Celebrating Your Spouse
Do you want to introduce some magic in your relationship? Then learn how to celebrate your spouse in a way that honors them and recognizes God’s gifts in them.
Celebrating our spouses isn’t hard, but few of us do it as often as we should. Or as well as we could.
But as we do we have the opportunity to create joy in our spouse. A joy that comes from intentional cherishing, valuing and appreciating them for who they are. As we do this, we are celebrating the gift that they are to others. We are letting them know how valued and appreciated they are. And we are highlighting a worthy and admirable trait we see in them.
But creating a sense of joy in your spouse isn’t simple. Why? Because our spouses are unique.
While I was writing this post, I had a sentence in here where I celebrated my wife. When she read it, she said, “That embarrasses me.” So, I removed it because what I had thought would be a nice way to highlight her gifts didn’t bring her any joy. Lesson learned. But it happens a lot because we are different.
And often we find ourselves giving our spouse what we would want rather than what they would enjoy. That’s the classic situation that everyone jokes about. The gift that is a dud. The one you thought would wow your spouse doesn’t and sometimes even hurts their feelings.
Before I dive deeper, I need to acknowledge that some of my readers may struggle with finding things to celebrate in their spouse.
While that isn’t the focus of this post, I want to challenge you to make the effort. We all know that words motivate us. You can probably remember positive things others said to you in the past. And how they motivated you. So now you have the opportunity to do the same for your spouse.
Plus, realize you have a unique position of influence on your spouse. Your words to them matter more because you know them better than anyone else. God has given you a special place and ability to express His love for your spouse. What you lack in feelings, He wants to provide because He deeply loves your spouse even when you don’t. So choose to celebrate your spouse and leave the results to God. Do it as a willing sacrifice because of how God has loved you when you were unlovable.
With that in mind, here are some things we need to consider.
- What should I celebrate about my spouse?
- How should I do it so my spouse get’s the most joy?
- What are my expectations and motivations?
What to Celebrate about your Spouse
My first recommendation is to celebrate, in your spouse, those things that God would praise them for. And those are usually things about your spouse that are character-based.
This would include character traits like diligence, kindness, commitment, work ethic, insight, wisdom, perseverance, sacrifice, patience, passion, honesty, devotion, generosity, integrity, self-control, optimism, fairness, confidence, resourcefulness, enthusiasm, caring, decisiveness, boldness, affection, wit, sensitivity, attentiveness, creativity, courage, encouragement, flexibility, frugality, honesty, humility, loyalty, modesty, being open-minded, politeness, being organized, neat, punctuality, respectful, stability, supportiveness, trustworthiness, wise, fun-loving, and humorous.
If we take the time, we must admit that there are many admirable things about our spouse. We just need the motivation and some practice. So let’s do that now.
If you take any of these characteristics and can say “I really appreciate that my spouse is xxxxxxxxx and a good example of it is xxxxxxxxxxxxxx”, then you have found something to celebrate about them.
For example, I could say to my spouse, “You have this amazing ability to wisely spend the monies we have available. Yesterday you came home with a receipt from Tom Thumb and while you spent $50 on groceries, you also saved $50 off of the normal prices. I don’t know how you do it, but that’s a real gift you have.”
The key things to notice is how specific I am being and how I am including an example with the statement. Plus I want to highlight that she has a special skill or gift in this area. And what I am saying is believable because I’m providing a clear example.
How Should I Celebrate my Spouse for their Maximum Joy?
From my example above I’ve already given you some hints on what to do.
Here are some more details to consider.
For most of us the reality is that celebrating our spouse doesn’t need to be a candlelight dinner or trip to some exotic destination. We need regular encouragement because our Love Bank is always being drained.
What would bring your spouse the most joy are regular and sincere statements of appreciation.
I think this is because most of us are secretly aware of our many shortcomings. And we ask questions inside ourselves that are often negative. We struggle with doubts about our worth and purpose in life. Even those that have achieved outward success struggle with the questions of value. (Am I doing enough?, Do others appreciate me?, Does anyone notice?)
Life is not easy and each of us responds differently. One of us may not worry but the other obsesses about things. We each need to see things better from God’s perspective. Then we can express God’s love for them.
So celebrating your spouse isn’t about a big event but the small things of life.
That’s why expressing something you admire and appreciate about your spouse is never a bad idea. And if you stop and think, it is the message that God is trying to send to each of us every day. So be an agent of God and become a conduit of His love to your spouse. You will find that there is life-changing power in it.
Also remember that each of us has a different Love Language. So consider that as you speak. Maybe a surprise gift is appropriate or a kind touch/hug or completing something on their to-do list for them or scheduling some time alone with them should be added. But in all cases, you actions should be followed by your words.
Watch your talk! No bad words should be coming from your mouth. Say what is good. Your words should help others grow as Christians.
Ephesians 4:29 (NLV)
Pleasing words are like honey. They are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 (NLV)
Just as important as celebrating our spouse, is our motivation.
Managing your Expectations
If you are primarily motivated in celebrating your spouse for the wrong reasons, then you will sabotage your efforts from the beginning. Some wrong motivations for celebrating your spouse would include:
- To manipulate your spouse into doing something nice for you
- Expecting them to respond in a grateful manner
- Assuming that it will immediately change something bad about them
- Hoping they will praise you for your effort or respond in the same way
- Trying to look like a wonderful spouse to your friends and family
Our motivations matter and God sees them. Your best reason for celebrating your spouse is that in doing so, you are valuing them as God’s beloved child.
That ensures that regardless of their response or lack of a response, you find yourself being a faithful conduit to express God’s love to them.
Managing our expectations and making our motivations pure isn’t easy, but with God’s power of grace you can do it not just once but as often as you feel led by the Holy Spirit.
So think and pray about this. And let me know how it goes with your heart. I have the expectation that your heart will expand and grow, in amazing ways, as you celebrate your spouse.
Saying it Right
Here are some examples that should guide your words when celebrating your spouse.
- One of the things that amazes me is how disciplined you are. You consistently make the effort to be on time. I love that about you.
- I was thinking about how good you are with the kids. They light up when you come home. I appreciate that you have such a good relationship with them.
- To be honest there are times when I watch you doing xxxxx and you make it seem so easy. I don’t think I could ever do that as well as you do but I’m so grateful that God has given you that skill/talent.
- I haven’t told you this before, but you have this amazing ability to make others feel comfortable. People open up and share their real heart with you. That’s amazing and I love you because you are so good at that.
- So many marriages struggle with conflict but I appreciate that you are so patient when we disagree. You did that yesterday and that was so kind.
- I know we often disagree but your commitment to our relationship helps me to trust that we will grow in how we handle conflict. Thank you for being that way.
- I haven’t said it often enough but your diligence in getting up early and putting in the hours often amazes me. Your desire to provide for us and your willingness to sacrifice for the family are something I deeply appreciate.
- I want to tell you how much I appreciate the many things you do that are not noticed. Yet you keep doing them well even without recognition. Thank you for being that kind of person.
- Your flexibility is one of your best strengths. Often I’m frustrated by last-minute changes but you handle them so much better than I do. Thank you for being an example in that area.