Once again I’m posting a story of a marriage miracle. This was written by a friend whom I will call “Marcie.” (I change the names in the monthly miracle stories, but they are all true.)
This story means a lot to me because I have tended to be critical of my husband. Marcie reminds us that miraculous things can happen when we turn our negativity into gratitude.
I pray you will apply this story to your marriage, and/or pass along to other wives who are struggling to love their husbands in hard times.
The Power of Appreciation
My husband was not working and money was getting tight. The thinner my billfold became, the more stressed I became… and the more critical. In the early weeks I was encouraging… “You will find something soon, you are so talented.” As weeks stretched to months my words got sharper, “How hard are you trying?” “What are you doing with all your time?” “I can’t stand lazy people!” Then I started hitting him with scripture: “He who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an infidel.” (See 1 Timothy 5:8)
Needless to say, my husband did not find any of this motivating! Worse, I began to think of my husband as a loser. As my respect eroded, so did his self-esteem. I was unknowingly making him less employable by putting him down. When he began to see himself as a loser, the poison of my words was becoming fatal. All my accusing fingers pointed to him as the problem. I was clueless that my negative thinking, and subsequent criticism, was the real problem. Out of the abundance of my judging heart, my mouth was spewing.
About this time I read an article about living in the appreciation room. I can’t recall the author to credit them, but I can recall their point: we can live as critics and bring condemnation on our spouse, or we can live as supporters, focusing on attributes we appreciate. When we choose to dwell in appreciation of our spouse, we de-emphasize their negatives and…their positives grow. When we choose to live in the appreciation room—our focus transforms our thinking, our words, who we are, and to whom we are married!
Convicted, I stopped the flow of mouth poison and asked God to show me how He sees my husband. I put down my judge’s gavel and began to pray for him, and became impressed by a man who loves his children, who is devoted to me, who cares for others and who seeks God. As my new attitudes reflected my gratitude, I watched Mr. Loser become Mr. Incredible. We wives really do have the power to make or break our men.
My super-hero husband is now fully employed, but I had already learned to appreciate him while the bills were stacking up. My new perception created a healthier reality in which he could flourish and maximize his potential. And I am getting to live with that happier result in Appreciation Mansion, a great place to stay.