The Bible tells us to give thanks in all things. This was the statement that my friend kept repeating. As I listened to his story, I was impressed by what he stopped to say over and over again in between the heartache of sharing his marriage of 28 years was over. He didn’t want it to end but he was tired of being the only one fighting to keep it going or have it begin again. Yet, even in the releasing of his marriage, he continued to say, “I am thankful to God for 28 years. I am thankful to God to have shared love with a beautiful woman. I am thankful to God for the gift of the memories.” I am thankful… There were so many more of these statements.
Gratitude was what he was holding on to. He was holding tightly and was not going to let it go. He shared that he had asked his wife to go back to practising gratitude and felt that if she had they may have had a fighting chance. I believe that there is something deep to what his thoughts were.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
Some of us might be saying or thinking how in the world do you give thanks in a situation like this? How in the world do you give thanks when life hurts so much? Why would you want to?
A lack of thanksgiving in our relationships rewrites our history and begins to write a future we didn’t plan to be in.
We do it because as the scripture states, it is God’s will for us. God knew and knows what He was doing and how thanksgiving would strengthen us and keep us from choices that could ruin us if not practised. When thanksgiving is missing, we can’t see clearly. Our vision and perspective is skewed. A lack of thanksgiving in our relationships rewrites our history and begins to write a future we didn’t plan to be in. Without thanksgiving amnesia sets in and our relationship with God and each other changes very quickly. God knew we needed thanksgiving to help anchor us in the truth.
In everything give thanks – is God’s will for us- because it helps us see what is instead of what isn’t. When we lack thanksgiving, we focus on everything else we lack instead of the focus being on what blessings we do have. God knew we needed thanksgiving to help us keep track of what we do have in each other and with each other. Thanksgiving is a process of accurate record keeping. It helps us keep no records of wrongs.
In everything give – is God’s will for us because it helps us to expect – to be open to more. Without thanksgiving we give up. We become so miserable with what we have and what we don’t have. There is no good place to move to without being thankful. With thanksgiving we have hope that the best is yet to come.
One of the other statements that my friend kept saying was “I know I wasn’t perfect” I had to ask him to stop saying that because no one was expecting perfection. We all know that none of us are perfect and that perfection is not a requirement to having a good marriage. If it were, we would all be failing.
We can’t be perfect but we can be thankful. It is God’s will for us all – all because God knows best and wants the best for us in our relationship with Him and each other. In your marriages hold on to gratitude to help you hold on to each other stronger.