2) Start and end your day with praise & thanksgiving
If you opened your eyes this morning and discovered that you still have breath, you have reason to rejoice! God gave you life, thank Him for it! Practice praise. Make it a priority at the start and end of each day.
Sometimes, it may look something like wrapping your arms around each other in the morning, saying I love you, and thanking God for another day. Other times, it’s the two of you grabbing a coffee (or a nutritional beverage), sitting on the couch, and reading a Psalm together. And still other times it might just be enjoying a beautiful drive, a walk at a nearby park, or a trip through the mountains, or by the ocean, in awe of the Creator.
From the very morning, as a couple, learn to turn your thoughts and focus upon God. It will put the rest of your day in proper perspective.
Worship is the expression of adoration for God. It is an acknowledgement of His worth (and, oh, what unfathomable worth) and all that He is.
A simple way to orient our lives and marriages towards the Lord is to pause to give thanks for who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing in our life.
Before you head out the door or begin your activities for the day, write down or verbally share with each other one thing you are thankful for. Do the same in the evening. I like to capture this in my gratitude journal. I write a short entry in the morning, on weekdays, before I begin work. To make it practical, and to help you put it into practice, I’ve included some examples of my entries. As you may notice, I write whatever is top of mind at that moment, a mixture of life’s events at the time, and prayers or desires of the heart. I usually start them with the phrase, Thankful for...
11/15/18: Thankful for the way Daniela prays for me; she asks God to give me physical strength and to give me wisdom in all I do (this is a short list!).
2/22/19: Thankful for sunshine, and a desk with a window (for now). Going through a transition at work, praying God gives us wisdom and things go well!
3/12/20: Thankful for God’s Word. We read Isaiah 35 last night before bed. Thankful that God is in control, and not man, of all things happening. He knows what tomorrow holds, so we will trust in Him.
1/2/22 (A few days after my father’s passing): Went to see dad’s (perishable) body today. Can’t wait to see Jesus. Thankful for God’s grace that sustains us.
4/21/22: Thankful that I’m starting to feel a little better. Lord, keep us healthy. And even if we’re not healthy, keep us holy! Thankful the appraisal went well. Lord, help me to trust You and not take things in my own hands.
Another simple and similar way to practice praise is by journaling together. We do this by occasionally exchanging a red journal between the two of us, in which we share our thoughts, prayers, inside jokes, reflections, joys, anxieties, and more. They are like modern day psalms.
As of the time of this writing, a portion of the last entry, written by Daniela, read:
Today I was talking with a mom at the bridal shower, and it almost broke my heart to hear that her kids, now older, raised in church, and in a good family, don’t follow the Lord. She asked me to pray for them with tears in her eyes. I felt her pain in my heart. It reminded me that no matter how much we will try, and how well we raise them, it’s only God’s grace that will save them. [Father, hear our prayers and bring our boys to salvation.]
Not only will journaling together help you to remember that God is good, so you can be rooted in Him and experience joy, it also will give you new insight into each other’s daily lives and what you’re thinking about. Sharing what you are thankful for communicates what was most significant in your day. Even on the hard days, when it’s a challenge to name something you are thankful for, this practice creates the opportunity to talk through what made your day hard with your spouse, helping bring your focus back to God.
This dedication to communicate frequently about what God is doing in your life, what you experienced throughout the day/week, what you’ve been thinking about, and so on, is a great way to keep intimacy alive during your marriage.
[Excerpt from Daily Altar]
Short, Biblical lessons and free resources on all things love & marriage. A pocket-guide for married couples and for single adults who want Gods best for their life.