Appreciate or Disintegrate?
Expressing thanks, praise, or commendation, particularly in recognition of someone’s accomplishments or efforts. Gratefully acknowledging what someone “does” (Colossians 3:15b, 1 Corinthians 11:2).
Husband/Wives, don’t we forget sometimes, in the midst of our daily routines, to take time out and “take notice” of the things our spouse does daily.
I once saw a comedy skit about “The Magic Coffee Table.” The husband took his wife by the hand and said, “Honey, you won’t believe this coffee table. It’s magic! I know! I tested it! You put stuff on it, and when you go to bed and wake up, it is gone! All the stuff I left on it is back where it belongs! Can you believe it? Plus, that’s not all we have that's magic in here. The laundry basket! I fill it up, and the next day it is empty again. All the clothes are clean, folded, and put back in the drawers!”
This is a comedy skit, but I wonder how many of us wives/husbands just take for granted the stuff that “magically” gets done (e.g., dishes, bills, lawn, shopping, clean kids, car fixed)? Wouldn’t it blow your spouse's socks off to take notice... even more, to acknowledge and thank your spouse? That kind of appreciation will protect your marriage from disintegration!
THREE SOURCES OF LIGHT – Help Us Experience Appreciation
Light Source #1: Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12)
Walking in the Light: Experiencing God’s Love and Giving It Away (Appreciation)
Do you realize that, as a follower of Jesus Christ, your marriage and your family are on display for the unbelieving world? Do you know that your children are watching how you, mom and dad, treat one another?
Romans 12:2 tells us: Do not be conformed to this world. That means don’t do as the world does, but go above and beyond. By treating your spouse in a way that honors God and is Christ-like, you will make people notice...in a good way! They will begin to look at their own marriage and wonder how they too can have what they see in your marriage and family. That’s a good thing!
Living out the Ten Relational Needs on a daily basis is one way you can be different from this world in how you treat one another and your kids. Your kids see that mom and dad appreciate one another when they see you thanking one another for what may be just an ordinary, daily task. They see you appreciate one another when you brag on your wife/husband to them. For example: ”Did you see what daddy did in the yard? Didn’t it come out beautifully?” “Did you see the meal mom cooked for our friends after they had the baby?” “She is so thoughtful!” Your kids and those looking into your life, will “catch” the extraordinary behavior.
Jesus noticed the “little things” and expressed thankfulness and appreciation. He appreciated little children and commended them before others. He noticed when Mary made a good choice to sit at His feet to learn rather than just simply be busy doing stuff. Not that the stuff wasn’t important. It was. It was simply less important than being with Him at that time….Mary chose well. Jesus thanked the Syro-Phoenician woman for her faith-filled comment about “even the dogs eat the crumbs from the master’s table”. Can you imagine how wonderful these folks felt to hear Jesus Christ appreciate their choices? Maybe it is something like the feeling you get when someone thanks you for your work or effort. Maybe experiencing Jesus today would make a difference for you.
Whether or not anyone else appreciates you, would you take some time to listen as God reminds you through Holy Spirit of His gratitude for your work, service, worship, sacrifice, or effort in His kingdom. Be still for a while and ask Him to speak to you about whether or not He appreciates any of your service and investments in His kingdom. I promise you He does appreciate your life. Hear His voice and tell someone what He communicates to your heart.
I, Dave, just did what I asked you to do in the paragraph above. You have to know that I have been several places in the last two months and watched God work in some powerful ways. When I asked God, “Would you tell me something you appreciate about what I have done?” He took me immediately - not to a workshop I led, a conference I attended, or any travel I did. He took me to yesterday when I got to spend a few hours alone with my 2-year old granddaughter. I sensed His appreciation for my playing dolls with her in her room, looking into her face with unhurried joy, and reading books to her - every word without skipping pages.
Ma’am, Sir, please know that you are appreciated by Jesus Christ. The ways you love others and love Him are investments that He is doing through you. Thank you!
Light Source #2: God's Word is a lamp and a light, so walk in the light of frequent experiences of doing His Word. Psalm 119: 105
Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Do you pursue the kind of living towards your spouse that these scriptures command? These are behaviors that we need to “choose” in our marriage; they don’t just happen. Choosing to love, be kind and tenderhearted, to forgive, to be Godly, to be gentle, to be steadfast in your relationship with your spouse...these are choices that will set your marriage apart from all others.
These Godly behaviors are only possible when you fix your eyes on Jesus. Only He can stir your spirit to choose even when your flesh wants its way. Remember Luke 6:45: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
What’s in your heart?
Light Source #3: God's people are sources of light so walk in real fellowship with your spouse: "the light of the world." Matthew 5:14
I, Linda, had to chuckle a little yesterday. I was busy cleaning the house, I mean CLEANING cleaning...working up a sweat cleaning. My husband comes home, and he begins to mow the lawn, edge, rake all the leaves, remove the sticks that have fallen from the trees, etc. Besides our house lookin’ gooood….when my husband came in from the yard we began to compliment each other on the good job we each did. Back and forth… my husband would say, “Wow babe, the house looks great! Thank you for doing that.” I would say, “Thanks babe for all you did in the yard, it looks awesome!” Back and forth we spoke words of appreciation to one another. I then chuckled a little inside because through Intimate Encounters we have learned to love one another well by choosing to “take notice.” Sure, we could have just said nothing. After all, the house needs cleaning and the yard needs to be taken care of, BUT...we learned that through even those mundane moments, we get to ‘Be the Light” for one another.
The next time your spouse does “the mundane,” maybe choose to “Be the Light” and show some appreciation. As you begin to practice this and it becomes the norm for you to show appreciation to your spouse, you might just be surprised at what happens in your heart. Joy, contentment, friendship and deep intimacy will make its home in your heart toward your spouse.
They always say, “It’s the little things.” Just a few words can speak so much love to your spouse.
Showing a little APPRECIATION will prevent your marriage from DISINTEGRATION.