Two words that transformed my marriage

I set down my fork and tossed a crumpled napkin on my plate. Another family dinner, another familiar routine—cook, set the table, pray, eat. My mind was already on the dishes when I paused, looked up at my husband across the table, and spoke.

“Thank you for grilling.”

“You’re welcome,” he said. And it was like the air around us softened.

Thank you.

When was the last time you said those words to your spouse?

Living with somebody day in and day out, it’s so easy to take one another for granted, isn’t it? No matter how much two married people love each other, we’re all at risk of becoming too familiar, too comfortable, too preoccupied. We fall into a routine, running our households like co-workers, clocking in and clocking out, completing tasks according to “his” and “her” jobs.

He mows the lawn, I fold the laundry.

He takes the dog out, I bathe the kids.

He grills the chicken, I steam the veggies and set the table and remind the little people to wash their sticky hands.

That’s just how it is, right? So what’s the problem? Why should I thank my husband for doing his everyday job when I did mine, too?

Hmmm. Maybe because gratitude is a big stinking deal to God.

And it’s missing from a lot of marriages.

“… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Hopefully you love your spouse (or did at one time). Ideally, most days you even like your spouse and actually enjoy sharing space with the guy. But do you appreciate him? Are you grateful for him and all the little things he does? Are you thankful God gifted him to care or nurture or provide?

You are? Great.

Does he know it?

Scripture is full of verses on giving thanks to God. Our Maker is definitely “most worthy of praise” (Psalm 145:3). But consider this. By extension, so are the people He gave us. When you thank your spouse for his kind, responsible or ordinary actions, you are in essence thanking God for putting this person in your life. Thank you to your spouse is a thank you to God.

And that’s not just a compliment. It’s obedience. It sounds kind of like this:

Honey, thanks for taking out the garbage.

I noticed you washed the car. Thank you.

Thanks for reading to the kids tonight. I know they loved it.

I appreciated you taking the time to stop at the store on your way home. Thank you.

And so much more.

It’s not too hard, is it? Yet these simple acknowledgements are priceless. They meet a basic human need within us—to feel like we make a difference, like our work doesn’t go unnoticed or undervalued, especially at home.

As husbands and wives, it’s absolutely within our power to fill one another’s appreciation tank. All we have to do is speak up.

Say thank you. For the little, unglamorous, predictable things. They matter. And so does your response.

Try it this week. Together, let’s see how a little gratitude goes a long way toward transforming our hearts—and our marriages, all to the glory of God.

“May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this” (2 Samuel 2:6).

Now read this: If it’s hard to love your spouse

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