I am reading a lovely little old book I found called The Christian Home. It must have been my mom’s because it has her maiden name in it in her handwriting. I think it’s out of print, which is a shame, because it’s a really excellent book. I started reading it this morning while Sam played and found myself dog-earring lots of pages with great quotes I wanted to write down and remember. One thing that really stood out to me was a small section about appreciation. I know what it means to appreciate something — to be grateful. But I also thought of another meaning for “to appreciate” — that is, to increase in value as time goes on. I try (most days, and usually not very well) to appreciate (that is, be thankful for) what Tim does for me, for Sam, and for our marriage, but does my husband’s worth to me grow in value and preciousness the longer I am married to him?
The heart of a beautiful marriage is appreciation. The smile with which husband and wife meet each other at the end of a busy day, when things have gone wrong; the loving kiss which they place on each other’s lips and the tender word of greeting can make the hardship of a disappointing day drop away. There are so many, many things that husband and wife may be genuinely thankful for in each other. One lovely Christian wife told her dearest friend that every day her husband thanks her and commends her for the things she does about the house. She said that even if she made mistakes, he would find something about her mistakes for which to commend her. No wonder that home was a bit of heaven on earth! One minister testifies that his father would go out early in the morning and find the most beautiful rosebud in the garden and ” put it at mother’s place to greet her when she came to breakfast.” When he stepped behind her chair and gave her his morning kiss the whole day was glorified. Even if the children had gotten out of bed on the wrong side and had come downstairs in a mood to quarrel, they felt ashamed because the life of their home had been touched by the beauty of a thoughtful and gracious love! This little family lived close to the line of genuine poverty, yet the home was radiant because of the love of the father…The great apostle John said, “Little children, let us love one another.” Appreciation is love at work. And appreciation will never fail to inspire, encourage and bless, for “love never faileth.”
-The Christian Home, pg. 60-61, emphasis mine