An Expression of Thanks – MM #123

Thanks be to God - Expression of thanks - Canva - Pixabay backgroundHere in the States [and other parts of the world], we commemorate a day of Thanksgiving. There are many who have political concerns with what this day celebrates. But for now, I want to side step the debate. Instead, for us, Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for all that we have. It is a day to go against our natural instincts. Most people do not spend their days being thankful. We are much more likely to be self-critical, feel slighted, and seek ways of getting more and more. That is why we want to focus on giving God an expression of thanks.

An Expression of Thanks

“Marriages tend to suffer when we spend our time thinking about what we don’t have. When we compare our spouse to someone else, or focus on the weaknesses of our relationship, or find all that makes us unhappy, we move in that direction.

“There is an endless list of people to whom we can compare our spouse. And we have a nearly infinite list of weaknesses in a relationship. But for today, just today, change the flow. Focus on what you are thankful for. What about the relationship do you cherish? What about your spouse do you treasure? If your answer is ‘nothing,’ you are not looking fairly or deeply.

“When we focus on what we are thankful for, a magical thing happens. We find more things for which to be thankful! We turn off the critical switch in our brain for just an instant. For a split second, we exist in an area of appreciation. And our task is to expand that appreciation into more and longer moments.”

“Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are! I hope you find what is a treasure in your life, and cherish it today!”

Expression of Thanks Despite Struggles

The above message was written a number of years ago by Lee H. Baucom, in an article posted on the Savethemarriage.com web site titled “Thanksgiving and Marriage.” We include it in this Marriage Message because what he wrote expresses our sentiments exactly. We can focus on that, which is wrong. Or we can focus on the blessings we have. We’re told in the Bible to “give thanks in all circumstances, because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

We realize that many of you are struggling in your marriages. And for that we are sorry. You feel alone, though married, and abandoned, even though God has told you He would “never abandon you.” You may want to see His hand, His care, and His presence, but you don’t.

However, we hope that something that Paul David Tripp wrote in his book, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage ministers to your heart and circumstances. We hope it helps you through these tough times:

“Our purpose for marriage tends to be different from the Lord’s. Our desire is that our marriages would be the location of our comfort, ease, and enjoyment. We often have desires no bigger than this. But God’s purpose is that each of our marriages would be a tool for something that is way more miraculous and glorious than our tiny, little, self-focused definition of happiness. He has designed marriage to be one of his most effective and efficient tools of personal holiness. He has designed your marriage to change you.”

He also writes on this point,

“God is in control, not only of the locations in which you live, but also of the influences that have shaped you as a person. He has not only written the story of you and your spouse and determined that your stories would intersect but he has controlled all the things that have made you different from one another. As you struggle, you must not view your marriage as bad luck, or poor planning. Don’t view it as a mess that you made for yourself. No, God is right smack-dab in the middle of your struggle. He is not surprised by what you are facing today. He is up to something.”

The question is: will you participate with Him in His plan for your life? Or will you struggle against the work He is trying to accomplish WITHIN and THROUGH you?

On a personal note:

Cindy and I want you to know how THANKFUL we are for you —our subscribers, web site visitors and supporters. We’re especially grateful for how God has allowed us to participate in His plan for YOUR marriage. For those of you who support us in prayer and financially, we want to especially thank you for your help. We couldn’t do this without you!

We want to remind you that if you do any shopping throughout the year, you can do it through Amazon.com. You can help support this ministry, if you do it through our web site at. Just go to the right sidebar of any page. Then enter Amazon through the blue window where it says, “Shop and Save Marriages.” When you do this a small portion of whatever you purchase will be sent back to Marriage Missions International. You still get all of the discounts and we get the blessing of financial support for our work. It’s a win/win situation!

So, with a very grateful heart Cindy and I give all Praise to God. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.(Philippians 1:3-6)

Steve and Cindy Wright

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Filed under: Marriage Messages

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5 responses to “An Expression of Thanks – MM #123

  1. Here you say “Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.” One would hope that you would do the same. I see you are in the habit of helping for yourself content from other web sites without prior approval to add to your own articles. You might as well be taking what you wish from a grocery store and walking out without paying. No matter how you attempt to justify it to yourself or others, without prior authorization, it is quite questionable, don’t you think?

    “Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31 “Let a righteous man strike me –that is a kindness; let him rebuke me –that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.” Psalm 141:5

    1. Dear Guide, We are so sorry that you are offended –truly. That is never our purpose or intention. We sincerely, and GREATLY apologize.

      Our intent is to make others aware of “the best of” –giving credit to, plus sending them to those are helping marriages. We didn’t think that we TOOK the quote you are referring to in your comment because we put it in quotations, gave full acknowledgement for the source, as well as giving a link back to your web site so they could read the rest of what was written in the referred to article, plus more.

      We truly thought this quote was part of the “Fair Use” act that is greatly used here in the United States. Here is a portion of what we have read about this: “Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders.”

      We saw nothing on your web site saying that everything written there is exclusively copyrighted material. Perhaps I didn’t look deeply enough. If that is the case, I’m truly sorry, and ask for your forgiveness.

      Since highlighting a quote of yours is offensive to you, whether it’s part of the “fair use” or not, we want to honor what you feel is yours alone. So we have erased your quote (as well as the acknowledgment, referral to, and link to your web site) from this Marriage Message so you can keep it exclusive. We promise that we won’t quote anything on your web site again. Please know that we are truly sorry to have caused you angst. We never would want to do that to you or anyone. Our intent is to join with others to help, not to hurt. May you be blessed as you help those who reach out to you. That is our prayer for you and all who try to help those who are married.

      1. First off, in order to be honest with others, one must first be honest with themselves and with God. So trying to cross over into the secular realm to justify your behavior sincerely lacks true repentance. It’s like you say I am sorry, and then you make up excuses for what you did using secular legalist terms. So one minute you are Christ-centered and the next minute you are worldly? You seem to have some issue with taking full ownership of your actions. Additionally you took like 3 PARAGRAPHS, not a simple little quote. Who are you kidding with this? Yourself….. all the while trying to keep this article up and making yourself look good at the same time. You want to look good? Get honest with God about this, and keep out the worldly secular legalist terminology. You know in your heart that you did not simply take a little snip-let of a quote, so why try to portray it as such?

        If you wish to help people, as you say with their relationships, you could simply write your own content or recommend other sites by using a SHORT SENTENCE and a return link, that is a far more pilot way of “Fair Use” while including full acknowledgement.

        Lastly, you also attempt to avoid accountability while minimizing the issue by attempting to make me look like I am nitpicking, (by saying that I am offended in your first sentence), and you follow that up once again in the last paragraph to your excuses by saying: “Since highlighting a quote of yours is offensive to you”. See, what kind of repentance is that? What kind of apology is that? Lastly if you can not be transparent with yourself, take ownership of your actions, and be accountable, how are you going to help others?

        1. Guide, I’m sorry that you feel the way you do. Please… lets try to spend our time helping others, rather than wasting it picking apart each other. I went onto your web site and found things I could pick apart too. But what good does that do? I also can spend more time trying to answer your accusations. But I just don’t want to spend the time doing so… even though I could. I’d much rather spend the time joining with others, rather than arguing with others. Please… we both have the goal of helping those who really need help. Why spend more time on arguing with each other? Again… I GREATLY apologize. If I could go back and not use anything you wrote –or pointing others to your web site, I would. Please… just accept my apology. I promise I won’t go onto your web site again. We both have work to do… lets just go do it with a good spirit.