What to brag about this morning (after an unscheduled two week hiatus which I will write about at a later date) isn’t that hard to figure out.  I would have some serious thinking problems if I couldn’t speak highly of a man in mid mop at 7am on a Monday morning.

In fact, he’s not just mopping.  He’s disinfecting walls and floor.

Sure, I could turn that around and say:

“Well, he’s not doing that for you, Colleen.  He’s the one with the allergies. He’s doing that for himself.”

I could say that.  But I prefer to look at all the facts.  He’s allergic.  But I’m the stay at home mom. Is it fair to say that cleaning the house could fall – for the most part – under my responsibilities?  I think so.  Especially with three children who are well old enough to be a great help in that department.

Truth be told, his mopping has made it harder to come up with a topic.  When I sat down to write, I thought of how well he handles discipline with our children, how he takes charge of his role as ‘principal’ of our home schooling efforts. I thought of the incredible transformation that I’ve seen in his thinking over the past year; his thinking about people, our business, himself.  It’s been spectacular.

And then he shows up with a mop.  What’s a girl to do?

Be appreciative, that’s what.

Accept, Approve & Appreciate

This triple A concept comes from the phenomenal classic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  What he says is everyone has an essential hunger for these three things. And, as I read on orrinwoodwardblog.com talking about this concept:

 If we desire approval in life, then we must give approval.  If we desire appreciation in life, then we must give appreciation.  If we desire validation in life then we must give validation and if we desire smiles then give others your smile.

He takes it that little bit further, telling us how we can accept, approve and appreciate.  But first, we have to come up with the reason why we should do it.

For some of us, it’s easy to find reasons for appreciating our mates (most days!).  For others, not so much.

I know, for myself, when I have trouble with appreciating Lenny, it’s never 100% his doing.  Sure, he may drop the ball.  Sometimes he may drop it so badly it crushes some things on the way down.  But isn’t that when grace is supposed to come in?

Now, some of you may be bristling.  Perhaps you feel your husband doesn’t do anything appreciation-worthy.  Or maybe he’s so off track in one area that you find it hard to approve of any area of his life.  Believe me, I have been there.  I’ve been in a spot where I wonder if my showing too much appreciation is reinforcing that there is nothing he needs to change.  So maybe I should withhold appreciation.

If the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when I suggest that more appreciation for your man is in order, perhaps you can ask yourself this:

“When I catastrophically drop the ball, how would I like him to react?”

Hmm… I think I would like grace, at times like that.  And I would like to feel that he approves of me.  Not that he’s trying to fix me.

This is where God comes in.

This is where I need to remember that God is in charge of what needs changing in Lenny.

My withholding appreciation only affects our relationships with our husbands not whether or not they grow at our desired rate.  What God is working on in them is unaffected by our decisions to be bitter. Or to give grace.

So, if I want grace, I have to choose to give it.  And if I want appreciation, I have to choose to give it.

That being said.  I’m outta here.  I’ve got a fully loaded omelette to make for a champion domestic disinfectant technician. 😀

Christian Marriage Advice

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