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Entries in Appreciation (2)


Appreciation Fans the Flame on Love

Pam Farrel really cares about marriages, and she wants people to know the value of romance in the loving husband-wife relationship. In this Marriage UPGRADE just in time for Valentine's Day, she focuses on an attitude that can "fan the flame."

Appreciation can positively change the atmosphere in our marriage; vastly improve the confidence of our mate and raise the temperature of our own passion toward our husband,” Pam says. “In short, appreciation steams up the windows of desire in our heart.  

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I (Dawn) agree. Appreciation is a great way for those who are married to prepare for this special day. Pam shares some practical ways to help your man feel he is number one in your heart—not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day!

Pam continues . . .

For the past few years, a few times a year, I run a Romance Challenge for Wives. Together, we look at the 26 traits, A to Z, that make a wife more loving, more caring—and yes, more desirable—to her husband.

These wives value love, cherish the institute of marriage and even recognize the significance of their man; yet they are looking for a few more creative ideas to fan the flame on love.

They long to keep that spark and sizzle in their love life.

In the heart of a woman is a desire to help their man feel like the luckiest, most blessed male on the face of the globe!

Yet, women struggle to keep gratitude and thankfulness in their hearts—especially toward the man God gave them to marry.

Because we women can drift to feelings of frustration toward our spouse, we need a way to drift BACK to emotions of appreciation, gratitude and gratefulness toward our husband and marriage.

If you are struggling to find anything positive about the man God gave you, here is the baseline:

He had the good sense to marry YOU!

We can have confidence that God will meet us in the middle of our desire to be more loving and appreciative because He commands us to have an attitude of gratitude:

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thessalonians 5:18).

One of the basic components of a strong love is when a man feels appreciated, valued and esteemed.

I love the look in the eyes of newlywed brides. They beam as they hang on the arm of their groom. That gleam in the eye and broad smile—that is appreciation!

When he senses you feel you won the grand prize when you married him, his heart will be drawn toward you; and then your worth is like the upward trajectory of a positive stock market report. You become priceless!

The Bible encourages, “…esteem them very highly in love…” (1 Thessalonians 5:13). Esteem means to regard as particularly important; admire, approve, favor, treasure.

Is that how you feel about your husband?

As a motivated wife, you have the honor of being the spark plug for your marriage, the igniter of romance and the match to light the flame of intimacy.

If you want to kickstart appreciation to fan the flame on love, simply say “Thanks!”


Try one of the ways below to tangibly express your gratitude to your man:

♥ Admire in a letter or with your verbal praise one of his good qualities
♥ Applaud his effort or an accomplishment
♥ Approve of his choice (of anything) heartily!
♥ Commend of him in front of his friends or colleagues
♥ Compliment one of his handsome features
♥ Positively inquire more information about one of his interests
♥ Accept one of his quirks with a quick hug or kiss when you see it
♥ Laud an accomplishment with a gift or a family party to celebrate.
♥ Warm toward an idea he has brought up by asking to learn more.
♥ Support one of his dreams by placing a photo of him doing it on your desk or refrigerator.
♥ Sympathize with an emotional hurt with a hug. 
♥ Adore his body in the bed room.
♥ Enthusiastically embrace one of his opinions with an “I so agree!”
♥ Show pleasure of his company with a “So nice to have you in my life”.
♥ Be sensitive to his stress by giving a shoulder or neck rub.
♥ Be mindful of one of his needs by running an errand or picking up an item without being asked.
♥ Be responsive to one of advances for “red hot monogamy”.
♥ Order a coffee mug with “I thank God 4 U!” printed on it, then bring him breakfast in bed, complete with the coffee mug.
♥ Place a thank you note on a helium balloon and float it into his office.
♥ Make your own list, A to Z, why you are thankful for your man, then read it to him; give it to him, one letter at a time; create a photo book with pictures of him for each letter and each trait you find attractive; or write the list on the same kind of paper you sent the first love note on!

Which of these “appreciation fans" would make the biggest difference in your marriage today?

What are you waiting for?

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of over 45 books including Red Hot Romance Tips for Women (which this blog is adapted from); Red Hot Monogamy,  A Couple’s Journey with God, and  best-selling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. Pam encourages women to join the 26 day Red Hot Wife Challenge, and her husband Bill hosts the Her Best Friend phone APP to equip husbands to romance their wives. Learn more about Pam and Bill Farrels’ ministry at

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Tumisu at Pixabay.


Differences Keep Marriage Interesting

In this Marriage UPGRADE, Dianne Barker opens up about her own marriage and what she and her husband learned about their “differences.”

“I tiptoed through the marriage minefield,” Dianne said, “until an epiphany changed everything.”

I (Dawn) think every marriage has a minefield, something that can explode into anger and bitterness, so I was eager to hear about Dianne’s “epiphany.”

Dianne continues . . .

Marriage is hard—for everybody. It’s that opposites attract thing.

My husband and I are as different as two people can be. He’s a perfectionist and totally focused while I tend to be disorganized and forgetful.

After checking the oil in my car, he said, “Next time you’re out, stop at the gas station and have one of the guys add a quart of oil.” A few days later he asked about the oil.

“I forgot—but I’ll get it when I’m out.” The thought never crossed my mind again.

The next week I stopped by his parents’ house, where he was working on their lawnmower. As I started to leave, he said, “Go to the gas station and get a quart of 10-W-30 oil.”

“Sure!” I said cheerily and went on my way. Two hours later he came home, agitated and snappy.

“What happened to the oil?”

“I had it put in the car.”

Given the preceding events, who would’ve thought the oil was for the lawnmower! Scowling his disapproval, he stomped out the door to take my car for a complete oil change—perfectionists don’t mix brands and weights.

Personality differences caused contention in our marriage from the beginning.

We had different perspectives about almost everything, and decision-making often ended in deadlock. To solve the matter, I’d agree to James’ decision, but struggle with lingering bitterness, feeling my opinion had received little respect.

Adding two children to the mix increased the frustration. We had to agree, even on small matters, concerning our kids. I couldn’t walk away and pout. Like a soldier in battle, I tried to dodge the minefield—issues that could prove explosive—until an epiphany changed our marriage:

Our conflicts mostly resulted from temperament differences, not malicious intent.

It’s as hard for my spouse to accept my differences as it is for me to accept his.

Although James and I had no training in conflict resolution, we had two factors in our favor. We loved the Lord and we wanted to please Him.

The epiphany led us to four choices that transformed our relationship.

1. Acceptance.

We determined to accept each other AS IS. Marriage requires living with another person’s strengths and weaknesses. Because I need God’s transforming touch, I can be patient with my husband’s imperfections. Acceptance reduces tension and builds friendship.

2. Appreciation.

Learning to appreciate our differences, we noticed the strengths of our opposite personalities actually balance and enrich our relationship. One personality isn’t superior.

God designed us with differences and brought us together to accomplish more for His kingdom than we could do alone. Verbalizing appreciation minimizes irritations and builds respect.

3. Application.

Applying Scripture to our daily walk, we practiced biblical relationship principles.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Extending unlimited forgiveness and unconditional love brings healing and restoration.

4. Acknowledgment.

Recognizing our contribution to the conflict or misunderstanding, we learned to humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness. Christ said if we go to worship and remember someone holds an offense against us, we should go and be reconciled (Matthew 5:23-24). He didn’t mention who’s at fault.

Assuming responsibility and seeking forgiveness can nip bitterness before it takes root.

Pleasing our Lord has top priority. That takes care of many smaller issues.

What has top priority in your marriage?

Dianne Barker is a conference speaker, freelance journalist, radio host, and author of eleven books, including the 1986 best-seller Twice Pardoned. Her 2014 book, I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life, won the Christian Authors Network Golden Scroll third-place award for non-fiction book of the year.

This post is adapted from Help! I’m Stuck and I Can’t Get Out! The Maximum Marriage Maintenance and Repair Kit, available soon at

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