Thank Him for your joys. Thank Him for your trials and challenges. Thank Him for the way your marriage forces you to trust Him more.
Thank the Lord for His provision of a partner. Thank Him for the ways – big and small – that your spouse blesses you.
Then thank your spouse. Thank your husband when he helps out around the house. Thank your wife when she makes a meal. Thank your husband for faithfully doing his job. Thank your wife for the kind way she treats others. Get in the habit of thanking each other for little things every day.
When you thank each other, I can guarantee you’ll naturally become more appreciative – and that’s a great way to transform your marriage into one that’s fulfilling.