When Ray and I married each other, we loved each other. Yet, we wanted each other to be better people and do better. We knew that was the point, after all. And I know we weren’t alone.
We can always do better. And we’re supposed to.
I’ll tell you why.
As the Church, we are called Christ’s bride. Yes, that means husbands as well.
Scripture tells us in Ephesians 5:25-27, “And to the husbands, you are to demonstrate love your wives with the same tender devotion that Christ Jesus demonstrated to us, his bride. For he died for us, sacrificing Himself to make us holy and pure, cleansing us through the showering of the pure water of the Word of God. All that He does in us is designed to make us a mature church for His pleasure, until we become a source of praise to Him – glorious and radiant, beautiful and holy, without fault or flaw.”
Did you catch that?
“Make holy and pure?”
These all call for a process. Something isn’t, it’s processed, and it becomes.
And this very relationship of Christ with His bride (us) is supposed to be the image that our marriage portrays.
Jesus loves us so much that He’s made it His duty to love us to holiness, maturity, and purity. He wants to see us reach our best selves, the us that He imagined from the very beginning. That very same love is supposed to exist within husband and wife.
He tells us how it’s done in Hebrews 15:5, “Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you will always have God’s presence. For hasn’t He promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!””
There you have it. Here’s what this says in my own words: “Be content with and appreciate everything I’ve given you thus far; it carries my presence. A gift from my heart to yours.”
Your marriage is a gift. Honor as such by telling your spouse, daily, how much you appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life. Thank them for cooking or cleaning or washing the dishes or changing the oil or making the bed – this lets them know you notice them and what they do for you. Use your words to build them up, not tear them down. Inspire and motivate them. Support them in whatever they’re after.
Other times, appreciation won’t be verbal but it’ll be demonstrated. Sacrifice – even in the smallest ways – can show appreciation to your spouse louder than any words ever will.
Appreciation is a way of showing your spouse how much you value them. Like Jesus did for you and for me. He demonstrated how much we mean to Him when He gave up His very life so that we could live. Follow this example and you will honor the gift of marriage and your spouse.