Marriage

Culture of Gratitude

King and I had another opportunity to teach engaged couples in our church yesterday, at our wedding prep seminar called Before I Do. And one of the principles that we teach, though it is not in their manuals, is the concept of low expectation, high appreciation. In simpler terms, low demand, high appreciation. Demand less, hope more, and appreciate more.

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I think it is pretty easy to be thankful for the pleasant surprises, for the unexpected. Things that you hope for and do not demand for, but surprisingly receive. Things that you think you would not get or experience, but then do.

But do we still express thanks for the normal, day-to-day, expected things? Things that are routine already? Things that you think you ought to receive, or things you feel you deserve?

Like maybe when your husband pays the bills on time (and you don’t even notice or get stressed out because they’re always paid for monthly). Or like when your wife keeps the peace at home among the children (and you don’t realize that you get saved from the stress of having to mediate because the issue has already been handled). Or when your husband holds the door for you. Or when your wife brings you water and food. Or when your husband drives for you. Or when your wife drives for you. Or when your husband plans dates with you. Or when your wife organizes your schedule as a family. Or when your husband does the plumbing. Or when your wife does the laundry.

Thank your spouse! Especially for the seemingly little and seemingly ordinary. Everything you do for your spouse and for your family is not little. It is not ordinary. Everything your spouse does for you and for your family is not little. It is not ordinary. Each of your contributions in your marriage is valuable. Appreciate each other. Verbally. Not just by actions. Your words have power. Use them to build a culture of gratitude in your marriage. ❤

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

My Kids, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Raising Grateful Kids

In our home, we eat left-overs. One early afternoon, many months ago when we had no helper, I heard Danae complain about the food saying “AGAIN?!” I would remind her to be thankful that we have food to eat because many don’t. I tend to be real or maybe even over dramatic about these things, so I remind her about kids we see in the streets that have to beg or work, so they could have money to buy food. This happened a few times. She would eat the food but not before complaining. I really hate that kind of attitude and so I made a new rule. I sternly told her that if I hear her complain about the food, she is not going to eat any of it. She would have to wait for the next meal.

It worked! I do not hear her complaints or ungrateful comments anymore. She would ask me if it’s the same food again, but in a very different tone. If I do see a complaint coming, I’m quick to remind her and she changes her attitude.

My kids are pretty good eaters, even of vegetables thank God, and I don’t force them to eat anything that they normally don’t. I don’t serve them bad food. I don’t always serve them left-overs either. It’s not about that. It’s about the ATTITUDE. I want my kids to be grateful for what they have, whether it’s fried chicken from KFC or home-made vegetable soup, or steak and ribs from Racks or home-made vegetable spring rolls. I want them to always appreciate what they are given and be thankful most especially for the people who give it to them.