What is “music to your ears?” I mean, what do you really enjoy hearing others say to you? I expect almost universally we love to hear expressions of gratefulness to us for something we have done. Not only is gratefulness an essential character quality, but also it does so much for producing a spirit of harmony in a home. It can’t be overstated.
When I’ve taken the children somewhere I thought they would enjoy, I’m very pleased if I hear them thank me. However, I feel wonderful if they go on to say how much they enjoyed it and what fun it was. I don’t think I’ve ever said to them, “Please stop, you’re being too grateful.” There is something about gratitude that just, well, it delights my heart!
Now the question comes up, How grateful am I? Since I am the leader in the home, just what sort of example am I setting? Am I quick to recognize the acts of kindness that are done for me and tell that person how much I appreciate them? Do I thank my sons for mowing, yard work, or cleaning the garage? Do I thank Sarah for all the baking she does? Do I thank Teri for dinner, for washing my clothes, or for the nightly neck and shoulder massage I receive while we have a session of geography immediately following our evening meal? (I wonder if that is why I have had this new-found love for geography lately. If you haven’t tried this approach to geography, I guarantee you’ll like it.)
However, most of all, I’m eternally grateful to Teri for her ministry of love in teaching the children at home. She has chosen a much more difficult route than to send them off to school. She appreciates how I feel about her efforts, but that alone isn’t enough. She wants to hear me express it to her in words and not just once a year. Phone calls, letters, email notes, or gifts–you name it, she loves it. I have yet to come close to being too grateful, but I need to purpose anew to try.