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  • Kerry Goode

Turn Your Griping into Gratitude

In July of 2015, I was diagnosed with ALS and given 2 years to live. My wife and I are now 7 years in our fight, and for the last 2,556 days she literally hasn’t left my side. But all of that changed, when she flew to Baltimore to attend her Godson’s graduation, while I went to Alabama for another scheduled event.

During this time apart I learned that abstinence truly does make the heart grow fonder. I also learned to appreciate the many things she does in caring for me and maintaining our household. This became xtremely clear as three people tried to fill the void left by her absence. I realized that the things that I complained to my wife about were minor in comparison to the help I was receiving.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always thank God every time that I remember my wife. Sometimes, I think I’m more prone to remind the Lord of all the ways my wife has offended me rather than expressing to God a heart of gratitude. I’m much more guilty of complaining than I am about praising when it comes to people in my life — including my spouse.

Our culture makes this normal. It’s all too common for a group of women to husband-bash over a round table of coffee, or for men to complain about their wives around the water cooler at work. But as Christians, we should turn this tide and not speak ill of our spouse. The first step to not speaking ill is to

have a heart of thankfulness toward our husbands/wives. If we’re grateful, we’re not nearly as likely to see so many things to complain about.

This doesn’t come naturally. It’s much easier to moan and groan, than to praise and compliment. One of the ways we can maintain a heart of gratitude is by praying for our spouses and thanking God for them in our daily routine. For example, when you go to pick up your husband’s socks from the floor (right beside the laundry basket), instead of griping internally about how he missed the basket again, thank God that you have a husband who is healthy and works hard for his family. When your wife is consistently breaking appliances because of improper use, thank God that she tries to maintain your household and you’re blessed to have her and the appliances.

These little efforts can start developing a new way of thinking that will bring gratitude. So, the next time they upset you and you feel that negative emotion bubbling, remind yourself of all the ways your spouse is a blessing. It blesses your marriage and strengthens your walk with Christ. After all, it’s hard to be close to the Lord when bitterness rules.

God has kept me alive but it’s my wife who has helped me survive and thrive. Think positive and turn that gripe into gratitude. You’ll be glad you did!

Kerry Goode Atlanta, GA 



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