Ways to Show Thankfulness to Your Spouse

Thankfulness, Marriage, Faith

Ways to Show Thankfulness to Your Spouse

I shared in my devotional post about being thankful, that I love the definition. To be conscious of benefit received.

As Christians we are told to thank God in all situations. I feel like this definition brings greater awareness to why we are supposed to thank God. Think of all the benefit we have received from Him!

When we view our world through the lens of a thankful heart we are more focused on our abundant blessings and God’s love that has been poured onto us.

Today I want to look at the same definition pertaining to our spouses.

Because too often I meet with married couples who are proficient at describing all of their spouse’s flaws. They can rattle off item after item as if they have practiced the list. Because they have. Whether they realize it or not, they have come to focus on the ‘wrongs’ of their spouse.

It can be easy to do when we lose sight of how we are supposed to love.

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
At the same time, when I ask couples about the positive qualities of their spouse I’m met with panic. That list doesn’t come as easy.

To be conscious of benefit received because of your spouse.

Thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation can go a long way with your spouse. It helps them to feel loved. And often they will do more of the thing you state you are thankful for.

Behaviorists will call this process classical conditioning.

In teaching social skills this is part of reciprocity.

As a Christian, I may be biased, but I prefer Jesus’ explanation.  Luke 6:31 (NIV) Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Focusing on and showing gratitude towards your spouse also alters how you view them. When we set a positive intention towards something – our job, ourselves, our life circumstance, our spouse, etc. be begin seeing the positive aspects of that thing/person more readily. The result then is more positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors towards the thing/person.

So first before you can show thankfulness to your spouse you have to know what you are thankful for!

Think about all aspects of your spouse and come up with at least one positive for each area. Definitely don’t stop at one if you can think of others but don’t skip over a category.

I’ve worked with lots of couples who have struggled and shed tears about this assignment. This may not be a task you can just sit down and bust out. Past hurts can cloud all positives so take your time.

If you are struggling in any area ask God to show you how He sees your spouse.

  • Personality
  • Moral Character
  • Intellectually
  • Emotionally
  • Spiritual Development
  • Physically
  • Sexually
  • Spouse
  • Father/Mother
  • Son/Daughter
  • Friend
  • Communicator
  • Provider
  • Work Ethic

There may very well be other categories you can think of for your spouse. Feel free to add more but these will get you started.

Ways to show thankfulness to you spouse

Above were fourteen items so that’s two weeks worth of material for you use! So each day for two weeks pick one category and thank your spouse of one of the items you have listed.

Don’t just say, “I’m thankful you are a good…”

That might be okay for a day or two but two weeks of that and your spouse is going to feel like you are just completing a homework assignment. And there won’t be much movement in your heart or mind either.

Take time to think how you can creatively show your spouse you are thankful for them!

Here are some examples:

  • Personality

    • Find a way to highlight the personality characteristic you enjoy. How has it been helpful, important, enduring, etc.
  • Moral Character

    • Tell your spouse how their moral character has influenced and bettered you. Be specific.
  • Intellectually

    • Get them a book or item in the area they enjoy learning about or are interested in.
  • Emotionally

    • Thank your spouse for being your rock or for being willing to be vulnerable and letting you in. You can be as cheesy or as sentimental as you want.
  • Spiritual Development

    • Find a bible verse that you think describes your spouse or you think they do well.  Write out the verse or have it made on an item and give it to your spouse. Explain why you thought it fit them.
  • Physically

    • This one should be pretty easy to share. Tell your spouse and even show them what you physically like about them.
  • Sexually

    • You may have to step out of your comfort zone with this one if you aren’t much of a verbal person pertaining to sex. But let your spouse know what you are thankful for in how they make love to you. Better yet, ask them to show you again.
  • Spouse

    • Thank your spouse for not being like other husbands/wives. Don’t turn it into a gossip session but highlight how/why you believe your spouse is different and why you appreciate it.
  • Father/Mother

    • You can even recruit the kids to help you with this one. Come up with a project for the kids to help you with so show how your spouse is a good parent.
  • Son/Daughter

    • After your spouse gets off the phone with their parents or after you have visited them, tell your spouse what you admire about his/her interaction with his parents.
  • Friend

    • Share with your spouse they ways they are a great friend to you or how you admire his friendships with others.
  • Communicator

    • Tell your spouse what about their communication style you like. (Do not take this time to tell them ways they could improve!)
  • Provider

    • Let your spouse know the ways you feel he/she provides for the family and how beneficial it is to the family.
  • Work Ethic

    • Make a “get out of work” coupon thanking your spouse for how hard he/she works, in general, or on a specific task.

If you put in the effort, after two weeks you will hopefully notice a difference in how you view your spouse as well as how he/she interacts with you. Even if it’s a small difference. Celebrate small steps, too!

I pray that this post has been beneficial for you and reminded you to be conscious of your benefit received by having your spouse in your life!

God bless!

Melissa

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About Melissa

Melissa is a Christian mental health therapist, wife and mommy of two. She works with children, teens, adults, and couples to better manage their distress and hopefully become closer to God in the process.

38 comments on “Ways to Show Thankfulness to Your Spouse

  1. What a beautiful list of ways to show gratitude to our spouses! You’re right that if we don’t focus on the positive, our minds will automatically gravitate to what is wrong. We can change this by being thankful for what we do have.

    • Thank you for your kind words. It is incredibly important to make the positives a focus so thankfulness and gratitude show instead of bitterness or resentment. Thank you for reading and commenting! God bless!

  2. Having a heart of gratitude is SO important, and like you said, it can dynamically grow our marriage. I was challenged to do a thankfulness list like this for a bible study and it was a such a blessing! Thank you for this wisdom Melissa!

    • It is such a great skill to practice and develop. When we remain thankful we actively push away evil. Thank you for reading and commenting! God bless!

  3. Oh, if only husbands and wives focused on what they like about their spouse instead of all the things they don’t like, maybe we would have more successful marriages. Great reminders and advice in this post. Blessings!

    • I’m glad the list was beneficial. My examples all happened to be words of affirmation but the assignment would work for each of the other love languages as well. Thank you for reading and commenting! God bless!

  4. This is so important. My husband is good at telling me thank you for fixing dinner, doing laundry, etc, but I’m not so good at it. I need to be more intentional. Thank you for bringing this to light.

    • Thank you Emily. If intentionally focusing on thankfulness takes place when you get married you guys will be great! It’s so beneficial. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! God bless!

    • Thank you. The focus on the positives and intentionally finding things to be thankful for with your spouse is restorative to the marriage. Thank you for reading and commenting! God bless!

    • I’m so glad Hannah that you found the post beneficial. It can be a really powerful reminder of all of the positives about our spouse. It also can be a reminder of where our mindset has been within our marriage. I pray the project is meaningful for you both! God bless!

  5. I’m enjoying your posts on thankfulness! I think I overlook my spouse with gratitude! Thank you for the tips and ideas on how to tell him what he means to me!

    • Thank you! I think that happens to a lot of us! We get caught up in all other aspects of life. When we’re married to a steady and loving husband we can take him for granted. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! God bless!

    • Thank you Sasha! It can become all too easy to overlook our spouses as life gets crazy. Unfortunately if that continues it can turn negative. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! God bless!

  6. I love this list! What a wonderful way to show thankfulness and gratitude towards your spouse. It’s very important in a relationship. 🙂

    • It is so important but unfortunately sometimes our spouses get the ‘left-over’ version of us and we aren’t as intentional with them as with others. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! God bless!

  7. I love all of these! Thank you for being specific! We recently hit the 7 year mark…I feel I could definitely do a better job at letting him know how much I appreciate about him! I’m not the best at verbalizing. It may be a completely awkward two weeks, but I do believe you when you say that I will see a difference! <3 Such great advice!

    • Congratulations on 7 years! Verbalizing our appreciation can definitely feel awkward because that means we are also allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. I would love to hear how it goes after two weeks! Thank you for reading and commenting! God bless!

  8. prayer, prayer, prayer
    I often prayed for God to make me willing to be willing to see my spouse differently. For many years my name for him in my head was less than loving.
    Asking God to show me how to change that perception of my spouse changed our marriage.

    Thank you, Jesus, for faithfulness to partners in marriage! Praying with a and for my spouse changed my world.

    • Thank you for sharing this Tanya. As I had stated we have to know what we are thankful for before we can show it. For a multitude of reasons couples abilities to see their spouses positives can fade or wither. But prayer can restore our thoughts and heart. Praise God that He showed you ways to be loving and thankful for your spouse. Thank you again for sharing! God bless!

    • That’s a hard situation to be in Teliah. My advice would be to continue showing your thankfulness. In addition pray for God to give you strength to continue loving your spouse in the way He wants us to. I would then also pray for your spouse’s heart to be opened to experience the love of God and your love. A spouse can’t change their spouse. But you can continue to love in the way God wants us to. *Please note that this advice goes out the window if there is abuse involved. Abuse is not a biblical marriage and safety is a priority. Thank you for reading and for the courage to ask your question about a difficult topic. God bless!

    • It often is easy to forget to show appreciation for the people closest to us because they are our constants. I’m glad that the post was a good reminder! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. God bless!

    • I’m so glad the post met you where you are and provided conviction! I love how God leads us to things when we need them. Thank you for reading and commenting! God bless!

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