Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
Good men and bad men differ radically. Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them, but wise men appreciate and are grateful. Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor, but to everyone else.
Gratitude is to marriage as oil is to an engine. It needs to be applied liberally and throughout and is of such importance, that a fresh supply must be added regularly to ensure success and longevity.
-- Matthew Smith
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
The importance of gratitude cannot be overstated. A marriage that is full of gratitude is also full of romance. A marriage devoid of gratitude soon loses its flame.
Take a moment and let your sweetheart know of your love and appreciation. Create a list of the things you appreciate about your sweetie. Maybe even write it in a nice Thank You card. Include several, maybe ten, specific items that your sweetheart may not know or that you have not expressed gratitude for in a long time.
Here is part of my list to get you going.
I am grateful:
* for your beautiful eyes and the way they shine when you smile
* that you have chosen to stay home and be there for the kids. It has made a big difference in our family.
* for pumpkin pie -- yours is the best
* that you are my friend when I need to talk
* for your parents and the fine example they show to the children
* for a warm hug after a hard day at work
* for your ability to sing and play -- I love to listen to you sing
* that you cut my hair
* for how you help the kids with their school work and help keep them motivated