Here in the States [and other parts of the world], we commemorate a day of Thanksgiving. Yes, we are supposed to continually give thanks to God. But this is a holiday dedicated to do just that. And we love it. Too often in life—especially our married lives we forget to focus on our blessings. But even in the toughest of situations we can focus that, for which we can be thankful. And if we don’t, we, and our marriages suffer. That’s why we will be taking a Thanksgiving focus on marriage.
Our Marital Thanksgiving Focus
We totally agree with something that Dr Lee Baucom wrote in his Savethemarriage.com article, Thanksgiving & Marriage:
“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.”
This expresses our sentiments exactly. We can focus on that, which is negative and/or 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.”
A Thanksgiving Focus?
We realize that this is especially difficult for many of you who are struggling in your marriages. And for that we truly 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. He wrote:
“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.”
God IS With You
Paul David 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?
A personal note on our Thanksgiving Focus:
Cindy and I want to thank God for the ways in which He has blessed us through the ministry of Marriage Missions. We also 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 also want to give a reminder to those of you who do any shopping throughout the year on Amazon.com. As a ministry we would be especially blessed if you could access Amazon through the Marriage Missions web site. Just go to the right sidebar of any page on this web site. Then enter Amazon through the window where you see the Amazon symbol and it says, “Shop and Save Marriages.” When you do this a small portion of their profit of whatever you purchase will be sent by them back to Marriage Missions International. You still get all of the same discounts and we get the blessing of financial support for our work. It’s a win/win situation for all!
So, with a grateful heart Cindy and I give all Praise to God. With one heart, with a Thanksgiving focus we say:
“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
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Insights