Appreciating your spouse is one of the secrets to maintaining a long-lasting marriage. Think about it. Doesn’t it give you a good feeling when your husband appreciates you? You feel respected, honoured and loved. Well, the same goes for him of course. But before you can appreciate your spouse, you should first learn how to appreciate God. After all, if it wasn’t for God you wouldn’t be blessed with your spouse now. Always have a thankful heart towards God and learn to thank Him more often instead of always asking God to fulfil your needs.
The art of appreciation
What I’ve done to make sure I appreciate God, is set an alarm for myself. Every day at 12:00 my alarm goes off and that’s the time for me to praise and thank God. So first things first; learn to appreciate God! The next step is to learn how to appreciate yourself. Appreciate how awesome you are, appreciate your God given gifts, and just appreciate YOU! Appreciating yourself goes alongside loving yourself. The bible says ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’’ (Mark 12:31, ESV). So how can you love someone else, while you don’t even love yourself?
After thanking God and appreciating & loving yourself, you can move on to appreciating your spouse. So how can you do this?
1. Show your spouse that you love him
“A new commandment I give to you, that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35, ESV)
2. If your spouse did anything that you don’t like; learn to forgive him
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, FORGIVING one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV) Know that you yourself are also not perfect. We all make mistakes and it’s unto us to learn from them. When your spouse did something wrong, communicate with him about it, tell him what you didn’t like and lastly learn to forgive him!
3. Encourage and compliment your spouse
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. Just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV) Some kind words here and there can make a great difference in your spouse’s day. For example, when you notice your spouse might be stressed from work, try to encourage him and show him that you believe in him. This will surely give him new strength. Also, it would be nice to regularly tell him how handsome he is and how much you appreciate him in general. Do unto others as you want others to do unto you!
4. Appreciate time and thoughtfulness instead of results
Appreciate the fact that your spouse thought about you and did something for you. He put his time in it because he cares about you. For example, when he gets you a gift, don’t just be happy with the gift itself but also be happy with the fact that he spent time on going to the store to buy it.
5. Keep your spouse in your prayers
Praying for your spouse is also a way of showing appreciation. Never forget to pray for your spouse even after twenty years of being in that relationship. Thank God for blessing you with an amazing husband; Ask God to help him to be the God fearing man that man God wants Him to be; and ask God to teach him how to be an example always. Praying for your spouse is the best appreciation that you can give him.
Start implementing these steps today and watch your marriage transform!