During that time we witnessed God's provision and leadership in our lives. Sometimes God will use the hardship you endure as a couple to lead you up a mountainside where He can show you His majesty.

Praising God in the midst of hurts. After a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a marriage is the most intimate union between two people. Yet often, relational junk piles up between husbands and wives.  The junk pile consists of little irritations (such as his candy wrapper that has been in the living room for three days or her scrapbooking stuff which has taken over the dining room for what feels like the better half a century) to deep hurts (name calling, purposeful insults, dishonesty, infidelity). 

One way we worship God is through forgiving one another. Forgiving your spouse follows God's design for life. All the stuff standing between you two can be dealt with through the graces of forgiveness! Nothing else cleans it away.

One of the keys to forgiveness is remembering all that God has forgiven you for. To extend that same forgiveness to others is an expression of gratitude for all He has done for you. This Thanksgiving season, consider offering a sacrifice of praise to God by forgiving your spouse.

So, what are those hiccups and hurts in your marriage?  What has God been developing within you as an individual and as a couple through those hard times that you can praise Him for? The following are a few ideas to help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude within your marriage:

  • This Thanksgiving, start a praise box.  End your day or week by writing a praise on a slip of paper that you place in the box to be read next Thanksgiving.
  • Set aside some time everyday to pray together.  Include praise and thanksgiving in your prayer time. 
  • Hold hands while you sing during the worship service at church as a physical reminder to unite for the purpose of seeking and praising God.
  • Spend time each day thanking God for your spouse and then write a note telling him/her what qualities you thanked God for.
  • Pray together about the things that are hard in your marriage and thank God for the good He promises to work in your lives through it (Romans 8:28).
  • Practice forgiving each other for every offense, little or large.
  • Surrender the weaknesses you and your spouse have to God and thank Him for the lessons He might want to teach you through them.

Originally posted Nov. 21, 2008.

For a free e-devotional on forgiveness, contact us at info@InHisEyesMinistries.com.

April Motl and her husband, Eric, minister at their church in Southern California where he is a pastor on staff.  April is the founder of In His Eyes Ministries; a teaching ministry devoted to helping women see their life from God's perspective. For more information about the ministry visit www.InHisEyesMinistries.com.