An Exercise in Gratitude

Posted on November 27, 2013 by


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Greg and April – celebrating Greg’s birthday last week

Whatever we “feed” will grow.

  • If I focus on the bad in my husband – I will have no problem finding bad things to meditate on.
  • If I focus on the good in my husband – I can find those things, too.

My mind is incredibly powerful.  What I choose to think about changes the way I see people.  When I choose to think about the negative and focus on the bad things, eventually, that is all I can see.  And when I choose to think about the good things in my husband, eventually, I hardly notice the bad things anymore.

Some women can come up with a lengthy list of complaints about their men very quickly, but have a REALLY tough time thinking of things they admire about them.  They have been focusing on the bad things – like I used to do, sadly.

Thankfulness isn’t just a “nice thing to do.”  Did you know that God commands us as believers in Christ to be thankful??  Not only that, it is part of His will for us to be thankful.  If we are full of His Spirit, gratitude should be part of our “native tongue.”

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Let me give you some examples that I am thankful for in my husband (my list started out much shorter 5 years ago – but as I continue to live to seek to be thankful, I see more and more to be thankful for).  See if you don’t recognize some of these strengths in your own man.

Greg is:

  • faithful
  • responsible
  • dependable
  • creative
  • intelligent
  • funny
  • loving
  • kind
  • generous
  • a good provider
  • stable emotionally/spiritually
  • talented with remodelling projects
  • artistic
  • great with tools/machines
  • technically savvy
  • affectionate
  • supportive
  • gentle
  • a good listener
  • a wise leader
  • great with sports and strategy games
  • good at enjoying life
  • great at relaxing and having fun
  • responsible with money
  • peaceful – doesn’t yell or get violent
  • very easy going
  • loyal to me, our children, God, his job
  • ethical
  • forgiving
  • merciful
  • not easily angered or upset
  • great at research
  • a fast learner
  • able to conquer just about anything he sets his mind to!
  • devoted to God
  • faithful to make sure we go to a Bible-believing church
  • faithful to support our children learning the Bible by taking them to AWANA at church
  • supportive of me as a mom
  • helpful with chores
  • an involved dad who plays with the children and makes them feel special and loved
  • faithful to spend a lot of his time off at home with me and our children
  • careful to respect me as his wife, a mom and a pharmacist
  • loving toward me even when I mess up
  • an emotional and spiritual rock for me
  • protective of me when I overextend myself
  • gives wise counsel to me and to our children

I am sure you can probably come up with others for your own man, too.  But it’s really interesting – as I began to focus on the positive qualities my husband has, and I quit bringing up and thinking about negative things- the positive, wonderful things began to grow bigger and bigger!

I’d like to encourage you to start a list of the things you admire, respect, are proud of and appreciate about your man.  Keep it with you when you pray for him and thank God for your husband’s strengths. Keep adding to the list as you see qualities you admire.

Maybe some time this week, you can tell him or text/email  him just  a sentence or two about something you admire and appreciate about him.

If you don’t have a man – please write out a list of things you are thankful for that God has blessed you with in your life right now.

It would be a great day to list some of our incredible God’s amazing qualities and praise and thank Him for Who He is, too!

A verse I believe we could all benefit from memorizing and applying to every part of our lives:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

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