The Secret to Having the Best Marriage

Marriage Tips

It’s that time of year again. When we focus on family, being thankful and counting our gifts. Lately, I have been reflecting on my life, the good, the bad, and everything in between. And I truly have a lot to be thankful for, but the number one thing I am grateful for is my husband.

If you are married, or about to be married having a husband is one of the most amazing gifts you will ever have. Maybe right now, it’s stressful planning the wedding day, maybe he is just pushing your buttons, or you guys are just in a rough patch. We go through seasons in our relationship where we are under stress, maybe we are in a transition in our lives, or we are just growing up and changing. (You will change, you just have to change together) Marriage is something we must work on, fight for, and pour our hearts and souls into.  And today, I want to share a secret with you.  This secret has changed my perspective, the posture of my heart and my view of my husband on a daily basis. The key to the best marriage is to have a thankful marriage. It’s true, it might sound cliché and a little cheesy, but if you have an attitude of gratitude (there’s the cheesiness) your ordinary days will turn into great days, and that will turn into a great life. And I want to share with you 5 reasons you should be thankful for your husband.

  1. He is With You – When you are married you have someone to be by your side through the good and the bad, and that is a big deal…honestly, that’s everything. It takes away the fear of the unknown, of the future, and of those big decisions and moments you will face. You have a man who will be right there every step of the way. Statistically, one big fear that women have is to be alone, a fear of abandonment. It is an incredible blessing to know we are loved by a God who is always there (Deut. 31:8) and we have a husband on earth who is with us. My husband held my hand through every broken moment and every beautiful one. He has been the only man in my entire life that is gentle with my heart, that handles my feelings, my sensitivities and my emotions. He was there in the pain when we lost our first baby, and then he was my strength through the next 3 pregnancies and labors. He rubs my legs when they feel so tired from serving and taking care of our family. He prays over me every single night, and he kisses me first thing when he wakes up. He is always there. Just like our God, who relentlessly pursues us with His love and mercy. (Psalm 23), so does your husband. But we must choose to have the perspective to see it, to notice it, and be grateful.
  1. He is For You – God has the perfect design you know. He made woman out of Adam’s rib…not his feet to be walked on, and not his head to be bossy. But his rib. To be by his side. The design was that you can help each other walk, to lean on another, to stand by each other, and to look at each other in the eyes and be thankful for the other’s strengths, and for the broken parts so that you can rebuild them together. (Genesis 2:22) You both have flaws, and neither are perfect, but you can trust him with your heart, your deepest fears and your biggest dreams. You support each other, believe in each other, and pray for each other. He is for you my friend. Soak in that truth today.
  1. He Needs You – Most of us women in some way have believed the lie from the enemy that we are not enough. That we are too big, too small, too loud, too quiet. But I am here to remind you today that your husband needs you. You are the only one who gets the honor to be his wife and you get to serve him, encourage him, support him, love him, touch him, pray for him, and care for him. Whether he is good at vocalizing this or not, he needs you. And we are to cherish that and nurture that need. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a blessing.
  1. He Values You – We have been married for almost 7 years and one thing Griffin grew in his love for me was valuing exactly how God made me. We could not be more opposite. He does not like attention, and I…somehow manage to jump into the center of it all. He is quiet and steady, I am loud and have emotions like a roller coaster! When we first were married, he tried to change me, but God quickly showed him that who I am, is who God intended me to be. Now, don’t get me wrong we both had a lot of growing up to do. As a 22 and 23-year-old, we had no idea what we were doing! But what we learned is that we are supposed to compliment and balance each other, not be the same. And now, he loves what I bring to the family. And I have totally brought him out of his shell. You should see him with our 3 girls running around the house, chasing them! He is the most amazing Dad in the world. And he is everything I dreamed of. When I was 14 I wrote down my description of my dream husband, and boy did God deliver, can I get an Amen!?! Blue eyes, perfect height, deep voice and hugs that just make everything bad go away. He is my calm in the storm, my logical thinker when all I can do is feel and have these big emotions. You see, he values my emotions because he values my heart. Let’s not overlook that incredible gift today.
  1. He Chose You – Whether he chased you down, waited for you, has been with you for years or he knew when he met you that you are the one, either way, whatever your story looks like he chose you. Your good intentions, your bad habits, your dreams, your passions, your struggles, your weaknesses, he wanted it all. And maybe he doesn’t say thank you when you clean the house, maybe he forgets special dates or leaves his shoes by the door so much you feel like he just doesn’t care. He chose you. You could focus on the frustrating moments, and that’s where things would fall apart. Bitterness building up, resentment, frustration. Deep sighs and gossiping about our husbands to our girlfriends. Counting the flaws instead of counting the gifts, we lose sight of the way God intended for us to see this man and love this man. And when we are thankful, it changes the tone, it allows room for love and acceptance. It uproots the bitterness and plants grace instead. It takes hard eyes and frustrated sighs and turns them into soft looks and words of hope.

 Griffin and I worked very hard, and not in a grumble and complaining have to go to work kind of way, but a passion and desire to make this be the healthiest and best marriage it can be! I could choose to focus on the flaws, because we all have them. But I choose to be thankful. I prayed and God heard and God gave and I am blessed. Blessed beyond measure because I get to be loved by this man. I GET to be his wife.

So, if you are soon to be married, a newly-wed or have been married a few years I want to encourage you today to be thankful for the incredible man that you have the honor of being married to. Thank God for His design of marriage and for entrusting you with him to love, encourage, help, and admire. And thank your husband for what he does, for who he is, and for how he loves you. If we don’t take the time to be thankful and to tell him we are thankful, we focus on the wrong things and the relationship can unravel.

So, thankfulness is a choice, and thankfulness starts with your perspective, and your greatest blessing…is your husband. Remember that every single day. Thankfulness is the secret to the best marriage you could ever have.

Much Love,

Heather Gilstrap

Want more encouragement? Check out Heather’s blog on her website www.heatherlynngilstrap.com

  1. Wendy Roberts says:

    Heather, this is beautiful, and a good reminder for all wives, no matter how long you’ve been married (37 years here). Would love to see this written to apply to all wives, perhaps on our church webite? Also a companion piece for husbands?

  2. Jennifer says:

    This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you for saying it perfectly Heather.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Amazing! I needed this

  4. Zar Woods says:

    LOVE this Heather!!!

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