Sometime this week I’ll bet someone will ask us what we’re thankful for. Maybe you’ll go around the family table and share, take turns in a small group, or answer on Facebook when someone dares to ask. Will you tempted to be general? Tempted to say, “My family, my good health, my home, my freedom?” Those are a good place to start, but they’re safe. They’re broad enough to avoid revealing our heart and our weaknesses. They’re vague enough to hide the hard parts of Thanksgiving, and there are hard parts of giving thanks for a lot of people. General is safe, but not always genuine. When we give thanks, let’s be specific. Because general expressions of thanks have a way of not being very genuine.
If you’re married, there are probably hard parts of being thankful for your mate. How do I know this? Because I know there are hard parts of being thankful for being married to ME. I know there’s a reader out there who is already shaking her head in certainty that today’s post won’t work for her. Sometimes we have to try a little harder, but I believe there is something we can all give thanks for in our marriages.
Sharing genuinely with and about our mate has a way of stirring up the best in our relationship, of inspiring more love and more grace. Gratitude begets grace.
Once intimacy loses its newness, we have a tendency to stop giving thanks. It even happens in our relationship to God. People can know who He is and what He’s like, but their thinking can become empty and wrong. When our hearts become foolish like the world around us, it shows in a lack of honor and gratitude towards the God who loves us and gave Himself for us.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 12:1)
I wonder if you’ve been married long enough to stop giving genuine thanks. Has your intimacy lost its newness? Or has the world has pressed into your relationship through empty thinking, the darkness of pornography, or the foolishness of wanting your own way? Maybe genuine thanks is a stranger in your married life. Maybe you cover up the pain with general statements like, “Thanks for everything.”
Get specific about what you’re grateful for and your mate will believe you’re truly thankful. Why not take time to stoke the fire of thankfulness for your man? Don’t let his imperfections or yours stop you from finding a reason to be grateful. And when you find it, express it sincerely, and watch gratitude beget grace between you. The balm of thanksgiving between two people has a way of nurturing their willingness to extend kindness and tenderness to each other.
10 questions to be thankful for your husband
- What quality first drew you to your husband?
- What’s one characteristic about you that your husband tolerates?
- How does your husband take care of you?
- What does your man do that makes you laugh?
- In what way does his strength bless you?
- Describe the work your husband does. What makes it “work” for him?
- Think of a time when your husband put you before himself.
- What’s one way your husband is a good dad?
- How would you be different without your husband?
- How has God used your husband to draw you closer to Him (big H = God)?
It’s time to give thanks. Let’s not be general. Let’s be genuine.