When did someone first teach you the importance of saying “thank you?” I can’t remember exactly when but I always remember it being something that my parents expected me to do. Whatever they did to develop that habit in me worked. I say “thank you” all the time. I say it to the checker at the grocery store, the barista where I get coffee, the ticket taker at the movie, and just about everyone else that I come in contact with. I am really thankful that my parents made it such a priority.
You know what’s interesting? Sometimes when I say thank you to someone, they have a shocked look on their face. It’s like they cannot believe someone took the time to say it - especially to them. I write a lot about the mistakes we have made in our marriage; mistakes that have caused arguments, fights and misunderstandings, but the “thank you” thing we got right. When we started dating in college, Nancy took it up a notch for me. She thanked me for things that no one had ever thanked me for before. When I opened and closed the car door, at the end of the date, when I bought a meal or a movie ticket or anything else, she said thank you. It was incredible and two things happened. It made me more conscious of thanking her and it made me want to do more for her.
Today, nothing has changed. I still hear the words “thank you” many times every day. In our marriage, these words have elevated the value of everything we do for each other. It keeps us from taking each other and the things we do for each other for granted. Now it’s your turn. How do you show appreciation to your spouse? Rate yourself. Are you doing a good job, an okay job, or a not so good job? Why not put this habit to work in your marriage today?