Did you know there was a national observance of letter writing? We don’t do that so much anymore, you know, with all of the technology and apps nowadays. Technology fits directly in with our busy lives, enabling us to do things faster and achieve more, giving us the space to tick off those never-ending lists of things to do.
It’s also gives us the space to become disconnected from each other.
We don’t mean to do it. It just happens. If we’re not intentional about how and where we expend our energy, we find ourselves unintentionally alone in a room or house full of people.
Showing appreciation makes all the difference
In marriage, especially when you’ve been together a little longer than a little while, it’s easy to become complacent. We can take our partners for granted when they do the things that they normally do. We come to expect them to say and do certain things, failing to recognize the effort or sacrifices that they’re making for us.
Like going out to dinner together.
We go out, eat a great meal, pay the bill, and go home.
But how often do we stop to recognize what it took for that to happen? At least one person had to go to work in order to earn the money to pay for the meal. Someone had to expend a little extra energy at the end of the day to drive to the restaurant safely. Even if you’re eating at home, the time that it takes to prepare the meal cost someone some energy they probably didn’t have to spare.
We come to expect these things from our partners. They…and we…are doing what we’re “supposed” to do. Providing. Protecting. Nurturing. Caring.
But when was the last time that you heard…or said…thank you?
3 easy ways to show your appreciation
Proverbs 16:24 reminds us that “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” One of the things that I learned early on in my marriage was that part of my marital responsibilities as being my husband’s help-meet looked a little differently that I expected. I read a book that gave me a lot of insight into what it was like for him being a Black man in a world that doesn’t always trust, protect, or care for him. I understood things a little differently and saw things from his perspective. The way that I showed him appreciation shifted from what I wanted to do for him to what he needed me to do for him.
Say Thank You
This is by far the easiest thing to do. There is a beauty in the humility of being able to tell someone thank you. 2 little words are sometimes all that you need to say to shift a person from begrudging to gracious.
Learn their Love Language
The 5 Love Languages is probably the most renowned source for learning communication. Know so much how to talk to your partner but how to communicate-verbally, mentally, emotionally-in a way that they can hear you. If my love partner’s love language is acts of service and mine is receiving gifts, he won’t appreciate it as much if I buy him things. We would appreciate it more if did things for him.
Which might also be a reason why there are so many really cool, yet unopened, gifts in our house…
Tell them you appreciate them
My hubby loves to hear words of affirmation. He thrives when I tell him that I appreciate the hard work that he puts in to take care of our family and the little things that he does for me. He hates cards but secretly loves it when I write him notes. Every once in a while he will actually keep one lol
write a letter of appreciation
You can combine all three of these actions into one, hitting a lot of the Love Languages at the same time, by writing a simple letter of appreciation.
Click on the link to download your copy of the Letter of Appreciation; there are 2 versions that you can use.
Use them…often…throughout the year. Remember, showing your appreciation to your spouse will go such a long way in having a happy, healthy home and marriage. Don’t wait for a national declaration to tell someone that you love and value them.
Do you practice showing appreciation in your relationship? How has it made a difference in your home? Tell me in the comments below!
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Katherine is the author of Wounds to Wisdom, The Marriage Advocate, and is the voice behind Yoked, an online ministry dedicated to helping women prepare themselves to be a wife. Married to her best friend, she is living out her purpose by encouraging others to enter into covenant marriages with their eyes wide open.