What is a helpful practice to grow in gratefulness for your spouse?

As a pastor, I have found a common link that surrounds the need for marriage counseling, often times revolves around this simple problem:  Too much focus on the small, petty, annoyances that come with our spouse.  Even in Christian marriage, bitterness comes when we do not view our spouse with gracious, forgiving eyes, but with harsh expectations.  If this describes you or someone you are trying to counsel, take heart, for I have discovered a wonderful antidote when especially young married couples lose sight of the gratefulness all Christians should have in the joy of Christian marriage and instead try to nitpick their spouse with an ungrateful heart.

“Go visit widows and widowers in your church and ask them about their spouse.  Specifically what they loved about them most and what they miss about them now that they are gone.”

God quickly and uniquely brings perspective through the words of widows.  Our marriages are no exception.  Widows speak as those who no longer get to see their spouse, no longer get to enjoy their company, and no longer are able to share their life with them.  Hearing this wise perspective almost always helps cut through any petty grievances in one’s marriage and allows them to focus on the things that really matter.  As a result, I have watched this helpful perspective cause husbands and wives grow to appreciate their spouses more.

As many of us are guilty of making “mountains out of mole hills” in our marriages, we need a perspective jolt for our marriages and visiting a widow or widower who no longer has their spouse often provides that jolt.  I also advise engaged couples to go and talk to widows hoping this perspective becomes great preparation for marriage and helps them avoid the common petty pitfalls in the early years of marriage that lead to ungratefulness.

I think the old saying is true, “You don’t know what you got, until it is gone.”  Because of this, I dare say, there is no one better in the church to help us grow in gratefulness for the spouse God has bless us with and that we still have to enjoy, other than widows.

Posted in Caring for Widows, Home and Family
4 comments on “What is a helpful practice to grow in gratefulness for your spouse?
  1. Rachel says:

    I needed this reminder today for my own marriage. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use your words to convict me of my sin. Deeply appreciative.

  2. This week, I spoke to a widow and a widower. Boy, are you right that they are worth speaking with! The widow was married for over 40 years, and lost her husband last year after a very long, and debilitating illness. She is a shadow of her former self. Even though, in the years before he passed away, he could do almost nothing for himself, and used an electronic device to ‘speak’, her grief at actually losing him was humbling. ‘I am lost without him’, she said (even though he was unable to do so much latterly).
    The widower I spoke to was only married 12 years when his wife passed away. That was 26 years ago….. and he still can’t stop talking about her! How he loved her, and though all this time has passed, his heart still grieves.
    I felt humbled to have met these two Christians (whose spouses were both Christians too). I also felt a renewed thankfulness that God has seen fit to, as yet, make me a wife, not a widow.

  3. tabulyogang says:

    It is sometimes good to ask, “What do i love about him/her”

6 Pings/Trackbacks for "What is a helpful practice to grow in gratefulness for your spouse?"
  1. [...] I Grateful For My Spouse? A great article on taking advice from widows and [...]

  2. [...] Here is a helpful reminder not to focus on the small irritating stuff that drains the vitality from a marriage. As many of us are guilty of making “mountains out of mole hills” in our marriages, we need a perspective jolt for our marriages and visiting a widow or widower who no longer has their spouse often provides that jolt. Share this:FacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted by Mark Filed in Hope, Marriage and Family Leave a Comment » [...]

  3. [...] How to grow in gratefulness for your spouse Visit some widows and widowers. [...]

  4. [...] What is a Helpful Practice to Grow in Gratefulness for Your Spouse? Interesting post on how to be grateful for your spouse when you are lacking in love for them. Searching out old peoples wisdom and insight is always a good thing. [...]

  5. [...] A Helpful Practice to Grow in Gratefulness for Your Spouse — “I have discovered a wonderful antidote when especially young married couples lose sight of the gratefulness all Christians should have in the joy of Christian marriage and instead try to nitpick their spouse with an ungrateful heart. Go visit widows and widowers in your church and ask them about their spouse.  Specifically what they loved about them most and what they miss about them now that they are gone…” [...]

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