Welcome to our first post in this 26 week series, written by my husband Matt and me. We’re excited to be working together on this and in case I haven’t mentioned it lately – my husband is awesome. ;)
Appreciate Each Other
Show and Tell – Matt’s thoughts
In grade school Show and Tell was when the boys brought cool toys from home and told us about them. I could hardly wait for recess to play with them. The girls brought items that I thought were silly and boring. Obviously, there were differing perspectives involving Show and Tell.
In marriage we need to show and tell our spouse of our appreciation. This isn’t necessarily what I would appreciate my spouse to do for me. We need to crawl into the mind of our beloved by asking, “What could I do for my sweetie that would make him/her feel loved?” If I’m unsure then I need to ask my spouse how he/she would like for me to show and tell my appreciation.
If we aren’t doing this, we take for granted the roles that our spouse plays and the holes that our spouse fills in our life.
We all know Laura enjoys cooking. Bonus for me – she is good at it. Amazingly efficient too. I, on the other hand, measure everything out precisely and find it challenging to prepare more than one item at a time. I sure appreciated Laura’s work and proficiency in the kitchen…meal after meal. How did she know I appreciated it? That’s where I needed to show and tell. Eventually, I learned that she enjoys cooking even more when I express my gratitude for her work and help with the clean-up. She really feels loved and appreciated when I say, “Thanks! That was great,” and then I hop up and start rinsing dishes and/or get our boys going on their clean-up chores. In a healthy marriage, the husband and the wife both seek out ways they can show and tell their appreciation often.
When we practice this, we empower our spouse to continue doing the action or having the attitude that we praised them for. In our case, neither of us enjoy doing our taxes, but Laura thanks me profusely for taking care of that. My motivation for doing our taxes comes directly from her words of appreciation. When I’ve finished I can’t wait to tell her and receive some appreciation.
How Could You Not Appreciate Seeing My New Stuffed Pink Bunny During Show and Tell? – Laura’s Thoughts
You know why I feel appreciated by Matt? Because he’s intentional about showing and telling me what he appreciates. Appreciation doesn’t just happen. I’m not sure any element of a healthy marriage just happens without being intentional. Showing and telling our appreciation takes thought and work – which means we often need to do things we don’t necessarily love doing. What, you think Matt really just loves rinsing dishes? C’mon. But he does the job cheerfully, because he loves and appreciates me. And boy do I appreciate the way he appreciates me. After all, we have a lot of dirty dishes at our house. ;)
Now regarding grade school Show and Tell and the adorable toys I would bring to bore the boys – here’s something else I think we need to appreciate:
God made men and women different – on purpose. Instead of scoffing at our differences, I believe we need to appreciate how God created us to complement one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Then, we need to show and tell our spouse how we appreciate that they are different from us.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that Matt can handle doing the taxes when I’d never make it through the first line of instructions without my eyes glazing over. Yep, God knew what He was doing when He made us with differences.
And now, I believe I will go show my appreciation to Matt by making one of his favorite meals. Which he will then show me his appreciation by rinsing the dishes I dirtied. Ah, the appreciation never stops around here. :)
What are some ways you can show and tell your spouse you appreciate him/her?
Ladies, we know you’re reading here more often than the guys. ;) We’d love husbands to read this article as well. Please send the link to your husbands, or if it’s easier, we’ve created a downloadable article for you to quickly print off and share. Print Healthy Marriage Tips A to Z – Appreciate.