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Are you taking your spouse for granted?

By: ashley thrift

My husband and I headed to pick up our kids from KidSpring when I ran into one of my besties. As moms, we don’t get to see each other nearly as much as we would like. And as our excitement to exchange hugs and words took over, my husband jokingly said, “I wished you got that excited to see me every day.” 

I laughed it off as his crazy, non-filtered self, shook my head, and proceeded in conversation with my friend. But while my husband was joking, he was also right. I take my husband for granted way too often. 

Every good relationship is intentional.

Because he is steadfast in his calling as a husband and father, I assume he will return home safe and sound to his husbandly and fatherly responsibilities at the end of each day. The routine we have created as a married couple and family makes it easy to take my spouse for granted. 

That day at KidSpring reminded me that every good relationship is intentional. A marriage, like any other relationship, needs time and attention to keep the excitement alive. 

Three Ways to Be Intentional with Your Spouse

1. Pursue them. 

Anyone we want to have a good relationship with, we must pursue (1 Timothy 4:15-16). This is true of our relationships with Jesus and with our spouses. 

When we stop pursuing Jesus, our closeness with Him dwindles. Though we love Him and know He is there, pursuing Him keeps us closely connected. It’s what allows us to not take Jesus for granted for who He is and what He’s done for us. 

The same goes with our spouse. We can love them and we know they are there, but we need to keep pursuing them to stay closely connected. 

2. Eliminate expectations and generate appreciation. 

Expectations can destroy marriages. Our spouses are a gift from God created for unification to do life with (Philippians 1:3). They are our partners, not our employees. We don’t get to tell them what to do or create a list of expectations for them to fulfill. 

3. Focus on their strengths. 

We all have our own strengths (Ephesians 2:10). What is your spouse really good at? Encourage those strengths. Focus on who your spouse is and what they do, instead of what they don’t do. This will gain their appreciation and their trust. 

Too often in marriage, we get so caught up in the familiar that we don’t see the change happening in front of us each day. All of us are in the process of becoming more like Jesus, moving from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). 

When we’re pursuing our spouses, experiencing their appreciation, and affirming each other’s strengths, we’re more in tune with how Jesus is shaping us little by little, day by day. We get excited to see each other — not because it’s been a while — but because we can’t wait to hear what the other has to say. 

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