“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ‘He is good; his love to Israel endures forever’” (Ezra 3:11).
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30).
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4, NIV).
Praise and thanksgiving were central to the ancient Israelites’ worship. They understood that words of affirmation and praise usher us into the presence of God. We enter God’s gates with thanksgiving. We enter his courts with praise.
God loves to be in the presence of praise. When he finds someone willing to praise Him, He surrounds that person with His presence and love.
Because each of us has been created in the image of God, that same truth applies to us: We love to be praised and thanked.
Praise is the key that unlocks the heart of any person. Try it sometime with a child. Praise him or her and see what happens. In an atmosphere of praise and encouragement, a child prospers and opens up.
But give constant criticism to that child instead and the same boy or girl who blossomed in the presence of praise will become embittered and emotionally shuttered.
We love to receive praise, but often we forget to give it. If we are not careful, we can forget our blessings and focus instead on our problems. We get sidetracked into thinking only about the things we don’t have.
That is why the discipline of praise and thanksgiving is so important. Psalm 50:23 says, “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”
What a powerful scripture! When we bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God—even if we don’t feel like it—we are preparing the way for Him to do great things in our lives.
The same is true of marriage. It is very easy to forget our spouse’s best qualities and all the reasons we love him or her. When this happens, we turn our attention toward the negative parts of our spouse’s personality and our marriage.
That introduces a tone of complaint and discontentment into our homes. It leads to discord and trouble in a marriage.
We must discipline ourselves to be thankful. We must make it a priority to praise our husband or wife—even when we don’t feel like it. Even if the only thing they do right is tie their shoes, we need to remember that quality, focus on it, and let our them know we think they’re the best shoe tie-ers in the world.
That’s a silly example, but I want you to understand how important it is to praise your spouse. When you do so, you are paving the way for God to do great things in your marriage.
Don’t just be thankful, but show your gratitude. Speak it. Compliment your husband or wife every chance you get.