Advent has ended, Christmas has come and gone, and the holiday season is over. The festive decorations will soon be put away for another year, but that doesn’t mean we should put away the truths we’ve learned in this time from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day.
Continue the Celebration in Your Heart
These blessed truths from God’s Word must become the hope we hang on to all year long. They must be evident throughout the coming new year and for the rest of our lives. We must always remember our need for this hope and the joy, peace, and love that only God can give. And indeed God has given us all these wonderful gifts through sending His Son Jesus to this world to save us. Our salvation–our very lives–come through Him. (If you need to know more about Him and the gifts He has to give you, read Meet Jesus.)
As we embrace these incredible gifts–the rich blessings brought through Christ Jesus our Lord–we have much to be thankful for.
We came to this holiday season through Thanksgiving–a day set aside to offer thanks to our God for His provision and many blessings. How appropriate that we should leave this season of celebration with gratitude in our hearts for all God has done. A heart of thankfulness that will go with us in the year to come.
A Heart of Thanksgiving Has a Great Impact on Your Marriage
This heart of thanksgiving has a great impact on our relationship with God and our relationship with others. It allows us to share these gifts we’ve received with those around us.
And this is especially true in the marriage relationship. Thankfulness is a major key to having the gracious, loving marriage God desires for us. Isn’t this the kind of marriage we all long for?
The call to be thankful in our marriages can be seen throughout Scripture.
Men, God’s word says we are to rejoice in our wives and give thanks for them. Proverbs 5:18 tells us: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” Some have interpreted this verse as rejoice in your young wife. But that is not a proper translation. The original Hebrew language says very specifically “the wife of your youth.” The point is you are to be thankful to God for your wife and show thankfulness to your wife from the day you marry her until the day you die. Rejoicing and thankfulness go together.
The above verse is in the middle of God teaching how He has designed marriage. Here is the context in Proverbs 5:15-20: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?” This is a call to love and be faithful to your wife. It is also a call to enjoy her–rejoice in her, and be thankful for her until you are separated by death.
In Paul’s day there was a group teaching that marriage was bad and Christians should stay away from it. Paul wrote strongly against this in several of his letters. In 1 Timothy 4:3-5 he wrote: “They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”
God says marriage is good and should be received with thanksgiving.
And this applies to wives as well. While the above verses directly speak to husbands, they apply to both men and women. Husbands are to lead the way, but these truths apply to both husbands and wives.
Wives, give thanks to God for your husband. Show thanks to your husband and rejoice in your relationship. It will make all the difference in the world to him, to your marriage, and to our Lord.
Thankful for the Big and the Small
In closing, let me share this personal illustration. Taking a shower was no big deal for me until I was hit with Sepsis a couple of years ago. Now, due to the lingering effects of poor balance and problems using my hands, showering can be a difficult and dangerous activity. I can easily lose my balance, slip and fall.
The other day, while in the shower I was sitting on the special chair my wife, Sabra, had bought and put in our bathtub. I looked down at the bath mat she had put in the bottom of the tub, so when standing or stepping in and out of it I wouldn’t slip. I noticed the shampoo and liquid soap she bought specifically in pump bottles and how she placed them in a safe location where I can easily reach them, whether sitting or standing. She knew holding a bottle is a challenge for me, and the pump is a blessing. This is just one of the many thoughtful, loving things my wife does that I am thankful for.
I am thankful to Sabra, and I am thankful to God for her.
You see, they don’t have to be big things. Oh, be thankful for those. Let your spouse and God know you are thankful for them.
But also be thankful for the little things, the everyday things, the things we often take for granted. Give thanks to God and show thanks to your spouse for them.
This verse says it best…
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
So as you take down all your festive decorations and hide them away until next year, hide away God’s blessed truths in your heart. Fill it with gratitude for all the gifts you have received. Rejoice and be thankful. For when you are full of thankfulness, the celebration will continue on throughout the year…in your heart, in your life, in your marriage.
What are you thankful to God for about your husband or wife? Tell Him. Now. Tell your spouse, too. Don’t wait. Do it often. And see what a blessing it will be to every aspect of your marriage.
We start a new series next week. I can’t wait to tell you about what God has been teaching me, and how He can use it in your marriage. Until then…
May God bless you in all His wonderful ways,
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.