We all know how appreciation feels, yet many of us rarely receive it and even more neglect to give it.
Why is it so difficult for humans to express appreciation? Some people shower it effortlessly on others, while many don’t know how to express it at all. It doesn’t take much to satisfy our human desire to be appreciated. A simple word of thanks can speak volumes to someone searching for approval.
Margaret Cousins once said, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”
If you weren’t taught to show appreciation and rarely delight in building up others, I suggest you learn how to – especially if you are married. We particularly need to express it with our spouse.
As many of you women know, most men need more vocal appreciation than women. They usually require a “pat-on-the-back” after each chore and every good deed done in taking care of the children. That’s okay. It’s partly how we show our respect for them - the greatest need for every man. So be sure to compliment your husband on his achievements and thank him whenever he lends a hand to you even though you don’t always feel like it. Even though you may get upset that he rarely acknowledges all you do. (He doesn’t usually see it.)
I know you ladies are probably rolling your eyes about now. Why should you constantly reward men for their simple and infrequent tasks when you slave around the house and do most of the work for the kids without a sliver of gratitude from your husband? Because if you don’t, you are robbing him of the appreciation he deserves. Yes, you may not get the appreciation you deserve, but you can begin to change the cycle of ingratitude that has developed in your family.
Do you frequently thank him for working every day and providing for you and your family? (As always, there are exceptions – not everyone fits in this mold – but most do.) Do you show him respect as God tells you to in the Bible? Respect is a huge part of appreciation for men. We show respect in our words and by our actions.
Ephesians 4:29, 31 - “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear….Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
I read an article recently that said younger married men (in their 20’s) were helping around the house and when asked if they enjoyed doing chores, most of them said they did – a great change from a generation ago when men rarely helped because they didn’t want to. This article went on to say that the wives are not “putting up” anymore with the lack of help from their husband.
I wasn’t sure what to think about that article. Yes, it’s a great thing for men and women to share the chores of a home, especially when they both work. What is happening to our society, though, if women are becoming so domineering that men are losing sight of their God-given roles? (And I’m not just talking about this one article.) It’s hard to feel appreciated when you are forced to do something.
Here is the beauty of appreciation. Appreciation breeds appreciation. If you choose to only speak words of encouragement and gratitude, they will become contagious, and you will find your family following your lead. Your home will be flowing with an atmosphere of love and peace in no time. Your husband will soon catch on and begin to share his appreciation for you. The whole family will pitch in and help more when they feel appreciated for their efforts.
Note to men: Showing your appreciation -- often -- for all your wife does is a HUGE act of romance to a woman and will certainly guarantee you a more active sex life!
Note to women: When your husband is fulfilled sexually (you have sex with him when he wants and you sometimes initiate it), he will be more than willing to show his appreciation for you.
As Margaret Cousins said, your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Start showing your appreciation and start enjoying the positive changes in your relationships.