“Houses and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 19:14)

It’s so easy to take a spouse for granted. We are self-centered, and somehow we expect a wife to be like June Cleaver or a husband to be as attentive and wise as Ward. Unrealistic expectations always lead to deep disappointments. Instead of demanding more from our spouse, we need to cultivate a heart of thankfulness. Amazing things happen when we’re thankful for the person who sits across the table from us.

People thrive on affirmation and in fact, they often become what we say about them. If we say they are lazy and selfish, they often become even lazier and more self-absorbed, but if we focus on their good traits and express appreciation, fledgling positive character traits often blossom into great strengths.

One unkind word uttered when were tired or stressed may not cause irreparable harm, but the absence of praise and the presence of constant criticism erode a relationship. When we see one another as gifts from God, we can take it up with Him when we’re unhappy, but we can choose to speak words of affirmation and kindness to our spouse because they are a gift from God, and all of us treasure good gifts.