By Ashley McIlwain
The other day I was sitting down racking my brain for ways to express gratitude to my husband Steve. He is such an amazing man that inspires, encourages, and loves me. He does so much for me and everyone around him that I knew I needed to take the time to verbalize all these thoughts of admiration and gratitude I have for him. So, I came up with an idea that I wanted to share with you all.
Many of us tend to either get caught up in negativity or just neglect to convey our appreciation to those around us. Our spouse often takes the brunt of this lack of praise. Philippians 2:3 instructs us, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Are we doing that for our spouse? Are we holding him/her in higher esteem than ourselves? I’m going to take a wild guess and say that many of us struggle with that one.
It’s essential to “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). There is no one more deserving of our praise and encouragement than our spouse. While he or she may be imperfect, they are a treasure. You chose them and promised to love and cherish them through it all until your dying day. That’s a pretty significant promise that most of us need to work harder at upholding.
Knowing that I could always be better at affirming and building Steve up, I decided to come up with a list of twelve things about him that I am thankful for. Then, I whipped up some cute little note cards and wrote one of those things on each of them. Next, I placed those notecards in twelve different spots where he would unexpectedly find them throughout an entire day. At the end of the day I had a little gift waiting for him when he got home along with a card that more explained more in depth just how much I love and appreciate him. The goal was simply to bless him. To take time to convey all the love, appreciation, and respect I have for him. To let him know that he is cherished, admired, and adored. He deserves nothing less than that.
Hopefully each of you will try this out on your spouse because I think it would really bless and encourage them. You can download my template for the notecards here. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes!
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