It might seem strange to thank our spouse for being faithful. After all, isn’t that what we promise each other in our wedding vows? YES!!! But from what we see in this marriage ministry, it doesn’t seem to make much difference.
Over and over and over and over again, from the comments posted on the web site we read of spouses cheating on each other. But I’m wondering… why do you get married if you want to date someone else?
That’s what I’ve thought of repeatedly when a spouse writes and tells us of her or his spouse dating someone else. Many times the ink is barely dry on the wedding certificate and I wonder, WHY? Why make the promise if you have no intention of following through on it? Or why promise if, when you are tempted you won’t do what it takes so you don’t give into the impulse to cheat on your spouse and on God? (When you make your wedding vow, God is included as one of the “witnesses” of your promise.)
“Seeing Someone Else”
The other day we received an email from a young bride of just 4 months (this is sadly, very common to have newlyweds writing us about this issue). She was crying because her husband was “seeing someone else.” He was angry with HER that she checked up on him and found out. He acted as if she had no right to know that he was being unfaithful to her. I just wanted to scream and cry at the same time (especially for this heartbroken bride).
I looked for and found Steve in the other room, hugged and thanked him for not putting me in the place of wondering how to handle that depth of grief and betrayal, and how to continue on in our marriage, because of his cheating. Additionally, I told him that I know he has had temptation parading in front of his eyes. Many times he is in places where women don’t care how provocatively they dress. I also acknowledged that there are many women who would give just about anything to have him as their husband. But thankfully, because of his good character he has been faithful to me. (This includes being faithful to our family and friends who would also be affected if he cheated.)
My Faithful Husband
Steve smiled and hugged me when I thanked him. But I could tell it meant a lot to him that I said what I did. Was he expecting it? No. But did it warm his heart that I acknowledged what a great guy he is and how thankful I am to have him as my faithful companion? Absolutely! When we thank each other for little and big things, it’s like giving “care packages” for the heart. It is SO good to do so. Just because we’re married, it doesn’t mean that we should overlook the efforts our spouse makes to go beyond selfism (our carnal inclinations).
Today I asked Steve what it meant to him when I thanked him for his steadfastness in not cheating. He said it meant a lot to him. He also said he didn’t expect it. Steve expressed that he not only does not want to cheat on me, but he ESPECIALLY doesn’t want to cheat on his vow to God. But he said it’s nice not to be taken for granted. And it’s nice that I expressed my thankfulness and love. That’s something, which is always good. As we discussed the issue he said it makes him want to keep being a “good man.” And he actually wants to be a better one. I love and appreciate that.
Notice the Good, and Express Thanks
So please, look at the good things your spouse does. Go up to him or her and express your thanks, letting it be known that you notice and you appreciate it. Do you HAVE to? No. But why not go the extra mile in expressing thankfulness? Does it hurt? Does it sometimes make both of you chuckle, yet feel warmer towards each other? I think so… we believe so. It may even inspire your spouse to go the extra mile in doing even more than he or she did before.
As we’re told in God’s word, we should do for each other:
“Encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” (Hebrews 10:24)
We hope this inspires you to go the extra mile in thanking each other.
Cindy and Steve Wright
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