By Theresa Boedeker
Appreciation requires action on our part, but it is something we can grow.
Do you feel underappreciated? Especially in your marriage? Don’t wait for others to start appreciating you. Instead, start appreciating them and you will be blessed in the process.
Appreciation requires action.
First, we need to know someone enough to see what there is to appreciate about them.
Second, we need to find value in these traits, facts, and aspects they possess.
Sometimes we don’t appreciate what is transpiring.
Appreciate definition 1: “understand (a situation) fully; recognize the full implications of”
The first time I met my husband, I thought he was conceited. He interrupted the conversation I was having with another person to introduce himself. Then everything he said seemed disconnected. Thankfully it didn’t last more than a minute or two.
While I was underwhelmed, he saw things differently. He walked into church that day and was smitten and intrigued. He decided he was going to marry me before we had sung the first song.
Appreciation often takes time.
Appreciate definition 2: “rise in value or price”
After our first meeting, my appreciation for my husband-to-be was practically nonexistent. Partly because I did not yet know him.
Appreciation often develops over time. We get to know someone and see their nature, their personality, their strengths and weaknesses. How they work under pressure. How they have fun. We discover their opinions and how they treat others. These and many other little things make us value them more or value them less.
It would take a few more interactions before he convinced me of his budding worth. That I needed to take him seriously. But slowly he did.
The first breakthrough occurred when we were cutting up fruit. We were joking. Carrying on a sane conversation where our words were connecting.
Seven minutes in, I stopped cutting up a banana, turned to look at him, and thought, “This guy is actually a human being, and could even become a friend.”
We went on our first date and soon I was seeing all sorts of things to appreciate about him. My opinion of him had done a 180.
Our opinion is not always a good indicator of true value.
Appreciate definition 3: “recognize the full worth of”
It’s not uncommon for us to underestimate the worth of people or things. Sometimes we need to be told their true value.
My husband and I like to watch Antiques Roadshow. Occasionally there will be an item that I think is worth about the price of a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Turns out the appraiser thinks differently. He’ll reveal the item is worth half the value of the owner’s current house.
Just like the appraiser reveals the true worth of the antique, God reveals the worth of others. Telling us that humans are priceless. His whole ministry revolves around saving them, helping them, and redeeming them.
The qualities that we as humans appreciate others through are different from the considerations that God uses. God considers us valuable, not because of what we do, but because of whose we are.
We are to consider other humans through his lens.
We are appreciated and have worth.
Appreciate definition 4: “be grateful for”
Sometimes we don’t feel appreciated. Or that our worth is more than a cardboard box flattened to the height of thin pizza crust. But we are worthy because God values and appreciates us.
Not only does he see our current attributes and worth, but he sees and knows our future potential and worth. He works with us, encourages our change and growth, knowing the new creatures we are capable of becoming with his help.
Appreciation takes intention.
Synonyms for appreciate: value, respect, cherish, prize, admire, be grateful for, think highly of, and have a high opinion of
Appreciation helps us want to do better, be better. We can help our husband, children, and friends when we take action and appreciate them.
- Cherish their strengths, talents, and uniqueness.
- Encourage them to reach and grow towards their potential.
- Be grateful for them and call forth their positives.
- Notice their good more diligently than their flaws.
- View them through God’s gracious viewpoint.
We are all a mix of good, bad, and idiosyncrasies, and yet God doesn’t wait for us to change before he appreciates us or loves us.
Let’s do the same for others – appreciating them in their imperfectness.
Wife Step: Be on the lookout for things to appreciate about your husband. Start a list of his positives and ways he blesses you and others. Now you have things to always appreciate about him – and express this to him too!
Theresa Boedeker has been married to her husband, her complete opposite, for over 30 years. They live in the Midwest and have two children, 15 years apart, and a few grandkids. Theresa daily hunts for humor and tries to bring forth laughter from others. She is passionate about helping women smash lies with God’s truth. Overcome shame. Learn to laugh at life and themselves. Notice God’s love and grace. And not be afraid of making mistakes. She unwraps life and faith at TheresaBoedeker.com. When she is not writing, she enjoys doing creative things like cooking, making jewelry, and taking photos of flowers (they never run from the picture).