Have you ever attempted to be grateful for your spouse and attempt to be mad at them at the same time? It’s hard to be upset with someone when you’re thankful for them at that very same moment.
I was recently speaking with a wonderful friend of mine and she was telling me about a life coach she began working with not long ago. One of the first things the life coach instructed her to do was to wake up each morning, and before doing anything else, say what she is grateful for in that moment.
That got me to thinking. How impactful would that be in marriage? What would be the benefits of waking up each morning and saying, “I am grateful for,” and then thinking or speaking out loud your answers in relation to your spouse.
Just a few moments ago, a wide smile began to stretch across my face for no particular reason (with little crinkles in the corner of my eyes). The ends of my lips curled upwards when I thought about my own answer to that question. I am grateful for:
my husband’s laughter
the way he holds my hand and kisses my forehead
his desire to see me succeed in every aspect of my life
his faithfulness and loyalty
These are the thoughts that popped into my mind first. But there are so many other reasons for me to be thankful for him, chief among them:
he’s still here
I’ve met so many widows since founding this club, those who would trade the remainder of their days just to spend one last day with their spouse. When Myles Munroe and his wife died in a plane crash earlier this week, my girlfriend sent me a text that read, “At least neither of them were widowed.” I thought, what a profound statement.
My husband is still here. Your spouse is still with you. Let’s begin tomorrow morning grateful for that. But that’s just the beginning. Start with that thought and then continue to list as many reasons as come to mind.
As I was writing this post, I realized there were at least 5 benefits for expressing gratitude for your spouse each and every morning:
1. It is a reminder that life is just a vapor. Here today, gone tomorrow. What greater gift can you give your spouse than letting him know how thankful you are they are here in this moment?
2. Gratitude is the gateway to happiness. There is not a happiness researcher in the world that will dispute this point. The most direct route to happiness is through Gratitude Avenue.
3. It is an acknowledgement at the top of the day that you are willing to A.E.O.D: accept each other’s differences. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the qualities that make our spouses different are also what make them great. No need to change them. Love will do just fine.
4. Great things will begin to happen. When you begin the day, thinking positive thoughts about your marriage and spouse, you will find that more great things will begin to happen. It’s the darndest thing! The happiest couples I know are also the most grateful. It’s as if gratitude begets more things for which to be grateful.
5. Your spouse will become more grateful for you and all you do. Again, it’s the darndest thing. Those who are seeking gratitude and recognition from their spouses rarely receive it. That is, until they begin to consistently give to their spouse that which they seek. Gratitude begets gratitude. It’s just like a yawn; try being around one without it catching on.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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