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A Thankful Marriage Is a Happy Marriage - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - December 8

A Thankful Marriage Is a Happy Marriage 
By: Amanda Idleman

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

Maintaining happiness in our relationships is very dependent on how we choose to perceive our circumstances. For example, your husband takes a ten-minute pit stop to pick up milk on the way home from work. As the person waiting at home, you could choose to see this as a thoughtful gesture, or you could think how selfish he was for taking 10 extra minutes to go to the store alone while you struggled at home. Married life is full of scenarios just like this one. How we choose to perceive these events makes all the difference!

As believers, how are we supposed to view the world around us? Glass half empty or glass half full? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 clues us into the answer to this question, we are instructed to “be thankful in ALL circumstances.” That seems like a clear message to see the world with a glass half full attitude.  

What does this look like in married life? Simply put, we should give our spouses the benefit of the doubt. A proven marriage killer is when we let past disappointments push us to jump to negative conclusions about our spouse in current situations. Being thankful in all circumstances looks like giving your spouse the chance to change without the weight of the past pulling down every conversation. You live thankful for what they bring to the table, right here and now. You don’t assume they mean to hurt you because it’s happened that way once before. 

It is even possible to be thankful for conflict. Conflict means you are pushing deep into the heart of a matter to sort it out. Conflict is inevitable; no two humans will agree endlessly for a lifetime. If you learn to disagree with kindness, then you can see conflict as a chance to grow together. 

Living with thanks means thanking God when your spouse messes up. In every situation, we remember that God is still good! It is not our job to heap on extra guilt when our partner faces difficult moments. 

A thankful heart knows no good moment is by coincidence. When we share beautiful joyful moments, we should stop and thank God for His good work in our lives. How can you better remember the ways God has provided in your marriage? Keeping a journal together that logs the ways God has provided gives you a place to keep memories of God’s faithfulness through every season of life. Starting or ending your day with a list of things you and your spouse are thankful for is a practice that can keep you mindful of God’s provision in your life. Talk with your spouse about how you can make thanksgiving a daily part of your lives together.  

Cultivating a culture of thankfulness in your home is the foundation of what it takes to be a couple who perseveres. When we give thanks in all things; then there are no circumstances too daunting for you to overcome together with the help of the Lord. Start thinking about your spouse as a blessing from the Lord and watch the joy between you grow in new ways. 

Amanda Idleman is a wife, homeschooling momma to three amazing kids and is passionate about encouraging others to live joyfully. Amanda also loves to write as a freelance writer and on her blog (when she finds a spare moment for it). You can find out more about Amanda at her blog rvahouseofjoy.wordpress.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.

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