8 Meaningful Ways to Show Your Spouse You Are Thankful for Them

Alicia Searl

Contributing Writer
Published Oct 31, 2023
8 Meaningful Ways to Show Your Spouse You Are Thankful for Them

As we gather with family and friends and exchange those simply sweet sentiments, opening up our hearts to gratitude, my question to you is this: how often do you share your thankful heart with your spouse? Better yet, should we lay it on extra thick around a holiday that invites us to be ever so thankful? My answer: Yes! Of course, we should. Because why not!?!

While we should show our spouse we are thankful for them year round, it's ever so easy to fall into "marriage ruts" or staleness, which is why the season of thanksgiving provides a great time to get back on track! The truth is, we sometimes forget that marriage is the most sacred union that any two individuals can share. It's the only one in which we take a vow, pledge our love before many witnesses, and make a covenant with God, declaring, "I do plan to honor, love, and cherish this person."

So, showing gratitude to our other half should come naturally, easily, and be effortless, right? Wrong! Knowing it is one thing, doing and showing it is entirely different. That's because real and raw emotions get involved. We can probably all agree that it's easy to be thankful when our spouse is making us feel honored, cherished, and loved. But what about when they don't?

Maybe the thought of all this sounds daunting, or it resurfaces a wound, stirring up a bit of bitterness. Maybe showing appreciation doesn't seem to come so naturally, or you feel you do enough already. Well, then, this may give you a great time to pause and reflect on your union. As we draw into a time of year that begs us to give thanks, are there ways you can show your spouse you are thankful for them? Not only that, but can you do so selflessly, going above and beyond without seeking anything in return?

Honestly, it doesn't have to be elaborate or a big fuss; it's often the simple and sweet gestures that we give that begin to build up intimacy in our marriages. It also bends way for us to shift our focus to the beauty God has created in marriage, giving thanks to Him.

Now, let's get into it. Below are a few simply sweet ways you can touch the heart of your spouse and let them know just how very thankful you are that they are in your life!

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Happy couple

1. Simply Say, "Thank You!"

The simple act of saying "thank you" can go a long way. We often get caught up in the busyness of life, running in two different directions, and we fail to utter these two very valuable words. However, this is the easiest and most obvious way to show our gratitude. If your wife cooks a nice meal or your husband mows the lawn, be intentional and let them know you appreciate what they contribute and their efforts do not go unnoticed. You don't always have to say it out loud either (while it is nice to hear); sometimes, a sweet note of gratitude could mean just as much! Leave it next to her coffee cup, write it on a sticky note and tape it on his mirror, or place it in their lunch bag. It will likely bring a smile to their face and warm their heart.

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husband kissing wife on forehead in bed

2. Show Physical Affection

From a tender hug to holding hands to a quick rub of the shoulders, there is a very likely chance of increasing the intimacy level in your marriage. There is power in our touch. One study even shows you should touch your spouse at least eight times a day. It's that powerful! However, I would venture to say that number would be even greater if your spouse's primary love language is physical touch. The point being that physical contact is said to release endorphins that signify safety and trust. Even if you claim not to be "touchy-feely," the benefits are worth it as it is proven to increase our overall health, including lowering stress levels and improving our mood. So, cuddle up close and let your sweet spouse know how grateful you are to be next to them!

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cute couple husband bringing wife breakfast in bed sick

3. Love with Little Acts of Kindness

Successful marriages thrive when their mission is to "outdo" each other in love. As November begins, start the month with a servant's heart. Simple and small acts of kindness that say, "I love you," break free from the mundane, bringing about an unexpected but welcoming surprise that will be sure to bless your sweetheart. Little acts of kindness will not only speak volumes to your spouse, but it may begin to soften your heart as well. It brings out the meaning that it is often "better to give than to receive." So, make him coffee in the morning, let her pick out the movie, do a household chore or offer to help with the children, allow her to sleep in, or make his favorite dessert, but do something that will let them know how much you appreciate them.

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sad grandparents senior couple hugging

4. Grant Grace and Embrace Forgiveness

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our spouse is give them grace and extend forgiveness. While it may not always be easy to say, "I'm sorry," it's the only pathway to peace. Holding on to the past or allowing anger to fester will only cause bitterness to grow deeper roots, making it harder and more challenging to get rid of. So, get to the root of the problem and cut it off. Let it go. So much of marriage is about sacrifice and learning to live with our own unique differences and messiness. When we realize we each bring "stuff" into our union, we learn to grow in a new way – together. Building a strong marriage starts with a soft heart yearning to grant grace and embrace forgiveness.

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Married couple washing dishes together

5. Be Attentive to Their Needs

A wise and old couple that had been married for over 40 years once told my husband and me the secret to marriage is paying attention to one another's needs, then doing your very best to meet them. Knowing your spouse and their needs is crucial in cultivating a healthy marriage. This is done by simply paying attention and getting in tune with their spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical state. If your wife is struggling with the baby while trying to make dinner, offer to hold the baby or prep dinner. If your husband seems distraught over an event or incident at work, be a sounding board and offer encouragement. We can tap into our spouse's spiritual state by offering up prayers, opening a line of dialogue, and voicing our desire to grow in faith together by holding one another accountable.

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Couple talking sitting having serious conversation

6. Be an Active Listener

There are a lot of distractions these days. It sometimes seems like attentive listening is a lost art form. However, if we want to have strong marriages, attentive and active listening is imperative. Take the time to have face-to-face conversations every day, and then be intentional about really listening. As hard as it may be, try not to interrupt, dish out your opinion, or think about what to say next. Be fully present. Put the distractions away, such as your phone or the TV, and allow your spouse time to talk and share. Be sure to pick up on the nonverbal cues as well. In turn, ask relevant questions to clarify and get in tune with what they are saying. Maybe even rephrase what they said to let them know you were fully paying attention and seeking to understand fully.

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Happy couple hugging on date

7. Dream Together

Where do you picture your marriage six months from now? What about a year, two years, five years, or even ten years from now? What are your dreams, and what do you plan to do – together? These are questions you need to openly communicate and explore as a couple. It can be so fun and exciting to think about all the endless possibilities and listen to one another's dreams. However, it's also important to think about the goals, missions, or dreams God is laying on each of your hearts, seeing if some of them collide. Those goals for your family, career, and beyond may be something God is using to do a great work for Him! Take time to truly listen to one another, all the while letting your spouse know you support their goals and dreams and want to encourage and foster them to use their gifts and talents to share with others.

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Couple reading Bible praying together

8. Pray With and For Them

Want to really let your spouse know how grateful you are? Then, let them know you are covering them in prayer! Pray for them, pray with them, have others pray for them, all while fully trusting and knowing that our prayers are the most powerful weapon we have against the enemy. If you haven't noticed, the lair is on a full-blown attack when it comes to targeting Christian marriages. We must be on guard and hand our marriages over to the Father. Pray for your spouse's faith to be strong and protected from the schemes of the enemy. Pray for God to lead and direct them in their roles at home, work, and church. Seek God to bring forth healthy and safe friends who provide fellowship to grow in their spiritual walk. Ask God to safeguard your marriage and show you ways to honor, love, and respect your darling spouse. Finally, give thanks and praise to God for your marriage and the blessing of such a union, asking that He shape you to be the husband or wife He is calling you to be!

Friend, let's strive to make our spouse not only feel special and adored this time of year but all year long. Start now and carry that same mindset as we approach a new year. Then watch and see how it blesses your marriage!

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Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Originally published Friday, 10 November 2023.