Making Marriage Work – Be Appreciative

Be Appreciative.

If respect is a golden rule in life, appreciation must follow fast on its heels. If you want a happier marriage and you have never expressed appreciation for your significant other, now is the time to start. It’s never too late.


For many years we employed a gardener who diligently came to our home every second week and mowed the lawn, cut the edges and did some weeding. We paid him a good wage, which he always accepted with not much more than a grunt. Mike was always keen to ensure that when we hired labour they were paid at least the going rate and he was always telling me to pay more. When I did, the gardener would accept the extra with nothing more than a murmur. Nothing changed. When Christmas came and I knew he was going away for a month, I would ensure he got a decent bonus. Received no doubt with joy in his heart, but only a mumble on his lips. Although we never stopped paying him and I knew that deep down he was pleased, it always irritated me that he never came right out and said a clear ‘THANK YOU!”.

On the other hand, there was a young man called Patrick who was struggling to make payment for his Bible College fees. We took him on as a handy man over the weekends. He would come when he could and he would varnish the windows and balconies, paint and do odd jobs. Mike had a particularly soft spot for him because Mike too had struggled through Bible College and knew what it was like to be in need. Because Patrick was always there over the weekend, Mike dealt with him more than I, so I never saw or heard his reaction when Mike paid him. But one weekend he was unable to come and he left a message on our answering machine. He said a family member had died and he had to go away for a while. Before he hung up, he said “Mr & Mrs. van Niekerk, thank you so much for all you have done for me. God Bless you.” Subsequent to that I would receive emails from him thanking me for any extras that we had given him. He showed ongoing appreciation that touched our hearts and naturally led us to want to help him more!

And there- in lies the secret to appreciation. The more you give it, the harder the recipient works to please you.

Increase appreciation towards your other half and see what happens. I think you will be surprised.

Taking for granted endless tasks that both husbands and wives contribute to the running or financing of the home is one of the most common ways of demoralizing your partner.

Housework is one of the thankless grinds that never ends. From the moment we say “I do”, there seems to always be something to do when it comes to cleaning, tidying, washing and feeding.  I love the story of the housewife whose husband thought she did nothing all day. Here it is:

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.  The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.  Proceeding into the house, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.  In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.  She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?” She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous replied. She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”


Working husbands need to take note of the huge amount of work it is in running a home. Stay at home wives need to take note of the huge amount of energy, both physical and emotional, it takes to keep up with the daily grind of working to meet the financial needs of the family. Working husbands and wives need to be particularly supportive of one another.

10 Simple Ways to Show Appreciation.

  • Say “thank you”.
  • Acknowledge the work your partner does.
  • Offer to do something that lightens their load.
  • Compliment them in private AND public.
  • Clear your diary and dedicate time only for THEM.
  • Talk about what you like about your spouse with your children.
  • Pamper them at the end of the day.
  • An unexpected gift at an unexpected time always works!
  • Give them time for themselves to do whatever they want.
  • Spend some time with them doing something they usually do alone, but would like the company if only you would make the effort.

2 Samuel 2:6
May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this.

Thank you on the beach

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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