Be Filled With Gratitude by Nelson T. Dy
(excerpt from The Honeymoon Never Ends)
Joy and gratitude go hand in hand, like two sides of the same coin. If we find joy in something, we are thankful that it exists to give us that joy. If we are thankful for something, we are setting ourselves up for delight. Conversely, joylessness breeds cynicism, grumbling and criticizing. If we complain about our jobs, health, country and yes, even our marriages, it is a guaranteed recipe for misery.
Gratitude is more significant than you think. Author Gordon Smith once made an intriguing observation that believers in God are distinct in that they give thanks to God while unbelievers mostly refuse to do so. He cites Paul’s description of the latter, “For although (unbelievers) knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
Therefore, thankfulness is an integral part of being a Christian. A thankless Christian is a contradiction in terms. Not to give thanks to God leads to mental and moral deterioration, which would of course, adversely impact a marriage. No wonder, then, the apostle Paul sprinkles his writing with exhortations to be thankful.
One helpful way to be thankful is perspective. I am struck by a quotation, attributed to Bob Russell, ”It is a rare person who, when his cup frequently runs over, can thank God instead of complaining about the limited size of his mug.” Just recently, I realized anew that there is more month than money. After paying the bills, I stare at my devastated wallet. Normally, I would grumble and wish my “mug” were bigger. But after reading Russel, I learned to appreciate that my mug may be small, but it’s the mug God had given me and He filled it just right…every time.
Thankfulness is the lubricant that will ease much friction in marriage, such as squabbling over money, wrestling with a heavy workload or putting up with an annoying habit. We see the glass more as half-full rather than half empty. Yes, marriage is not perfect – what is perfect in this life anyway? – but we learn to be thankful for our spouses, instead of sniping at every flaw and lapse.
The secret to a never-ending honeymoon? Make it a marriage of three, not two.
In this sequel to How to Mend a Broken Heart, Nelson T. Dy uses biblical principles and practical advice to show married couples, husbands especially, how to cultivate a growing and deepening relationship. His advice: begin with a romantic God.
Whether you’ve been on the road for years or just beginning your journey, reignite the intimacy and passion of your honeymoon—and make it last ‘til death do you part.
The Honeymoon Never Ends is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops for only P195