Unfortunately, marriage is where appreciation often goes to die. As part of our G Thanks Challenge, I want to challenge you to work at appreciating your spouse in November and see what God does in your marriage. (This is a challenge I gave Fellowship in my sermon last week. It has drawn some comments and attention…I thought it might be worth sharing beyond that moment.)
You must remember though that men and women who live in the same latitude physically are not necessarily living in the same latitude emotionally. (Check out my earlier blog on gratitude and latitude if that statement is confusing.)
So here is the challenge. Express gratitude in you spouse’s latitude. (Minimally twice per week during the next month.)
Ladies, men are pretty simple creatures. Gratitude has more to do with longitude than latitude. It’s pretty simple. Physical affection and attention is appreciation. For men that basically means sex although we all know that is not the sum total of physical affection. There’s more to this reality than I will say now. I will come back to it in just a moment.
Men, women are not simple creatures. But appreciation is simple. It is a big concept in little actions. SAY it and SHOW it. Speak up. Be specific about what you appreciate and why. Take her for a night out…and plan everything…even the babysitter. Small moments with your spouse. A dessert date after the kids are in bed. A thank you note on the washing machine with a gift card in it. SAY it and SHOW it.
Also, appreciation is initiation. If your wife has to remind you to say and show appreciation…it does not count. If you speak appreciation because she told you she got that big (or little) task around the house done instead of you noticing on your own…it does not count. Your husband begging for physical attention does not count either, ladies. It usually is the initiation of affection that means the most to your husband. That is what causes him to feel respect, honor, value, and appreciation. Husbands, it is you taking the time and giving the attention to acknowledge her that makes her feel appreciation. Take a hint from Proverbs 31 and stand at the city gate and speak her praise. When you appreciate her and others know it…she knows it. Initiation goes along way in appreciation.
So that is the G Thanks Spouse Challenge…take it and see what God will do in your marriage this month!