Sometimes in counseling, a spouse will ask for help to rekindle a flame–recapturing a sense of value and desire for a husband or wife. If you’re someone needing support in appreciating your husband or appreciating your wife, perhaps this story will add value…
I remember a mission trip I took to Port Au Prince, Haiti and the poverty we experienced while we were there. Often at night, we’d hear children crying outside our gate, “I’m hungry…I’m hungry!” The problem was so severe that if we took food to those who were crying, they might be trampled or beaten-up by others once we’d handed them something to eat.
Once, I had a small boy working beside me the whole day while we were helping build a school. He couldn’t have been more than 10-12, but worked hard—like an adult. At lunch, our hosts tried to sweep us away behind closed doors to feed us, but I couldn’t bear to leave my little Haitian buddy behind with nothing to eat. So, I said in my broken Creole, “follow me,” and I led him down several back alleys to a quiet spot where I could hand him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and stand guard over him while he ate.
I’ll never forget the look on his face when I gave him that sandwich. I try to remember it whenever I’m tempted to complain about my life!
Now I realize that most of us need more than a comparison to someone less fortunate in order to feel better about our circumstances. If your spouse isn’t what you dreamed he/she would be, just knowing someone with a worse mate isn’t enough. Still, the idea of appreciating what IS good about those we love is a biblical concept that works.
The Apostle Paul put it this way:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
So, my suggestion is this. Make a list. What is it about your spouse that is positive and worthy of praise. Pray over that list. Speak to your mate about those things–positively reinforcing those traits and behaviors. Sometimes, this not only helps your mindset, but inspires even greater positive change in the one you love.
To that end,