Around our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband Scott bought me an anniversary band, giving it to me at Christmastime. I was mortified. The thoughts that raced through my head and came out of my mouth unfiltered were so disrespectful, and not the response he anticipated. 'I can't believe you did this. I can't believe you spent this kind of money. I don't want expensive jewelry. What were you thinking?' It makes my heart sad to think about it now. Why didn't I just say thank you?
Why didn't I just say thank you?
That is the question I found myself asking years later...what was I thinking to respond that way to a gift? Ladies, think about the last time you complimented a friend or gave her a gift- what was her response? I would bet it sounded like one of these responses:
- You shouldn't have!
- It was nothing.
- I still have ___ pounds to lose.
- Really? My hair is so ________, it makes me crazy.
- Please. I hate my _________. (insert body part here)
How do I know? Because I've said those things. Because I love to encourage women with words, and I hear their responses as they dismiss my compliments. Why do we do this?
- We don't feel like we deserve the compliment or the gift.
- We don't want to feel indebted to anyone for their gift or kindness.
- We fear manipulation.
- We don't want to appear arrogant.
Ladies, you are intentionally and wonderfully made by your loving Creator to uniquely reflect His beauty to the broken world around you.
Long before God laid down earth’s foundations, he had YOU in mind, had settled on YOU as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. -Ephesians 1:4
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. ~Psalm 139: 13-15
God created you for abundant life. Receive it. Don't miss it.
Are you going to tell your Creator He's wrong? Essentially, that is what we are doing every time we dismiss a compliment or a gift. It's time to learn to say 'thank you.' Say it with me... THANK YOU. It sounds really easy...and as I encourage women, I redirect their dismissals by encouraging them to just say thank you. I'm so blessed when in turn, they remind ME to just say thank you.
Just say thank you.
You may be saying, 'my husband doesn't do anything for me.' Perhaps you're missing the forest for the trees? I totally missed how Scott was trying to love me and lavish me with the gift of the anniversary ring. Instead of seeing his beautiful, loving heart, all I chose to see instead was fear that he'd spent money we didn't have on something I didn't want. Instead of being vulnerable, receiving the gift and thanking him profusely, I pushed him away.
Sit, pray, ask God to show you your husband through His eyes. Ask God to show you the ways your husband attempts to express his love to you that you may miss. Perhaps complimenting you with his words or giving you gifts isn't in his nature, instead he's more inclined to express his love to you through providing well for you, taking care of tasks you don't even realize he's handling. Or maybe you feel like he's not loving you because he doesn't do the things you've told him to do...he's loving you the way he knows how.
The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one. ~Russell Lynes
I challenge you to do two things this week:
- Receive compliments and gifts well. Just say thank you, no dismissing or disqualifying.
- Strive to give your husband 10 compliments a day.
About that ring...I've still got it. It is a powerful reminder to me to receive gifts well, and to be thankful for my husband's gifts of encouragement, compliments, acts of service, provision, protection...and yes, those gifts that come in boxes with bows, too. It continues to teach me to just say thank you.
This is part of a series....read the whole series here:
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