Should You Read a Letter Like This to Your Family This Thanksgiving?

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A wife shared with me the following letter that she read aloud to her family on Thanksgiving 2007:

“Every Thanksgiving we usually go around the table and say what we are thankful for before saying grace. This is usually a very easy task for me because God has blessed me so much, with three healthy children that I am able to stay home with, a beautiful home, my own health, good relationships with all of my family members, and the list could go on and on.

But this year I wanted to say a special thanks for someone that I don’t often say thank you to.

As you know, around a year ago M. and I were going through a really difficult time, and there were many times over the last year that I wanted to give up and just say forget the whole thing. I was crushed, hurt beyond belief, and for a lot of the year very depressed. For several months, there wasn’t a day that didn’t go by that I didn’t cry at least once.

Anyway, you might be thinking, Why is she bringing all of this up on a holiday, Thanksgiving of all days?

And the answer is this: all through those dark days, I prayed and prayed that God would direct through this time and show me what to do. I needed him to help me see M. in a new light and to stop focusing on all the negative things that he did and start to focus on all of the ways he was trying. I needed to believe that he wanted what was best for me and that he wasn’t out to get me.

I began reading a book recently that has really helped me to transform my thinking. It said that what M. needed most from me was respect. Respect? I immediately began thinking, Yeah right respect. Maybe someday when he earns it. But then I read on and God was really speaking to me and saying, “Respect him and he will show you love.” Just like that movie, Field of Dreams, build it and they will come. I am not fully there yet, but I am beginning to find lots of reasons to respect M. and today I wanted to tell M. all of the reasons I respect and am thankful for him. I thank and respect M. for all the little ways he shows me that he cares.

* when he covers me up because he knows I get cold

* that he kisses me before he leaves for work even when I am asleep

* that he works so hard and takes so much overtime so that I can stay home

with the kids

*sees the importance of going to church as a family

* the way he mops the floor

* the way he will adjust the heat for me from 65 to 66 to 68 to 66 to 67 and does the same with the volume on the TV

* that he will reach over and hold my hand in the car just because

* the way he delights in our children and can come home from work and turn into their human jungle gym and slide or their own personal monster

* the way he pitches in with the kids when I ask

* the way he loves and is so tender with all of our children

Although M. and I have a long way to go, I know with God’s help we will be making that journey together one day at a time. And today on this Thanksgiving I wanted to tell you that I am thankful for my husband and the father of our children and the way God can change lives.

Let’s bow our heads in prayer.”

Did that which she convey to her husband and family bless you?

Would you consider writing a similar letter to share about your spouse this Thanksgiving?

Whether you have been experiencing struggles lately like the case with this couple or the marriage has never been stronger, your spouse would absolutely beam hearing you express all the ways you love and respect him or her, and your children and others around the table would also be blessed beyond comprehension to hear how God is working in your relationship.

-Dr. E