Have you ever noticed that it is nearly impossible to be angry or aggravated while you are being thankful? Think about it. When you are recognizing all that God has given you whether it is in prayer or journaling, you can feel your spirit being lifted. Your heart rate slows down. The wrinkle between your eyes relaxes. When thinking about all that you have rather than dwelling on all that you lack, a smile can proudly take back its territory on your face. You can’t be all warm and fuzzy on the inside and want to go after your husband with a kitchen knife at the same time. The feelings have to fight for their position. If one is in, the other is out. The solution to a poor attitude is gratitude, plain and simple.
If your attitude toward your husband is critical, unloving and generally disappointing, I would almost guarantee that you have not spent time telling God how grateful you are for him and that you haven’t told your husband thank you to his face lately either. Spend time in prayer thanking God for your husband. If you are having a hard time coming up with something to be thankful about, start by being thankful that God created him. If nothing else, tell God you are thankful that He isn’t finished with your husband. Tell God you are thankful that you have someone to do life with, even if things aren’t going as well as you had expected. Even if your marriage is feeling really tough right now, even if it seems you could not be more opposite from your husband if you had intentionally tried to marry your polar opposite, thank God for him – warts and all.
The next part might be easy for you or it might be difficult. Either way, do not skip this step. Make it a point to thank your husband for something at least 3 times a day this week. Now if you haven’t done this in a while, he may look at you a little funny at first. That’s OK. He may even think you are just being sarcastic. That’s OK too. Rome wasn’t built in a day. When you are genuinely showing gratitude toward your spouse, he will eventually feel the love and stop being suspicious that you just want something.
Don’t let your thanks stop there. Make a habit of remembering and recognizing everything for which you are thankful. My friend and iBloom team member, Betsy Ringer, shared with me that she has a file on her computer dedicated to everything for which she is grateful. She adds to the list often and refers to it when she needs a boost. It is a folder on her desktop so she sees the little icon every time she gets on her computer. Set reminders like that around your home, too. You can have a journal filled with people, things and experiences for which you are grateful. You could keep messages on your refrigerator or post a sign in your laundry room that reminds you how lucky you are to have the clothes you are washing and the spouse/children who will wear them. Don’t allow yourself to be pulled down by a bad attitude. Choose to live being grateful for each and every blessing God has given you and those you know you will receive one day. Have you read through your Bible? We win! That’s enough to be grateful for, that alone.
The above an excerpt from Happy Marriage: A Christian Gal’s Guide to a Happy, Life-Long Marriage by Leigh Ann Napier. As a special gift to Everyday Christian female readers, Leigh Ann is offering a 20% discount to her Happy Marriage Group Coaching Program if you register by May 24th. The program is a 7 week, group coaching experience by phone, designed to dig deeper into each chapter of the book. It will help you apply what you learn and provide action steps, focused on one chapter per week, and make a lasting difference in your marriage. For more details on the new coaching program, visit http://leighannnapier.com/upcomingevents. To redeem your discount, use Coupon code happyvip at checkout. You can also download a sample of her book for free, just for checking it out, by visiting http://leighannnapier.com/sample.