A Devotion to Help Strengthen Your Marriage

The message that helped her overlook her husband's flaws and find gratitude.

By Ashley Wiersma, Monument, Colorado

As appeared in

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)

Staring back at me from the bathroom floor is a pile of dirty clothes. Specifically, size-large gym shorts, one sweaty workout shirt, an undershirt, well-worn briefs and haphazardly balled-up socks. As usual, the mass of neglected garments sits not inside but beside the hamper, clear evidence that my husband has been on the scene.

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Today, as I stare back at the messy mound, I fold my arms across my chest and smile. Laugh, even. I catch myself elbowing past annoyance and choosing gratitude instead.

I once heard a radio talk-show host doling out advice to a sourpuss bride who had called to tattle on her clutter-hound husband. “It sounds to me like you've got two options,” the host said. “You can live in happiness with a sometimes-frustrating husband or you can live in sparkling cleanliness alone.” The comment went deep, both for the caller and for me.

Besides the relationship between humankind and God, marriage is the only covenantal bond noted in Scripture. Which I assume means it's a connection prized by God. I want my attitudes and my actions to show that I prize it as well, and I'm realizing more and more that part of how that gets worked out in my life is by knowing what things to focus on and what things can stand to be overlooked.

And so despite occasional golf clubs in the kitchen, spare sunflower seeds dotting the floorboard of the car, unwashed dishes left stacked in the home office and derelict duds strewn about the bathroom floor, I thank my heavenly Father for giving me a man to know and be known by, to love and be loved by, to serve and to be served by each day. My darling husband may be prone to untidiness, but untidy companionship carries a certain appeal when it involves such a magnificent human being.

Thank You, Lord, for eyes to see an abundance of blessings all around.